Saturday, November 2, 2013

Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 Build Part 6

The Big Carve.

So, Thursday, I took out the templates, attached them to the top and routed the contour paths.  I'll just say the templates were not great, but I think it had more to do with my error in cutting them out of the MDF.  They just didn't lay right.  Anyway, I made multiple passes for the first cut, the deepest and closest to the outer edge.

First Pass
Then, made a second with a second template (I had to make a new one, different than the ones I posted at the beginning of this build).  Then the third pass with the top part.  I staggered the changes of depth evenly rather than following some other method.

The Three Contour Routing Passes
So, on Saturday, we went from high tech to low tech.  The belt sander I had been counting on using is just too unwieldy and large to get into the curves of the top.  So, I busted out the Sureform rasp and went to town on the more open sides and bottom.  After roughing out the carve on those places, I had to turn to the three chisels I have.  I will say the vast majority of the post-routed carve is chiseled.  I learned a lot about chiseling.... and only a few minor mistakes that were blended in easily.

Time to Break Out the Chisel.... Oh, and I Routed My Neck Mortise Too... Did I Post That Yet?

I will say the horns were a nightmare.  I'm trying to use the PRS body style, but I really don't like the faux binding idea.  So I am trying to figure out how to incorporate binding especially around the horns.  At the bottom cutaway, the PRS has a really deep, scooping carve which would not accept a binding channel... so I'm keeping that carve a little less pronounced .... we'll see.  A work in progress.

So, with the basic carve done, I pulled out my random orbital sander and smoothed it out, working the transitions better.  Again, like the belt sander, the orbital is just too large to use for the curves.  More often than not, I had to hand sand with 60-grit.... Literally, just hand and paper.  Reached my stopping point with a pretty good carve going.  There is some pitting I need to get down, the horns need a lot more work, and I need to examine it for balance and symmetry.

Rough Carve With Chisels

After Preliminary Sanding

Done for Today... With Directional Lighting to Show the Contours

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