Harvest Moon Guitars Falcate 00 Cocobolo\WRC Guitar project blog:


Sept 30th 2017

I got the guitar bound with australian blackwood bindings and on the top I added wbw purfling. The purfling uses maple for the white so it is not a stark white that one gets from the white fiber used in some purflings.

Twice I tried to bend the binding for the cutaway side in my fox side bender. The first time I spritz with water and heated the cutaway part on both sides, but even going slowly with the press I heard the bindings crack. I grabbed another pair and spritzed with supersoft 2 (let it sit overnight) and bent it the next morning. But I cracked one putting it into my mold for safe keeping. I probably over cooked them as they were very brittle.

I finally went to the bending iron and quickly bent two bindings. On the bending iron they came out cleaner and hold their shape.

Not pictured I use a Fleishman Binding Machine modified to use Luthier Tool Company's Self aligning binding cutter. The binding cutter has its own side index so I am able to cut with a 1/4 end mill.

To cut the binding channel at the neck join I used a hand Karl Holtey Design Purfling Cutter I got from Lee Valley some year ago. It is a very useful but crazily over built tool. I really do not hold it like shown but I was taking the picture.

When routing the back's binding channel, the mill caught and separated a slim area where the figure intersected with the binding channel/ Luckily it did not tear off. I just CA glued it down. When doing the top I thought about suggestions to shellac the sides to help prevent tear out. I went one better I rubbed in a wash of CA glue. With the paper towel I can polish it on the side. Use paper towel, a cotton rag will set the CA off.

The only other tool I used for the first time was a fancy miter cutter. I used this tool to miter the joint at the neck intersection on the cutaway side. It really works and creates a clean accurate cut.

I used titebond hide glue to glue on the bindings and purflings without any excitement.

I did a little bit of clean up and moved on to the neck.

October 5th 2017

Moving on to the neck ...

When I build my last guitar I had a neck roughed in with with the tenon and brass inserts installed. I did not use it as I wanted a higher heel for a tradition classical heel. It was cut just right for my cutaway heels. So I got a head start.

I have found it a pain to taper the neck. Ultimately I get it, but I have been considering a jig that I found In the Gore\Gilet book used with a safety planer. The jig is just a board with an index tapered with the slope of the desired taper.

Taking a mm at a time off I am able to get the bulk of the neck at just the correct thickness with the correct taper. It actually worked out well. I left enough wood on both ends to have enough for a transition.

The head stock is just a touch wider than the neck blank so I glued two wings on. I also adjusted the neck angle using an edge plane.

I needed to lessen the angle. To avoid blowing out the face of the neck, I clamped a board over the face of the neck at the height I wanted to plane.

I use a luthiers tool edge vice to hold a router template in place to route the mortise. The picture has a centering template inserted to align the vice.

I have a router bit to radius my fret boards. I do it in two pass flipping the fret board over for the second pass. I cut the fret slots by hand using LMI's fretting slot cutting tool. I rough cut the fretboard taper on a band saw and plane it to the correct taper.

I though on a bridge from the drawer to make sure I ended up with the correct nut location. Looks good!

With a good neck angle as well

I found a cool look BRW headstock veneer and glued it to the head stock. Before gluing it on I angle the nut end (using a properly angled wedge and my belt saw) and use a spacer to set the nut width on the neck. I do not have a picture with the bunches of clamps to glue it on.

I gathered some drawing tools and a cup of coffee and drew out a head stock with tuner holes that supported straight string runs. On my first on I forgot that the post needs to be moved to the outside a half of post diameter as the the string winds on the post. From the post holes I measure a distance so the tuner knobs are in a good place. I use a compass and a french curve to make all of the other curves and arcs.

A little double stick tape, the band saw and a drum sander ...

I use a spokeshave to taper the neck to the fret board.

Usually I just play around until I can create an arc for my heel cap. This time I calculated the radius from the chord length and the saggita and used a compass to make the arc.

I drew some guide lines and then used spokeshaves and rasps to remove everything that was not part of my neck.

November 5th 2017

RIght before I left on a one month trip I decided to make a new neck. Using a chisel I tore out part of the heel on the side of the neck that runs along the cutaway join. The neck I made will be easy to convert to a more classical heel on a future guitar. Making the neck mostly was done like I made the first neck here are a few pictures anyway to show some of my procedures. The only major difference I usually transfer the bolt hole positions from the neck to the heel block. In this case I went from the heel block to the neck

Made a new logo.

I glued on the fret board. My truss rod slot was a tad deep so I filled it with a maple strip.

Everything is ready for finish prep. I played around with the headstock transition on the back of the neck using a deeper smaller radius then the first neck.

November 8th 2017

I finished the pore fill with zpoxy. I will seal the zpoxy was a few wash coats of shellac and ultimately spray post catalyzed Royal Lac.