Next step was to sort out the cavities on the body and tidy up some of the holes. Now, any luthier purists or trained joiners should look away now and possibly go and find some kitten videos on YouTube...
In keeping with my attempts to relocate hardware ten years ago I’ve bevelled out any redundant holes and filled with 2 pack wood filler. The infill section had sunk and cracked over time so I‘ve raked the joint out to form a V shaped and given that a judicious coat of filler and it’s now all nice and smooth. The whole guitar is going to need sanding sealer or a high build primer in due course as the wood has some quite course grain in places.
Once there was a flat surface to work with it was time to tidy up the cavities. This started with a small
template for the humbucker cavities and one for the Mustang tremolo. As these are both based on straight lines these are easy to cut with a follow me bit on the table and a straight edge taped to the template.
Then these are taped to the guitar body and routed out with the router free hand. These are much better than the previous attempts with a blunt chisel and once the sides were done the original bottom of the routs still looked rubbish, so the router was dropped a few mm and the bottom skimmed... even though they’ll be hidden forever!
The routs are a bit misshapen where the original single coils were in a slightly different place. If I had some mahogany knocking around I‘d infill the last few bits, but unfortunately the last of it went on the fire in the interim!
The tremolo routs followed suit using a giant crosshair from the cad drawing to locate this on the body. As I don’t have a plunge function on my router I started with a drilled hole in the widest part of the routs. The 40 year old block of mahogany was really nice to work with and if I didn’t need some wood to hang the hardware on I could have kept cutting all day!!
With the router out I also cleaned up the channel to the selector switch with a straight edge and run the follow me bit around the control cavity as well. Tidy.
Last job at this stage was to get the bridge thimbles in. This is the kind of thing that makes me nervous! I bought a sliding drill guide with the intention of avoiding the wonky thimble.
And it worked pretty well. No wonky thimbles!!
My old Jaguar bridge slipped in nicely too... this stands a chance of being a guitar again!
Given the time of year, my plan is to carry on building the guitar without paint to start with and then strip it down again in the spring when the weather warms up and the humidity drops. The next task is to check the neck and get some hardware on it and make sure it all lines up and intonates properly!