Thursday, June 28, 2012


In this press release CERN is announcing a special seminar next week, on July 4th, where the ATLAS and CMS experiments will present recent results from the search for the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson is a particle that physisicts have been searching for for over 30 years now, its one of the things the Large Hadron Collider was built to look for. Its the final missing piece in the... puzzle we call the Standard Model - the theory describing the interactions of all known particles.

With the amount of data collected in 2012 we should be able to tell whether the hints we saw in 2011 were just statistical fluctuations that went away with more data, or whether they're still here - which would mean that we really are seeing... something.

So the question now is: should I rush to quickly finish the CMS Guitar in a week? :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Time to get busy

I'm moving on to cutting some of the real wood. Here's the channel I routed for one of the long inlay lines in the ebony fretboard.

I had to fight with the Stewmac Dremel routing attachment to keep it from moving my router bit around, which was causing the channel to be a little wider than planned. In fact in one place I managed to route two channels side-by-side, which is really bad but I will have to cover it up somehow - either add a short parallel inlay line or just fill it with black epoxy. Will see.

This time I took pieces of veneer spanning the whole length of the inlay channel:

Here's the first line after cutting off the excess and rough-sanding it down a little. Looks like I have a few gaps that I'll need to fill, should have used more epoxy it seems. But first I'll do the rest of the design.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Inlay tests - done!

Ok. This pretty much resembles what I wanted to achieve. Time to start on the real piece of wood now.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Inlay test: seems ok this time

With the epoxy dry I can now cut off the veneer that's sticking out:

Revealing the inlay looking pretty good for my taste: 


Looks like I might be able to pull it off this way. Especially since the real fingerboard will be ebony, its a lot easier to mask any imperfections with epoxy in ebony as its nearly black..

But before I move on to the real thing I want to do a test run for the whole design. I made another template for the other muon track and routed out another channel. Filling it with epoxy mixed with wood dust again:

And another series of veneer strips is in place:

Once this is done I'll have to tackle the hard part again: the little shower of tracks at 12th fret that I will probably have to freehand again one way or another. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Inlay test: Take Two

I'm fighting with the inlay again. Time to try something planned-out more thoroughly. I've made a guide for the Dremel attachment to follow exactly the lines that I want to have on the fretboard:

With this I can rout a much nicer channel for the inlay.

The dust from the routing gets mixed with epoxy to have something roughly the same color filling any gaps

And I can now glue two lines of wood strips in - maple and padauk. Leaving this overnight to make sure the epoxy sets in and then we'll see what came out.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fail series

Here's the results of some of my test runs. Not exactly successful, but I'll keep trying. Here's the inlay:

I tried freehand routing with a Dremel but the router bits don't really match the width of the veneer strips I'm gluing in - I have 0.8mm and 1.6mm bits and the veneer is 0.6mm. So whatever I do I get some gaps, plus the fact that I'm doing it by hand (with a 90 degree wobbly plastic dremel attachement) means that the edges are not perfect - the bit tends to wander a little. When I move to doing this in the ebony fretboard for the real guitar this will be partially easier, as I can fill the gaps with black epoxy or whatnot, but anyway I want to try to make them smaller. I have one idea for that. Stay tuned.

And now the second part - the knobs:

It turns out that "friendly plastic" is not the perfect tool for epoxy casting. Or maybe it is and I'm just using it wrong. Anyway, the idea of making an epoxy resin knob doesn't seem to work - its hard to get the shape right and the plastic sticks to the resin afterwards and its hard to tell which is which. So I think I'll try a different approach - I'll get a knob with a pearl cap and try to replace just the cap. Should be doable.