…Another day in the Bailey workshop…

Day1, Day 2

Day 3

10am till 7:30pm

David and Kevin are making custom electric guitars. They started two days ago with rough blocks of wood and will be playing them by day 7. Nick is here to finish his acoustic which was started a few months ago. Acoustics generally take about 12 days so his course was spread over several visits but we fully expect a performance from the three of them on Saturday night. We still have Sun morning for tweaking time if necessary.

The fourth place on the course will be taken by a different person every day. These will all be students who are building acoustic guitars, spreading the 12 days over a longer period, and are all at various stages of construction.

David (acoustic) took over from Duncan today. Last time he glued on his flamed maple binding which had a few small gaps so he spent most of the morning touching up the binding. We used a hair dryer to soften the glue and straighten it out, then glued it back down. He made a truss rod and finished his neck angle, so next time he comes he can glue the fretboard.

Everybody works at their own pace and is doing something completely different so I certainly have my work cut out making sure they are all busy and making good progress. We are on schedule as long as nothing goes badly wrong.

Dave (set neck) had to re-saw all his fret slots by hand because of the double style of binding he wanted.  He glued the first strips on yesterday and after re-slotting glued on the second outside strip of rosewood. While that was drying he made the headstock. It takes a while to mark out a custom headstock shape- it is critical that the tuners end up in the right place so the strings don’t catch on the wrong posts and the tuner button must have space to turn freely.  Dave is also planning a custom inlay on the headstock so he had to make sure it all fitted ok. He is just about ready to glue the fretboard tomorrow after profiling the side of his neck with the router and installing his truss rod.

Kevin (bolt on) made his own truss rod and finished installing it into his neck before dinner, and then spent the afternoon making a grand job of carving it. He also had to glue on an extra ‘wing’ onto the headstock to make it wide enough for his shape so we did that last thing so it didn’t hold us up. Kevin has a birds eye fretboard which will must be sprayed tomorrow so it has enough time to dry before the frets are installed.

Nick (acoustic) had a flying start and finished gluing his binding on by first break, then while the glue dried he worked on marking out his neck. He made good progress today marking his custom headstock then drilling the tuner holes, cutting out the neck shape, and somehow found time to install his amazing home made inlays- because they are (lets say) unconventional we are doing them before the fretboard is glued on which is not the normal procedure (more on this to come). Last thing he removed the tape holding the binding and we found a few small gaps so again applied the hair dryer method I described earlier to fix them.

So all this time I am buzzing around telling everyone what to do, what order to do it in, and when to stop. When I am not making my own guitars, that’s my job and I love it! More tomorrow…