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Shaping the neck

After the fingerboard is glued, I began to shape the neck in preparation for gluing it to the body.
First I shape the 2 part at the head to neck joint curving the joint.
I use saw and chisel to remove the main bulk of the waste then shape the curve with file and sandpaper.
Following that, I saw away the excess neck at the 2 sides of the fingerboard.
Then i plane it back to the fingerboard width.
Next I shape the neck to the correct thickness at the head part and the head neck joint at the back of the head.

Shaping the head neck part.

Sand to shape

Removing neck excess at the 2 sides of fingerboard

Plane the width back to the size of the fingerboard

Shaping the neck near the 1st fret region.

A preview of the neck

Finished sanding the neck

Another preview


Preparing the Fingerboard

Next I prepared the fingerboard.
I had on hand a pre-slotted ebony fingerboard which I use for this project.
I marked the centre line and the width at the nut end and the width at the 12th fret.
The fingerboard is just nice for the taper spread at the 19th / 20th fret end,
After that I saw away some waste using my saw, and then started to shoot the fingerboard square and to the marked width.

After shooting to size, I taper the bottom end at the bass sides.
I mark the part to plane more using pencil lines so that I wont remove from the wrong side.
The thickness is 7mm at treble side and 6mm at bass side.
The forward angle can be adjusted at the neck portion when the neck is glued to the body.
So the finger board can stay at teh same thickness through out.

Marking and sawing away the waste

Shooting the fingerboard to size

Fingerboard done ready to be glued.

The fingerboard is then glued next.
After gluing, I discovered that the alignment has shifted.
Apparently the alignment pin is not inserted deep enough.
So I proceed to remove the fingerboard
I use iron to heat up the fingerboard.
Not having frets on makes it easy to apply the heat directly to the fingerboard.
After that I inserted the palette knife to separte the glue seam.

Gluing the fingerboard

After checking that alignment has shifted, proceed to remove the fingerboard.
Heating up the fingerboard

Fingerboard removed

Next the fingerboard is scraped clean to remove the glue remnants of the 2 surface. After that the fingerboard is reglued.

Glue remnants scraped clean.

Applying glue to the surface

Glued and making sure this time the pin is aligned correctly.

Fingerboard all aligned correctly.


Making the binding and purfling of guitar (front)

Now to work on the front binding channel side.
I had to figure out how to hold the guitar this way.
So I added a wood tension and clamp down the guitar.
I also fixed the L wooden bracket with dowels.
Now I am ready for the front binding channel.
For this side I go by the hand binding route instead.
I find that it has more control.
Luckily for me I had my own binding cutter as well the LMI gramil.
I set mine as the top cutter and the gramil as the side cutter.
This time round I use my 2m chisel and shave down the sides as I scribed it.
This method works great but abeit slower.
My paring chisel with a square reference (not bevelled) works great in this case too.

Holding down the guitar using some wood spring tension

The butt L-bracket is reinforced with dowels.

Cutting the top part using my binding cutter.

Scraping the side part using LMI gramil

The cut line by the gramil

Chiseling the waste away

Test fitting the channel

Almost end in sight

Merry Xmas everyone.
Next I began to cut the purfling channels.
This is relatively easy as the cutter can easily scribe the spruce without any issue.
I only need to control the depth not to cut too deeply.
But even if cut all the way thru' it should not be an issue, as my linings are about 10mm wide more than enough to support the top.
To cut the purfling channels accurately, I use my router plane and set the depth and cut in 2 passes.

When the channel is ready, I began to glue the purfling after some test fitting.
For holding the purfling, tape is still the best medium as it can apply the force in a wide area (equals the width of the tape used) After some time the gluing is done.
I did a joint on the purfling, which looks very good.

Test fitting the binding

Close up of the binding channel

Scribing the purfling channel

Cutting the purfling channel using a router plane

Test fitting the purfling

Close up of the purfling channel

Close up of the purfling channel

Gluing the purfling using tape

Spreading the glue in the channel

All done.

Preparing the binding and cutting it to length

Check the fit

A Happy New Year to all!
I began gluing the front binding after checking all the fit.
I was contemplating whether to do both at the same time or one by one.
If doing one by one, the fitting at the butt end can be made to perfection.
But the rope pressure might damage the purfling.
If doing both at the same time, the fitting could be more tricky to handle.
In addition the rope tying sequence will be affected unless I started at the waist.
In the end I decide to go one by one.
Again by using just rope only I am able to see any gaps and close them before the glue dries.
If surrounded by tapes, I cant see anything...

The next day I did the other side repeating the same procedure.
The purfling was alright luckily.
Anyway the purlfing is a bit proud of the top surface so it can be sanded down easily.

Gluing the front binding.

Close up

Binding on the other side

Close up

Once the glue dried completely, I took off the ropes and began to scrape the binding flush with with sides and top.
There are some areas which I fill the gaps with saw dust and glue.
The effect came out very good.

After the rope removed

Scraping the sides

Waste from all the scraping..

End graft after sanding and scraping

Front view after sanding and scraping


Binding the guitar (back), End graft

First of all I decide on the binding to be used.
Originally it was planned to be using red colour binding (blood wood) but because the body itself is a bit reddish brown, the contrast does not come out good.
So after discussing with the owner, we decided to use ebony instead as it provided a good contrast with the backs as well as the top.

Bloodwood binding (not so good contrast)

Maple binding (good contrast with back but not so good with top)

Ebony binding (good contrast with back and top)

After all is done, I finally began to cut the binding.
The binding jig works relatively well, but I did some tweak to the binding jig to make it track better.
The top part was extend a bit to make it more stable while the side reference is made closer to the binding bit.
After both channels are cut, I use my chisel and files to correct the binding channel itself.

Binding channel cut

All the debris

Binding channel

Binding channel

The part need the heel had to be cut by hand using saws and chisels

After that I spend some time to correct the channel dimensions using chisels, files, and rabbet planes.
Then I cut the end graft channel using saw and chisels.

Checking the fit of the end graft

Apply the glue

Glued and taped down.

Holding jig for working on the end graft

End graft done, some gaps but can be easily filled.

Next I began the binding process.
At first I wanted to use the binding jig for working 1/2 the sides of the guitar, but in the end I just go without it as it's easier to access all parts of the guitar while working.
First I glue the purfling using white glue and CA.
The CA will hold it in place while the white glue gives it strength.
Next I began glueing the binding.
After measure and cutting, I began at the end graft area.
As I tied the ropes, I began to glue the binding also.
Similarly I use CA at certain points to help to hold it.
At some portion I had to use big clamps to force it in place due to the spring back of the binding.
Finally as I reached the heel area, I cut the excess and glue in.

Glued the purfling using white and CA glue.



Binding glued and tied. Clamp are used for areas that doesnt want to conform to the channel.

Close up

Close up

After scraping the binding, the binding looks good without major gaps.
The gaps can be closed easily with some CA and clamps.
Next will be the other side of the binding.
To make them fit I tie the 2nd binding flush with the channel and mark the length at the butt end.
Then I trim it using a saw.
When I started binding I started with the butt end instead of the waist.
When I reached the heel end then I measure and saw to length and adjusted with chisel.
This way the fiting is perfect without any gaps due to overlength or underlength.

After planing and scraping the excess

Clamp to close some minor gaps

Binding at the waist

Trimming at the heel end using chisel for a good fit

2nd side done

Next I plane and scrape down the 2nd side too.
Good no major gaps.

Planing the excess

Butt joint

Heel joint

Back binding done.