Please don't laugh at me...I've started a project reshaping a guitar and
I need advise before I continue.
As you'll see here -- http://tinypic.com/nro0w--I want to fill the
curves in the guitar in order to make the sides straight (after I've
filled the curves, I'll plane the sides straight--they were cut large for
I'll be cutting/carving the insert part from a piece cut off from the
same guitar (you can see it underneath the curve). The curves aren't
perfectly straight, since I had to take down the sides a bit to remove
the original rounded edge.
So I don't know if I'll be able to get a perfect fit between the inserts
and the curves. Perhaps someone can suggest a means of doing that? (I'm
reluctant to do any more sawing because I'm afraid I'll screw it up)
Is there a way of building up the sides of the curves and the inserts so
that they'll mate enough to get a strong glue bond?
For example, can I make a paste of wood glue and sawdust (from the same
wood) which can be applied to one of the surfaces --then press the insert
into the to paste fill the uneven parts -- then let that dry ...and
finally glue the insert into place (which will then fit perfectly)?
Is this impossible (for example, the glue won't bond properly with the
The look of the joint isn't a big issue --I'll be sealing the wood, then
priming it, then painting, then applying finish, so the gap/glue line
shouldn't show too much.
Sorry for the long silly message. I realize you're all cringing in horror
or laughing out loud by now...but I'll appreciate your help!
If you're painting over the patches, it shouldn't be too big a problem
BUT, using glue or a glue/sawdust goop to fill gaps isn't good practice.
I'd recommend using a form or template to cut both the guitar body and the
inserts, using a band saw or router. That way, both pieces will have the
same profile and you'll have a glue joint you can depend on, rather than a
joint you'll always be suspicious of..
Greetings and Salutations...
Hum...I gather then that the existing
notch is an error that needs to go away...
Well, one thing that I see that could be
a problem is that it LOOKS as if the walls of the
notch are NOT at a perfect 90 degrees to the top.
I.E. they slant. That makes cutting a plug even
more of a pain in the butt.
How about this:
1) Use a router and a guide to "clean up" the notch,
so it is smooth and perpendicular to the face of the wood.
2) Use the SAME jig, clamped to the filler piece,
to shape the curve to be glued into the notch.
3) Glue the two together with a good glue (Polyurethane
would be my choice...Gorilla glue, etc)
4) reshape the patch to taste.
Since it's a solid body guitar and there's not a lot of tone issue in what
you're doing, I would just make a straight cut up the side of the guitar and
remove the entire notched side of the guitar. Then you can glue up your
extra stock in a nice straight line. Use just about any type of joinery you
choose or just glue it up. A great deal of very high end guitars are glued
up with no other mechanical assistance in the form of dowels or biscuits or
anything else. Use a decent wood glue like Tightbond and glue the surfaces
well and clamp them up. Presto - you're all set to try reshaping it again.
Don't even bother trying to fit the piece back in.
Thanks for not laughing...;-D
Problem is, the extra stock I have isn't large enough to simply square off
the side (tempting though!). It might be possible to reshape the curve into
a triangle though...It'll be easier to cut the insert accordingly.
Guess I'll have to take this to a friend with a router! (I was hoping to do
this all by hand...stubborn, I am)
Laugh? Hell, you never saw some of my more boneheaded moves. Leaves me in
no position to laugh at anyone else. Go ahead and take it to your friend
and get a nice true V cut into it that is something you can plug your scrap
into. Then proceed with the glue up any way you wish. I think you said
you're going to paint the guitar when you're done so if that's the case, use
any good wood filler to blend the seams after you glue it in. Go for the
most wood to wood surface area you can get, for a good glue joint. Then
smear the filler across the joints as needed to hide the seam. Spread it
thinly and wide across the joint so that you can taper it to a blend and not
have a noticeable line where the filler is. Use a paint stick wrapped in
sandpaper to sand down the area and achieve the right blend. Then proceed
as you would have if you never hit this little roadblock. Good luck.
Or scratching our heads trying to figure out just what on earth you're
doing. It's a piece of wood with a curved notch cut out of it. I don't
see a guitar, or how this fits onto a guitar, or what the point of any of
this exercise is. I'm confused.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
It's a solid body guitar. He started notching for the waist of the guitar
but didn't like what he did. That's the cut out you see. He never got to
the point of cutting out the ears or shaping the butt.
Close!...it *is* a solid body guitar but it actually started out as a
copy of a Fender Telecaster. I'm modifying its shape into more of a Bo
Diddley rectangular guitar design (but I like the Telecaster sound).
The curves/notches there are part of the original telecaster design. What
I've done so far is (roughly) cut off the sides --I'm using those pieces
for shaping the inserts that will fill in the curves/notches. That way I
won't have two different types of wood on there (the wood is alder, a
very lightweight variety).
This link will give you a better idea of what I'm trying to achieve:
Except I've now decided to keep the rounded bottom (on the left in this
After I get the notches properly filled, I'll plane/rout the sides to get
them flat and straight. Then I'll be painting and finishing the guitar--
so the glued in pieces won't show much, if at all.
I chose to modify an existing guitar rather than build from scratch in
order to avoid the crucial issues of routing the neck pocket and getting
the bridge positioned properly while I build up some skills....
I've never really worked with wood before, in large part because I've
never been excited by a project before. But I prefer the sink or swim
method of learning!
That's why I already have a second guitar lined up... ;-D
Thanks to the comments here, I have a good idea of how to proceed, i.e.,
I'm going to pay a visit to someone with a router!. That isn't easy for
me, because I'm kind of a stubborn type that likes to learn by
doing...and I also wanted to avoid using power tools. Something about the
spiritual aspect of fashioning my guitar by hand...(I spend a lot of time
with guitars in my hands...)
Thanks for your tips!
As it looked about ten years ago. I've owned it for over 35 years, been
around the world once with it, and halfway round once again (and it looks
Bought it from a relative who bought it new with a factory custom factory
finish that Jerry Lee Lewis' bass player used - "Champagne Pink". Neck date
stamp is Oct 1961, but it came stock with the regular pots, instead of the
concentric pots of the earlier 61's. That late in 1961 it is in actuality
probably one of the first '62's, if not the first.
It has a growly, low tone that sits well in a mix with a kick drum and works
real nice on 'groove' tunes and jump blues numbers:
I also have a MusicMan fretless, and there was a 10 year period where I
played mostly upright, but the Jazz gets most of the work the past decade or
so. Did swap the original pickups with EMG's some years back, mainly for
studio work, but still have the originals with the passive pots ready to
drop back in about ten minutes.
If I sound like it's one of my kids ... it is. :)
I built one like it a few years ago (OBWW), equipped it mainly with old
parts I'd picked up down through the years, along with an old Fender neck I
traded for, but I sold that one because it just didn't have the guts
(spirituality?) of the Jazz.
If I ever lose it, I'll probably quit playing.
I could never figure out why someone would want a maple neck when
rosewood feels so good. Maple always felt "cold" to me. It seems
kind of rare to see a rosewood necked J-bass.
Good tune, as well. That bass, as well as your playing, has a very
nice, smooth tone,without losing clarity. EMGs sound nice. My PJ is
a 71, and is also loaded up with them.
Does your MM have the stock, active pickups? Those could put out an
interesting growl with frets, I'll bet without them, it sounds great.
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