Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Telecaster Style Guitar Build - Part 1

So the next project, which is the first for 2014, is a Telecaster style guitar with very few frills. I mentioned this back in August 2013 (see here).
As per that post I had roughly decided what hardware it was to have so bought the hardware and pickups already, I have a hunk of swamp ash left from a previous project and a nice piece of birds-eye maple.
I found some plans for the body over at TerryDownsMusic.com here  http://terrydownsmusic.com/Archive/tele_body_drawing_revD.pdf and it looks relatively straight forward.

I have planed and jointed the swamp ash and glued the two halves together. I didn't take any pictures of the process but here is one taken from a random picture on the internet (you get the idea by now of how to glue slabs together)
Picture from TundraMans website

I have also cut out my logo from some mother of pearl.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Jewellery Box - Part 5 completed so Santa can put it into his sleigh

The Jewellery Box is completed. I finished it today 24th Dec 2013 at 1600 local time here in the UK so now Santa can pick it up and put it into his sleigh for delivery to my wife.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Jewellery Box - Part 4 nearly at the finishing line

I'm almost at the finishing line and writing this on December 23rd - talk about close to the wire!! During final finishing Elly almost came in on the build and discovered what was happening behind closed doors. But I had thoughtfully locked the shop door from the inside. She had to knock and now knows something is being built in the shop and it might be a present.

Rear plywood panel and the lid with finish applied

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Jewellery Box - Part 3

Do you know how difficult it is to make something surreptitiously and keep it hidden from the intended recipient? It's very hard.
I've had a few close calls this past week with Elly coming into the shop when you least expect it. I do have a warning buzzer on the door and I can lock it from the inside. She has been in on numerous occasions and has been stood very close to the casework. I have it hidden under a black plastic dustbin liner (a garbage bag for my North American viewers) with all manner of detritus scattered all around. She does suspect something is going on though occasionally asking "what you making?". I had to reply "I'm doing some practice dovetails to hone my skills" - big fib!
Anyway the carcase is complete, the drawers are complete, the lid is made, the coving is done on the decorative trim pieces covering the hidden drawer.
Jobs left to do are:

  • attach the lower guide rails
  • cut out the mortises for the hinges
  • mitre the coving trim pieces
  • cut the trim pieces with a fancy pattern
  • make internal dividers
  • apply finish to the whole
  • fit the mirror
  • fit the felt inlay

I've got less than a week now so I need to get my skates on.

The casework without its disguise. If you
leave the area suitably cluttered
it doesn't draw too much attention

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Re-sawing with a Ryoba

I was running a 18" long x 6" deep x 1.1/4" oak board through my band-saw last night to re-saw it and it must have been case hardened. The wood bound onto the blade. I tried to pull it loose and ended up pulling the blade off the wheels and bent it. Anyway rather than spend 15 minutes trying to find another one and put it in (I was on a roll as usual) I decided to carry on the re-saw down the existing kerf with a Ryoba.
The double sided Japanese saw ripped through that oak like a hot knife through butter. I was really surprised how easy it was and such a smooth finish but won't be making a habit of re-sawing by hand (life is too short :-)  ). Yes I do know that these sort of saws are intended for use with softwoods but needs must.

Here are mine http://www.rutlands.co.uk/sp+set-of-3-compact-japanese-saws+JP1174?tyah=y

A Ryoba saw has a double sided blade, with cross cut teeth on one side and rip cut teeth on the other side, which makes this an excellent all purpose saw. The rip side teeth are smaller at the heel for an easy start and gets progressively larger towards the toe to allow for fast ripping. You can buy expensive hand made ones as above or much cheaper mass produced ones with induction hardened teeth (as I have). As with anything in life you only get what you pay for but the ones I have are OK. I've never used a handmade one so don;t really know what I'm missing. Probably the difference between a cheap clone wood-plane knocked out by the thousand and a high end Lie Nielson bronze.

Anyway I'm more than happy with the Japanese saws I have.