Building the Body

We have started working on the body. First we kicked some ideas around regarding the shape of our instrument. In the end, I drew the outline on tracing paper, made a routing template, traced the outline onto the body blank.

Then I used the jigsaw to cut along the line (actually, a few millimeters outside the line to give me a bit of a safety margin). Fixed the template to the rough cout body – as always using the Masking-Tape-and-Superglue trick – and used the router to copy the shape of the template onto the body.

I had to make several passes because 44 millimeters of ash brought the router to its limits. 1400 Watts of power on an 8mm shaft aren’t all bad, but still, there are limits. So I started with a router bit with 25 mm cutting depth and went once around the template, then switched to a 35 mm bit, and then to a 45 mm bit for the last centimeter.

Making multiple passes is a bit time-consuming, but burning out my router wouldn’t save any time either. Of course it wasn’t all plain sailing, the router bucked a couple of times when I forgot to go against the spin when pushing the bit along the edge of the body. And trying to remove too much material at once doesn’t work too well either. But then, copying from a template isn’t rocket science, and it doesn’t take long to get used to the process, really.

Anyway, now I have the raw body, with the outline exactly as per design. I have sketched the bevels around the edges, marked the rough positions of the 21st fret, the bridge, the pickups, and the controls. I did all the work with the jigsaw and the router because both are a bit dangerous for a teenager (I don’t think I would have gone near either at that age).

Next there will be a bit of design work on the body, figuring out the details, and then the neck. Both should be better for working together, which is what we wanted in the first place.

Gnaddrig and Tianakatana call it a day and ride into the sunset…


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