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Gluing the bridge

Finally the gluing of the bridge.
I measure the location of the bridge: 651mm at the treble side and 652 at the bass side.
The reference starts from 325 at 12th fret.
My saddle is about 3mm so I have enough saddle to cater for the rest of the compensation.
My nut end is inward by 0.5mm that's why the reference has to be at the 12th fret.

After drilling the locating pin with my 1mm drill bit, I tape the location on the top.
The tape also serves to remove the glue squeezed out.
Then I prepare the clamps.
For this build, I cant insert a bridge clamp as the tornavoz is taller than my usual, so the clamps are blocked.
But no matter I can reach the bridge from behind the end block instead.
Then I heat up my hide and glue the bridge.

Final weight of bridge

Measuring the location of the bridge

Heat up the hide glue

Prepare the gluing setup

Apply the glue

Glued and clamped

Close up of the squeeze out


Assemble the neck to the body

Next step is to glue the neck to the body.
Only after the neck is attached to the body then the heel area can be shaped nicely.
This is to ensure the curves are correctly aligned and smoothen nicely.

So before glue one last look is done to ensure the alignment is correct.
Next glue is applied and the neck is glued to the body.
I had use titebond instead of my usual hide as I have run out of the hide granules and had to order from overseas.
But nonetheless titebond is structurally good glue too.

One last check on the alignment before gluing

Applied the glue


Applying the clamps

More clamps

Another view

Next the clamps are removed and the alignment is perfect.
The heel is carved next but I lack of the proper knife.
Chisel can be used but a cutting knife kiridashi is better due to the slant angle of attack.
After that the heel cap is shaped and glued.
Only after the heel cap is glued, then the carving of the heel can be completed as it has to transit nicely from the heel cap to the heel.
There was a defect in the neck but once carved to the actual thickness, the defect was totally removed.

After gluing and clamps removed. Alignment is good

Shaping the heel. I had only the marking knife, should have gotten the kiridashi for easier carving

Heel roughly shaped

Gluing the heel cap

Heel carved and sanded smooth

Another view of the heel

Carving the neck using spoke shave

I noticed my high angle block plane is rather useful in this case too. There was a pitch pocket in the neck but luckily once carved to the correct thickness the pocket is remove totally

Neck / heel done

Another view of the heel area


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

The fingerboard was leveled with a flat bar.
Lights are used to check whether the fingerboard is flat or not.

Sanding the fingerboard flat

Check for flatness

Next the fingerboard end near the soundhole is sawn and shaped accordingly with files.
Have to take into consideration the 20th fret.

Sawing away the excess fingerboard at the sound hole end.

Bulk of the waste is sawn. Now shaping with files

Fingerboard is shaped nicely


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