Almost There--Little Things

Now that the bridge is securely glued in place, the next few steps are little pre-set up tasks such as drilling out the bridge pin holes, etc.

First, using the same brad-point bit I used to bore the holes in the bridge, I extended those holes through the soundboard and bridge plate without inadvertently widening the bridge pin hole:

Super-stealthy-wife-taken-inside-guitar-camera shot:

Isn't it amazing to think that that's what we all look like on the inside?

Oh yeah, by this point I think the guitar case is a pretty great way to hold the guitar and work...

Now that the holes are through, I have to use a reamer to widen them a bit to the correct taper to match the bridge pins. Many pins (Martin style) are a 5-degree taper (I think, I could have this backwards) and the lutherie shop will sell you a special 5-degree reamer for something ridiculous like $60. Grizzly Tools makes a special reamer designed just for bridge pins for $15, but it uses a 3-degree taper. Plan ahead and buy 3-degree tapered bridge pins (same cost, you can get them from Maury's Music) and save some money.

Awesome reaming action shot:

Here's why they need to be reamed--see the untapered hole on the left and how the pin doesn't sit in quite as far?

Other fun finishing touches---pick guard. I debated this right up until the day I chose something and did it. I originally thought I'd like to not use a pick guard, since I'll mostly be finger styling this guitar. Then I thought I should have one anyway because strumming with a pick WILL scuff the finish, so I thought I might do clear one--you really can hardly tell they're there. The only caveat with applying a clear pick guard is the problematic occurrence of bubbles and / or fingerprints. I was certain I did not want a black one.

Then I spent some time going, "what does this guitar need?" Which also encompassed, "I wonder what I could do to hide that little blemish in the soundboard near the rosette that I had forgotten about but am now staring at..."

Turns out with a visualization help from some $0.99 black poster board (wife's idea-many thanks!) and a few pick guard concepts later, I decided that my guitar really needed a custom black pick guard to help tie it all together. Here are some paper ideas:

After choosing one, I was able to transfer it as a template to a traditional tear-drop shaped self-adhesive pick guard I had just bought from Guitar Center and cut out my custom new one. The tear-drop one was so big on my OM guitar that it hung off the sides. After some careful scissor maneuvering and some careful edge sanding (I went up through 1200 grit) to tweak the contour, I'm thrilled with the way it turned out: