No idea what those sweets are but I can see where you're coming from, Nick.
I could most definitely do without those "mistakes" but as long as learn from it it's all good.
Chris, the tone block is part of all Kermit builds so far. The original Kermit (6 string multi scale) has a spalted maple top and individual Hipshot Solo bridges. When I built it I didn't have a drill press. It was impossible for me to hand-drill the holes in the correct spot since the spalted maple is very hard ins some spots, and very soft and brittle in others so the bit would just wander wherever. On top of that (pun intended) the pressure of tightening the screws compressed the spalted maple.
Using a tone block with a consistently hard timber made this a lot easier. I do have a drill press now but I think it's a nice differentiating feature (and it gives me multiple opportunities to screw things up as well
) for the Kermits which have the Hipshot Solo bridges. Nothing to do with the neck-through (this is my first one by the way).
Does it make a difference tonally? Well, two things: I haven't done a direct comparison with different timber material, and I'm not someone who thinks timber is making a big difference in sound (warning: can of worms!!!). Here's one to ponder: one of my favourite builders, Dingwall, use an aluminium block instead of a timber block, even in their dual-density basses (hard timber like maple on the bass side to make it tighter and more defined, soft timber like mahogany or similar on the treble side to mellow the tone a little). You tell me: how does that work when the strings sit on metal bridges that are bolted onto an aluminium block that is bolted to the timber? Anyway ... .
So, back to the build story. Just when I thought I was done with the mishaps I discovered that what I thought was a small shallow tear-out on the upper horn was a lot deeper than I thought. A lot of material needed to be removed which means that the shape is somewhat different to the other Kermits.
I also discovered what look like small cracks right at the tip of the upper horn:
I'll be clamping this like crazy when I put the strap lock thing in (this one will be the flush-mounted one so the actual screw won't "bite" about halfway through the length of those cracks). Will be interesting to see what happens.
And here's my new approach to drilling the jack hole:
3 mm guide hole drill, 1/4" guide hole drill, 25 mm outer diameter and 22 inner diameter drill bit:
A test drill using only the 3 mm guide hole was not very successful - the 25 mm bit just used that thread at the end to fix itself to the timber. A quick measurement indicated that the diameter of that thread was just over 6 mm so I made the guide hole bigger. Then the whole thing worked like a treat. Very stable thanks to having 3 cutting surfaces rather than the 2 you find on a spade.
I very carefully drilled the 25 mm hole (partial) and then broke through with the 22 mm bit. End result:
Super-clean, beautifully centred. Very happy. I was careful not to apply too much forward pressure but always felt like there was plenty of control. So all good.
Other than that sanding sanding sanding. Plenty of file marks but they're all gone, 120 grit finished, and a quick once-over with 180. The fretboard was done with 180, 240 and 320 and is basically done. Need to roll the edges properly. Applied a drop of superglue to the end of the fretslots which were filled with sanding dust - some look pretty good already, others obviously shrank down a little and I'll have to repeat the treatment - beats applying stuff after fretting.
Anyway, off to Adelaide tomorrow for a couple of days to check out the impressionist exhibition. Should be fun, zoom-zoom