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Well it is time to get things going. Mattia did a nice job of describing what we are doing in this topic. So I quote.

Here's the idea: one thread, several builders, all acoustics, all the time. An open, non-competitive space to showcase some amateur (and not-so-amateur) builders at work. No deadlines, no pressure, no competition, just a bunch of guys (and girls, in theory...but, yeah, probably guys) building acoustic instruments for your pleasure, following their own styles.

There would only be a couple of 'rules' here:

1) have fun building: it's not a competition, no deadlines

2) Take pictures, more is better

3) Don't start posting shots until you start building; this isn't a 'what do you think of this design' thread, this is a build thread. A shot of your plans immediately prior to kicking off is fine.

As people get going and start placing pictures on photo pages or gallerys. We will add links to them in this post. That way you will be able to review without having to flip through too many pages to find pictures.

Picture pages and Gallerys:

MATT's Build

Hitone's Build

Rich's Build

Peter's(SwedishLuthier)

GoodWoods Blog

Jparm

Let the games begin. :D

Peace,Rich

Edited by fryovanni
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I guess I'll start off with the first build progress, Violin #2.

Will be constructed from European Maple & Spruce. I start off with the Cedar blocks. They are cut 1mm longer than needed, and lightly glued to the mold:

http://files.photojerk.com/mmaatt/violin2/v001.jpg

After the glue has dried I use a sanding board to completely level everything off, and add a 2mm taper toward the neck, for a finished thickness of 32mm and 30mm, respectively. Once that is done I shape the blocks to accept the ribs:

http://files.photojerk.com/mmaatt/violin2/v002.jpg

After selecting bookmatched rib material I trim it all to a rough height of 33mm, then cut the individual ribs to rough lenght:

http://files.photojerk.com/mmaatt/violin2/v003.jpg

The ribs are then steam bent on an aluminum bending iron, beginning with the waist area. Once they are bent I glue then in:

http://files.photojerk.com/mmaatt/violin2/v004.jpg

After the waist ribs are dry I do the same with upper and lower bouts:

http://files.photojerk.com/mmaatt/violin2/v005.jpg

After a preliminary trimming of the excess rib height, I glue in Cedar linings, which are also steam bent, on the front and back:

http://files.photojerk.com/mmaatt/violin2/v007.jpg

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I will jump in on this. I'm building my first acoustic guitar.

What I've done to date:

  • I've cut the rosette into a sitka spruce top.
  • Added the bracing to the top
  • Strated building a side bender
  • And started the neck

I'll get those pics up shortly. I am also making the truss rod. Which is done in a pretty cool way. I usually build the tradtional truss rod and route a curve in the neck. This one will be more like hotrod trussrod in that I bend the rod in half and add brass cover that will create the compression. I'll post picks of it as well when I get it done.

I will be keeping up with this project on my Blog

The Sitka Spruce top with the Mahogany back and sides.

http://www.hitoneguitars.com/uploaded_imag...1677-724147.jpg

The back bracing. Still need some work.

http://www.hitoneguitars.com/uploaded_imag...1673-793728.jpg

Make shirt go bars.

http://www.hitoneguitars.com/uploaded_imag...1662-718337.jpg

The sides. They are not to size yet.

http://www.hitoneguitars.com/uploaded_imag...1674-785889.jpg

Rob

HiTone

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Rob: looking good! The bracing looks a bit on the heavy side: how wide are those finger braces and tone bars? I tend to go 5/16" wide (or so...8mm) on the X, 1/2" on the upper transverse (12mm), and 1/4" (6mm) on everything else on larger instruments.

A word of warning at this point: unless you've got tightly controlled humidity, that top may move in ways you don't like. I try to get braces on, carved, and glued to the rim within 2-4 days, or at least weight/clamp them in place (usually in the dish, with the sides in a heavy mold resting on top of them) until that point. Should be fine, but it's something to consider.

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Good work Rob!

Could you talk a little about the thicknesses that you are going to be using for the back, sides, and top. It would also be cool if you comment a little bit on your methods and process for carving your bracing, and how you tell when your bracing carved enough(or where you want them) for the soundboard.

Since you are working on a side bender(looking good by the way). Maybe a few details on what parts you are using and how you aquired them(as an example my waist press was purchased at Rockler(19.95). Details on your heat source would be nice to know. Will you be using Lamps(wattage?) and or heat blankets etc...

What tools did you use to carve out the soundboard for the rosette. Any hints or tips on what works well or not so well?

