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Day 18 - Strung up! (temporarily)

Day 18: Today was a busy day; seems like I always say that, but that’s the way it is around here. If you're not busy, you're not working hard enough. Since we’re coming down to our final day (tomorrow), we had lots of “little” but crucial things to wrap up today.

I started by sanding off the pore filler and then applying a couple of coats of shellac; the rosewood really looks great! The first troubleshooting that I did was work on getting my neck angle straightened out, allowing the strings to sit centered on the fretboard. This took a while, and I went through several possible culprits before coming up with a fix. It was a bit frustrating, but a good learning experience. Once the neck problem was straightened out, it was onto installing the tuners, which went pretty smoothly.

Then it was on to drilling holes for the bridge pins (you know you’ve been building guitars for nearly 3 weeks when you have no qualms about taking a power drill and 3/16th bit to the top of your guitar), and we could attach the high and low E-strings to see how things were sitting. Problem #2 encountered...My bridge was too tall (thus the action would be unadjustably high) so I had to plane off the top of the bridge.

Next came routing the slot for saddle. Given my previously foibles with the router and the fact that this was (I think) the last operation with a power tool that could wreck your guitar, I was a bit nervous. But George set up a clever jig that made this potentially fatal operation easy and painless. Once the saddle slot was cut, I made the bridge and cut the nut slots and strung the whole guitar up for the first time!

I won’t comment too much on the tone of the guitar yet since it was loud in the shop, and I haven’t set the guitar up yet (i.e., adjusting the action) so the strings were still too high. It did seem to sound good, but I pulled the strings off pretty quickly to do some other work (BTW, my dad also got his guitar strung up this afternoon...the first guitar in the class ready to be played).

The last thing I did was put some more shellac on the back and sides, before calling it a day. Today started at 7am, 45 minutes for lunch, and hour for dinner, back around 10pm.

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