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  #16  
Old 09-27-2020, 10:22 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Thanks again for the updates!
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  #17  
Old 10-03-2020, 06:15 AM
Arumako Arumako is offline
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Default Binding Channels and Neck Prep

Thanks for commenting Mandobart. Starting to think this thread should be on the "Build and Repair" board... oh well, started here, guess I'll push forward to the finish unless an Administrator decides to move this thread... now that the box is closed, needed to cut the binding channels.



The Dremel Binding Channel Routing tool makes easy work of cutting the channels. Need to be careful to go slow and change directions to prevent tear-out. Super glued the bindings in and scraped the bindings down, filled cracks and tail piece screw holes. Now, onto the neck. The adhesives holding the fret board was extremely hard and no amount of heat on my spatula or the fret board would make it budge. Decided to cut-off the laminations first to see if a clean job could be salvaged.



Was able to get a fairly clean removal of the fret board, but it's gonna take a lot of slow work to get the glue residue clean and flat. Should not have been, but was really surprised by the neck joint. The cut to make space for the dove joint on the top is quite messy. The neck joint doesn't fit well and is filled with the same old hardened glue that was used to secure the fret board onto the neck. For better or worse, this neck is never coming out of the neck block.



After 5 painstaking hours, the neck is clean and flat. I read somewhere that these guitars had mahogany necks, but to my pleasant surprise, the neck is made from Japanese birch which is very similar to maple - very strong, and after 60 years, this neck will stay dead straight...



Ending a really productive weekend by filling the many tuning peg holes on the back of the headstock. I really like using medium viscosity super glue for this type of work. The super glue naturally seeps slowly into the wood. Just keep filling the hole until the glue mounds up and let it dry. Wait 24 hours and take a sharp chisel to flatten out the mounds...



Got the rosewood fret board on order as well as matching vintage tuning pegs. A lot of touch up paint and some lacquer re-coat to finish up. A bit more to go! Thanks for letting me share AGF!
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  #18  
Old 10-03-2020, 02:01 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is online now
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Great to see you're back at it and looking at the home stretch As always, great work you're doing! I can't wait to see how this turns out!
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  #19  
Old 10-06-2020, 02:52 PM
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ArchtopLover ArchtopLover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arumako View Post
The bridge must be moved in exact parallel motion with the top to ensure the bottom of the bridge and the top meet flushly. Although it's simple, the process is quite time consuming. If the fit is not flush, full resonance will not be achieved.
Really love reading this post. You got some serious skills .

Just a suggestion, have you considered using a jig/fixture to help when you profile your archtop bridge feet? I discovered this tool by Stew-Mac that is perfect for making sure that the foot is perfectly contoured, or as you say, "flushy" (and at a right angle) to match the sound board top.

http://https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tools-and-supplies/tools-by-job/tools-for-bridges/archtop-bridge-fitting-jig.html

I crafted a home-made version out of 1/4" plexiglass and a left-over band-saw blade roller bearing, that works just as advertised, and it does make a huge difference in overall tone and volume to make sure the bridge foot contact, or foot print is perfect and "flushy" .

Last edited by Kerbie; 10-06-2020 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Fixed quote
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  #20  
Old 10-07-2020, 09:03 AM
Arumako Arumako is offline
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Thanks for the comment and tip ArchtopLover. Actually, I was really having a hard time getting the bridge to sit perfectly on the arched top. No matter how much I sanded, the ends would be curled up ever so slightly, so I put the bridge aside for now. There's still plenty of material to work on the bottom side of the bridge; so like you, I'll definitely make my own copy of the jig when the time comes. Thanks again!
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  #21  
Old 10-18-2020, 12:06 AM
Arumako Arumako is offline
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Default Prepping the fret board

Had a chance to spend a bit more time prepping the fret board this weekend. Hope you all don't mind my sharing my progress. Sourced this beautiful 3A rosewood fingerboard from my supplier, and the first order of business was to flatten one of the sides. Really just a lot of sanding for this portion of the project.

My work bench is actually a round dining room table and while it's not a REAL carpenter's workbench it's folding sides really helps in my super cramped hackshop/office. It's also super flat and works perfectly for this kind of application. Been using this table for 15 years, but still need to measure for flatness just in-case there's any warping.

Double-stick tape some 220 grit metal sandpaper (more expensive than wood sandpaper but quicker work), and sand the bottom flat. After spending about an hour flattening the bottom, the fret board is rough cut and directly taped on to the flat table. Then it's radiused with 60 grit (wood) sandpaper using my 12" radiusing block.



You can see the pitting in the fret board from the planing done at my suppliers shop. Some areas are pretty deep so this is going to be a long sanding process!

After some sanding the edges begin to take shape and the coloration clearly identify areas that need work. Each sanding stroke needs to cover the entire fret board. It's tempting to concentrate on the areas with more pitting, but that will throw the lengthwise flatness of the fret board off. Long, consistent, precise strokes combined with frequent lengthwise flatness verification is crucial.



Cleaning the sandpaper frequently is also quite important. At first the paper only loads on the fringes; but once the paper starts loading all the way across as shown in the photo, I know I'm making consistent progress. Too much loading on the sandpaper may cause the wood to get gouged. As the sanding continues the beauty of the wood really begins to stand out. The nut end of the fret board is radiused just-right; but the sanding still needs to cover the entire length of the fret board.



Just a little bit more to go... Man, this rosewood is just beautiful! The elimination of the discoloration indicates that the radiusing is complete. It's still a rough job up to this point, but it's important to verify the lengthwise flatness. Also, the radiusing sanding block is moved over the fretboard to ensure there's no light that seeps through at any point.



After 2 hours or so, the rough radiusing is complete and the fret board is flat and straight. It sits on top of the neck with no gaps and the neck angle is perfect! YES!



By rough radiusing the fret board, my fret slots can be cut with the same radius as the fret board. When the frets are installed, there's no gap between the bottom of the fret tang and the fretboard under the middle section of each fret. It all fits nicely with no need to use super glue as a filler. The old masters didn't even need to use glue to keep the frets in place!



The fret board really is perfectly suited for a Japanese guitar of this vintage. I can't be more pleased! However, before installation, the fret slots need to be cut and the binding installed. To do this, I'll need to make a custom jig based on the shape of the flat side of the neck. Then finalize the fret board shape and fret slot depth, add binding, then finalize the fret board radius with 1000 grit sandpaper... then, I can glue the fret board onto the neck and continue from there...whew another productive weekend!

Just received the vintage tuning pegs (really hard to find!) that fit perfectly too! Woohoo! Thanks for letting me share AGF!
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