I think Mattia has asked about the bracing widths. It would be great if you could add some comments on what you look for in brace stock, and any tips from your experience so far.

Keep it up!

Peace,Rich

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, I have 2 underway.

I've built a fretless bass before, but these are my first forrays into acoustic guitars

First up is a Cedar/Rosewood Jumbo made at an evening class with Avalon Luthier Sam Irwin

Ive gone the "Plain Jane" route with very simple two line rosette

[http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e328/gowanedwards/P3090011.jpg

[http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e328/gowanedwards/P2250010.jpg

the other is a total stab in the dark. I asked in a few forums for people to talk me out of this, but they all said go for it.......

So.....

Acoustic Les Paul

The back hollowed from a magogany bench from a science room

The top hollowed from a slab of birch I paid £5 for.

Neck is Mahogany sycamore lam.........

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e328/gow...acktogether.jpg

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e328/gow...s/lpassemb2.jpg

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e328/gow...rds/lpbody1.jpg

Edited by Martinedwards
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Great to have you on board Martin. It would be great if you would give us a quick description of your jumbo. Maybe some things like; neck joint style,bracing style, Binding/Purfling and so forth. Just so we could get a feel for the overall project.

The LP looks like a unique project also. Maybe you could add some comments on it also.

Peace,Rich

P.S. If you have a central location(gallery) where you will be posting picks. I would be happy to add it to the links in the first post.

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  • 3 months later...

Well I am finally getting started with this next project. It looks like I am going to do 2 at the same time. The extra one will have my first attempt at a composite soundboard. I am going to try to keep all other aspects of the guitars identical (for the sake of reference). The design is something I put together, and is a prototype, so I hope there are not too many bugsin the plans.

For now I have posted a handful of pics. Everything at this point is new forms and molds, and mods to my bender (this one is a cut so I had to re-fit for it). Here is the link (also posted above)Acoustic Project

I will have to do a write up and actually tell you what I am up to, but for now feel free to look over the pics.

P.S. Test fired the bender on the cut side. Worked flawlessly ( These are Figured Claro Walnut boxes- So the sides are pretty easy to bend).

Peace,Rich

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Cool rich, I don't have much time left to put into the mini guitar so I should be joining up soon.

Only if I get the parts to you. :D

Sides are fine. I just was not confident the back had stopped moving (since it was so fresh). I don't want you to have to fight with this one. :D

Peace,Rich

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Ok, Non-cutaway side is settng in the bender. So I will try to give a little more detail abut what I plan to do, and what the pictures I have posted are of.

The bodys are going to be cutaway jumbo. The lower bout will be a little wide 16.5", waste is 9.5", and upper bouts are 11.8". The scale length will be 25.3". Back radius will be 16' and top 25'. Bracing on the non-composite will be a version of double X. I plan to also drill away a bit of the bracing as it worked good on the last one. The soundboard wood is going to be baked again worked well last time. The neck is going to be kinda experimental on this one(s). It will be a bolted neck. The neck itself will be raised above the soundboard and bolted to the neck block (soundboard actually is wedged between neck and block insted of the fretboard being attached to the soundboard.). I am using this configuration to modify the neck to soundboard angles, as well as to avoid the soundboard/fretboard coupling. The bridge shape is still being worked out. The bridge in the picture of my drawing is cool looking but will have efficiency issues if I don't change it up a bit. I am planning on using Red Abalone for the rosette. I am not sure if I am going to purf this one with shell as the last one was heavily purfed with Paua. If I do I will try to keep it subtle. Fretboard is going to depend on inlay design (which I am still thinking about). Well thats about what I have for now.

The pictures I have posted are of how I build up the mold, side bender forms, and the bender itself. The pics are basically in order. I start with a stack of boards (about 24x18). I glue up the boards that will be the mold itself. Then I attach the boards that will be used for the side bender forms with screws. I tack glue my template drawing to the top of the stack. Drill one hole at each end for bandsaw blade access, and then make a cut down the center at each end backto the holes. Then I carefully cut (one pass no relief cuts- both inner and outer wood will be used) to the template. After it is cut two of the inner sections become side bender forms. The remainder of the inner wood (glued wood) becomes the mold form blocks (lock the side in). The bender forms are screwed together (four screws two per side), and then split down the center. I tack glue the side form templates. These mark the locations for slots to accomodate 1/8" x 1/2" flat bar that is used for form bracing. I use bar stock because it seems to provide better heating and allows for more points of support in tight curves. After slots are cut I place the from in the bender frame lock it down and tap in the bar stock. I also make blocks that are shaped to the waist and cutoway. They need to be custom shaped for each set of forms. I will take pics of the actual set up of the "sandwich" and process on the second set I have to bend. I think that about catches me up to the pics I have posted.

