Preparing the sides for bending.

I have not posted for over a week due to many factors: primarily because our kitchen is in the final stages of renovation and I have been up to my neck in wallpaper removal and new paint. On top of that we had a pipe burst in the woodshop. Fortunately I caught it before any damage was done to wood or tools!

I did have a few periods of time that I spent on the guitar sides. The first step entailed using the jointer to true up the sides that will glue to the top. It has to be dead straight to ensure a solid join to the top. After jointing the sides, I used a small precision block plane to place the final edge on the sides.

Leveling the sides with a jointer.

Leveling the sides with a jointer.

Next up is thinning the sides to the final thickness. I use the drum sander to thin both sides to 80/1000″. Because Ziricote is a bit on the brittle side, coupled with Dan’s desire to have a cutaway, I am going to thin the cutaway section to 70/1000″. I use the random orbital sander to achieve this thickness.

Thinning the cutaway area to 70/1000".

Thinning the cutaway area to 70/1000″.

I take my template and draw the outline of the sides. This guitar will be my standard depth of 3-3/4″ at the upper bout to 4″ at the lower bout. Carefully I use the bandsaw to cut out the outline and finish off using 150 grit sandpaper.

The finished Ziricote sides ready for bending.

The finished Ziricote sides ready for bending.

The next step is bending the sides that I plan to do tomorrow.

MDR-

Inserting the connectors in the neck heel.

I have been at my company’s annual conference and my kitchen is being remodeled so I have not been in the shop very much over the last week. I did find time to work on the neck heel. I use barrel bolts to connect the headblock in the body of the guitar to the heel of the neck. I insert barrel connectors in the neck tenon and they will receive the barrel bolt threaded through the guitar.

Comparing the width of the barrel connector to the tenon width.

Comparing the width of the barrel connector to the tenon width.

Using the grinder to fit the barrel connector flush with both ends of the neck tenon.

Using the grinder to fit the barrel connector flush with both ends of the neck tenon.

After the barrel connector is grinded to the exact width of the tenon, I use a screwdriver to “screw” in the connector. It is not a true screw in that it is smooth but it is a very tight fit and I turn it while applying downward pressure until it is flush in the hole. Once installed, I attach the neck to the headblock and make sure the bolts reach the connector at the correct 90 degree angle. It fits perfectly.

Next up is preparing the sides for bending.

MDR-