435 RSW California Gold Custom Guitar Part 2

we’ll cut out the shape of the pick guard now i thought i’d point out just a couple of things while we’re here you notice i had this large piece of wood underneath this as i was cutting this out and you might say why did you have that piece of wood there well that gives me a zero kerf a zero hole there’s a large hole in this right here so this putting this on here then the blade is cutting straight down through that slot and it has no tear out in the back that way and this wood’s very brittle and it could easily splinter off the back and chip and it could even potentially crack the wood so by having a zero kerf here that really does help a lot and you know i also came over to this band saw rather than my normal bandsaw because it has the tiny quarter inch blade and that will also do less damage to this brittle wood so that’s the reason i did what i did the laser cutter as you can see is cutting out the pickguard inlay area we call that rastering the area there and it is amazingly accurate how it cuts that out and in fact it’s kind of a trial and error every time um every piece of wood is a little different even though it’s ebony like this one has more light areas in it so every time you do this it’s a little bit of a trial and error i cut it out at a power rating of 14.5 to begin with and i could tell that the raster area was not deep enough so i’m re-cutting it at a power rating of 16.5 which doesn’t mean much to anyone it’s just that it’s just various power ratings that this laser has and i’m hoping that this time it will be deep enough although i won’t know till it’s finished well that’s the second pass after rastering it twice i really was expecting a better result than that that doesn’t look very deep at all so i started scraping it and there’s a lot of char built up and i think that’s part of the problem i think i think if i scrape all this char off it may be deeper than i think it is although i’m not too sure about that either now i might save this char for using it as a blackening agent whenever i want to blacken like some epoxy or something because this stuff is pretty fine and it’s pretty black it’s not making me real happy because it doesn’t seem to be very consistent i don’t remember having this specific problem the last time pretty much every time i use the laser cutter it seems to be a little bit of a trial and error thing and that’s kind of sad because it’s such a good tool but this wood is so inconsistent it’s really hard to know what you’re going to get each time it’s not going to be real exciting watching me just chisel all that out so i’ll show you what it looks like after i get it all cleaned out well i scraped all of the area out where the rastering was done by the laser cutter i’m not happy with the depth and it’s not even consistent it’s deeper in places and not so deep in other places so i have set up my little router base with about a 47 000 depth of cut and i’m just gonna go back over this manually and try to cut it out and make it more even i think i can stay within the lines there that the laser cutter did and that should help me a lot i’ve got my light down here shining at an angle you’re not going to be able to see what i’m doing at all you know at least i’ll show you the process and that’s what i’ll be doing a lot of and you can see it fills it up with dust so what i would have to do is set up my air compressor and blow through here and blow the dust out of the way and there’s a little connection right here where i can hook up the air compressor to that but i’m not going to show any more of

this i’ll just show you what it looks like when i’m finished i’m over at the bandsaw i’ve spent some time setting this all up i’ve put in a resaw blade this is only a half inch resaw blade but i think it’ll get the job done and i’m going to resaw this padauk for the back of the he guitar me over again he blew me he knew that i kind of messed up on sawing that last board i for some reason had sides in my head and i made it only five inches wide now that’s perfectly fine for that center strip i always make a three piece back and so that five inches wide will work perfect for the center strip but now i’m going to resaw these boards in full width for the two outside strips that go up the back so i don’t know what i was thinking before but you know it wasn’t a major catastrophe because i’ll be able to use that wood you know all of that wood so it’s not like a great loss it’s just that i wasn’t thinking correctly is all that it amounts to and we’re going to resaw this now in the full width and these will be the two outside pieces for the back how can i find words for him my friends i want to give you a chance here to weigh in in the comments even though it’s totally rhetorical because by the time you see this this decision will long have been made but anyway so there’s several options i can see on lining this up now this is the v that will go down the middle of the back you know and i make three piece backs to be perfectly truthful mainly because i don’t have large enough boards to make a two-piece back and that’s the bottom line truth so three-piece makes more sense but i also just think they look nice and they look more decorative so i might just do a three piece anyway even if i did have a large enough board okay so this grain here is pretty straight right