Ohio University – 2018
Teacher: Tom Fiocchi
Labor Hours: 26
Starting with a research image, I built up and then carved down a green foam block using a series of saws, foam rasps and sandpaper. Using this as a positive mold I layered fine fiberglass fabric with epoxy resin before cutting out the original. The faceplate I cut out of 1/4″ luaun and then cut in the detail for the sound hole. I cut the neck plate out of laid up poplar and then shaped it using a 4 1/2″ grinder and a random orbital sander. The second piece was laid up poplar capped on both sides with walnut I cut thin with the bandsaw. The detailing I cut on the band saw. The tapered holes for the pegs I drilled with a series of increasingly sized bits, being very careful to step up only to the point where I needed to without making them so big the pegs would slip. I then cut the notch in the neck with a flush cutting hand saw and managed to get two very short but very wide dowels and lots of wood glue to connect the two. Clamping them together was a challenge. I stapled the faceplate to the neck and then used fiberglass and resin to connect the body to the faceplate and neck.
Painting the piece was intimidating, as I haven’t done much wood graining in the past. I base coated the body and then did a two tone wet brush before doing a series of glazes and clear coats. I did the face plate the same way, just with different colors and with a more subtle texture to match the poplar. I created a pattern for the octopus detail and annotated light and dark, then cut it into pieces and used contact paper laminate to fake the two-tone inlay as well as the detail strips on the body.