I’ve had a busy couple of days working on the project guitar. I’ve been pushing forward on a number of fronts; testing dye combinations, shaping the headstock and fixing a problem with the shape of the neck.
I bought three aniline water-based wood dyes from LMI in brown, red and yellow. I mixed the red and yellow in various combinations to give myself a number of shades of orange.
I tested a number of combinations on small pieces of scrap and then, once I picked the colour combinations I liked, Had a go on a larger piece.
First I dampened down the surface to stop the maple sucking up all of the first coat too deeply.
I then gave it a good coat of the brown.
Sanded the brown back until it was almost all gone.
Re-wet the surface.
Using the red, and a deeper orange, with just a touch of brown at the edge, I had my first go at a “burst”. Initially the transition between colours was too stark, but with a wet pad and a bit of effort I was able to make the transition more subtle.
I was really pleased with the result. When I do the final job on the guitar and headstock, the red/brown is going to be much closer to the edge, with the majority of the guitar body being the orange colour.
Yesterday’s weather was pretty mixed and much of the day was spent shifting stuff in and out of the shed, over and over again. I think because of this I neglected to take pictures of what I was doing. To summarise though I used the band saw to cut the front and back of the headstock to shape and to remove much of the wood from the back of the neck. I then sanded the front of the headstock to be dead flat and then glued and clamped on the maple cap. This is what I had at the start of today.
I trimmed the excess maple off, parallel with the face of the neck and then sanded it down flush.
I stuck on the neck template, routed it to shape and drilled the pilot holes for the tuners.
I fired up the router and recut the truss rod channel into the maple.
Fixing the neck
When cutting the top of the neck tenon, round the top edge of the heel of the neck, I had not noticed that my template was approx 1-2mm too narrow.
This would have left the low E string too close to the edge of the neck so I needed to patch in a piece of the sapele. I first trimmed back the “offending” area.
I cut a new piece to shape and glued/clamped it in. Later it’ll get cut to shape.
Just as I was routing this last section my long suffering router decided to explode spreading bits of the alloy housing across the garden, thankfully missing me. Fan-bloody-tastic.