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Week 10: May 21 - 28

This week I didn't do much, even though I had a long weekend, because I was recovering from a bad chest cold that also wrecked last weekend. Though it wasn't a lot in terms of time, it was still pretty exciting. I got the neck attached for the first time; the guitar's basic parts are essentially there. 

The first job today is to set up the neck attachment. Two holes for the bolts are located by measuring from the top of the soundboard and from the top surface of the neck, so those two surfaces line up. Where the binding crosses the neck mortise, it makes a little rim that the neck tenon is going to have to accommodate. You can see a little mismatch on the height of the two pieces of binding; this will be covered by the heel of the neck when it is attached. I scratch my head over how this mismatch occurred, since the binding rests on the routed ledge, which should be the same depth on both sides. 

A notch is cut into the neck tenon to step it over the binding. 

One thing I discovered when trying to set the neck level to the top of the soundboard is that the truss rod isn't set deeply enough into the neck. I followed the recommendation in the LMI catalog for the routing depth, but the top of the end piece on the truss rod is only about 1/16th" below the top surface of the neck. and therefore hits the underside of the soundboard. Since this part of the top is going to be buried under the fingerboard, I simply cut it away instead of trying to make a notch in the underside of the soundboard. 

Finally, a sense of proportion. The neck here is bolted on and feels quite firm. Of course it looks chunky as the carving hasn't been done except at the heel. 

The binding and purfling stairstep is routed onto the top in the same way as on the back, with the Dremel setup shown here. I check the depths on a piece of scrap shown here, using a short cutoff of the herringbone purfling glued to a similar piece of the binding.

Here's the ledge on the guitar box itself. The purfling ledge looks wide as the ocean while I'm routing it, but it fits just right.

Herringbone purfling varies in how it matches up, changing "phase" along the same strip. In the section at the top, the white trapezoids pretty much match up even with each other, while in the next two, they are pretty much out of phase. In the bottom strip you can see the phase shift from one side of the picture to the other. I bring this up because I was trying to match the two pieces that meet at the bottom of the guitar, which I only partially succeeded in doing. [I'll add a photo of this part later on]

Here is the purfled top. As with the back, I decided to glue purfling first, then binding. Bending the herringbone was easier than bending the binding. It seems the glue that holds it all together lets go a little with the heat and it takes and retains a bend quite well. It is also a bit more flexible overall than the binding, so bending it "pretty close" and squeezing it down to meet the edge worked well.

Can you see the slight gap about 1/3 of the way from the right edge? That's the only place it happened. On the back, I got several such gaps between the purfling (the thin black-white-black veneer strips) and the binding (thicker rosewood strip with a maple or holly veneer strip glued to one edge. Because it's all very dark, I hope to fill these gaps with dark brown lacquer burn-in stick. When it comes to "finiting" I'll show that process.

You can see here where the routing went through the side material in a few places and revealed the inner lining. 

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Copyright 2001 Stephen Miklos