Monday, December 2, 2013

Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 Build Part 9

So, over Thanksgiving weekend, I looked to route the recesses for the pickups and the cavity cover, drill the recesses for the control knobs, drill holes for the tuners, mount the bridge posts, and start the finishing process.

I started with the cavity cover recess.  I tried to do it with the dremel but it just didn't work as my bit couldn't cover enough territory, so I used the router and template.  Because the depth of cut was so shallow, I had to raise the template with wood blocks to significant height to ensure the template made contact with the pattern bearing.  I think this threw off the cut just slightly as you can see there.  I also used forstner bits to route out wood to about an 1/8th inch from the top to ensure the control pots had enough threads through on the top to mount the knobs.

Next, I routed the pickup routes to a depth of 3/4 inch.  I plan on simply using a forstner bit to get the legs at a later time.  Because the neck was not yet glued in, I simply used a band saw to cut out the portion taken up by the neck.  Not perfectly pretty, but functional and will be hidden in the final product.  Oh, and that's my daughter's hand in the bottom, not mine. :)

Next, I carefully measured the center points for the bridge posts using StewMac's online fret calculator.  With this bridge, thankfully, even if I'm off slightly, the intonation should still be easy to correct.  Excited to fit it, I jumped the gun and gently hammered in the posts, forgetting about the ground wire.  After remembering this crucial detail the next day, I used a lengthy 1/8in drill bit to go in from the cavity to the center of the bridge post hole.  I then pushed a length of coated ground wire with the end exposed into the hole and hammered the post back in.  The wire is now held to the hole by friction and the important electrical consideration is now taken care of.

Had time to do a quick mockup.  Camera phones are so hard to get a good focus while holding them high overhead.

Finally, I glued in the neck and hoped the grain filler would even out my slight gaps in the neck joint.  Oh, forgot about this one:  When I did the round-over routing of the bottom of the body, I somehow managed to ride up the jack cavity with the bearing, causing a dip into the body.  It's not minor, but I'm hoping I can build up some grain filler on that mistake and keep a smooth contour around the body.  I'll try to remember to take a picture of that next time.  Something to keep in mind for the next one I'm sure.

Oh, and I started working on the nut.  Really nervous about filing the string slots.  Shaping the nut has been pretty easy so far.

Grain filler on and scraped.  Will sand next.  Geez, sorry for the bad focus.  Bad photographer!!  Very bad!!

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