Saturday, June 27, 2009

Recording

Sometimes you need to use your feet when recording (picture). Jerry Lewis style. At the keys doing the sounds for the Film, Fret Work. The guitar part once again was recorded with a Marshwood instrument. It is a more subtle part using an EBow (comes in at about 25 seconds) to give it that synthesizer sound. It is a small device held over the strings near the pickups, it sends a vibration through the strings. You can build tension with this thing. You don't pluck!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Film: Roy's Guitar, Chapter 21, Fret Work

Fretwork. All of the preparations are ready; clean radius, straight fretboard and sanded to 000 steel wool. The frets are bent with a crude radius jig which takes the once straight wire and bends it to a circle. Then the fretwire is cut to the appropriate length and set aside. The short film will show you the rest. The guitar part is played using an Ebow. It sounds like a synth.

If you have headphones put em' on.
video

Film: Fret Work

Fretwork. All of the preparations are ready; clean radius, straight fretboard and sanded to 000 steel wool. The frets are bent with a crude radius jig which takes the once straight wire and bends it to a circle. Then the fretwire is cut to the appropriate length and set aside. The short film will show you the rest. The guitar part is played using an Ebow. It sounds like a synth.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Roy's Guitar, Chapter 20, Fretboard Radius

Shaping the neck is completed. While working on the neck I decided to remove the walnut veneer on the back of the headstock. This has a cleaner look to it (picture). With the neck shaped and sanded it was time to radius the fretboard. This means taking the existing flat surface of the rosewood fretboard and giving it an arch. This can be nerve racking, because of the choice of inlay (the blocks). A radius is a circle measured in inches, fretboards can have a 7.25-20 inch radius. So if I used a tight radius like 7.25, I might sand away the edges of the block inlay, so I chose a 12 inch radius (the choice of many professionals) and all went well. Using the appropriate radius block, sand paper is adhered to the block and used to sand in the radius. This can take some time. This will be sanded with 80, 100, 150, 220, 320, 400 and 600 grit papers. The key is having a nice straight fretboard the entire length of the neck. This will aid in the installation of the frets, meaning the straighter the job radiusing the fretboard the less work will be needed when dressing the frets.






Friday, June 12, 2009

Roy's Guitar, Chapter 19, Shaping the Neck

With the inlay work completed it was time to shape the neck. With the neck clamped down on a holding jig the center line was drawn. This penciled in line will serve as a guide. Since the neck already has the correct taper I want to work to this line. A rough file starts the process, working evenly is the key. Files seem better for this job, some folks use spoke shaves but I find these have a tendency to dig into the wood. Once the files have done their job the neck is left with a series of parallel lines (see Fig 1.) Then it is time to round it over using a sanding block. A round neck feels good to me.






Friday, June 5, 2009

Roy's Guitar, Chapter 18, Inlaying the Neck

These pictures show the process for pearl block inlays being installed in Roy's guitar. Once the placement is found outlines are traced around the pearl in pen. A Dremel Tool and special inlay bit is used to rout the cavities. Chisels clean the corners of the square cavities, as you can see this can take some time. Each piece of block pearl is fitted in this way. Of course the goal is to have a clean fit with minimal fill needed. With each piece fitting nicely they were glued in place. The next step will be to do some touch up fill. Colored dyes will be mixed with super glue to blend the fill work in with the rosewood fretboard.