I started out with some claro walnut, trued it up and clamped/glued it-
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 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. 😉
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..
And a bit of hand sanding- Leaves it here for the moment..
Then got everything going on the machine.. 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.
Hand fitted the neck to the neck pocket. Nice, tight fit.. 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..
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..
Fitting the rod
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.
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..
Measured the thickness, checked for warpage, then re-wetted both flat surfaces and clamped it up once more.
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.
Roughed in for radius, fret slots marked.
Hand sanding 16″ radius. This is very pretty wood…
Marked and drilled face dots..
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..Share