Peace,Rich

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Only if I get the parts to you. :D

Well, I figured the EIR bridge I'll be milling this weekend(fingers crossed) would be good motivation once it's in your hands. :D . The old man's coming down from NC this weekend to give me a hand putting the shop together(literally). So I should be able to get crack'n on some jigs and what not before the end of july. That side bender of your looks to work great. What do you have supporting the sides? It looks like you just wrapped it in tin foil and tape. No sheet aluminum or SS? Also, how are your supports(the metal flatbar) suiting you?

peace,

russ

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OK, I have also started an acoustic build. Its going to be dreadnought shaped with mahogany back, neck and sides, Sitca top and Ebony fretboard. I’m adding ebony bindings and some more things not decided yet. Neck is going to be attached with a system that is a cross between how Taylor does it and a classical with the heal block extending over the back some to add extra stability.

Mould and bender done, sides and bindings bent, kerfed lining attached and sides sanded to accept my arced (domed) top and back. I’m going to try to get some pictures up ASAP, but I would like to get my website up first, and then I have a gig with the band in a few days and then… Someone said that life is that thing that gets in the way when you are making plans to build guitars.

Anyway, I have a question to Rich or anyone else that might be able to help:

this one is a cut so I had to re-fit for it

and

P.S. Test fired the bender on the cut side. Worked

I’m also doing a cutaway but I got some problems with the cutaway part. The form was smooth and the cutaway press part likewise. But when I used the cutaway press it mowed sideways, jamming the movement up and causing me to constantly having to push thing to the right place during the pressing. OK, that wasn’t very easy to describe, but I hoe that you get the pictures. Have anyone else had that problem? If so how did you solve this?

Posted this question at the MIMF forum and got the smartass answer to bend the cutaway on a hot pipe…

I also got some cracking in the sides and bindings. Nothing to bad. I was able to glue it up using CA, but anyway. Did I use too little heat (three 150W light bulbs) or do you have any ideas for the next time?

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Honestly, I've seen two solutions to bending cutaways mentioned over and over:

1) Bend on a pipe

2) Bend on a form WITH A HEAT BLANKET.

Everything I've read leads me to believe the lightbulbs ain't gonna do the trick.

Mattia,

I don't only use heat lamps. I will do a step by step on the whole process. However, I assure you I absolutely ran the cutaway side a couple days ago- one shot- no touch up w/pipe- no cracking- bend held it's shape great. This is a quick description of what I do (it has served me just fine). I snapped the first side I ever bent, and have never lost one since.

1. I take two strips of sheet metal- about 6"x36".

2. I figure out the correct orientation for the side/sides.

3. I check the distance from the center of the waste to the end of the upper half. then mark this on the up and outside of the sheet metal.

4. I spritz water on each face of the side/sides. (how much depends on the wood).

5. I run a strap of tape around each end of the sides to prevent them from mis-aligning.

6. I assemble the two strips of sheet metal and rap tape at each end and in a couple places along the sheet metal sandwich.

7. I run a piece of tape around the outer egde of the sandwich to seal all the sides ( seal is not super critical, just enough to help lock in most of the steam)

8. I place the sandwich in the bender and align the center of waist mark I placed earlier (monitoring until the waste is locked).

9. I crank up the heat lamps and let the sandwich warm up.

10. As it warms up I slowly drop the waist, checking the alignment of my mark. At this point the sandwich will not be at full temp, but the waist can be locked as it will continue to heat throughout the rest of the process.

11. Now this is where Mattia is correct and heat lamps alone don't cut it. The upper bout or cutoway(if that is what I am doing) needs to be brought up to temp before you bring it into place. My source is a simple heat gun that I use to warm up the area I am working. I have a small temp sensor (does not require actula contact- IR or something like that) that allows me to mointor the temp on the outer surface. I have compaired the inner temp vs. outer temp and it is usually 25-50 degrees f. hotter on the inside surface than the outer. I find most wood softens between 225-250 deg.f. on the outer surface.

12. I work the spung blocks or cutoway arm down around the bends slowely. Making sure to keep the area being bent warm and snug against the form.

