Scott Sullivan's "Katrina" Guitar #2

Day 3

9 am: Woke up this morning (da-da-da....wait, I did that yesterday...never mind....).  I drank my coffee first today.  Here's the guitar with the bridge glued on (and yes, it needs to be cleaned up).  I'm going to put the neck on today and I should have a resonant, playable, instrument by this afternoon.  Here's the body, the neck, the neck screw, the glue, some sanding sticks...all the players are gathered here on my humble workbench ready to get to work.
First thing I need to know is how the neck is sitting on the body.  On the D1, the soaking twisted stuff around enough that the neck wasn't in line with the bridge anymore.  Scott managed to lose the exquisitely crafted bone nut that I painstakingly carved from genuine bovine bone.  I mean, c'mon, man!, I'm gonna have to make another nut??   LOL... Fortunately, I have a drawer full of old Martin nuts and I called one of them out for temporary duty. 

You can see some rust on the tuners.  I guess that happens when your guitar floats around in radioactive sewage water for a couple of days. 

I loaded the guitar up in my neck reset jig and put some tension on the strings. 

Amazingly, my bench stayed clean and neat overnight.

12th fret alignment looks really good.  Nice and even spacing.  Getting the neck on straight E to E is one thing I won't have to worry about.  But, wait!.....
...with the tension of two E's, there is NO action.  Hmmm...there should be about .060" of clearance with two E's.  Something's going on here.  I checked neck relief and NO neck relief.  Maybe the neck's backbowed from the lack of tension, over-humidification, and so on.  I'll loosen the truss rod nut all the way and put a full set of strings on at full tension and see what we've got.
With that done, I've got about .060" of action and a sliver of neck relief.  Not enough, considering the guitar already has a pretty tall saddle.  If the action doesn't come up, I'll have to reverse set the neck, probably with some thin shims under the dovetail.  But, before I do that, I think I'll just leave the guitar in the jig under full tension for awhile and see what happens.  Hopefully, the action and neck relief will increase.  If I can get .080" of action, I'm going to fly with it and count on the action increasing on its own as the guitar sits under tension over the next few weeks. 

10:30 am- I'll let it sit until after lunch and see what it's doing.

11:45- the action had indeed increased to about .078", so I decided to run with it and glue it back together.   The guitar's all clamped up here.  The cam clamp is just putting pressure on the f/board to make sure it stays down on the neck while the C-clamp is gluing the f/b extension down.  These guitars use a single screw in the mortise/tenon joint (I can't remember which is the mortise and which is the tenon so I have cleverly just named the whole joint...) which does indeed help hold the heel in.  It's an easy to work with joint.  Note that I've the the E's strung up- that way I can quickly check neck alignment before I really put the clamps down.
2 pm.  The LMII glue is pretty fast acting and like I said above, the screw is what really holds this thing together, so by 2 pm, I'm able to release the clamps and see what I've got.  It's looking like a guitar again! 
I'm going to over-humidify the guitar for the next several days to see if the top pops up and/or the cracks close up a bit.  The last thing I want to do is fill the cracks with wood and then send the guitar to Scott in MS where the humidity is 80%.  If I do, and the guitar later swells up, the filler strips will likely act as wedges and split the top.  Patience is a virtue here, and I'm going to leave the guitar alone for a few days to let it humidify and let the neck pull up.  I have the truss rod nut totally loose and the strings are tuned 1 step below standard (when over-humidifying I just want some tension on the top, not all of it).

And so, this is the last update we'll see for a few days!

Here's Scott's case.  Anyone got an old/extra 00 case laying around they'd like to donate?  Contact me, if you do.

And it IS a 00-15, not a 000-15, like I was calling it. 

Hey, there's my Backpacker peeking out over the top of the case!


Katrina Wrap-up

Katrina Guitar #1