down the middle pretty straight these grains have run out they both are running out this direction i don’t know if you can see that in the video as well as i can see it here now this would be one way to line it up and that way the grain is running out to the center seam another way to line it up would be like this and now the grain is pretty much paralleling the center seam and that’s not too bad i like either of those options actually about equally well and yet a third option would be to do it kind of like this and you know under lay this so that it is going almost exactly perfectly with the grain you know and that way there’s almost no running out at all now i don’t like this option too much just because it makes it look like there’s just one continuous wide board i’m not a fan of that one too much but it is a possibility so i like this one where it’s running into the center i think i like it the best just because it shows a variance of the grain more than even this one which is just pretty much paralleling the grain but this is nice too now keep in mind there’s going to be a decorative strip down the middle down down each seam there’ll be a little strip right right through here so actually it’s going to look closer to that with the crack in there then it will right together so with the crack in there parallel this is more or less pretty parallel it looks okay let me see with the crack in there with the run out heading toward it i think that’s my preference it just looks a little bit more like there’s a little more going on i think that’s the way i’m going to do it so your rhetorical comment is just

rhetorical anyway i just thought you’d like to see there is options there well my friends i spent a good amount of time off camera straightening these these cuts and my viewer friend chuck who used to be a doctor i believe a retired doctor sent me i think it was him that sent me these planes now i could be wrong but i believe it was him i should keep names on all this stuff but to be honest i can’t keep track of what i’m doing let alone all this other stuff anyway i took the blade out of this went over to my grinder did my sharpening trick with the hollow grind and then i sharpened it up and honed it on this leather and i got it so razor sharp is unbelievable it just shaved hair didn’t even have to touch the hair the hairs were just jumping off so after i got it that sharp i then planed the high spots i put each edge against my straight edge and held them up to the window here behind the camera and i could see through it really good any place there was a high spot i hit it with this then i took it over to really fine tune it with some sandpaper on my jointer table and i believe i’ve got it just as tight as you could ever get it i have marks across it in places so that you can’t mix them up and switch them around that way i know they go together just like that so i guess the next thing is i need to plane these to thickness because they’re still thick there’s no way to plane it very well or sand it very well once i get them glued together my commercial sander i don’t have enough faith in it to do it even though it would do it i truly don’t think it’s that accurate not enough to suit me for the thickness that i want on this guitar so i’m gonna plane it on my little homemade thickness sander ahead of time because each board will fit through there and once i get it down to the proper thickness then we’ll put that center piece in and push this all together at least that’s my plan i’m not even going to film that because you saw me uh thicknessing the top i believe on the thickness sander and it’s exactly the same process so i’m just going to run these through there until i’m happy with the thickness my friends i’m prepping for the back joint on this guitar and my purfling or whatever you want to call this that i made just wasn’t quite long enough you know it was the first time i ever made it and it just didn’t work out that way where it was long enough so i’ve taken pieces and cutting them apart and put them back together as you can see here and you really can’t tell it i stagger these joints so that they are not straight across and then that way everything is staggered you don’t notice it so i’m going to get the tight bond out and put tight bond on all the joints here and on camera every time i think the glue will always refuse to come out i think that’s just what glue does that should be good and i’ll just take that and work it around a little bit and then i’ll make sure i got good glue on this too i’ll devise a little clamping system for that and wipe off the uh squeeze out etc and we should be good to go i’m ready to glue up the back i this has got to be a very quick operation so i have this board clamped to my saw table i have this board clamped to my saw table and basically the back is a wedge so if you push them that direction they get tighter and tighter so that’s how i’m going to clamp it it’s just by pushing them forwards they will clamp themselves but before i get that far i have to get glue on all these surfaces and there’s more surface than than there appears to be there’s one two three four five six seven eight surfaces that have to be glued uh it’s just amazing on a three-piece back but that’s what has to be done because of these extra strips so i’m going to get after it i’m quiet it’s almost spring now

