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Everything posted by Andyjr1515

  1. And a final tip before I forget: Ref the tail block - are you planning to fit a pickup system? If so, then check that it isn't too thick for the standard acoustic barrel jacks (that double as the rear strap pin) if you are planning to fit one of those. I'm referring to one of these: If it is too thick, then the alternative is simply forstner drilling a rebate to allow the barrel to sit deeper in the hole and thus enough threaded length being exposed to the button to fully screw on (which it needs to do to allow the jack to fully engage with the socket). Problem is (and don't ask me how I know - twice!) that once the top and back are on, it is a real problem if the barrel jack isn't long enough. A number of plans available assume that it will be acoustic only and are often needlessly 'generous' with the block dimensions.
  2. Well, still pacing up and down like the proverbial expectant father waiting for the remaining timber to arrive. So modest progress this week. Basically, thinned the back to 2mm and cut out the over-sized outline. But every step, as they say...
  3. Hi again. Ref the twist, don't underestimate how much rigidity the kerfed linings are going to give. As long as the sides are kept in the mould while the linings are glued in place, and left to fully cure before taking it out of the mould, then there should be very little flex when it eventually comes out of the mould. Another thing you can try if it bothers you, is water spray the slightly offset bend until it is pretty sodden and then clamp it back up in the mould until it is fully dry.
  4. Ah...that's OK. I misinterpreted the comment and thought you were planning to cut the braces themselves. Yes post-notching the strip is fine. I'll get back to you shortly on the twist. It's probably not a problem...
  5. Quick intervention here, @ADFinlayson It is the cross braces that will form and hold the radius of the back plate. To do that, they need to be full width and then your go bar rods will press the braces into the back plate into the radius dish and hold it in shape. The strip you show is then cut to fit in between the braces - again, glued in the radius dish and helping to hold the lengthwise element of the curve.
  6. Nowadays, I tend to do a light version of tru-oil 'slurry and buff' on fretboards. I find that they don't go dry as quickly as lemon oiled boards tend to. Danish oil applied the same way would probably do just as well.
  7. That all sounds pretty positive It's coming along very nicely
  8. The front block will be sufficient to hold it square as long as it's clamped square when the glue is drying. Personally, I go for a flat block and keep the heel joint flat with the neck. There is some awkward geometry if you have a curve there...
  9. Well, I can't match you for speed! This is all very exciting indeed. I aim for 3mm for a spruce top, leaving 0.1mm for the final finish sanding to end at 2.9mm. For the back and sides, I go down to 2mm, with finish sanding getting me down to 1.9mm Watching avidly
  10. That looks a very sound mould. I confess, I didn't even know G&W did them! 2.8mm for back and sides...hmmm...what got you to that number (sounds a bit on the thick side, especially for bending sides)?
  11. Excellent - looking forward to seeing this develop. You've made a good start!
  12. All dry, so this morning I got to add the neck and tail blocks: Although it will become much stiffer once the kerfed strips are put all the way round the edges top and bottom (these are the strips that the top and the back of the body will eventually glue onto), it's already holding its shape pretty well:
  13. Me too! You can do it either way, @ADFinlayson I do it this way because it takes controlled, sustained force while, as you say, keeping everything square. That's difficult when you are using just muscle power - so I am using body weight as the force and muscles as the control
  14. And also called Sweetgum. It's here: https://www.wood-database.com/sweetgum I was wrong about the insect, fungal stuff. It is indeed a species. Liquidambar styraciflua
  15. It's also called Satin Walnut. I'll check when I get a moment, @curtisa but it's probably an insect or fungal description rather than a species, a bit like spalted stuff.
