I realize that I have neglected this thread a bit. Sorry about that.
I have made progress, though. The work done since the last update have been a bit in between other things, but I'll post the rest of the pictures in this post.
This is how the heel of the neck looked:
After test playing for a while I figured out that I didn't like it, so it needed to be changed.
I did start with a rasp to shape it down, bit quickly discovered that rasping on a concave surface with a straight rasp is hopeless on hard woods.
So, I went out and got an angle grinder, a rasp disc:
A few seconds of rasping (litterally. Those discs are scary at 11000RPM...) and a bit of sandling later it looks like this:
I also sanded the final shape of the other end of the neck:
I also got the taper on the maple/walnut transition more or less perfect as well. The maple as originally going to end in a very thin point, but the pressure from gluing seems to "blend" the wood together a bit thus creating a fade when sanded down like this. I'm OK with that.
I tehn went on to making the cavity covers:
Veneer glued to 3mm aluminum. I didn't want to make the cover entirely out of wood because the had to be so thin. It's also easier to mill a small lip into aluminum to make mounting the lids easier. The brass stock is ued as a rolling pin to squeeze out air pockets in the glue.
The piece to the right is for the truss rod cover. The wood is made from offcuts from the neck. I used a fret saw to saw off a very thin piece.
This is how the truss rod cover works:
Cover in place.
To release the cover simply push an allen key into the small hole in the fretboard:
..and remove the lid.
The rear of the cover have a couple of magnets glued in that stick to magnets in the cavity.
The magnets are offset slightly to pull the cover towards the bridge end to make sure that the gap between the cover and body is tight.
Cavity covers shaped and fitted:
I Must admit that I'm not entirely satisfied with the fit, but trying to sand them more will most likely just end up making things worse...
I then went on to mix the shellac for the grain filling.
I didn't have a weight to mix the ratios, so I had to make one:
The weights are offcuts of brass with a known alloy and volume. The numbers on them is their calculated weight.
The paper cup is where the shellac flakes go.
This idea is shamelessly borrowed from somebody else here in LC, but I can't remember who...
I just applied a couple of thin coats of shellac to lock down the grain in the wood. I then proceeded with the final sanding and drilling.
Drilling the channels between cavities:
I was pondering a bit over how to do this. The cavities are very deep and the body is thin so I was afraid to drill at an angle. I then remembered that I also had to make a hole for the jack. That solved the problem.
I got a box of After Eight mints for christmas. After it had given me a stomach ache I noticed the flaps on the box. Looks familiar, right?
(For those who haven't paid attention, look at my fretboard)
At this point I started the finishing. I didn't take any pictures from this, but the process more or less consist of lots of sanding, lots of layers of shellac, some more sanding and a couple of coats of 2K clear lacquer.
After more sanding, a polish and some fret leveling it looks like this:
If you look closely in the pickup cavities You'll see the base plates I mentioned earlier. I was planning on making some that covered the entire bottom of the cavity, but figured it was pointless, so I made some smaller ones for each screw.
The large holes were supposed to hold springs in place to hold up the pickups. That idea didn't work very well, so I ended up using dense foam instead.
Detail of the finish.
It's not the best finish I have done, but it'll have to do. Unfortunately the shellac sunk a bit after the clear coat was polished. It's not too bad, though. I may correct this at a later point, but I figured it was time to finish this project now.
So here it is. The final product!
As always, it has been educational.