Crimson Build 2017 – Day Three

…continued from Day Two

Day Three was mostly about the neck, but it started with a bad surprise when I removed the clamps from the body. I think that I had placed the cauls (the pieces of wood that act as buffers for the clamps) too far into the body of the guitar and possibly tightened the clamps too much, and there were a lot of dents on the top. It looked like I would be able to smooth out some of them, but there was one place where I was particularly concerned. That, however, would not be addressed today, and the rest of the day was spent on the neck.

I decided to make a veneer for the headstock from an offcut of my burl poplar top. I took the outside edges of the parts that were cut from the top and bookmatched them together, then gluing them to start making the veneer. They were taped together while the glue set.

For the rest of the day we focused on the necks, where a lot of the detailed work is done.  We used a radius block to get the fretboard roughly to the right radius – you can see some of the dust from that in the picture below.

Callum started on his front dots, which were made out of an aluminium tube with the centre filled with superglue and ebony dust.

Both Callum and I wanted to make a special inlay for the 12th fret of our guitars. Mine was an oak leaf, using the same design as the one I put on the body of my first Crimson guitar and made from another offcut of the burl poplar.

Callum’s was a bird, made of aluminium.

We each cut out our respective shapes using a jeweller’s saw, and then routed out the holes with a Proxxon multitool and a very small router bit, before using a scalpel and fine chisel for the finishing touches.

They were glued in, with a bit of wood dust from sanding the fretboard to fill in any small gaps. I also made some veins in the leaf with bronze powder.

Next I marked and drilled holes for my front and side dots, and glued them in.

After that, we started on the long process of sorting out the fretboard. First we levelled our boards, using a levelling beam and sandpaper, then we cut and fitted the frets themselves.

At the end of the day, I unwrapped my veneer and glued it onto the headstock, leaving it to dry overnight.

Continue to Day Four…