Midnight Woodworking

Woodworking

Headless guitar concept – day 2

I had a few little details to accomplish today, before glueing up the front and back halves of the guitar body. Yesterday’s epoxy has dried, so I sanded it down flush to the face of the board.

Sanding down the epoxy

Sanding down the epoxy

I used a thin needle file to clean up the switch slot.

Cleaning up the switch slot

Cleaning up the switch slot

 

Adding grooves for pickup wires

Adding grooves for pickup wires

I used my router to cut some grooves for the pickup wires, then put in the 3/8″ round-over bit to radius the edges.

Adding a round-over to the top

Adding a round-over to the top

 

Adding a round-over to the bottom

Adding a round-over to the bottom

I did as much as I could of the front and back, but the bearing wouldn’t fit into the tight corners.

Bit does not fit

Bit does not fit

 

Trying a smaller bearing

Trying a smaller bearing

I had some success stepping down to a smaller bearing, but I had to be careful not to cut too deep.

Workable

Workable

 

Measuring machine head tuner

Measuring machine head tuner

Next step was to drill out the holes for the tuners. I got out my calipers and measured the tuner body to determine what size hole I needed.

Setting tail level

Setting tail level

Since the tail is at an angle, I stacked a few boards to level it out. This enabled me to drill perpendicular to the tail. I drilled out all six holes, then moved on to the bridge.

Drilling out the tuner holes

Drilling out the tuner holes

 

Measuring bridge posts

Measuring bridge posts

I repeated the process of measuring and drilling.

Drilling post holes

Drilling post holes

 

Test fit of bridge

Test fit of bridge

Since the bridge posts are press fit, I set them in only a little ways, to make sure they lined up with the bridge. They will get pressed in later, after the finish is applied. I also installed the machine head tuners to check them as well. It is a tight fit, but it will work.

Test fit the tuners

Test fit the tuners

Applying double-sided tape

Applying double-sided tape

To install the 5-way switch, I had Adam help me attach some double-sided tape, then I centered the switch and pressed it in. With the tape holding it, I drilled out the pilot holes at the mounting points. I removed the switch and drilled out the larger clearance holes.

Locating and drilling screw holes

Locating and drilling screw holes

 

Adding a counter-sink

Adding a counter-sink

I counter-sunk the holes and installed the switch. It fit very nicely.

Switch fits perfectly

Switch fits perfectly

Next, I measured the volume and tone potentiometers, then drilled their mounting holes.

Drilling volume and tone holes

Drilling volume and tone holes

 

Applying glue

Applying glue

With all the minor details complete, I glued the two halves together and moved on to the neck.

Clamping up the body to dry

Clamping up the body to dry

 

Taping maple veneer to poplar blank

Taping maple veneer to poplar blank

I have an old guitar neck that someone gave me, and I intend to convert it to my purposes. After I chop off the head, I need a plate that can hold the strings. I designed something, on the CNC,  that I want to try. It will be thin, so I taped a 1/8″ thick piece of maple to a thicker piece of poplar. Now I can cut all the way through the maple without worrying about the piece breaking free.

Carving new head plate

Carving new head plate

 

Carve complete

Carve complete

The carve only took a few minutes. I pried the thinner piece away with a large chisel, then sanded down the new headplate.

Separation

Separation

 

Headplate complete

Headplate complete

With the plate complete, I proceeded to be-head the neck.

Be-heading the neck

Be-heading the neck

It was set up for a Floyd Rose style nut, so I cut the head off just past it, and attached the headplate. I even left a hole for adjusting the truss rod. This will not be the final version of the headplate, but I needed to test the concept. When I find one I like, I will have it made in steel or brass.

Attaching nut and headplate

Attaching nut and headplate

 

Filling existing neck holes

Filling existing neck holes

Before Attaching the neck, I need to fill in the old neck holes. This was easily accomplished with some whittled maple pegs and some CA glue. When they dried, I cut the left-over off and sanded them flush.

Cutting off plugs

Cutting off plugs

 

Cut and sanded

Cut and sanded

After lining up the neck, I pulled the clamps off the body and drilled out the new hole pattern, on the back of the guitar, matching the standard neck plate, that I had.

Drilling the body for neck screws

Drilling the body for neck screws

 

Screws installed

Screws installed

With the neck installed, I thing it looks pretty cool.

Neck attached

Neck attached

 

Sanding the glue joint

Sanding the glue joint

I did as much edge sanding as I could, but I just couldn’t get into the tight spots.

Trying to sand the tight spots

Trying to sand the tight spots

For those locations, I started by cleaning them up with my modelers’ rasp.

Filing the tight spots by hand

Filing the tight spots by hand

I wrapped some sand paper around a marker to sand the small notches.

Sandpaper wrapped around a marker fits perfectly

Sandpaper wrapped around a marker fits perfectly

I sanded down the entire body working from 80 grit, down to 220.

Sanding down to 220 grit

Sanding down to 220 grit

I wiped down the body with Naphtha to clean away the fine dust, and to admire the grain.

Body sanded and cleaned up

Body sanded and cleaned up

The last item on my list for today is the hole for the jack.

Drilling out the hole for the jack

Drilling out the hole for the jack

I held the guitar on edge and drilled a 3/4″ hole through the side into the control cavity.

Nice clean exit

Nice clean exit

Next I installed the plate and drilled pilot holed for the screws.

Plate located and mounting holes drilled

Plate located and mounting holes drilled

Well, it is past 1:00AM again so I am going to bed.

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This entry was posted on September 1, 2014 by in Guitar and tagged , , , .

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