2016-11-18

Building a Telecaster, Chapter 2 - the Money Pit and some superficial pointlessness

Throwing money in the wind is fun. (ask any sailor)
Carve, fill with mahogany dust...
Looks like building myself a guitar won't save any money. It's the same as tinkering with electronics; anything mainstream and simple will end up a lot cheaper if you buy it made by Chinese children instead of making it yourself. Most likely you won't even get the parts to make your one-off gadget for the sum you pay for an entire guitar pedal or whatever.

...add a pint of super glue...
So far, I've used around 80€ on wood, 20€ on some no-name second hand pickups and 80€ on hardware (from the cheap end of the spectrum). Add in the 72€ course fee (which gets me around 60 hours of access to expensive machines and advice from a pro luthier, not a bad deal) and some odds and ends and It adds up to a 300€ instrument of unknown quality and a second-hand value of roughly whatever the strings on it are worth. 

...and sand off the excess.
In comparison, there was a pretty sexy pre-owned Parker P42 priced at 200€ in the guitar  shop I popped into the other day. And there are brand new sub-300€ Epiphones, Squiers, Jacksons and whatever to be had as well. Playable instruments, I'm sure.

Oh well, I guess the difference between a job and a hobby is that one brings money in, the other burns through it... and  it was kinda fulfilling to pick up the Dremel-like tool and cut out a pick guard from a piece of sheet metal.

Blunt Instruments?

While I was making the pick guard, I remembered seeing someone doing "inlays" in wood using powder and super glue. A scrap of alder received a crude, hand-drawn word, the Dremel bit did its magic on it and I sanded some dust off a piece of mahogany. The mahogany dust was a dull brown-grey before applying the super glue, but luckily it turned a lot darker.

I've been thinking it'd be fun to put some kind of logo on the guitar(s) I make, and at least it looks like no one is building instruments named "Blunt", or "Blunt Instruments" in full. Wouldn't want to step on any trade mark here... another idea is "Almost". As in "Almost Guitars", possibly in Finnish: "Melkein".

After sanding away the glue I was positively surprised. OK, there were some ugly bubbles left in the surface, I guess from air bubbles in the glue, and in some places the trench I carved was too shallow with some wood shining through. But not bad for a first try. I'll probably have to practice a bit before actually doing this for real. The filler could of course be something else, like glitter powder from the kid's stash...

I guess I'll have to get in touch with the guy I know who has a CNC machine and ask a little about what its capabilities are, how fine details it can handle and so on.

Just an idea


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