13. Same process for the rear bout, it is a much less delicate bend.

14. After everything has been bent and locked down. I tent the machine at the ends and place two layers of tin foil over the rear bout. I let the rear bout warm up, and go to the upper bout area with the heat gun. I will slit the tape that seals the sheet metal in a couple of locations (I want to see steam, to confirm the heat is doing its thang). I will use my thermometer to monitor the temp. Ideal temp (outer around 250 deg.f). I bring the temp up and move to the rear bout (no need to maintain this heat for very long- just make sure it gets there). At the rear bout I remove the foil (this will have raised the outer temp about 50 degrees) and use the heat gun to achive the target temp. Again monitor for steam it will be present if the process is working correctly.

15. Shut the lamps off, Remove any tenting, and leave it alone for at least 24 hrs.

After I pull the sides out of the bender they go to the mold and are clamped in for a min. of a couple days.

This is just the way I do this. There are other ways to go about it, and that is kinda the idea behind this thread. Everyone can show there methods. Heat blankets are a very good method, but not the method I choose. I can say with absolute confidence my method works (otherwise I would not be presenting it). I am not going to say it is the best for everyone, it is just an option.

Peace,Rich

P.S. I will shoot up pics showing this. (pics are much easier to follow)

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OK, I have also started an acoustic build. Its going to be dreadnought shaped with mahogany back, neck and sides, Sitca top and Ebony fretboard. I’m adding ebony bindings and some more things not decided yet. Neck is going to be attached with a system that is a cross between how Taylor does it and a classical with the heal block extending over the back some to add extra stability.

Mould and bender done, sides and bindings bent, kerfed lining attached and sides sanded to accept my arced (domed) top and back. I’m going to try to get some pictures up ASAP, but I would like to get my website up first, and then I have a gig with the band in a few days and then… Someone said that life is that thing that gets in the way when you are making plans to build guitars.

Anyway, I have a question to Rich or anyone else that might be able to help:

this one is a cut so I had to re-fit for it

and

P.S. Test fired the bender on the cut side. Worked

I’m also doing a cutaway but I got some problems with the cutaway part. The form was smooth and the cutaway press part likewise. But when I used the cutaway press it mowed sideways, jamming the movement up and causing me to constantly having to push thing to the right place during the pressing. OK, that wasn’t very easy to describe, but I hoe that you get the pictures. Have anyone else had that problem? If so how did you solve this?

Posted this question at the MIMF forum and got the smartass answer to bend the cutaway on a hot pipe…

I also got some cracking in the sides and bindings. Nothing to bad. I was able to glue it up using CA, but anyway. Did I use too little heat (three 150W light bulbs) or do you have any ideas for the next time?

I skipped right over your post. :D Sorry.

Very cool that you are adding another build to the topic. Let me know when you have pics posted and I will add the link to the first post.

As Mattia mentioned three heat lamps just can't produce enough for a cut. It is possible with a Dred or non cut. You have to insulate the bender and try to contain the heat. It takes a good 45 minutes or longer to get enough heat with bulbs only (not much fun). The one thing I would really recommend is a IR thermometer. Accuracy is not a huge issue (+/- 5deg.f.) will make little difference. You can actually pick one up for about $20 from a pet store that sells reptiles (I picked mine up at a pet show I was at). Very handy. The cracking is most likely the product of too little heat (thickness may also be making it harder- I don't know what thickness you are using though). My method of using a heat gun seems to be an adequit source of heat to get the temp. up quickly and efficiently. Honestly all this would be controlled more evenly and efficiently with heat blankets ( I don't think that is something that could be disputed ). I can't wait for Mattia to start up his next guitar. He is really sharp on tools an jigs.

Oh... Twisting jambing press block. Be sure you have the press screw centered on the block. Be sure your bender forms are level with regards to each other. Be sure the wood is in the bender straight. When you bring the block down. Make contact with the tip of the cutoway. Slowely slide it down along the curve of the cut (keep the block snug against the forms- tighten a little bit as you slide). Be sure that you can lock your press arm at an angle (like 30 deg.), and that this is the angle the block was shaped at for it's final position. You will have the ability to make little adjustments to the block as you tighten it to it's final seat. On my bender I actually have the blocks final position between the sides of the bending tower. My block can only shift about 1/16" at the most. The other really important thing I have found is to be sure you have enough cross supports for a tight curve and that the supports do not prevent the heat from getting to the wood. It would be handy to see a pic of your bender.

