I’ve put just about as much finish as I want to on these bodies. Meanwhile, I’ve pushed the neck blank toward being a neck, complete with frets, color and finish. I still need to apply some final finish top coats to both the body and the neck, then, while the finish has a chance to cure up, I’ll make the bridge, saddle, and nut. Because of the adjustable neck joint I use, once everything is cured, the guitar will go together pretty quickly. So far I’m happy with the looks, feel and sound of everything, so stringing this one up will be fun!
To make the neck profile, I start by gouging and rasping the neck to the curve I want near the first and tenth frets (or so).
I check the profile using templates cut from mat board.
Once the curves are close at those two points, then it’s time to connect them using a spokeshave.
After the spokeshave, I switch to a card scraper, rasps and files to finish the profile.
After marking the peghead shape, I cut the waste away with a saw then use a file to get close to the final shape.
Once I’m happy with the neck side profile, I prep the fingerboard surface, leaving some relief for string vibration.
Getting closer to the final peghead shape.
I use a homemade guide to accurately drill the tuner post locations.
Once the final sanding is completed, I use water-based dye to raise the grain.
More sanding! So much sanding!
Mahogany necks have plenty of pores that need to be filled, so here I’ve smeared Timber Mate pore filler over the entire neck.
Yep, you have to sand the pore filler back to wood.
The headstock face is pore filled, also.
Sanding back to wood on the headstock face. Almost there!
The pores are filled, and now it’s ready to take color.
I’ve applied the color, sealer shellac and the bodying coats.
The next task is to flat-sand the neck so I can apply final top coats of finish.
The sunburst color is sealed in place with shellac, and I can remove the resist and start cleaning up the bindings.
Scraping the liquid frisket from the rosette.
The carefully scraped top looks pretty crisp!
Removing the masking tape from the back and finding more cleanup work to do.
The bindings are scraped back to their natural maple color.
Now I can round the bindings over so that the body has eased corners.
Step back and admire the cleaned edges on two sunburst bodies.
Once the guitar is sealed with shellac, I add body coats of a water-borne acrylic lacquer for toughness.
Here I’m sanding the water-borne lacquer coats flat before applying the very thin final coats.
See the first installment of the build gallery
See the second installment of the build gallery
See the third installment of the build gallery
See the fourth installment of the build gallery