he knew well that’ll hold it and we’ll let that set oh several hours minimum in probably at least half the day six maybe five six hours before i take that apart maybe longer well you can see the result of the glue up on the guitar back it’s just as flat as a pancake which i’m really happy with i always like to have them come out real good and flat now i’ve got to cut this purfling strips down that i made i’ve got to cut them down to the thickness of the top it may have been better had i just ran through my thickness sander ahead of time but the problem is you never know if it’s going to line up perfectly or not and so this way i can cut it down to the exact size and shape right now it’s fairly proud so i’m going to use this finger plane and just be real careful that i don’t slide off on the back i have to be very careful about that because it’s easy to do and once i get it real close then i’ll go to a scraper and scrape it smooth but i’ll be doing a whole lot of this i just thought i’d show you the quick part of the procedure and then i’m going to just turn the camera off and get that part done and when i go to the scraping i’ll show you what that looks like well my friends i’ve got that fairly leveled off i haven’t scraped it yet you know you can still feel it right now i’ve got it really close with the finger plane but it’s still not perfect but i was just tapping on this and i thought you ought to hear this i wish you could hear it here live in person because it really does have almost a metallic sound it’s almost like you pick up a sheet of steel or something and you tap on it you hear like a a ring it’s kind of like that except maybe a little richer ring i don’t know if it’ll come across again but try to listen long sustain that long it’s crazy if you could put it right next to your ear you would not believe the sound that’s coming out of that and that’s what’s cool that’s why i always say you know you can’t just use any kind of wood you want for to make an acoustic guitar now you can but you won’t get the same kind of results is if you pick high quality sound board type wood now granted this is the back you know the top is the most important by far it’s you know when you’re comparing the top to the back it’s the 80 20 rule the top is 80 percent more important than the back but when you’re comparing everything you know like this compared to say maple this would be 80 20 this has 80 percent more sound than maple’s gonna have for like the back so it’s really important to select very high quality wood and you won’t find anything better than this right here i can tell you it’s awesome now we’re going to level it out just a little bit more so on this you know i can use a multitude of scrapers so i take a scraper like this i can scrape it like so i’ve got this scraper really sharp and this will scrape it’ll scrape everything it’ll scrape the padauk and it’ll scrape the actual inlay strip as well and get them perfectly level it doesn’t need very much but this actually just curls the wood right off of there and does a really nice job almost as good as sandpaper people that are really good with a scraper will argue that it’s better than sandpaper i would say i’m in that 80 20 rule thing i i’m about 80 good with this that last 20 i generally get with sandpaper though that’s pretty darn nice now we’ll go with this doesn’t take long to get it down there when you get a good sharp scraper

for those of you who are not familiar the way i do it is i i put this finger or maybe even two fingers on the top and then i can kind of control the height of the scraper by that that way i’m not digging in really a whole lot with the scraper i can control my depth that’s pretty nice probably still hit it with a little sandpaper though now on the other side even though it’s it’s real flat but there was some glue squeeze out so i’m just going to use the scraper to try to clean that up a little bit now keep in mind on the other side here unless this cleans up even better i will probably just put strips down through here as a reinforcement anyway on the inside of the guitar i mean more than likely this is going to go on the inside is what i’m saying it could possibly end up being the outside if it cleans up really nice it just depends on what i think looks the best when i’m the done really does change colors a lot and the glue caused it to stain kind of a darker color almost black maybe it’s purple i’m not sure what color it is but it’s dark anyway it’s looking good clean this one up a little bit and then i’ll hit them both with some sandpaper and try to clean it up a little bit more and then we’re going to cut the profile of the back out that feels really nice i’m going to go ahead go to the sandpaper after i clean up this mess i’ve got the pattern laid on the guitar and i want to mention again that this pattern came off of a d28 that was owned by gene and walt henry and the guitar actually belonged to their son who was killed at a young age in a car wreck so this pattern is very sentimental to me gene and walt are both deceased as well at this point wonderful people gene was a wonderful piano player and walt was a world war ii hero he was on i believe it was the oklahoma although recently i heard it was the arizona but anyway he was on one of those ships at pearl harbor when it was actually attacked and he wound up in the water and some of the local