Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Hall of Shame

Yeah. The rumors are true. This is the first guitar body I've built and the first real woodworking I've done in my life so I fucked a thing or two up. Nobody's perfect. What can you do? Well--I'm gonna outline the mistakes I've made in the hopes that doing so will pound them into my head to such an extent that I do not make them again.

The thing that pisses me off the most is I did a round over along the edges of the little nub that sticks out for the neck pocket. I wish I had taken a picture but what happens is that the edges of the metal plate that goes on the back stuck over the edges of the round over just a little bit. I suppose the issue is mostly cosmetic since the joint still seemed sturdy but irritates me just because it wasn't caused by my lack of skill but simply from lack of thought. I probably didn't need to do anything but just for the sake of learning how, I filled it in w/ putty. The stuff I used is called Plastic Wood and fit the bill nicely in my case because it's both drillable and stainable (though it's pretty much impossible to get any kind of filler to match the wood). First I had to build it up w/ a putty knife (in layers so it dried right):

Then I sanded and shaped it with my random orbital sander and just sanding by hand (you can also see another little fill in the lower right):

I redrilled the hole in the upper left after this picture was taken. There were also some minor tear outs from the router that I filled in while I was at it. In the picture below, you can also see the filled-in gouge I made by carelessly lifting the router off the template before the bit stopped spinning. A moment of distraction can really cause a lot of grief in the end.

I didn't get the control cavity quite right so I ended up having to build up some little nubs w/ the Plastic Wood so I could drill little holes for the screws that hold the cover on. I'm not really worried abut these being too strong. Basically, I just want them to hold the screws in for the sake of appearance. I figure the two screws that can go into the actual wood will be plenty to hold the cover on.

These ones are small but they still tick me off because they were caused by carelessness. You can barely see them in the picture but there are a couple small fills there. One is by the pickup cavity and was cause by me marring it w/ the chuck of the drill when I was drilling the hole to the control cavity (which reminds me, I still haven't drilled a hole for the bridge ground). There are also two little crescent shaped ones on the bottom of the guitar which were caused by me not putting anything in between the guitar body and a clamp at some point in the building process.

There's also a couple tearouts just caused by my inexperience w/ the router. I'm not too mad about these--you gotta learn somehow--but they are still ugly no matter how you count it:

I'm using a dark stain on this and so far it looks like the fills are going to be fairly well covered up (though the finishing processes is proving to be problematical in its own right--more on that soon). Still, I have a lot of work to do if I want to start doing more natural finishes and I don't want it to look like crap.

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