Thursday, April 10, 2008

Routing it out

So far I had made a rough cut of the guitar body shape, then finished it off and sculpted a little bit with the round rasp. After that, a bit of sanding and I was done with the basic body shape. For sanding, make sure you use a sanding block on the front and back faces of the guitar. You really have to keep these bits nice and flat. Then use your hands for the curved parts that the sanding block just can't reach. By all means use the block for curved bits that you can reach. Be prepared for a few blisters on your hands!

Sanding block with sandpaper attached:

The next part was fun (seriously). I had never really done any routing before, and since I didn't have any real tools to speak of, it was a bit of an old-school approach. Basically, what you do is work out what depth you need, then stick some masking tape that far from the end of a drill bit (the width of the drill bit is not important, but I seem to remember using something like 6 or 8 mm). Now drill down until you are about to hit the tape, remove the drill and drill again, then repeat until the area you want to route out of your guitar looks like a honeycomb. By the way, you don't need a drill press for this. A handheld drill will do fine. Perhaps the following picture will explain it better (click to enlarge):

You will also see the hammer and chisel in the photo. That's because after drilling is done, you can use a hammer and chisel to take out the rest of the wood. It's a long, slow process, but gives good results if you're patient.

You can also see in the photo that the neck joint has been routed out, but I used a slightly different technique for this, since it had to be very accurate. I'll explain in more detail next time, so stay tuned.

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