people there actually rescued him in a like a row boat type deal pulled him from the water so he was just an american hero that was walt henry he was 90 some years old about 94 or five years old i recall and he was out there splitting his own firewood getting ready for the winter he he was quite a man i’m tracing this with the sharpie and that gives me a wider line and i can cut outside that line and that just gives me a little bit more room to manipulate things as i’m building the instrument [Applause] so there you go and we’re about ready to cut that out now we’re going to cut out the profile so here we go how can i find words for him i think you can see it turned out real nice it’s going to be a beautiful guitar well now we’ve got the sanding block out and we’re going to attempt to get all the little details sanded out of this back here where the where you can’t even feel this transition that’s what my goal is well there’s going to be a whole lot more of that sanding to do and there’s no point in eating up camera footage on that so we’ll show you what it looks like when we move on to the next step my friends this portion of the video

is sponsored by vacuum pressing systems out of brunswick maine they have provided me with a vacuum system so that i can glue up things like these necks on these guitars and i’ll turn the camera down here and show you what i’m doing as you can see i’m putting glue on these parts and this is the hardest part of the whole process is getting blue because i have a bunch of plies of wood so basically i’m making a plywood neck and i’m using mahogany as the base main part then i’m using a ply of curly maple and then i’m going to have a ply of walnut and then another curly maple and then another outside of the mahogany this is always a tedious pain in the neck job mostly because of the clamping process because everything just moves on you but with the vacuum pressing system that we have it is so much less uh problematic it just squeezes it together sucks all the air out and it just clamps it up like a dream there is no need to be gluing up laminations like this with clamps and all the problems you get into with everything moving and sliding and it’s just always a pain it really truly is but having this system to do it just changed everything if you do a lot of laminate type gluing or you know different plies of wood anything especially anything flat like this i certainly recommend that you check out vacuum pressing systems vacuum systems they have different sizes they sent me one of the smaller sizes which is all i really need because i’m working on instruments all the time and even this small one will do quite large projects i i’ll have to look and see and maybe we’ll have melissa put it on the screen on how large of a project we can do with the bag they sent me it’s a pretty large bag as you can see and uh i haven’t measured it lately but i’m gonna say it’s roughly oh roughly two foot by three foot uh maybe even a little bigger than that in addition i have little pieces of like this walnut i didn’t have a piece large enough so i’m having to glue in an extra little piece in here now keep in mind this is all sandwiched together so you’ll never see it anyway that’s perfectly fine with me the laminations in the neck really do stiffen up the neck a lot and make the neck that much stronger and less likely to bend and that’s why i do it this way in addition it’s just pretty it it makes it kind of a decoration and so it looks nice especially when you alternate the colors of the wood so it’s it’s nice that way too and i put it on every single surface i could probably just put it on one surface turn it over you know put it on the other surface type of thing i could do it that way but i like putting it on this surface that surface then mating up you get more squeeze out and all that but i also know that you get a hundred percent glue coverage that way which is what i’m after is the glue coverage okay two more two more surfaces to cover and then we’re ready to slide it into the vacuum system okay so that concludes all the glue spreading and then i just try to line it up as best i can once i get it lined up then i’m going to put it inside this bag and slide it in here and it’s already moving on me it’s this is always the tough part i could maybe tape it up or something i don’t know there’s different ways to do it in fact i might just do that i made myself a call to lay over the top of it and i just made all the edges round and even the corners round because that way it’ll it’s less stress on the bag because the parts that i’ve got in here are actually pretty square i think i will just take a second and

