Thursday, 8 March 2012

A week in the workshop (Wednesday)

I try and spend some time making batches of parts for future guitars and very often I think in sixes. Once you are in the right frame of mind to prepare back braces, necks or end blocks, and once you have set up the relevant tools or machines, then the job is really quite quick and efficient. This is still a million miles away from any sort of factory mass production as all these roughed-out parts will need hand finishing.

Today I was preparing top blocks for future instruments. Many years ago I bought a cubic meter of South American cedar for necks. Some of it was fantastic but about 20% of it was not suitable for necks, but could be used for blocks, bars and linings. I do not have much machinery in the workshop, but these blocks are mainly made on the bandsaw, sanding drum, and belt sander.
Once the blocks are rough cut they are fine sanded with a drum sander mounted in the pillar drill, shown in the picture above. Notice the dust extraction system...
The prepared blocks are shown below, ready for individual fitting and finishing. My blocks mimic the traditional Spanish foot, or integral neck, which is commonly found on traditional Spanish guitars. On this particular model I join the separately made neck into the block; I use this method as it allows me freedom to assemble the guitar where the top is fitted after the back. Once finished, the blocks below will be given a couple of coats of shellac for no other reason that it looks nice through the soundhole. This amounted to a mornings work. In the afternoon I did some final adjustments on Julio's guitar, which took a most unexpected turn, but more of that later...

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