Nathan Gallardo

Sound Design || Music || Audio DIY || Game Dev

Resonator Guitar [Part 10 – Fingerboard etc.]

Oh man I’ve been busy.

So, once the little kerfing blocks were attached around the top of the back side of the sides (got that?), I sanded them down flush so the back panel will attach nicely.

I decided the tailpiece still wasn’t quite right, so I used a countersink drill bit to countersink the holes the strings pass through on each side.

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The ball ends of the strings will sit much nicer in there now and it actually sort of disguises the fact that the holes aren’t in a perfectly straight line.

The wood around the ‘f’-holes was quite thin, and I was worried about two things. I don’t want the wood snapping off at the weak bits and also, it looked a bit shit.

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I used some thing strips of wood to line the hole and glued them on.

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That looks loads better now I reckon. The join is a bit uneven in places, so I’ll use some wood filler to build it up and sand it down smooth once it’s dry.

I’ve been looking for weeks for a bit of wood for the new fretboard. I was nearly at the point of buying some wood from the hardware store or even a proper ‘board off eBay! But then… SUCCESS!

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Woah, I nearly spent some money there! It’s not hardwood, but then, it’s not £12 either. It’s quite a reasonably nice grain pattern on it, and I think some dark stain will make it look pretty good.

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The wood was too thick, and a bit long. So I drilled a hole in either end, recessed it with a countersink, and then nailed it to my workbench. I used the electric plane from the second last photo to take it down to the right thickness. I was a little scared of the plane as there are a few doors around the place I’ve attempted to trim that are super uneven. I went for it though, and I’ve learnt the lesson is to set the plane to take off as little as possible and just go over and over it.

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So, that done I needed to shape it up for the neck. The neck gets wider as it reaches the body, so I had to trim the sides slightly. I taped the wood to the neck, traced the outline onto it and put it in the vice.

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I used a spokeshave, my favourite hand tool, to shave the sides down, checking it often so as not to take off too much. I finished it up with sandpaper.

It’s an experimental guitar, so I decided to do something a little flash with the fretboard.

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I came up with this design by drawing straight onto the body to see how it would look. Satisfied, I drew it onto the fretboard and set to work with a coping saw, finished up the edges with a fine file and sandpaper.

I am seriously pleased with that!!

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