2 Dutch guys, 1 French and an Englishman walk into a bar……..eventually.
Hans is making a 5 string headless bass, and Paul a thru neck 5 string. They are our Dutch guys…..both are first timers. Luc and Steve are building 6 string set neck guitars and have both been before – Luc is on his second course and Steve his 3rd.
Day 1: 3hr design and prep session. The guys arrived about 3pm Saturday and started straight away making full size drawings of their instruments so we could select their wood and get all the parts together. The lads are treated to Carol’s health and safety session, then we hit an Italian restaurant before heading off to play some music at ‘Acoustic Bliss’ – an open mike night that we run at the Burrowfields Bar in Ayr every Saturday and Thursday – all welcome!
Day 2: Making sawdust! The neck is the hardest part, so we always start with that first. The main task on day 2 is to install the truss rods and glue the fretboards on, so by the end of the day they all have something resembling a neck. Paul’s Thru neck is a little different, although he has done all the necessary work he won’t glue his fretboard on today as he has an extra job to do first – cutting the angle onto the body so that the strings arrive at the right height for the bridge. ‘Headless’ Hans was probably in the lead at this point as the others had tuner holes to drill and headstock shapes to cut out.
Day 3: Most of the day is taken up carving the neck, inlaying and levelling the fretboard. Hans had his work cut out – he needed to fit special hardware for his headless bass. By the end of the day the necks are ready for fretting. Luc decided to bind his neck which added a lot of time.
Day 4: Bashing the frets in is easy as long as the preparation is done right. Then side dots are installed and the necks are more or less finished. A little shaping around the heel and sanding is all that is left to do, but this is best left until after the neck is fitted to the body. So work on the bodies started today. Steve stormed into the lead managing to get all three (yes three!) of his humbuckers routed out. ‘Headless’ Hans wanted sound chambers routed into his body, so that had to be done before the cap was glued on. Paul also finished the main part of his Thru neck bass and managed to get the body wings glued on.
Day 5: Phew….Day off!