Great Guitar Build Off 2020 page 2

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Once I’d assembled and made a start on cutting the various pieces for the top and body, I fairly quickly finished gluing the top together, and then cut and sanded it around my drawing.

The top, cut to shape but still needing some attention!

During and after this, I was gradually gluing together the pieces for the body. This was quite laborious and time-consuming – some of the shallower pieces were first glued onto a sapele block, and then they had to be sanded perfectly flat for gluing. Clamping the pieces was quite challenging too.

One of the many gluing operations

Eventually I completed the body, and I also made a laminate neck using some of the same woods. In one of the YouTube videos about this build, I preselected five different fretboards and canvased opinions on which to choose. The most popular choice by far was the violeta, or kingwood, fretboard shown below.

The neck has the first part of the headstock glued on…

Although I had by now decided to make this a headless guitar, it will still have a small headstock of some kind and I decided to glue some extra pieces onto the neck to make a headstock out of several types of wood. I hadn’t yet decided on the shape.

I routed out some cavities for weight relief in the body, and also decided to cut out a kind of f-hole. However, in keeping with my overall goal of making life difficult for myself with this build, I made the f-hole in the shape of an oak leaf.

I also glued a spare piece of maple, which was an offcut from a very nice top on a previous build, into the cavity where it would be revealed by the oak leaf-hole. I tried staining it first with a kind of cherry burst but that looked too incongruous with the rest of the guitar, so I restained it purple which looked much better.

The body looks strange like this, but there is a logic behind it!

As well as the guitar being headless, I decided to make it multiscale – 25″ to 26.5″. I worked out the fret positions and drew them on paper, which I used to cut them on the fretboard. I also decided to inlay some aluminium pieces onto the fretboard in a pattern that mimics the design of the pickups – I hope that’s going to look quite smart on the finished guitar!

The final picture – for now – shows the body with the top on it, showing the f-hole and the maple behind it, together with the neck with the inlays, which still need to be sanded down and cleaned up.

Looking promising!

On the day of writing, I still have exactly one month to go before the deadline for this competition. I’m on track, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

I’ve been making YouTube videos for this build and they are all linked on a separate page: GGBO Videos.

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