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Richards #37 - page 3
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On with the final tasks for the body. Cavity cover rebate done, The output jack port cut and the ferrule rebates are cut, The string holes are punched punched through the body.
Time for the top carve. The margin is drawn with the high tech jig custom made especially for this job.
The jig is extensively modified to mark the lower extremity of the carve.
Carving the curve begins.
The carve is roughed in.
The radius is refined on the edge of the body all round.
Finally the top is refined and sanded smoothly into the flat surface of the top.
Looking quite smart. It is at this stage rough sanded at 80 grit. It will be taken to 400 grit before it is ready for finish.
The roundover is cut into the back using the table router. Still 3 hours work left in the body and it will be ready for the neck to be glued in. Tomorrow I'll be getting down and dirty with the neck. Not too much more work on it and it will be ready for frets.
The cavity cover screw points are glued in and the control ports are cut and recessed.
Final shot and the body build is done.
A quick trace shows the headstock fits with little to spare.
A section of curly maple is selected and a 1.5mm slice is cut from it
And glued to the face of the headstock.
Time to bring the rear of the headstock down to its correct thickness. It is set up in this purpose made jig.
Quite obvious how it works. Very accurate and it's a one step process with very little sanding required.
A perfect job.
The shape is traced on the rear.
The shape is rough cut on the bandsaw and is now ready for final shaping.

Headstock shaope machined and tuner hole positions marked
Mark out transferred to headstock face for cutting
Yep they fit pretty good. Glad we decided on the smaller buttons
A decision is needed on the cavity hole cover material. Either rosewood as above, myrtle or maple
Finally the fingerboard is glued in position
Side markers inlaid.
The fingerboard is polished to a satin sheen.
Frets are pressed in.

Frets rough trimmed then filed smooth and finally bevelled to 30deg. After the finishing is done the fret ends will be detailled and the whole job levelled crown and polished out to make a perfectly smooth level set of frets.

Back to the body now for final sanding. When that's done the neck can be glued in and the neck carve begun.

Body is sanded and burnished. Yep it is reflecting light back at the camera.
The plan is to spray this with a red tint and black burst around the edges. I thought it worthwhile recording the amazing grain patterns of the edges of the slip matched top and how it kind of melds with the grain in the Qld maple.
Finally the neck is in the hole. Next week will be carving the neck and a rough setup to see how it feels.
The carve begins with quartering the faces
Initial faces are roughed in
Work begins at the heel after roughing in the back profile.
The trickiest part of the carve is the heel
The headstock transition is carved in a matter of minutes.

The heel is pretty much done. It is now just a matter of sanding the surfaces down to get everything smoothed out and I can begin to spot inconsistencies. It is really just a matter of removing everything that doesn't look like a neck.

At this point the build is pretty much over and it is the beginning of prepping for finishing. There will be a couple more shots of the body when sanded out followed by shots of the finshed guitar assembled and ready to play. But first of all it is time to test things with a dummy string up and action setup to ensure everything lines up properly. The owner will have a play on it as a kind of "fitting" session for the neck before we proceed to finishing.


Test string up looking exactly as planned. Strip off the bridge and tuners and get busy with sandpaper. RJ is good with the action feel etc so time to finish up.

Once sanding is done and the finishing is going on a couple of other tasks can be completed. The first is to cut the nut. I used a roughy out of the box that went in the hole ok for the test string up. Pretty important part of the whole process this and it is either perfection or do another one. Just marked it out using the stewmac nut marking ruler.

There's the russ rod cover. Everything is so small on this headstock.
Roughed in the wiring on a jig I made. Always do this on a new guitar. A simple coils split on both pickups was decided..
Done and first on go the tuners
Finally the obligitory shot of the completed guitar. You will have already seen the final series of the pictures in the gallery if you got to here,
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