Thursday, March 31, 2011


The first step in setting the binding is routing a channel. I used the Dremel with the router base and attachment (shown earlier in this blog to do this. I took it real slow to make sure I didn't chip out any pieces. As you can see that tool is smooth.
Same thing with the back.
Remember what I said about chip out... well I goofed. I was simply moving too fast and took a small chunk out.

Glueing the piece back in with crazy glue. I saw this trick on youtube. Once I put the french polish on you wont even see this small crack. Plus most of the wood was nibbled away by the router after the glue dried.
I also routed a channel for the purfling, but I didn't get any good photos of that. However, if you click and zoom in on the photo showing the purfling (down about 4 photos) you can see that channel as well.
Steaming the curly maple binding. I just boiled some water...

... and poured it on. Notice my floor is a mess. My ShopVac broke and I had to go get another one.

I tied the maple to the guitar to pre-bend them.

I chose black on white purfling for to go between the binding and guitar for contrast (white maple, black purfling, white perfling dark back).
On the front I chose to go (WBWBW) with purfling that is B/W/B. Since the top is light colored. This is the same stuff I used for the rosette. Below, I'm starting to tape it in place.
One quarter done.

Below is the final side complete. The bottom of this photo has the tape removed. Once the rest of the glue dries I will need to scrap all this binding flush with the top and sides.
This process took way more time than I had anticipated.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Making the End Patch

Before I start putting the binding on there was one last thing to do – put the end patch on. This is the decorative piece that goes at the bottom of the guitar on the tail block. It separates the sides and just looks good. The first step was to route the channel for the plate. I did this with the dremel with the router base. It worked perfect. I then sanded it straight.
I found this awesome piece of birds-eye maple that I bought from the scrap bin at the hardwoods store back when I first purchased the wood for this guitar. I didn't have any plans for the scraps, but it just worked out that I found this piece in with them all. It really looks sharp. I cut it to thickness on the scroll saw and then sanded the sides down to match the angle on my belt sander.

Decided to put some black/white binding material in there too to make a better optical separation. There was a loto of sanding, fitting and re-sanding here.

Once glued in and dried I used an orbital sander to sand it all flush. Wow, this looks cool, I hope the rest of the binding turns out this good.

Another angle. I couldn't be happier with how great this looks.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Flush Trimming the Top and Bottom

Before I put the binding on I need to get the top and bottom flush with the sides. As you can see below there is overlap on both. Bottom:
I was so excited to use my new router (xmas gift from my family – thanks Mom and Creig!). What a great tool this thing is smooth and doesn't have the initial kick that other routers give.

Smooth as can be... No chip-out, just perfect. One thing to note for anyone using a router on guitars. Always go from the top of the hill to the valley – (big bout to the waist, little bout towards the neck) this keeps the router from splitting the wood. At least that's what I've read.

Hope to start in on the binding soon!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Putting the Back On.

Final steps prior to closing up the box...

Signing the soundboard before closing – #1 Michael McCatty
Finishing up the chiseling the braces so the back fit's to the sides. I also drew a line around the back and cut it semi flush to the sides so the back doesn't crack when I'm tying it down.

Applying the glue prior to setting the back down.

Clamped the tail block down first, then the heal- block. Then I used a bunch of paracord to tie the board down tight.

Another angle
Put more clamps on for good measure, Not sure if this was a good idea, (probably won't do it again, but I did have a shim-sheet under the guitar).
This is what it looked like after taking the strings off.

I need to flush trim the box tonight. May even start on the binding...