Gluing up the project guitar body blanks

Well today I finally set out on the next set of projects. I had bought two sapele boards. Each board measures 8’x8″x2.5″. This will be enough for five bodies, with perhaps just enough left over for a Chiquita style travel guitar. I bought the boards from Hardwood Timber Sales in Kirkby, North Liverpool for a very reasonable £90.

If you have access to a planer/jointer this next step is relatively simple – just run it through until you have a flat edge and glue it up. Unfortunately I don’t have access to a joiner planer and so I’ve had to develop my own approach to getting a flat edge on two pieces so that they will glue together as neatly as possible.

I use an electric planer to get the edge as smooth and square as possible. Now an electric planer is great if you need to trim a few millimetes off a door but they’re a bit crude for decent joinery, so I need to finish off with my plate glass sanding block, fitted with 80 grit paper. I “hatch” the timber’s edge with pencil and then just keep sanding until all of the pencil has gone. As a final test, I hatch again and this time the pencil should be gone with just a few swipes of my sanding block.

All that remains is to glue them up with Titebond Original and then apply the clamps. You can remove the clamps after 1-2 hours but the joint can’t take any stress until a further 24 hours have passed.

So I’ve ended the day with glued up blanks for a Telecaster, an SG and two basses. Fair progress.

Tomorrow I’ll be planing the faces of the four blanks to bring them close to the final thicknesses I need, making the relevant body templates, and getting the blanks onto the bandsaw and rough cutting them to shape.

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