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Shaping neck and Fretting the fingerboard

I also clean up the neck by thinning the neck profile and sawing away the 2 side excess.
As the neck blank is pretty thick I still have a long way to go.
I also need to clean up the back of the head.

Sawing the excess neck by the sides

Sawing the other side

Cleaning the edges until it is flushed with the fingerboard

Sides of the neck are now aligned with fingerboard.
Now to thickness the fingerboard.

I sanded straight the fingerboard and began to fret the fingerboard.
The steps are like my previous builds.
Straighten the fingerboard, Reduce the fret barb size, Cut the frets to length, trim the end fret tangs. Round the ends and install the frets.
But my progress is slow so I only manage to install 3 frets only.

Reduce the fret barb size

Trim the end tangs

Install the frets

I fretted until 12th fret and then string up to try the guitar.
The sound seems to get better than last time I tried (cant really be sure though mainly just a feeling.)
I did notice some buzz so I remove the fret and level that part of the fret board.
One thing I noticed is that it seems pretty easy to play the guitar.
Think this will be a winner.

Fretting done till 12th fret.

Close up view.

Just an update, I fretted the fingerboard to 12th fret and tried the guitar.
While the guitar sounds great, the fret work isn't.
There was buzzing at 4th 5th fret for the bass strings.
Visually I check the straightness of the fingerboard; it was straight.
Not sure where the problem is.
So I ordered a straight edge for checking and now waiting for the tool to come.

The straight edge came and I check the fretboard against the straight edge.
Indeed I was quite right the fingerboard was more or less straight.
So I proceed to fret and tried the guitar.
Still it was buzzing almost every fret.
Then I noticed the action was pretty low so I remake a saddle with higher action and viola... no more buzzing.
The action was now 3.5mm (T) and 4 on (B) and I can lower them a bit more.
Previous action was more like 2.5 / 3 ... no wonder it buzz like mad...
Anyway I finished up the fret to 18th fret and now it plays nicely.
Now to finish up the instrument and get ready for finishing...
What's left is to adjust the neck thickness and heel cap.

Finished fretting (well almost)


Gluing the bridge

Next is to locate the position of the bridge and drill the alignment holes.
This time round I double check and triple check just to make sure it's correct.
If not I will be force to remove the bridge like in #5 haha
Then I heat up the hide glue and glue the bridge.
The usual bridge clamp cannot be used due to the tornavoz so I just 3 cam-clamps instead.
The top usually is able to support the bridge and I use very little pressure for the clamping so no worries during the clamping.
Next will be to hear how it sound!!!

Locating the position of the bridge

Drilling the alignment holes

Bridge glued.

Apply the clampes

After the bridge is glued I string it up to see what the resonance is like.
All are within my expectations / prediction.
Though I kind of hope the air resonance will go down a bit more.
But still it's within range.
I temporary use some of my existing nut and saddle (not optimised) and string it up.
I also use my temporary fret to fret the high notes and hear it sounds.
Not bad at all :)
The bass notes are deep but yet controlled.
Definitely have a deeper tone than my #3 but not as deep rumble as #5 (this is due to the bracing).
The treble notes are all very even as expected of the Bouchet bar.

The guitar strung up temporarily

Closer view of the bridge

Back on the bench.


Making the bridge

While making the fingerboard, I also began on making the bridge.
Choosing the right material is important for the bridge.
Although some luthier believe the damping is not important only the mass (weight) is important.
Well I still think both are important.
So I between IRW and CSA-RW, I choose the latter as it has better tap tone.

So I began by cutting to the length, and square up the sides.
After that I marking the centre line and the position of the tie block.

Choosing the bridge blank. IRW or CSA RW?

Matching the color of the blank to the rest of the body. Both blank looks oK

Matching the color of the blank to the rest of the body. Both blank looks oK

Squaring up the edges

Scraping the under surface to match the top doming.

Check the doming fit. This is not final though just rough matching.

Marking the centre line and tie block and wings lines.

I routed the saddle slot in the blank.
For this bridge I make the saddle lean backwards by a little.
This will help in the structure for the top I think.
It's done by adding shims below the template.
The route are guided by the aluminium rails and the rails are adjusted to fit the slot marking.
I took several passes to reduce the chances of tearout.
After the slot is routed I began to reduce the thickness of the wings.
I saw multiple saw cuts and remove the waste with chisel.
Finally I smooth them with files.
So far the original blank weight is 50g and I reduced it to be about 30g.
Some more to go.

Router set-up

Another view; Close up view.

Saddle slot routed

Sawing cuts at small intervals for easier chiselling and to prevent big chunk of chip out / tear out.

Removing with chisel

And rebate plane.
The block of wood besides to hold down the blank but also to prevent accidental damage to the saddle block / tie block region.

Current weight about 33g

Preview of how it will look; Looking quite nice.

After thinning the wings, I began to carve the saddle block and tie-block.
In my previous method, I actually route 2 channels, one for the saddle one in between the 2 blocks.
But this time I only routed one for the saddle.
So for the between, I use my saw to start the cut and chisel / plane away the rest.
The weight after carving ends up about 24 g.
I probably need to remove more to cater for the bone inlay weight.

Saw a cut between the 2 blocks

Using rebate plane to remove the waste.

Using chisel to remove the waste.

Weight of bridge 24g

A look before gluing.

I finished up the bridge and glued it.
After much pondering I use the MOP as the tie-block inlay because of the weight.
The full bone was just too heavy.
After gluing the inlay and I drill the 12-holes.
The final weight is about 24 g.
It's slight heavier than I expected but still within the usual range.

Gluing the tie-block inlay

Drilling the string holes

Weight is about 24g

12-hole bridge