Third day into this build, and I will have all the parts done today.
My focus today was to get all the trim pieces done. I started with the cover for the control chamber. I planed a piece of walnut down to 1/8″ thick, then stuck it to a piece of 3/4″ plywood with double-sided tape. I created a program to cut it out on the carver. two minutes later, I had a panel that was a perfect fit.
I decided to make all of my trim pieces opposite colors. I usually like to keep everything matching, but I thought I would mix things up a little on this project.
I also cut some coil trim pieces as well as a new design of the headplate. I like the drop-in design of the other headplate, but I think that will work better on a metal headplate. Since I am prototyping this in wood, I decided to thicken up the plate and make it harder for the strings to pull out by enclosing the string pockets.
I also cut out a trim plate for the humbucker . While all of the trim pieces where still taped down, I drilled and counter-sunk all the holes. I couldn’t pre-drill everything on the CNC because I have a limited selection of bit diameters. Instead, I made small, 1/16″ dimples to show me where to drill.
When all of the trim was cut, drilled, and sanded, I decided to do a full install of all the hardware.
It looks good, and everything went smoothly until I got to the tuners. I made the tuning tail 1/2″ thick. It should have been closer to 5/8″. My tuners wouldn’t tighten down because the nuts bottomed out before hitting the wood.
I am glad I did a fit check before applying the oil finish. Oil makes additional glue-ups a bit difficult.
To rectify this problem, I decided to make a 1/8″ thick maple saddle to cover the tail. I traced the tail and added a curve to the top, then cut it out on the scroll saw and sanded a bevel on the edge.
I actually made two of these. I thought I was being efficient and decided to attach the first one with CA glue. It was done in five minutes, but when I tried to drill it out, It split and separated. I peeled it off with my large chisel and made a new one.
The second one went on with Titebond wood glue. I won’t make that mistake again…
When the glue was dry, I flipped the guitar over and drilled out the new plate.
I was annoyed at my oversight, but I do like the way the new saddle looks.
Satisfied with the hardware fit-up, I pulled it all off and prepped the wood parts for finish.
Everything was sanded down to 220 grit, then cleaned with Naphtha. I am using a low-gloss Tung oil for the finish on this guitar. I am hoping it will give the guitar a flatter, satin look.
I rubbed the oil into everything and left it to dry. I did manage to get a couple of coats applied today. My hope is to get at least five coats on in the next day or so. Now the only hurdle left is figuring out the wiring…