Day 3 – Sides & Headstock Veneer

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We got the bending machine down from collecting dust on a shelf. Sean took off the cover to show us what bends the wood. I couldn’t believe it – just some modest heat lamps.

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I had a lovely day today. It’s been so long since I made the time to do nothing but one thing and so when I found some spare time today all I felt like doing was playing guitar and singing.

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Tor started gluing his sides and kerfing together.. it is looking spectacular!

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I chose out a little blackwood for my headstock veneer. I sanded the end down to make it straight and also to create a little angle to ramp down and ease in with the fretboard. I also cut out my sides of the guitar, interestingly they go wider towards the bottom. I knew this but I never really processed that! I also want to find out why it gets wider at the bottom. Is it because of sound, aesthetics or for a structural reason? I got to use a band saw and belt sander for the first time too.

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We lined up where the headstock should finish and then glued it all together. Everything is glued – it is amazing. I can’t get over how strong glue is haha.

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We also did a test bend to make sure that my sides won’t crack as the machine hasn’t had too much luck recently. The test bend went well so it’s good to know that the same wood survived through it. Hopefully mine does tomorrow too!

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We put a whole lot of clamps onto the headstock for the veneer to dry on evenly. If we don’t clamp it it’s common for the glue to miss out on spots.

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With the bending I do a quarter turn every 15s to slowly wedge the wood into a curve. I keep doing this until I hear a hiss indicating that the wood (that is dampened with water) has hit the metal.

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Then I did some practise routing as I really really really don’t want to do a messy inlay job! Haha.

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Sean Hancock with the test bend

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At the end of the day, I cleaned up my workshop and took off the clamps from the headstock. It’s looking good so far!