tape this up and i’ll be back with you just in a few seconds you can see i just taped the parts together like that that made it just a little bit easier put the camera back a little bit so you could see that each end of the bag has a snap i’ve slid this piece of plastic through here and i’ve snapped it into this and then we just slide this this is just a hollow piece of plastic that we slide over that and that seals the bag so let me get that slid on takes a little bit of force to squeeze that on there especially the first when this thing is new like this this is uh only is about the third time i’ve used it and it’s really a tight piece of plastic so it does a good job of securing the plastic here and making sure that the bag is airtight now i have a vacuum hose under here and it comes up inside and it goes into my little form that i have and my little form has lines down through it where air can travel so it’s made perfectly to suck all the air out around this thing so it’s sitting on that little form that has root slots cut in it so that it will suck all of the air out of this bag really well now i’m going to turn on their system here and i just flip the switch and i’m going to turn it on auto cycling so it’s going to suck all the air out of this thing here just in a few seconds takes it it’ll probably take a minute i’m just looking to make sure it’s all lined up real good i can see the air starting to draw out a little bit having the tape on there does seem to help hold all those different plies a little bit better now it’s really starting to suck down and you can start to hear it labor a little bit but it’s just about got all the air sucked out of there now and now it’s impossible to move this it’s sucking it down to a uh negative 25 just about where it’s at right now i think it’ll go somewhere about 26 or seven i think i might actually open it back up it seems like it slid just a tiny bit right here and i’d like to straighten that up so i think i’m just going to go ahead and turn it off and then i’m going to let the air out of this for a second or i can move it again i think i can move it again now it was almost perfect i just you know i probably should have given myself a little bit more tolerance on these things instead of making it so tight that’s probably what i should have done wood is expensive and you know i have small pieces of it so i i always try to get every little piece i can out of it that looks good i’ll try it again this time i’ll try to hold it a little bit better yeah that looks better this time i think that’s going to work we’ll just let that set up i mean seriously once that thing gets its grip on there you cannot move it there’s a little different view of it you can see the vacuum over here and it’s down to about 25 again negative 25 and it will kick off and then it as it needs to to keep the suction it will kick back on automatically it’s about to kick off i think i can tell by the sound and that sure beats the heck out of putting all those clamps on there trying to line this thing up it’s so much easier to line up this way and it puts a ton of pressure on this thing i’m amazed as hard as it’s sucking that it doesn’t suck the plastic hose shut well it’s running longer this time i’m not exactly sure why i would think that the seal is perfectly good but it’s tight you can tell that i do have it on auto on auto so it should kick off i would think there may be a slight leak somewhere

that i’m not aware of but i don’t know where it would be because everything sure seems tight there it kicked off finally oh kick back on i can tell just by the sound of it it’s right on the edge of kicking off it just it’s holding a lot of pressure there trust me that’s really together tightly well we’ll show you what it looks like when we take it out of the mold later this has been in here probably five to six hours now so i’m gonna go ahead and take it out of here i would imagine you’ll hear this kick on and there it goes so it’s been kicking on and off for you know five or six hours keeping it very tight i think it’s long enough and you know i’m gonna go ahead and turn this off and open up the bag and see what happened i think i can just take it loose back here maybe yeah that works that’s the easy way to do it just take it loose back there at the back of the machine that already loosened up the bag and now i will open it up i kind of think that in one way this makes it dry faster and in another way because it totally sealed i think it takes longer to dry or cure whatever you want to use whichever word you like because see you can still see there’s wet glue in there and there’s wet glue here but i think it’s plenty dry so we’re gonna go ahead and take it out of here and let it set overnight and then tomorrow we’ll get started making the actual neck once again thank you to vacuum pressing systems out of brunswick maine for giving me this that is an awesome tool it really is very helpful got my neck blank all ready to go here it’s been 24 hours as it was continuing to dry it’s all feels real good and solid now i’m going to flatten off this top part which will be the fretboard surface and i’m going to do that on the jointer here now that i’ve got my fretboard surface flattened out and trued up i can use that as my reference point for tracing the pattern of the neck and mostly i just use this pattern to mark the corners and then i use the straight edge to draw the rest of it so now we should be able to cut out that profile over on the bandsaw as you may have been able to tell from that there’s quite a bit more work in gluing all of this up and getting it ready than there is in just cutting out that profile cutting out the profile just takes a matter of a couple of minutes it’s going to be a really nice neck everything went perfectly on it so now we need to cut out the top profile for the fretboard area and that’s not much cutting most of this is going to stay back here there’ll be a little bit cut out up here and a slight angle so we’ll mark that all up and get that ready to go before i cut out the rest of the profile on this neck i decided to go ahead and true it up a little bit so i flattened this off on the belt sander and got it good and square across here now i’m going to flatten this back side and i’ll you do that on my thickness sander my homemade thickness sander before i cut out this profile and maybe you can see that i’ve penciled it in there where i’m going to cut all that out before i do that i’ve decided i’m going to glue these wings on too so i’ve made the wings that i can widen the peghead with a little bit so i’ll get those glued on and then i’ll mark the profile up here and we’ll cut