Peace,Rich

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The cracking is most likely the product of too little heat (thickness may also be making it harder- I don't know what thickness you are using though). My method of using a heat gun seems to be an adequit source of heat to get the temp. up quickly and efficiently. Honestly all this would be controlled more evenly and efficiently with heat blankets

I suspected that it was too little heat. Even though I started with the sandwich in the bender, heating things up, doing the waist and then starting with the lower bout so that the cutaway part should get additional time in the heat. I had thinned out the cutaway part considerable (don’t remember right now, but 15-20%). Heat gun might be something to test. Don’t want to spend the cash on heat blankets if I’m not going to do this on a regular basis.

Oh... Twisting jambing press block. Be sure you have the press screw centered on the block.

Check

Be sure your bender forms are level with regards to each other.

Check

Be sure the wood is in the bender straight.

Check

When you bring the block down. Make contact with the tip of the cutoway. Slowely slide it down along the curve of the cut (keep the block snug against the forms- tighten a little bit as you slide).

Check

Be sure that you can lock your press arm at an angle (like 30 deg.), and that this is the angle the block was shaped at for it's final position.

This is something that I don’t have in my bender. Maybe I have to add that. What I have in my bender that you do not have is alignment/guiding slots in the bender parts similar to the ones in the “tower”. It might be so that I have to rethink that and make a cutaway press without those .

You will have the ability to make little adjustments to the block as you tighten it to it's final seat. On my bender I actually have the blocks final position between the sides of the bending tower. My block can only shift about 1/16" at the most. The other really important thing I have found is to be sure you have enough cross supports for a tight curve and that the supports do not prevent the heat from getting to the wood. It would be handy to see a pic of your bender.

Peace,Rich

I’ll try to post a pic about that too. Thanks for your help and the mini-tutorial on the use of bending machines

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"This is something that I don’t have in my bender. Maybe I have to add that. What I have in my bender that you do not have is alignment/guiding slots in the bender parts similar to the ones in the “tower”. It might be so that I have to rethink that and make a cutaway press without those .

"

Can you shoot a pic of your alignment guides. I am picturing a good thing (something that would be an improvement over my bender). I wouldn't take them away if this is the case.

"I’ll try to post a pic about that too. Thanks for your help and the mini-tutorial on the use of bending machines

"

I am hoping we will get more guys to add a similar description of how they go about using their benders(yourself included please). I do not want my build to be percieved as "the rigt way" but as "that guys method". There are many ways to make these things and I hope to get ideas from you guys as much as you get from me.

Peace,Rich

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Rich, hope that the string length experiments didn’t make you loos interest in this :D

Finally got some pictures up. I would be very happy if someone could help me find out whats wrong

The bender

http://peternaglitschluthier.com/tools/DSCF0322.JPG

the cutaway attachment

http://peternaglitschluthier.com/tools/DSCF0323.JPG

close-up 1, showing the guides, not very pretty

http://peternaglitschluthier.com/tools/DSCF0324.JPG

close-up 2 again showing the guides

http://peternaglitschluthier.com/tools/DSCF0325.JPG

If the guides look a little bended it is because I tried to give them a little smother edge against the parts holding the screw (what in heavens name is that called…) when I first got the problem with the cutaway attachment jamming. I think that some of you are going to say that the cutaway shoe is way to complicated and I am implied to agree. I just thought that it was a good Idea to use the parts cut away from the body form. The idea was that the shoe should follow the original line perfect. In retrospectative I should have used a simpler shoe. I still suspect that part to be the problem.

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Rich, hope that the string length experiments didn’t make you loos interest in this :D

Finally got some pictures up. I would be very happy if someone could help me find out whats wrong

The bender

http://peternaglitschluthier.com/tools/DSCF0322.JPG

the cutaway attachment

http://peternaglitschluthier.com/tools/DSCF0323.JPG

close-up 1, showing the guides, not very pretty

http://peternaglitschluthier.com/tools/DSCF0324.JPG

close-up 2 again showing the guides

http://peternaglitschluthier.com/tools/DSCF0325.JPG

If the guides look a little bended it is because I tried to give them a little smother edge against the parts holding the screw (what in heavens name is that called…) when I first got the problem with the cutaway attachment jamming. I think that some of you are going to say that the cutaway shoe is way to complicated and I am implied to agree. I just thought that it was a good Idea to use the parts cut away from the body form. The idea was that the shoe should follow the original line perfect. In retrospectative I should have used a simpler shoe. I still suspect that part to be the problem.

Oh I am not forgetting this. I have just been tied up most of this weekend.

