Day 4 – Bending Sides and Cutting Top & Back

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Today I got to start bending my sides. First I sanded off the edges so that both sides were even and then we sprayed them with water. We put them into the bending machine to warm up with the heat lamps (they sit under the metal plate) for 10 minutes and then quarter turned the handle every 15s until the block pushed the wood into the metal plate. Then we did the other curves that aren’t as deep as the waist (top and bottom).

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Haha here I am just standing around as I turn the handle every 15s.

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While I was turning the handle every 15s I started to think about what fretboard I wanted to go with my Queensland blackwood. First I thought I would go ebony.. and it seemed pretty popular amongst the cohort I asked but…. I’m leaning towards the Indian Rosewood.. they both have such a sexy grain or colour. The stripey is so beautiful (on the left) but I wasn’t sure if it would clash with my flamed blackwood grain…. and I also loved the contrast of that bright purple (middle one) against the yellow of my body.

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As I was turning the handle every 15s, I also ended up doing my bunny inlay for my fretboard. I know, a rabbit inlay. But for all those that know me well, you know Bun Bun was very special to me! I’m getting into this mother of pearl and inlay stuff.

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It took almost half the day to get one side bent, but I was so excited when I got it out of the bending machine. LOOK AT IT! IT LOOKS AMAZING.

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I then put it into its new home for the next couple of days… the jig. I got cracking onto the other side. Actually funnily enough, both the sides did get a bit of cracks from the pressure but its actually not an issue at all. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from the workshop so far is that, GLUE IS POWER. Glue is amazing. I can’t believe how dependent guitar building is on the glue.. and that in fact glue is stronger than the wood itself. So we’ll just be putting a bit of glue on the inside cracks that are hardly noticeable anyway. Also, I was curious if they used glue since the craft of musical instruments began. I was surprised to learn that they have been using glue since the beginning and that traditionally it was animal glue. I think we still use animal glue in guitar making but for ours we’ll be using a little bit of fish glue for some things.

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Putting the men to work… got Sean tracing the body of the guitar for me to cut out and Dane to be my model before I destroy these beautiful pieces of wood.

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Haha okay, I didn’t destroy them. But it wasn’t the cleanest band saw work. I’m starting to get a love for this woodworking stuff though. Can’t believe I cut these out myself!

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Both sides placed into the jig… it’s looking like a guitar now! Done. Hahahaha. It’s also crazy how much work goes into being able to make a guitar – all these bending machines and jigs for each different shape. I am just so grateful to be able to be given this opportunity from Hancock Guitars, I know I am super lucky.

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