  16. One of the reasons for the detailed threads is to remember what I did last time. Like thicknessing the sides from 4mm to 2mm. Clearly not the block plane. But was it my No5 Bailey plane? Or scrapers? Or my scraper plane? Surely I didn't sand it? Well - tried them all. This one (the No 5) should have been the best: No - I remembered when in desperation I picked it up and tried it anyway. Yup - the block plane that 'isn't suited to this kind of task'. Sorted it in about 30 minutes And so cut them out to the template above's shape and soaked them both in the bath for a decent time: Primary tool is the electric bending iron: And then, coming up the bench towards the camera, it's a water spray bottle, sturdy gloves, the mould and - a flash of inspiration - the bits of body-shaped ply offcuts from making the mould stacked together and held tight in a vice: Red Gum walnut is new to me, but generally walnut is quite good to bend. But - that waist is as tight a bend as any I've tried. I moved the bending iron round to the sharper radius and worked slowly and carefully, re-soaking the wood frequently. It is VERY easy for the wood fibres to split if you over do it or - worse - snap. And if it snaps, it's a whole new back and side set - they are matched so you can't just get a set of sides! Doing it by hand, I could get to within 15 degrees of the required bend but just couldn't get it further. Then had the inspiration with those body-template offcuts. Could I pretend this was a Fox bender without the heat? And it b****y well worked!!!! The near clamp was just to hold the sheet in the right place and the far clamp - that started around an inch above the mould, just gently and continuously brought it closer and closer until it was fully in the waist 'V'. No splits, no cracks, no need to buy a new back and side set! So this is all in and will hold its shape pretty well when fully dry, but I will keep it in the mould until the edge kerfed strip has been put on top and bottom and then it will completely hold its shape even out of the mould
  17. And so to the shape of the sides blank. Normal warning as with all my threads - I'm happy to describe what I do and why...but please never assume this is how or the best way it should be done I start off with a rectangular sheet of cartridge paper taped so that it follows the outer shape of one of the sides in the mould. The bottom edge represents where the top will be and the top edge where the bouzouki back will be: So eyeballed edge on, this is how it looks: In broad terms (there are foibles I'll cover in later posts), edge on like this, we will want the back to go from 105mm (plus the top and back at 5mm total will give a final tail end depth of 110mm) to 85mm at the heel (total heel depth ending at 90mm) in roughly a straight line. So what I do is mark the 105 at the back and 85 at the front, and pack up a straight edge to that angle: I then run a metal ruler at 90 degrees to and along the top of the beam and mark spots on the paper all the way from the tail to the heel: So I then end up with a series of dots all the way along the paper which I join up and then cut out with scissors. And, although this is not perfect, it is close enough to be able to use as the basis of fitting the back at the appropriate time: And stretched out, you can seen that this is a million miles away from a straight line between the two points: And - although it is very subtle, I can see the concave curve at the heel end, changing to a convex curve at just under halfway - which makes me think that my attempt is at least in the right ball-park So next job is thicknessing the sides to around 2mm and then cutting them to this shape - and then the scary bending can begin
  18. Thanks, folks This morning, I cut out the top, around 10mm oversize all round at this stage. I know it's small beginnings, but this - to me at least - is still a very pleasing start: So next jobs, while I'm sourcing the bracing woods, is preparing to bend the sides. But first, I have to cut them to shape (a LOT easier than trying to cut them once they have been bent - and don't ask me how I know!). Basically, the sides themselves will reduce from around 95mm deep at the heel to around 80mm at the neck. But - that's not a straight line. Because of the waist, the back side of the side piece does a double elongated s-curve - and where and how much that is, depends on the waist shape. Now, I'm sure a decent CAD package (or a cheap one with a decent operator) could sort it out in minutes. But I use CAD so infrequently, it would take me as long to work out how to do it than just cut a cartridge-paper template, put it into the mould and eyeball it (you look at the mould from the side and mark a straight line in dots from one end of the paper to the other and, when you stretch it out again and join up the dots, it will be - miraculously - the correct stretched out S you want. Pictures will make that easier to explain. I'll photograph it as I do it
  19. I agonised over that workbench. Never having had one or any sort in the past - you remember my workmate days - I was a bit in the dark (and in the cellar, literally!) about what features I should be considering. But I'm very pleased with what I eventually chose. And the dog hole clamps are the feature that - without any doubt - I use the most. There are so many things where I have no idea how I would do it without them! So it was worth all the agonising!
  20. Good progress. Nice colour which compliments that very pleasing shape.
  21. The inlay is done in the same way as normal with the Dremel precision router base to cut out the chamber, having pencilled round the inlay to give me the outline: Next was cutting out the soundhole itself. I used the Dremel radius jig and same centre holes and a straight edge guide as for the purflings, but this time with the router bit at full wood depth. It did feel a bit like the guy sitting on the thin side of the branch he was sawing off! But, luckily, all was well. Still got to tidy it all up but it's basically done ready for the dishing and braces to be applied: Meanwhile, I started on the body mould. My admiration for the prehistoric engineers who sorted out getting the uprights square and vertical on Stonehenge has made a great leap: Gluing time will tell whether any of that has passed on down through the gene pool:
  22. And the purfling is in. Next is the swift inlay and then I can cut out the soundhole, using the same Dremel radius jig so that the corners are concentric with the detailing.
  23. Well, they do say that we build instruments after our own image... And from which, I can only presume that @ScottR is very red, exceptionally shiny but very good looking - in a wooden sort of way
  24. Thanks Trouble with acoustics is that in the early stages a significant bit seems to be happening - but actually there is always so, so much still to do. That said, I'm please how it's going at the moment
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