Jay Scott Guitar

Private guitar and bass lessons, jam camps, guitar building and repairs in West Chester, PA

What My Guitar Builders Are Up To, 1/10/2015

Two builders came in yesterday to work on their Teles. The first picture shows a beautiful one-piece African mahogany body, and we spent our time sanding. There’s LOTS of sanding to do, and we went over the use of a sanding block, running the grits from 220 to 600, what to expect as the grain changes, and the importance of really good lighting, so you can actually see what you’re doing.

It’s a meditative job, if you approach it a certain way. You can feel each new grit as it sands, and then slides more smoothly, and you constantly touch the wood to feel what is right and what isn’t yet. Not fun if you’re impatient, so try not to be; it’s well worth the time. This is one of the phases where the builder makes the guitar truly theirs, and has much to do with how pretty it will be when it’s done.

The next five pictures are of the second build we worked on. This guy really impressed me with the gloss he achieved wet-sanding the Tru-Oil finish (our standard favorite) on his obeche body with a little water and some 4000 grit paper. Beautiful work! We drilled properly-sized holes for the tuners, pressed in the bushings, lined the tuners up, drilled the screw holes, and installed them. We also got a pretty perfect ferrule installation, screwed on the bridge, and fitted and aligned the neck, which was a snug fit. That’s a very good thing.

We roughed in the nut, measured for and started the E-string slots, and drilled the screw holes in the neck heel. It looks like a guitar now, instead of a pile of parts. Plenty still to do, but it’s coming out beautifully!