Monday, 16 April 2018

The Piglet guitar build project, part 2

Work has resumed on the piglet guitar. Today there was a lot of measuring, re-measuring, checking and double checking as we had to ascertain the precise positions for the bridge and the pickup so they would align properly with the strings on the neck.

Initially we cut a precise humbucker-shaped hole into the plywood top of the guitar thinking that it could be top loaded. Then it occurred to us that we wouldn't physically be able to get the pickup into the guitar unless the hole was made a good deal larger  and included cutouts to allow for the lugs for the height adjustment screws and springs. We decided to use a pickup surround but unfortunately the nice chrome flat surrounds I'd bought on eBay were too narrow for the humbucker (maybe they were meant for mini-humbuckers?) so we had to make do with making a surround cur out from the Strat-style pickguard from which our donor pickup had originally come, and set to work on it with the jigsaw.

We also drilled a hole through to the pickup cavity from the area upon which the bridge will be sited so that we can earth the bridge with a grounding wire.

We had much discussion about whether we should cut out the various pieces of timber making up the body before or after it was all glued together. We ended up by cutting out the plywood top of the guitar on its own, then sanding all the edges to the desired shape, from which to use as a template to mark out the rest of the body timber. The reason for cutting out the top separately was to avoid tearing the edges of the ply. Cutting it on its own meant we could use a finer blade and get a more accurate cut without ripping. To get around some of those corners in the body shape (e.g the areas around the ears and the feet) we drilled holes where the jigsaw would need to change direction.

We didn't get as far as gluing the body as we needed to get hold of some more clamps first, so that'll have to wait until another day. After gluing and clamping we will cut out the rest of the body, then will get to work sanding the edges.

The above photo shows my original paper template for the body, which should give some idea of the design.

G L Wilson

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