Hi all –
It’s been a long time since I was last able to actually find the time to work on a guitar…..a very long time. I’ve made a few handplanes but that’s been about it, because I can finish those in an afternoon.
Today I finally got started on a guitar I’ve been wanting to make for quite some time. I dusted off my templates and a big slab of Sapele and got to work.
I started by rough sawing the body outline on the bandsaw. I also have nice clear acrylic templates for the J-11 model that I had laser-cut from the blueprint file. They’re set up for single coils, but this guitar is going to have two humbuckers and a blend-balance knob (like the prototype I built when designing this bad boy).
My workshop was in a pretty bad state, having not worked in here for almost two years. Half of my templates are gone, there’s stuff piled everywhere, and almost all of my tools have been removed from their wall hangars and stored away. I’ll be cleaning and fixing up my shop while working on this J-11.
One tool I was happy to find was still there was my drill bit Awl (probably my favorite tool). I did a tutorial on how to make these a while back, though I’m not sure if that section of the website still works (a lot of the pictures on this site have vanished, and I’m working on fixing that as well).
The templates have countersunk holes so they can be screwed down to the body. The holes are positioned in the same spot as the pickguard holes, so I use the pickguard screws to hold the templates in place while routing. The ones that aren’t are positioned over the pickup slots so that the holes will be routed away later and there not a visible blemish on the finished product.
Next up, used the routed to trim the rough cut body flush with the template. Tomorrow I’ll start hogging material out for the electronics cavities and the neck mortise. I also rounded over the back edges with the router and a roundover bit (no pics), but I’ll leave the front edges until I have the neck plane carved (since this guitar will have an angled set neck like a les paul).
I also don’t have any handplanes, since I sold all of my previous ones or gave them away. I had this nice thick O1 steel blade from Hock Tools though (sorry for the dark picture), so I’m gonna make a small smoother tomorrow which I’ll then use to carve the neck plane. I selected a nice block of striped ebony for the plane.
More to come soon! 🙂