Monday, May 7, 2007

Some Sanding

We had some nice weather today and the best way to celebrate such good fortune is to go out in the back yard w/ a hunk of medium density fiberboard and a random orbital sander. I can always find some work to do on my fiddles when I have a little time and the opportunity.

I ran into my landlord while I was working and was pleased to find he was totally cool w/ me using powerful implements of electric destruction in the back yard. I didn't ask before I started because I was afraid he might say no and then I wouldn't be able to build guitars. (Besides, nobody tells me what to do.) His wife hates me for some reason though, probably on account of my hair being so much more stylish.

My task for today was to shape the two templates a bit so they matched better. In hindsight, I should have just shaped one template how I wanted it and then used that template to make the other but that really makes too much sense for me to figure it out the first time around. Instead, I just cut them as close as I could w/ a jigsaw and now I'm going to have to spend a couple hours making them match.

One thing that's cool about the Workmate is that you can flip up part of the surface so you can clamp stuff to it sideways (this thing is really proving quite versatile):

You can see from the picture that I had quite a lot of work to do though it went surprisingly fast w/ the power sander. I just had at it for a couple minutes at a time until I had the edges reasonably well matched:

I realize now that I made some mistakes when I was cutting out the templates w/ the jigsaw, the worst one being I tried on one to line up the pattern really close to the edge of the board so I wouldn't have to cut out quite as much. This lead to one of the templates having some flat spots around the edges that made it a real bitch to match to the other one. Ultimately, they ended up slightly smaller than I had originally intended.

I also could have saved some time had I had the forethought to get another sanding disk for my sander. By the end, it was really too worn out to do much of anything:

I should have replaced it before it was half this bad. Had it been the actual body I was working on, I would have stopped but since this was just the template and I didn't mind if it got a little scratched up, I pressed on, figuring the time saved by replacing it w/ a fresh one would be less than the time it would take to walk to get another.

Now, all I have left is around the neck pocket and inside the horns, which are still looking pretty gnarly:

For this, I need to take a trip to the my local home garden warehouse to get a drum sander, unless I want to do it by hand (and I don't want to do it by hand, I assure you). It should take all of fifteen minutes and then I will be able to do a little more work on the body. I do still need to get the control cavity, pickup routs and neck pocket done on the templates as well. It will all be done in time one way or the other.

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