Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Could Sand Some More (But Maybe I'll Just Eat Glass Instead)

The box after buffing
I found it hard to believe, so I went back to my photo album to confirm it. I started lacquering and sanding on August 30, 2011. Today is October 25, 2011 and, at long last, the deed is done. It's true that we took two weeks off to let the lacquer cure, and I think I worked on a few other small things here and there. But there is no disputing the fact that the vast majority of my last six classes were spent sanding. That's 18 hours. 18 hours of mind-numbing boredom (as opposed to the other kind of boredom, which is exhilarating).

But as is true with many things in life, with great suffering comes a great reward. And the 20 minutes or so it took to buff that guitar to an incredibly beautiful shine made it all seem worthwhile. It's amazing.

Now that the sanding is complete, it's warp speed again. It was only minutes after finishing the buffing that I was gluing the neck on my guitar. Let me repeat that: I was gluing the neck on my guitar. Lest the significance of that step be lost, I'll just point out that the next time the neck comes off that guitar will be when it's being reset and, with any luck, that won't be for a couple of decades. So there is no longer a box and a neck. There is only a guitar.

Our class's speculation on the date of completion is becoming more finely tuned. The general consensus now is that it will be before Thanksgiving, although it's not guaranteed. And if all goes well, it could even be a week before that. All that's left is cutting and hammering in the frets, attaching the bridge and tuners, and then stringing it up.  And the most convincing piece of evidence of all: Ted said that I probably won't need strings next week, but I should bring a couple of sets just in case.

Gluing the neck 


So here's what needs to happen for me to have a guitar that I built myself: 1) I need to stay away from heart attacks, rabid dogs, and lightning bolts for a month or so. 2) I need to refrain from doing something horrible like dropping my guitar on the floor; and 3).......uh....ummm.... There is no 3.

That number 2 is the big fear (and don't discount it - I've seen it twice in the last year). So keep your fingers crossed and I'll try to keep a tight grip.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Yes, I am a patient man. Yes, I am a patient man. Yes, I am a patient man.

A picture of our yurt, since a picture of sandpaper is boring
Would you believe me if I told you I could tell the difference in grades of sandpaper by looking at it? Well, I ought to be able to, as much time as I've spent with it lately. So I'll admit I've had about all the enlightened self-reflection I can handle. Sanding does that to a person. I'm done. Finished. Had enough.

But there's more to come.

We're taking a couple of weeks off for the first time since class started. We're at the point now that the guitar needs to sit and cure for a while before doing the final sanding. And I know you've heard me say this about a dozen times, but it appears that the final countdown is coming closer and closer. The next time we get together the goal is to glue the necks on by the end of class. Then it's frets, bridges, tuners, and setup. By all accounts, we should finish by early November. But we'll see...

So there's not much else to say. It's gets prettier every week. The sanding really pays off (very, very, very slowly). I am a patient man. Yes, I am a patient man. Yes, I am a patient man.