Thursday, July 8, 2010

Building the uber-J. Part Eight.

It's all in the head. And in the neck.
The last eight days were spent mainly working on the neck and headstock. Granted, I managed to slot in a few days idling by the beach. But I think I deserve that, after two months in cold London/Prague/Paris/Milan. Late spring my ass.

The neck is really hard work. Sand, check, re-sand, re-check. Repeat till you're done. Take a closer look. Repeat all of the above. Avoid taking another look if it's dinner time.

It is a great pleasure seeing it come to life under your fingers and blisters. I so understand those who do this as a full time job. I kinda start seeing my retirement plan here.

Anyway, I wanted the neck to be thin but not flat in the center - a thin D shape. The lower part from the 7th fret to the end is slightly more tapered than the upper part - akin to that of my old Tobias. Not so noticeable, though.

After testing the position of the neck scarf a few times I found it a little too low. To be exact it was below the center line of the 1rst fret. Now it's a little above that and it feels just right. The smooth feel of the ebony under my thumb is phenomenal - and I haven't used any fine sanding paper as yet. I just love this wood. It should be made mandatory for sheer thumb ecstasy.

I have devoted yet another day to the headstock. In the overall economy of the project it seems like I'm lingering on it way much. But I am so very happy with the result! I'll do the final touch ups next. There I go again...

Some more time was spent shaping the neck pocket and heel. It still felt a little too big. I don't rule out more touch ups.

I know, I know... it should all be decided beforehand, on a locked down master plan.
And it is. Almost. Sure enough the next Uber-Jay will be exactly the same. Almost ;)

To me doing this is an ongoing creative process. I won't change my mind on the overall direction. Only, the deal I made with myself does account for few digressions.

OK, I'm digressing. Where was I?...the body. I dedicated one full day to sanding the body back and giving the lower horn a sharper, more defined line.

Hopefully, the pictures below will do justice to the grain and texture of this Asian wood. To me the grain itself would be already enough to make it beautiful. But the flame all over it...oh boy!

Next week: Routing the electronics cavity; Drilling holes for the neck joint and on the headstock. Working on the cavity cover, which I believe it's going to be in wood. Any guess as which wood? ;)
I have a little inlay in mind - which shouldn't take me
more than a day to do. I should be able to finish all this by next Friday. If I don't screw up too much, that is.

Thanks for reading this far.


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