out all of the profile at once before i cut the profile out of this uh neck i realized i had forgotten to cut these truss rod slot in here so what i did was because i’ve already glued these wings on i just glued a parallel piece of the wing back here and i spent a lot of time with calipers etc making sure that they were going to be dead center of the neck you know like if you measure from here to the center or from here to the center it’s the same same way here and here i had to put little three pieces of tape on here just to make the difference up actually two pieces of tape i think anyway um now it’s it should be really centered i’ve got my depth set on my table saw to the depth i want and i’m ready to run this through one way and then i’ll turn it around run it through the other way and that keeps the blade centered directly in the middle we’re now going to try to profile this neck so here we go my friends i’m going to route the dovetail on the end of this guitar deck before i go any further i’ve got the router set up with a dovetailing bit on here and i’m going to do it freehand i’ve done it that way a few times in the past and it seems to work easy and fast for me so that’s the way i’m going to do it your results might vary well that’s past number one i got a little bit whoopty there but not too bad not really through the whole pencil line so you know i try to stay proud of the pencil line that one there went almost through the pencil line right there but otherwise it’s pretty straight and i’ll straighten that up with a chisel later and i’m going to do this side now at the same depth the depth is not deep enough obviously so i don’t try to cut it all in one pass i always try to do it in two or three four passes well actually two passes uh you know two per side so about four passes total here we go with the other side all right so now i’m going to drop it down to the full depth and cut it again okay we’re at the band saw and we’re going to rough cut some of the extra wood away from this neck and we’re just going to take our time and go nice and slow so that we don’t make any mistakes the key thing that you want to watch when you’re doing this is that you don’t let the blade get into this edge because this edge is already at the final dimension so you want to keep the blade quite a ways from these two edges right here as long as you do that you should be okay that’s probably close enough for that side i’m just not that brave i can take it off eat other ways that are a little safer there you go that’s a just a roughed out you know i’m sure i could cut more away from that but then again you’re just taking a risk and there’s no reason to take that risk because there’s other ways you can cut this very very easily plus this being mahogany it’s fairly soft anyway so just using rasps you can carve this down in no time with just a rasp i’m going to start the carving with just a big heavy rasp and this is a pretty rough rash if the camera will focus there it goes so it’s pretty rough and you know it’s pretty aggressive but it doesn’t take long to get rid of a lot of wood with this for the most part i use the round side of the rasp you can turn the flat side over on these longer spots doesn’t take long that’s already getting close to where you want it now i think what i’m going to try doing on this part up here is i’m going to try using the rasp on the angle grinder and doing that a little bit in here just to knock off some extra

because this is hard end grain and i think that’ll knock it off real nice and easy and save a little elbow grease so here’s the rasp head on this angle grinder and these rasp heads are available just like off ebay in different places but they’re really very aggressive they will take off a lot of wood before you’re ready so you really want a light touch with it because you can sure ruin everything real quick with this i can’t recall the last time i tapped on this for you but i was just tapping on it a moment ago here in the shop and it’s so impressive that i’m going to tap it for you again hopefully this bell ring i mean it sounds like a metallic bell seriously i can hear it that long depending on where i tap on it you know you get a slightly different sound but pretty much it’s for the most part it’s one consistent ring it’s really got the ring it’s got to be one of the most resonant backs i’ve ever heard although this padook it never disappoints it’s always very very good if the truth be told every time i build a back i kind of more or less guess at the radius based on plans and different things that i have i decided to just make myself a radius jig and that’s what i did this is based on a 15 foot radius and it’s you know nice and smooth it’s got a nice even arc to it i can just center this on the brace now