Wednesday , August 5th, 2009:

Okay, first off, I guess I might as well tell you about my new stupid mistake, which I performed brilliantly last night. (I debated as to whether or not I should share this — it's embarrassing — but then I figured, I might as well, as you are already quite aware of all the stupid mistakes I make while building guitars! No use hiding it.)

As I was drilling the 5/16" hole in the center of the end wedge, for the end pin, I guess I wasn't thinking too carefully, because I forgot to cover the area with masking tape. Thus, as I was drilling — or maybe it was as I was backing the drill bit out — I managed to chip-out a triangular piece of the end wedge (about 1/4" wide by 3/8" long), right below the drilled hole. YIKES!!!! MY BEAUTIFUL END WEDGE RUINED!!!! I was devastated.

But I recovered (though I still felt awful about it). At least the chip-out didn't touch any of the purfling — it was just a piece of the bloodwood binding I'd glued together. SO....I decided to try to repair it. I used a small gouge to give the chipped-out hole somewhat of a shape, and then used the gouge to shape a piece of scrap bloodwood binding. I superglued it into the hole (it extended higher than the hole), held it there a while, and then sanded it down flush. I then proceeded to totally refinish that end wedge area — leveling it a bit and brushing on around 3 coats of the finish. I let it sit overnight.

This morning I leveled it down with P600 sandpaper and then all the Micromesh grits again. Then I used the Meguiar's polishes on it again. It came out okay — unless you look closely, you can't really tell too much. Whew! What a relief. Take a look (the patch is right below the end pin, in the right part of the shadow):

I'll say one thing about the EM6000 finish — it sure makes doing repairs or refinishes easy!!! With the few sand-throughs I've done on this guitar, and with this major boo-boo, this finish worked beautifully — it sands and levels easily and smoothly and blends right in with the surrounding areas. Thank goodness for that!!!




Now, with that out of the way, I moved on to the main job for today — the set-up!

The first thing I did was to drill the bridge pin holes and saw out the little string slots in the holes. Last night I had prepared the nut and saddle, so those were ready. I sawed string slots in the nut and strung up the guitar.

I worked on the nut slots first, to get them as low as I wanted them. (I press down between the 2nd and 3rd fret, and want to see the string just barely above the 1st fret. When it is that low, I know that's when I've cut the slot low enough. I also kind of just go by how it feels to me, when I fret the 1st fret.)

Once the nut slots seemed right, I checked for the action at the 12th fret. I was shooting for 6/64" space between the low-E string and the 12th fret, and 4/64" between the high-E string and the 12th fret. I determined how much I had to remove from the bottom of the saddle (for example, at the low-E part of the saddle, you remove twice the amount of extra space over the 6/64" you have under the 12th fret). I then sanded that much off the bottom of the saddle. When I tried the saddle out, however, it turned out I took too much off the bass side of the saddle — the low-E string buzzed, but all the other strings were fine. So...I ended up shimming the saddle at that end by gluing another wedge-shaped shim of bone to the bottom of the saddle. By trial and error, I finally got it to work.

I decided to try out Elixir Polyweb extra light strings on this one. I think I like them!

Oh, yeah — the final thing I did was to install a strap peg on the heel.

Here's a bunch of photos:


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  1. Planning
  2. A Little Change in Plans...
  3. Back Braces
  4. Carving the Back Braces & Cutting the Top Braces
  5. The Rosette / Tapering the Fingerboard
  6. Bracing the Top
  7. Carving the Braces / Gluing the Soundhole Braces & Bridge Plate
  8. The Finished Top and Back!!! / Cutting and Bending the Sides
  9. Fixing Cupped Sides / Making Spreaders & Clamping Cauls
  10. Neck and Tail Blocks
  11. Sanding the Radius into the Sides / Gluing the Kerfing Strips / Side Reinforcements
  12. Fitting & Gluing the Back
  13. Fitting & Gluing the Top
  14. We Have a Soundbox Now!!!
  15. Bending and Routing for Bindings
  16. Gluing the End Wedge & Bindings
  17. Scraping the Bindings
  18. Beginning the Neck
  19. The Neck, Continued!!!
  20. The Neck, Day 3
  21. Peghead, Tuners, Dots, & Frets!!
  22. Peghead Inlay
  23. Backstrap & Gluing the Fingerboard
  24. Carving the Neck / A "Duh!" Moment / Side Dots / Preparing for Finish
  25. Pore-Filling and Sealing
  26. Spraying the Top Coats
  27. Finishing the Finish / Gluing on the Neck
  28. Gluing on the Bridge
  29. Set-Up / It's All Done!




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