Top carve completed and more besides

Up bright and early this morning and headed straight down to B&Q to grab a random orbital sander. I’m not half glad that I did. Even with this fantastic piece of kit, finishing off the top took a hard 3 hours. I was so pleased that my routing mistakes (or “opportunities” as Steve Benford described them) were recoverable and I was able to sand them away without breaking through to the mahogany underneath. It was very close though and, at the edge, the maple cap is only 3mm thick.

Next job was to fabricate the rig to allow me to chamfer the front edge of the body to align with the neck angle. This rig is made up of a box to surround the guitar and an MDF plate to sit on top with a slot for the router cutter. The box is shimmed up at one end to make the 3 degree angle.

And here’s the finished chamfer. A quick pass with the sander took out the lines.

Then I clamped a straight edge to the chamfered body face and checked it against the bridge. Note the shims the same thickness as the fretboard to raise the line away from the body. Looks just about perfect to me.

I then spent an hour making a jig for the neck pocket. It was vital to get this absolutely spot on, to match the size of the neck heel and to make sure it is perfectly aligned with the centre line. I’d tried doing this by eye until I noticed, while I was taking the picture with my phone, that it has guidelines on which I was able to use to double check the alignment

I made the first cut…

And here’s the finished neck pocket.

The neck fit into the pocket absolutely perfectly.

A very snug fit, with just enough grip to allow me to grab the neck and hold the guitar horizontally.

I then made a jig for the P90 soapbar pickup, and, still using my angled jig, to keep the pickup perpendicular to the strings, routed the cavity. It is a very shallow cavity, and I still need to rout a slightly deeper channel to clear the cable and the two round-head screws in the baseplate of the pickup.

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