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Friday, July 12, 2013

Fender Acoustic Process Part 1

April (Admin of The Crafty Lads and Lassies Facebook group) asked me to post the process of creating a carving. I am posting my progress on the Fender acoustic that I purchased for $50 to practice on.
Fender acoustic: all dinged up.
I tape a piece of brown mailing paper to the desk and trace the guitar. Making sure to add elements like the sound hole, pick guard, bridge and saddle.
Tracing of Fender acoustic. 
I can use the tracing to place pattern pieces on, rearrange them, or even draw on it.

I then trace the outline of the face of the guitar on a clear vinyl document holder and use it to slide over the pattern to determine the best placement of my chosen repeating pattern.

I printed out 1 copy of my pattern and then a mirror image copy of the pattern, taped them together and with the clear template I can see where to cut the pattern for the carving. I will not be using the pattern verbatim, but specific elements of the pattern.
For this project, my main tool is the SCM 400xs engraver.
 I lightly "scratch" or score the pattern through the finish on the guitar face (body) and begin carefully removing the background off. I'm not really carving yet, just taking off the finish.

SCM 400xs

I will use the Dremel and various files on a solid body guitar and various other carving projects, but I would not touch an acoustic with the Dremel. I have neck and shoulder problems and the Dremel likes to jump around at times.

 When working on a repeating pattern, (I'm right-handed) I will work the element on the left side first and then using it as a guide-- work the one on the right side of the project. In that way, I am more likely to match them up better than working several elements at once or finishing a section. This helps me not to forget which bit I am using or what stroke or technique I used. This helps keep the work consistent. Many things can influence how consistent the carving is... like energy level, stoping and starting, position one is sitting, etc.
Connecting the elements using the background

Now the carving begins...
Close-up of a carved flower.

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