Monday, September 26, 2011

Misalignment Misadventures

So what's a luthier to do when the strings don't line up with the pole pieces of a pickup? You can't move the bridge or the neck or the pickup cavities for that matter. You have two options: make a custom pickguard that realigns the pickups or do what I'm going to do and switch to a rail-style pickup.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Making My Own Set Of Humbuckers

These pups are ready for a wax bath.

Today, I spent a few hours making a set of humbucker pickups for one of my guitar builds. The bridge pup was wound hot with 44 AWG wire. Resistance measured at just over 15 Ohms. The magnet I used is an Alnico V, which I magnetized myself and degaussed to around 630 on the gauss meter. The result should be fairly loud with wide ranging tone that emphasizes the treble side of the spectrum.

The neck pup was wound with 42 AWG wire with resistance just under 8 Ohms. The magnet is an Alnico II degaussed to around 580 on the gauss meter. The tone for this one should be very warm and full-bodied.

If I have time tomorrow, I hope to install the pups and wire them up. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Latest News From My Shop

It's been very busy the last few days in the shop. At the moment, I have two guitars under construction. One is the Highline Acheron and the other has yet to be named. Here are some photos of my progress so far on both:

I like to use an oscillating spindle sander to smooth the edges.

Lately, I have found it easier to make my control covers without
relying on templates. It takes a steady hand, however.

Not a bad fit, especially since I guided the router with my hands
and eyes!

For the neck pocket, I still have to use a template...

...since it's the only way to get a tight fit.

I haven't named this guitar yet. I'd better think of
one soon as it's almost done!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Making A Guitar Neck

Today I made the neck for the guitar I posted about on Saturday. Once again, I am using the Scheltema jig to form the back contour. This time around, I decided to make the truss rod slot deeper than I usually do. The deeper slot allowed me to plane down the surface where the fretboard will be glued on. After a couple of passes through my jointer, the slot is now at the correct depth. The reason I did this was to thin the neck. Instead of a fat "C" shape, I now have a thin "C" shape. Check out the photos so far:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Yet Another Guitar Build

Here is a photo Summary of My latest guitar project, which I've named the Acheron after the river in Greece. According to ancient Greek mythology, the Acheron flows through Hades. Check out the progress so far:

The body blank was made from Honduran Mahogany and flamed Maple.

A template was made from a printout of the plan.
The template was traced onto the blank.
I used my band saw to cut out the shape.
If you look closely, you can see the flame.
To make the neck blank, I had to cut 3 profiles and 2 headstock wings.
This is what I ended up with for the blank.
Lost of clamps are used to hold the profiles together.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Holy Sh*t, I Broke My Neck!!

My Guitar neck that is. I've never had this happen before, but I've heard other luthiers and guitarists describe the anguish of having a headstock snap off. While wet sanding, the guitar slipped off the table and CRACK!. It can be fixed, but the guitar can't be sold. Maybe I'll hold a contest and give it away.