then you know more or less center it like that and then take the ends and just make sure they’re equal you know amount of space and then just draw the radius on it and it just saves a lot of time and trouble i don’t know why i didn’t do this years ago but you live and you learn you get smarter hopefully as you get older and you make things a little easier on yourself it’s fairly easy to line up really you can line it up by eyes it’s plenty close the trick is no one which thing has to be radius like these are flat braces that go toward the back and the radius goes this way in those these are skinnier braces that go toward the front and the radius goes through the the thicker part of these so you know it’s just paying attention to what you’re doing that’s all so now i just gotta go over to the sander and just knock off that radius and all these it’s very easy to do really i’d already cut the radius on these two braces and all i do is just follow the pencil mark along the sander like that very simple to do especially on these flat ones on this one because it’s going to be standing on edge it’s going to be a little bit more difficult not crazy more difficult but a little bit more difficult because it’s going to be standing on the thin edge and i’m cutting the radius on the fat edge so here we go adding the use of this square on the back side really does help you know i thought of doing that before i started but then after i got into it i thought you know i really do need something to keep it more square especially on these you know on these skinny edges like that and that really works great not only that but it it keeps your hand away and you can use it to press as well so that’s a really good little trick right there i just got one more to do and it should be fairly simple now that i’ve learned that shirt with the square i’m going to clean off the sandpaper and then we’ll get going well all these years i’ve been grinding little things against this wheel just by holding with my fingers that has really proved to be one of the best things i’ve learned to do right there i just taught myself that

trick this morning and it just keeps it square and you can get in real close try that you’ll be surprised how well that works assuming the footage turned out you saw how i carved the radius in these braces now the trick is getting them turned the proper way yes i could use a go bar system on this if i had a radiused you know panel to press against this is a radius so the go bar doesn’t work that great it would straighten the braces out so anyway the point is i’m going to use just regular traditional clamps for this and before i do that i’ve already got it marked where the braces go so i’m just going to scratch it lightly with this tooth blade and it’s just light it’s just to rough it up a little bit not doing much scratching actually and i’ll go ahead and scratch all those places and then i’ll show you the next step now that i’ve got all those spots toothed up just a little bit with that blade i’m going to go ahead and just take a little bit of acetone on a cloth and wipe it right right across the place where these are going just as you can see it it picks up a lot of stuff very quickly just i’m just going to do a light wiping there and hopefully i didn’t wipe off all my pencil marks and now i should be able to get the glue on these and get them clamped up on these flat surfaces these glue spreaders work pretty well most of the time i just prefer to use a paint brush but these spreaders work pretty well too so i just use whatever’s handy and i’m not putting a very heavy coat on this i just you know i i don’t want a ton of squeeze out i just want it to make a good bond and i’ll try to start in the center and work back the worst part of this is you really do want to have leather protecting the back i’m not too worried about the braces because they’re going to get carved that first clamp is the tough one because it everything wants to move but if you can get the first clamp down real solid then everything else is fairly easy this is the kind of thing you can’t really get too many clamps on well as you can see this is kind of fiddly with all these clamps but uh i’ll get it done and show you what it looks like after i get it all clamped up rather than spending so much time with the video i think you’ll enjoy seeing how many clamps it takes to do this well i thought i would have enough clamps to go ahead and clamp up all four of these but apparently i don’t or at least not enough of these deep reach type clamps seems like i’ve done it all of them before in the past but nevertheless it doesn’t look like i’m going to be able to do it this time so i’m going to let that set for a while just as you see it there you can see there’s a lot of clamps on that there’s one two three four five six seven eight nine clamps just on that one brace and let’s see do we have that many on the other one one two three four five six seven eight eight on the shorter brace so that’s a lot of clamps i got to go run some errands in town and i may just go ahead and buy me some more deep throated clamps so that we have plenty of them on hand i’d like to tell you that that was an easy clamp job i really would like to tell you that but it wasn’t it was just i don’t know why it’s just difficult to get it to you know get all the you know like just turning these things they’re all getting each other’s way i mean there’s just all kinds of little problems and issues but the good news is it’s all clamped up nice and snug and tight and everything’s happy these other back braces back here that you really can’t see on camera but these back braces those set for about five hours clamped up so i just recently took these just minutes ago took the clamps off anyway clamped it up here this is gonna set overnight it’s like five in the evening now or after and uh so tomorrow morning we’ll come in take these clamps off and then

