Richey Kay's Blog (13)

How to use grain filler for a smooth finish

I have always used oak for my necks, and at first I was always frustrated that no matter how well I sanded the wood, the oak's open pores meant that the finish was never completely smooth. After a bit of research I came across grain filler, and ordered a tin of Rustins.

Grain filler is different from wood…

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Added by Richey Kay on October 21, 2015 at 3:00am — 6 Comments

How to level, crown and polish frets

This is something I waited way too long to try. I never really had a big problem with frets buzzing, but having all of your frets perfectly level and polished is a wonderful thing.

There are numerous ways to approach this task, and please bear in mind that this way works perfectly with an instrument with a flat fretboard, whereas the technique would be a little different with a radiused neck.…

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Added by Richey Kay on October 11, 2015 at 5:23am — 3 Comments

My experiments with a multi-scale fretboard (fanned frets)

I've been meaning to have a go at this for a while. I have seen it done a couple of times before. As always, I don't consider this to be entirely my own work or research, but rather a collaborative effort with others in the community. Let me share with you how I did it:…

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Added by Richey Kay on April 17, 2015 at 3:30pm — 5 Comments

4 tips to make a CBG play and sound better

Hi folks,

I thought I'd share a few of my tricks and techniques which I employ on my builds to make them sound and play better. Obviously to some of the more experienced builders out there these may seem obvious, but that aside these are all things I wish I knew when I began making these.

1. The nut…

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Added by Richey Kay on December 18, 2014 at 6:30am — 48 Comments

How I make my necks - part 3

Part 1

Part 2

So up until this point, we have the basic shape of the neck, and the fretboard is as good as done. This would be a good time to level, crown and polish the frets, if you wish. I wrote a 'how to' on that…

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Added by Richey Kay on July 17, 2014 at 2:00am — 20 Comments

How I make my necks - part 2

Part 1

OK - so we're ready to start shaping the headstock. The first job is to mask off the wood, then draw the design. I've also measured and marked out where I want the tuners to be.…

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Added by Richey Kay on July 17, 2014 at 1:30am — 14 Comments

How I make my necks - part 1

I don't claim to have invented this design, but here's how I make a robust neck through with a heel, leaving plenty of space under the lid for pickups/bracing etc. There are plenty of ways to go about this, and no right or wrong way. However this design helped me overcome a number of obstacles in my early builds. I will skip over quite a few basic aspects of CBG building so it might be an idea to have a grasp of scale lengths etc.…

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Added by Richey Kay on July 17, 2014 at 1:30am — 24 Comments

How I make my banjo style bridges

Lots of people seem to like the bridges I make for my builds, and I've often said they're quite simple to make. It's not really my design - it's similar to a banjo…

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Added by Richey Kay on June 22, 2014 at 4:00am — 27 Comments

Guitar #10 rebuilt

This was my 10th guitar, and my first serious attempt at a 4 stringer:

I was never really happy with it: the box I had made (out of 6mm ply and 3mm sapele for the soundboard) was big and a bit unwieldy, I had also originally intended to have only 9 holes on either…

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Added by Richey Kay on February 16, 2014 at 5:58am — No Comments

My continued adventures in pickup building

If you haven't read the last instalment:

http://www.cigarboxnation.com/profiles/blogs/my-first-2-weeks-of-pickup-building

...so, the problem I was left with was that I hadn't grounded the strings and both my tailpiece and bridge…

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Added by Richey Kay on January 12, 2014 at 3:30pm — 12 Comments

My first 2 weeks of pickup building

I decided before Christmas I wanted to have a go at making my own magnetic pickups, and put it on my to-do list for the new year. I studied this guide http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-A-Guitar-Pickup/ extensively and ended up taking inspiration from a few other sources to come up with a design, here is the process:…

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Added by Richey Kay on January 9, 2014 at 2:30am — 5 Comments

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