Construction of Rice Custom Osprey 205

I started out with some claro walnut, trued it up and clamped/glued it-

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Once the glue was completely dry, I sanded it down to a consistent thickness and set it aside to rest, under pressure.. I wanted to make certain it was stable before proceeding. The photo isn’t that great a quality, but the wood is breathtaking.


I then acquired a hefty slab of black limba.. Cool piece of wood.


I cut it to size, and machined it to be proper thickness.. DSCN1407 DSCN1408 DSCN1409 DSCN1410 DSCN1411 DSCN1412

Once everything was perfect, I mounted it on the CNC machine, and cut the chamber and wiring slots.. DSCN1415 DSCN1418

I then cut the walnut top to exact dimensions, and laminated it to the limba slab.  I used a second slab to keep everything stable, and 18 clamps. That should do the trick. Now I’ll leave it in the clamps and let the glue cure.  Worked out beautifully. 😉 DSCN1420 DSCN1421 20140613_191927_resized

OK.. I pulled the clamps early in the morning, and block sanded everything for a couple of hours. I don’t want to go too far, but I like to have the bulk of the block sanding finished before running the next steps.. Just seems to work out better this way for me.   I put the blank on the CNC, and did a whole bunch of work there..

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A trip to Mr. Bandsaw and edge sander.. DSCN1426 DSCN1427

And a bit of hand sanding- Leaves it here for the moment..

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I recessed the neck bolt holes, then did a deeper-than-normal radius around the front and back.  Feels real nice against my belly.. LOL DSCN1432 DSCN1435 DSCN1433 DSCN1434

————————————————————Beautiful mahogany! I prepared and sized/squared it up, and got it fitted for the machining.. 20140701_100011[1]

Then got everything going on the machine.. 20140702_075736 20140702_120817 Once it had been rough shaped and had the truss rod channel cut in, I separated the excess and hand shaped it. Much more refining to go, but the basic carving and shaping is roughed in now.

20140702_124638 20140702_124729   Hand fitted the neck to the neck pocket. Nice, tight fit.. 20140702_132238 20140702_132325 20140702_132317 20140702_132255 Next I’ll start carving the neck/headstock transitions- always done completely by hand- I’m very particular about the way that transition fits my hand.. 20140703_085320

Roughed in for the moment. I’ll refine it after the neck is complete. Pretty good start, though.. The next sequence are random shots taken along the process of truss rod channel prep and fitting the truss rod.. 20140703_091912 20140703_092024

Stepped hole drilled for the adjustment nut.. 20140703_092702

Fitting the rod

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Good fit now. 😉 I cut a filler strip from rock maple- very tight fit- and installed it. 20140703_113556 20140703_114549 20140703_114612 20140703_114724

Once the filler strip was in permanently, I mixed up a dollop of epoxy for the anchor point.  Not really necessary, but it always makes me feel better. I’ll grind off the excess and plane the strip flush prior to installation of the fretboard. 20140703_121754

OK.. the glue set up, I pulled the clamps, and whittled down the maple strip.. Takes a while..  😉 20140703_145351

I protected the edges when the strip got close- don’t want to disturb that surface. 20140703_145403 20140703_151404

Scraped it just about perfectly flush with a sharp blade.. 20140703_151652

Then sanded the surface flat on a big granite slab. Now it will sit for a day or so, to get used to being a neck (as opposed to some pieces of wood and metal).. I like to let it stabilize for a while, and will give it one more minor leveling right before attaching the fretboard.


The pistachio fretboard blank arrived, so I trued it up on the jointer, wetted it, and clamped it between two stout pieces of rock maple to allow it to equalize temperature/moisture. Leaving it loose would allow it to warp.. extreme pressure will help force the moisture into both flat sides..



After it sat for a day, I pulled the clamps and dimensioned the blank on the thickness sander..

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Measured the thickness, checked for warpage, then re-wetted both flat surfaces and clamped it up once more.

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It’s a gorgeous piece of wood. It will stay clamped for a few days, just to be certain it is stable, then be machined into a fretboard.



Machining the board..20140807_101749


Roughed in for radius, fret slots marked.

Hand sanding 16″ radius. This is very pretty wood…




Marked and drilled face dots..

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Installed the pearl face dots and sanded everything flush..




Outdoors shot for better color..



Prepped the fretboard and neck, aligned everything, glued and clamped it home..  Looks great!




Front of body with bridge pickup set in place- nice fit. 😉


Rear of body, sealer coats sanded and first coat of semigloss lacquer applied..



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