More on building a guitar – Monday

On Monday, April 04th, 2011, with my patience totally exhausted, I headed back down to Malone, N.Y. to do some more work on the 2nd guitar. The back had been glued to the sides and it looked great.

Lovely Cocobolo

The first task was to sand the point of the cutaway flat and even, which is harder to do than it sounds. The edge must be even and level with the neck block, without introducing any skewing or bevel. For some reason I had trouble getting the hang of it. Short even strokes do the job best. Dave corrected me several times and finally took over at the end to produce a nice even platform on which the new rosewood tip would rest.
Next a small piece of rosewood was shaped to a point and glued to the flattened tip of the Florentine point.

After lunch I sanded the new tip flush with the sides of the guitar body. It took a fair amount of sanding, even after Dave did preliminary shaping with a dremil drum sander. I also sanded the inside of the Florentine cutaway.

Next was handsanding the guitar top, first with 100 grit, then with 150 grit. Lee then sprayed it with water to raise the grain, and then wiped off the excess with a paper towel. A hair dryer was used to completely dry the top – very important to attain a completely dry surface, or there’s a risk of tearing out the fibers as opposed to sanding them smooth. Then sanded with 150 grit. Another spraying and drying. Then 220 grit & a rinse and a drying. Then 220 grit again. Another rinse, and a drying, then 320 grit. Another rinse a drying, and 320 grit again. Finally it was ready for a quick coat of lacquer to seal it from the darker cocobolo wood dust.

A quick coat of lacquer


After the lacquer was dry I started routing the rabbit for the top binding. Dave set up the router for each of the four passes and did the routing of the tip of the Florentine curve. The tip is hard to do – you have to be very careful to keep the router base level with the top and the guide it by eye, because the jig guide no longer makes contact with the side of the guitar. If a mistake is made, and a gouge results, it’s very difficult to fix… I routed the rest of the guitar body.

Routing the top


By 5:00 pm the top had been routed, and I had figured out that this was going to take a long time, and, there was still lots to be done…..
During my visit to Malone, I stayed in a Bed and Breakfast place called the Park Street Inn – I highly recommend it – Great breakfasts and comfortable rooms and a bed that was heaven to sleep on.

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