No, flattie can't hang with the big boys.
But that's okay. I'm happy if I end up with a respectable
Every day starts with a to-do list. How is it possible that
every day only a third of the list gets done? I guess you
call it eternal optimism. Anyway, the top of today's list
was side dots for the practice neck.
I stole jkingma's idea for a little drilling jig. (jkingma's post
I made it out of a piece of aluminum. I'm using Stewart MacDonald
1/16" side inlay rods.
I used a drill press to drill the holes, but I saw that John Kingma
uses a hand drill. The rods were a super-tight fit -- I had to drill
each hole twice to make them fit.
Put a dab of super glue on the end of the rod, and jam it
in a hole, and clip it.
It's easy to cut off the excess with a razor blade.
Then hardly any sanding is needed.
Next on the list was drilling wiring channels in the body.
In this pic you can see a couple of pieces of veneer I laid
in the neck pocket to protect it from the drill, and some tape
used to help see the path to the control cavity.
The hole from the bridge pickup cavity to the control cavity
is supposed to be the easy one. Guess I got complacent, because
I got close to drilling through the bottom of the body.
All done -- here's a pic of the drill I used, a 1/4" Hitachi
Black Gold. Love that name -- sometimes I drill wiring
channels just so I can mention it.
Next I had to re-saw the fret slots, because during the
mess I made of the top position markers, I ended up sanding
lots of the fretboard away. I managed to scar the fretboard
I'm also a little worried that the re-sawing might have made
the fret slots wider.
Finally on to contouring the back of the neck. Woo hoo!
As a teenager working at Chop Stick Chinese Kitchen
in Canoga Park, California (Fulton C. Kwon, proprietor),
I never dreamed that one day I'd be shaping a tele
neck. Was my fate shaped somehow by the fact that
Andy Summers was -- at about the same time -- teaching
guitar not more than a mile or two away?
First I used the 'briss' tool again to print part of Ed Hawley's
neck plan, and used it to mark the contour lines at the
headstock and heel.
It seemed a good idea to make some sort of template to
use for checking the neck profile. I'd read about forming
a piece of solder to the back of a reference neck.
I did this at a few spots on the neck and traced the solder
shape onto cardboard.
Here's a pic with the cardboard cutouts, the neck to be shaped
and the Warmoth reference neck, and all the shaping tools I
I started by using a rasp to get a very rough profile at both
ends of the neck. Here's one end:
Rasping is fun. I'd like to get one of those fancy rasps that
apparently go through maple like butter. (Darn it! -- that
reminded me of jpbturbo's vintage pancake recipe
I also tried the ROSS with an 80 grit belt, but I didn't feel
like I had good control using that.
Another thing I did was occasionally sand with 80 grit to
see what was happening underneath all the scratches left
by the rasp.
After a couple of hours of work there is still a couple of hours
These pics make it look like I've made more progress than
I really have. There's still quite a bit of material to be
Heel transition is still very rough.
Still very rough here, too.
Of all those shaping tools I only used the rasp, the ROSS,
and a piece of 80 grit paper.