Guitar, effectively completed

I’m calling it done. Still needs setup and string trimming, which is to say, it’s as ready as a store-bought version. I lowered the plastic nut, possibly too much, but it’s pretty easy to make a new one from bone which I probably have somewhere around here.


More below the jump.

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Neck fitting

This took longer than I’d planned. Fit, carve, sand, repeat. Came out okay on this side.

Neck fit 1

Not too bad here. A bit more sanding needed.

Neck fit 2

Starting Finishing

After sanding back, putting a second coat of dye on, wetsanding, and the first coat of sanding sealer:


Not really a very good photo. Sealer is still wet and has runs in it, but that’s okay for now.

I did some work on uke necks also, but didn’t photograph them.

Strat on a Stick

Not sure if it’s cherry or strawberry, but I’m not going to lick it.


Since last week, I’ve moved the neck pocket back a quarter-inch and deepened it just enough to get a smooth floor. The largest control cavity was deepened and smoothed similarly, and the edges more-or-less cleaned up. The jack cavity was smoothed out. Bridge was repositioned for proper intonation, existing holes filled, and new holes drilled.

Oh yeah, I dyed it red. This is just the first coat, which will be sanded back, then a second coat added.

Something Different

So I took a class at our local Woodcraft store, and did this:

cavity routing

That’s an alder blank with a routing template on top of it.

Here it is basically complete and in the white, trying to set the intonation.


This is right before I discovered that I’d placed the bridge for a 25.5″ scale length and had installed a 24″ neck. No problem, I’ll just channel my inner Fix-It Felix and get it straightened out. Have to enlarge and clean up some of those electronics cavities anyway.

It does actually make guitar-type sounds, although it will need major setup work before it’s really playable. By someone else, not me, because it has too many strings.

The class was taught by Frank Coleman, and all four of us students had a functional instrument at the end. I’d call it a success.

Stay tuned for more progress as I get it closer to a tuned-up and finished instrument. Don’t hold your breath, though; this could take a while.

Neck work

Two tenor necks. One is from an old instrument that is being reworked, the other is new. Both need more work, obviously.

Uke Necks

New neck, old neck, shy neck, bold neck. Wait, that doesn’t make sense.

Cutting that tenon would have been a lot easier if I’d planned ahead and done it on the table saw before I glued the ears on the headstock. Either way I expect it would need fine-tuning with a chisel, so no real difference.

The old neck is getting about 1/8″ taken off for the entire length. It’s too heavy and feels like playing a baseball bat. I’ve already planed the headstock down.

Next week I’ll have something different and hopefully exciting (in a good way, not involving blood or paramedics.) If I get around to posting it.

Close the Box

Well, this is a milestone. Made static compliance measurements of the top, stuck in a label, glued on the back, trimmed the overhangs, started sanding. Clickify to embiggenate. Pretty pleased with it so far; I won’t go into the known flaws at this time.

No longer topless

Glued the top on and did the initial trimming of the overhang.

Top and sides, no back

Top and sides, no back

Apparently the top slid a little bit during the glue-up. No big impact to how it plays, but I’ll never be 100% happy with how it looks. Pay no attention to the fuzzy bits of spruce; that’ll be sanded off.


Slight misalignment at the tail

Here’s a shot of the insides. Braces are tucked under the lining.


Interior bracing