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 Now that I have the outer limit routed, and while the glue on the maple cap on the tele is drying, I turn to routing out the cavities on the strat using a the top bearing pattern router bit set from StewMac,  It's hard to find a better set than these, though I'm sure they exist - most have a longer cutting length, which can actually be a bit long in starting a cut  - and the smaller bit is handy for getting in those narrow channels and is even harder to find elsewhere.  I do have one, a 1/2" Freud bit with a 1" cutting length that was handy to have when the cavities started getting deep. 

Chambered and Capped

 With the maple cap glued up and drying, it's time to jump onto the main walnut body for the tele style.

Body Work

Now that I have the templates constructed, it's ime to get to work on the axes themselves.  The strat-style guitar will get an alder 2 piece body painted a solid color.  For the Tele-style guitar, I'm going to go another route and use up some stock I have on hand.  the main body will be walnut, from a 6/4 board I've had for about 20 years, with a flamed maple cap.  The flame maple is nothing spectacular in and of itself, but it should look nice enough with a sunburst finish applied to it.

Here you can see the maple cap after its sawn - there's a good deal of heartwood, but I've found that's not always such a bad thing.  Finished change the color of wood so much, and I've also found that I like the challenge of working with the natural appearance of woods.

Of course, I'd rather have the AAAAA rated stuff....  but what the hey, I had this on hand.

A Pair of 'Casters

Scratch Built Electric Guitars Project

I've not had a lot of time for woodworking for the last few years, at least until just recently, thanks to the economy...  Now that I do, I found that the thrill of it had gotten a bit tarnished.  It all seemed a bit mundane to me - nothing seemed like much fun - so the tools languished while I pondered what I could do to re-inspire myself. 

In the meantime, I turned to another hobby of mine, guitars (and playing them - I'm not that good, but it's something I enjoy).  For most of the last 20 years I've played an acoustic guitar - the guitar-world's version of a hand tool.  Even that seemed a bit stale to me, and it was obvious I needed to shake things up a bit.

Last summer, my wonderful wife gave me an anniversary present of a Gretsch 5120 ElectroMatic and a Vox VT30.  My old Fender (a 1996 50th Anniversary MIM Tex Mex - the forerunner of the Jimmie Vaughan signature guitar) also benefitted from replacing that old scratchy junk amp I had before, and I found that each one was now speaking to me like never before.  They've both been calling me for a while now - so, it's time to go electric, I reckon. 

Practicing Dovetails


Unless you are some sort of savant, the only way you can get good at doing anything is to practice.  Once you have practiced just about anything enough, you will get pretty good at it...  You might not ever be a Rembrandt, but usually passable. 

Once you have acquired the skill, it doesn't stay with you, you have to maintain it as well.  What does that mean?  Why, more practice, of course.  The more, the better.  But do you ever have one of those days?  You know the kind I'm talking about...


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