perhaps start carving the braces all the braces have been sitting overnight they’re all glued in they’re all squared off they’re not carved yet but i like to tap on this thing to hear what the difference is in the sound oh my goodness it’s like an amplifier now listen to it now it really sounds metallic so now i can hear it a really long time i’ll tap and let you know how long i can hear it about that long about that long it’s really vibrating really well and it’s going to get even a little better once we carve some of the bulk off of those braces we’re about ready to start that process so here we go so i got my trusty little finger plane and for the most part especially these two back braces you just kind of dome them over you want them to stay strong but you want to get rid of weight and bulk and i don’t know that i told you before but i just thought i will tell you that the grain lines are running this direction in this wood of course and they’re perpendicular to the back in other words all of the grain lines in these pieces are up and down and maybe you can see that if you look at the very end of the brace there to see what i’m talking about so that’s the way you want to put in braces they’re much stronger that way you can carve them thinner that way you would not want to put them in what i call slabs on where the grain is running like this and lay them on your top that has very little strength compared to this way well this is going to take me a little while and again i’m not going to eat up a lot of footage with it so you can see the process you just keep carving until you’re happy basically and i’ll show you what it looks like when i’m happy well my friends i think i’m through carving this you can see the braces have been shortened a little bit so that there’s room for the kerf to go around this i do not use the theory of running the braces all the way through the kerf i don’t do it that way i have my braces stop at the curve and there’s two or three reasons i do it that way people will disagree and that’s okay my belief is first of all it’s just easier easy’s always good to me so in other words you know if you just shorten them like that then you don’t have to cut out notches in your kerf and all that kind of thing that’s reason number one so it’s just easier reason number two is i think you get a better joint because you’re not having to notch it all out so you get a more smooth attachment point all the way around that’s reason number two which is minor i’ll admit and reason number three is the important one in my opinion and that is these braces are shorter they’re a little lighter they’re probably a little thinner and this keeps the braces away from the sides and lets the braces then have the freedom to vibrate with the top and move if these braces are on the sides then they don’t get to vibrate as much the sides are holding them still you know in my this is my theory i can’t prove it it’s just a common sense theory in other words now these braces are not supported by the sides and some people say that’s why you want to do it you want the back supported i feel they’re plenty strong and i feel the connection all the way around here with the kerf makes it plenty strong and this allows it yet to vibrate better that’s my theory i’m sticking to it i have no way to really prove any of that it just seems to make good common sense to me and you know about the strength thing i’ve never had a problem i’ve been building them for roughly 40 years i haven’t had any of them come apart so or you don’t have problems at you know like that so you know i know 40 years is in 100 years but hey it’s a good start and i haven’t had any problems so the sound of this is really nice it’s toned down now it’s come down in pitch

it’s a deeper sound it sounds a little more like tapping on the side of a big metal drum or something and it’s real long sustain so like that long about that long so it’s a real good long sustain it’s got a real good sound hopefully you can hear that i’m real happy with that it’s good and stiff one additional thing i did on this one that i have never really done this precisely i do it every time i just this time i did it really precisely and that is i laid this on the braces and i carved the the braces to on the inside to match this curve as well so this the whole guitar has this curve and these braces are also carved to that specific curve so in effect lightly these braces are scalloped on the back as well as they will be on the top everything you can do to kind of lighten them up yet keep them strong is a good idea in my opinion i feel like this back is incredibly strong i don’t think there’s going to be any problem with it whatsoever yet it still vibrates really well i don’t think there’s any problem whatsoever right there i’m looking forward to putting this on you