Colin's Photo-Journal in England
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For the previous two weeks, click here.
We did a few miscellaneous things before the stringing at the end of the day. First was rough slotting the nut for the strings.

Next was creating small recesses for the legs of my pickups, which just came in today.

I got all of my wiring done except for the output jacks and pickup wires, which was done outside of the guitar body on a piece of ply first to make doing all of the joints easier.

Next I drilled the output jack holes.

Finally, I put in the bridge, tailpiece, and tuning pegs, and stringed it up to tense the neck over the weekend.

Today was lots of driling and routing. First off was the bridge, which I had to do horizontally rather than on the drill press because my guitar's body would not fit. The squares are to help Phil and I make sure the drill is going in correctly as I drill.

Next I drilled the small holes for the Bigsby tailpiece.

Then, after carefully setting up, I routed the pickup cavities.

After placing the tuning pegs in their holes and marking where the setting screw should go, I drilled the holes.

And to be finished tomorrow, I started shaping the nut.

For the first half of the day I shaped the neck volute.

Afterwards I marked out where to drill for the tailpiece, bridge, and pickups.

After trimming the frets a bit, I did the final shaping on my neck. It feels quite good.

Next, I had to re-do the heel to fit the new shape of the neck.

Before putting on the frets, I had to set up my guitar in a way that would simulate the strings pulling on the neck. Here is a picture of the jig.

There needed to be a slight hollow along the bass strings, which helps to counteract the string tension... this is measured by a straight edge and feeler gages. Here I am looking for that hollow (the crack of light).

Finally I got to start cutting the frets to put in.

After bending and trimming them, I hammered and glued them in place.

First off today was making the neck a bit skinnier, in the same way as last time.

Then, reshaping the neck to a rough final shape with the rasp...

Next up were my dot inlays, which I had to mark out first.

After drilling, to glue them in I pushed them into their holes with a clamp.

Today the fingerboard went from rectangular to curved. First, I used a plane to create an angle from the center to 1mm down from the edge.

Then, with a block covered with sand paper, I sanded down the rest of it until it was an even curve.

More work on shaping the neck and all today... first, I carved out to 2mm above the actual neck depth at the 1st and 14th fret and then planed down between the two spots.

Then, I sloped up the neck from the first fret to the headstock.

After that, I did a lot of little things, like reshaping the headstock, moving back the truss rod recess, rough shaping the sides of the neck, bringing the fingerboard down to a flat 6.5mm, and making the transistion to the body from the neck smoother. Here's a picture after all of that is done.

Today was my first day back in the shop since the weekend. I started by gouging and chiseling the sides down to the same width as the fingerboard.

My parents came in while I was working, here I am gouging down the sides.

Next was planing the fingerboard down to 7mm.

After that I made the slope from the end of the fingerboard to the headstock, with the truss rod hole and all. The dowel prevents the sides from chipping out.

Next I started to do the final shape of the headstock. The shaping of the neck, fingerboard, body, and headstock will be a very slow and "communual" process.

Here are some pictures from my weekend in London. First is the Guild Foxey Lady we saw in the guitar shop:

Next is the Orangery, the great place near the palace where we had breakfast:

Here are my parents outside of the palace, by William III's statue.

Here is a gigantic monument, I don't even know who it was for, but it was in the same park as the Orangery and the palace. Sorry about the sideways images, I have no way of rotating them.

While we were at the British museum, this was my favorite artifact. It is persephone, holding a pomegranate and a torch.

Here is my dad and I standing at the Tower of London.

There were ravens all over the place at the tower.

Here is my Mom in front of a big cannon at the Tower, she is arguing about being able to see the whole cannon.

Here are my parents in front of the bridge outside of the Tower of London.

A poorly taken outside shot of the Tower itself...

And finally, here is Westminster abby in all of it's glory.