Crimson Build 2017 – Day Six

…continued from Day Five

So Day Five had ended with the neck being glued into the body, and all was good when I removed the clamps. There was a lot to do in order to install the hardware and electronics and then set up the guitar, but the first major job of the day was to carve the neck joint. Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures immediately before and after this process, but here is the finished product, from one of the photos taken at the end of the day.

Then I could start to install the hardware, and the bridge, tailpiece and tuners went in relatively quickly. The pickups didn’t take too long either – they are supported by some foam underneath and screwed into the bottom of the cavity, and they are quite solidly mounted. In this picture you can see the pickup wires emerging from one of the sound holes.

In the meantime, Callum had been finishing off his staining process by taking out some of the green from the middle of his body to create a subtle burst effect. He also has two rather large cavity covers, which you can see below.

Then I began to solder my electronics components. Christopher drew a wiring diagram on a bit of scrap wood and I got started.

This was quite frustrating – I don’t have much experience of soldering, and the first iron I used didn’t work very well so I switched to another one. After a while, though, I got the hang of it again and eventually managed to finish, with the last parts being soldered in situ inside the guitar.

I was astonished when Christopher tested the connections by plugging the guitar (without strings) into an amp and tapping on the pickups – my electronics worked perfectly the first time. You could have knocked me down with a soldering iron!

Here’s a closer look at that wiring diagram – see if you can make sense out of it!

Next I was handed a piece of material from which I cut the block for the nut. This was cut out with a jeweller’s saw and then sanded down to size, before measuring and cutting the slots for the strings with nut slotting files. The picture was taken during the process, when we were working to get the slots cut to the right depth for the perfect string height.

Once that was done, we adjusted the bridge for the correct string position and height, and then intonated the guitar. The pickups were moved to the correct height (3 mm beneath the strings) and my guitar was actually finished!

I went off to take some pictures of my guitar, since Ben – the owner of Crimson Guitars – had asked me to send them some pictures for their website. Callum was still working on his guitar, and in fact I think Christopher took over for the last hour or so in order to finish it before we left.

We bade Crimson Guitars a fond farewell at around 7:45pm on the Saturday evening and drove back to our hotel….where we found that we had no reservation for that night, and there wasn’t a hotel room to be found in the South of England so we had to drive back to Dover, caught the last ferry by the skin of our teeth and arrived in Brussels at 5:30am after an hour’s fitful sleep on the ferry.

You’ve seen pictures above of my guitar, and you can see a few pictures of Callum’s guitar below. I hope you enjoyed reading about our guitar builds! There may be a couple of videos in the near future, and I’ll post them on here when they are done.

Finally, Crimson Guitars took my photos and made a great video montage of the whole week!

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