Crimson Build 2017 – Day Five

…continued from Day Four

Day Five, and only two days left to finish…it was looking promising but there was still a lot to do. My first task was to finish reshaping the holes after the accident with the router – one second of carelessness that took about an hour’s work to remedy! After some work with a couple of small files, though, you’d be hard pressed to tell that the holes were not as intended.  You can still see them in the picture above, but later on they look fine.

Next I had to sort out the positions of the controls and making the control cavity. When Crimson Guitars make this model, they often do without a back plate, installing the electronics via the holes in the top, but this is extremely fiddly and Christopher recommended that we rout out a hole in the back to access the cavity. First I needed to choose where to put my controls. I kept it simple, with a single volume and tone, and a toggle switch for the pickups. I also kept the wiring simple by putting the toggle switch next to the knobs, instead of in the usual position for a single cut (Les Paul style) guitar, i.e. on the top shoulder. I prefer it that way anyway.

I decided where to place the controls and drilled the holes, then picked a template for the control cavity and routed that out. I also found a template for the back plate – it’s quite a bit larger than the cavity opening, but that doesn’t really matter.

I decided to make the back plate from the offcuts of the burl poplar top, but there wasn’t a big enough single piece for it and so I bookmatched two pieces from the sides, gluing them together to make a piece that was just large enough. The masking tape held the pieces tightly together while they were gluing.

Callum had been busy on his guitar too, and had been routing out the holes for his pickups and his floating bridge.

His guitar was coming on well, and we were more or less neck and neck in the race to complete our instruments!

We worked out where to drill the holes for the bridge and tailpiece too, and then my guitar was ready for staining.

Christopher and I tried a couple of different colours on an offcut; the first blue was too pale and just looked like a washed out green, combined with the yellow of the wood. We tried a second, stronger blue and I wasn’t sure about it after one coat, but after a second it looked pretty good. After testing on an offcut, I stained the back plate first to check that it would look alright…

and then moved onto the top and the headstock.

My day finished with gluing the neck to the body.

Callum had spent a lot of the day working on the belly cut on his guitar, so he was in the middle of staining his top and back plates.

We ended the day feeling quite optimistic about finishing both guitars on the final day.

Finally, in the morning of Day Five, which was Friday, Ben Crowe came round for his usual “What’s On the Bench” video and talked to us about our guitars in the second half of the video below.

Continue to Day Six…