• Don

Tonelog: Box Building and More Inlay Work


Spent some time building the box for the Maple Walnut concert guitar this week. Bending the sides was challenging. The plates were somewhat figured making the bends in some places difficult. Again, patience and process won the day. After bending the sides, I was able to piece together enough kerfing from previous builds to kerf both sides, the top plate with regular kerfing and the bottom with reverse kerfing. This looks best through the sound hole. I used mahogany kerfing but chose walnut for the blocks, as the neck will be walnut and research indicates that like woods are best when jointing the neck to the

block.

Work on The Rosewood Wizard progressed slower this week as I spent a lot of time finishing the inlay work on the peg head as well as the fret board. I'm pleased with the results but I'm still refining the process to make it easier. The new 1/8 inch chisel helps but the acute angle of the diamonds is still difficult to carve. Pre-routing the middle of the diamonds to depth speeds the process and helps with uniformity. I'm using thin ca glue with the appropriate saw dust to fill the inlays and it's working well. Scraping them rather than sanding helps keep the maple from

staining as much as it has in the past and I'll have to remember to keep shellacking them and sanding around them carefully to preserve the light maple color. This is the first ebony fret board I've built and I really enjoy working with the wood. For as hard as it is, it's easier to work than some other woods and the density and color really give the guitar a high end look and feel. The ebony block I intend to build the bridge out of is less uniformly black and may require some dying to match it better to the fret board, but the result could be stunning if I pull it off. Time will tell.


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