Midnight Woodworking

Woodworking

Headless guitar concept – day 3

Third day into this build, and I will have all the parts done today.

Walnut layer-up

Walnut layer-up

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.

Control panel cover

Control panel cover

 

Perfect fit

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.

Single coil pickup trim rings

Single coil pickup trim rings

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.

New headplate design

New headplate design

 

Humbucker pickup trim rings

Humbucker pickup trim rings

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.

Drilling and counter-sinking

Drilling and counter-sinking

 

New trim pieces, ready to install

New trim pieces, ready to install

When all of the trim was cut, drilled, and sanded, I decided to do a full install of all the hardware.

Hardware installed, rear shot

Hardware installed, rear shot

 

Hardware installed, front shot

Hardware installed, front shot

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.

Slight miscalculation...

Slight miscalculation…

I am glad I did a fit check before applying the oil finish. Oil makes additional glue-ups a bit difficult.

Making a tuning-tail saddle

Making a tuning-tail saddle

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.

Beveling the edges

Beveling the edges

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.

Attaching with wood glue

Attaching with wood glue

The second one went on with Titebond wood glue. I won’t make that mistake again…

Clamped and drying

Clamped and drying

When the glue was dry, I flipped the guitar over and drilled out the new plate.

Drilling out the new saddle

Drilling out the new saddle

I was annoyed at my oversight, but I do like the way the new saddle looks.

Hardware installed and ready for finish

Hardware installed and ready for finish

 

First coat of Tung oil

First coat of Tung oil

Satisfied with the hardware fit-up, I pulled it all off and prepped the wood parts for finish.

Body, hung out to dry

Body, hung out to dry

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.

Trim pieces oiled as well

Trim pieces oiled as well

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…

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