It does look pretty complicated. Does it work smoothly (that is the main thing). What I can't quite make out is. How large is the shoe that presses against the metal and wood? I kinda looks like a bar of aluminum. That would be a bit iffy. I honestly think you should eliminate the guides if they make it tuff to work the machine. The press does not need to produce a lot of pressure (it really shouldn't). It might be handy to add a couple more cross braces around the peak of the cut (good support is huge). Well I have to run.

Peace,Rich

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I knew I should have explained those pictures better…

The steel slats are in place in the pictures to eliminate confusion (that was the idea, but it might have confused people even more). It is hard to see in the pictures, but I used the part that I sawed away from the form in the cutaway area as the shoe. The pictures showing the guides are shot from were the cutaway screw is anchored, locking into the shoe itself. It is constructed like the forms with aluminium bars keeping the two plywood pieces together. That is probably one of the aluminium bars you think is the complete shoe. The shoe moves very easy without the resistance of wood and steel slats.

If I do it again I probably will make it much simpler and testing it thoroughly before using it again.

And of cause try the heat gun trick. I totally agree that too little heat is the reason for the cracks I got.

Thanks for your advices. I will throw something together to show the progress of my acoustic build in a day or two.

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I knew I should have explained those pictures better…

The steel slats are in place in the pictures to eliminate confusion (that was the idea, but it might have confused people even more). It is hard to see in the pictures, but I used the part that I sawed away from the form in the cutaway area as the shoe. The pictures showing the guides are shot from were the cutaway screw is anchored, locking into the shoe itself. It is constructed like the forms with aluminium bars keeping the two plywood pieces together. That is probably one of the aluminium bars you think is the complete shoe. The shoe moves very easy without the resistance of wood and steel slats.

If I do it again I probably will make it much simpler and testing it thoroughly before using it again.

And of cause try the heat gun trick. I totally agree that too little heat is the reason for the cracks I got.

Thanks for your advices. I will throw something together to show the progress of my acoustic build in a day or two.

Ok, That does clear things up. I usually just do a dry run with a piece of the sheet metal to make sure everything will flow smoothly. I try to make sure parts won't get in my way or be problematic. I also watch to make sure I will have good clear access the the sheet metal so I will be able to "bring the heat". It looks like you have a solid machine there. I have little things I change up when I re-fit mine also (working out the little bugs). What thickness and type of wood are you going to bend on the next attempt?

Peace,Rich

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Rich, I think that I have found the problem.

The bender worked smooth and nice when I dry-tested it. BUT I used steel anchor nuts in the main part of the bender and machine bolts through the cutaway press for extra stability and durability (being able to get the cutaway press on and off without chewing up wood every time). When disassembling the machine after the photo shoot I noticed that one of the anchor nuts had come loose. This let the cutaway press move sideways a tiny bit. It was probably the force from trying to bend the wood without sufficient heat that got the plywood surrounding the anchor nut to collapse.

How do you anchor your cutaway press?

The wood I used this time was .100” thick mahogany thinned down to something like .085-.080 in the cutaway area. I have the LMII side bending video and they recommended that thickness. One of my reasons to use mahogany was that I’ve heard that mahogany was one of the easiest woods to bend.

Next Project???? I’m nowhere near halfway through this one!!! :D Next time I might bend maple sides for an archtop. I have wanted to do an archtop a long time now.

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Yup, What Mattia said. Mahogany can vary quite a bit. As far as thickness. .1" for softer woods is not out of the question. I believe that is thicker than I have ever used though (not to say right or wrong :D ). I like to do a little flex test as I thin the wood and so I really thin based on feel, and then I check the thickness after the fact. Figured woods can be a bit touchy. So you would want to take extra care with them. If you go thicker remember you need to give it a bit more time to heat up evenly. I really believe lack of heat is the source of most bending problems. Keeping the bend stable, square and even would be #2 (can create wobbly results, and added stress). I guess #3 is probably watching the LMI video B):D , just kidding :D .

I just attached my cutoway attachment with a couple screws and washers. Like I said before. I don't use high torque (it should not be needed). I am able to adjust my cut attachment because it has some flexability. I use that to my advantage. When I am bringing it to it's final seat. I am very mindful of how evenly it is seating (a must). With everything in place. That final cook cycle is very important. That is what makes the difference between a lot of hot pipe touch up and a ready to go bend.

I want to try out Setch's routing method on an archtop. I have a couple billets set aside for an archtop. I just have to find the time.

Peace,Rich

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