I first let you readers know about my "Introduction to Guitar Building' course in the second blog post that I wrote for Leigh Music Co (read it here), at which point I had only taken part in my very first class at the Sir John Cass University. Having written that just over a month ago, I deemed it especially appropriate to write another post about how I have been getting along.
In response to my previous statement, I have been getting along wonderfully. Every week, I feel more comfortable in the workshop and using the tools than I ever did before - confident that I now know my way around the plane, various saws and most importantly, the neck of an acoustic guitar. Yes, in the class you start with learning to craft the neck of the guitar, shaving your way from the block of wood you started with to a comfortable and structurally sound neck (no pressure!).
Step-by-step Guitar Building Checklist:
Plane off mahogany neck blank until smooth, straight and with every corner at a right angle. Check.
Choose style of guitar you intend to create and draw headstock angle on neck blank (in my case 13 degrees). Check.
Saw off headstock piece and plane the gluing surface flat, then glue. Check.
Pick rosewood or ebony headstock veneer, plan flat and 2mm deep. Check.
Plain (there's a pattern emerging) your headstock flat and glue headstock veneer. Check.
Glue sufficient wood to the bottom of your neck blank to carve a heel. Check.
What I believe to be so interesting about being on this course, is the fact that I go into each session with not a clue in the world what I will be doing! One week, I will spend the entire 3 hours working on the finer details of my headstock, and on the bandsaw for the next. And yes, even I am scared by the thought of me working a blade running at around a thousand feet per minute (but hey, I've still got all my fingers!).
As promised, I will keep you readers updated on how it's going, and wether I do happen to lose my fingers or not - who knows!