Thursday, 4 July 2013

Baritone Guitar Build Part 5 - Neck pocket, pickup and bridge routing

Body routing

To make a pocket, or open mortise, for the neck tenon it is necessary to have a router jig. I made mine from a few pieces of scrap 3/4" ply and some jig making hardware. The two halves of the template are held apart on a slight taper that follows the taper of one of my typical guitar necks. The centre piece is an adjustable stop.. Fit the neck into the jig until it is snug on the two edges and simply slide the stop up to the heel of the neck. Tighten the handwheel and then the template is set. Position the template on the guitar body and using a pattern following router bit simply rout out the cavity to the required depth. It the neck has designed to be angled backwards then you can shim underneath the template at the handwheel end until you get the required angle.
Here is a shop made adjustable router template

I didn't take a picture when routing but
here it is on the almost finished
Then I needed to rout out the pickup cavities and also some work was necessary on the hardware to mount the bridge.
Here are a few router templates
I made earlier!

Routing template held in place
by some double-stick tape.
Drilling the string holes through the cap

The rear cavities for the battery compartment,
the control compartment and
the rout for the string plate were routed.
The hole in the control bay connects through to
the battery bay for wiring. You need a very long 1/4"
drill bit for that.
The next job was to rout the bottom edge with a 3/8" round over bit. I did this before drilling any holes in the side of the body as the router bearing would fall down the hole. Then rout for the cover plates over the battery and control compartments.
A 7/8" hole was bored for the jack
socket. Also the finished routs for the
cover plates can be seen here.

The next job was to rout the binding rabbet around the perimeter. I used a Dremel with a 7mm cutter. The base for the Dremel also has a roller attachment to offset the cut the desired amount. In this case it was 1.6mm or 1/16"
Dremel routing the binding channel.

Fitting the binding

The binding is a plastic strip in this case made from acrylic. It is easy to bind around tight radii with use of a heat source such as a hair dryer. It's essential to pre-bend a binding strip as it makes it easier to fix with glue later.
I use UHU - Plast Poly Cement to glue plastic bindings into place. You have to run a bead around the bare wood first of all to seal. Leave it overnight to set.
Then use the cement directly onto the plastic binding and work no more than about 4" at a time. Use some blue tape to hold the binding in place and then work your way along. Gradually you will end up with a body full of blue tape. Leave it overnight or longer to set. I normally work along and leave the last 4 to 6" until the rest has set. Then I can accurately cut the strip to length without fear of disturbing what I have just done.
Stage 1 of the binding glue up

Stage 2 of the binding glue up
Yes that is part of my shop vac
holding the last piece in place!
When the binding is dry it is a simple matter of using a card scraper to level the plastic or timber.
Using a card scraper to level the binding

Next time I tackle the sanding (lots of it) and the woodstain on the rear of the body.

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