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Resawing Soundboards


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I thought I would post pictures of how I make soundboards from split wood. You really need to use split billets to ensure you limit face runnout, but this means you will have to be able to saw the wood close as possible to the split surfaces. To control the wood I use a slider table that I built for my bandsaw that secures the wood at the ends and holds it so I can get my square surfaces.

So I use this method on wood that has no square edges, or if I need a very specific cut orientation. I also use my slider table to get a true edge for resawing if a board is a bit wacky.

The simple table I built to support and keep the wood straight. Is a board with a guide bar attached to the base(good snug fit in the miter slot), a pin I can tap into one end of the wood that can be locked in place, and a block of wood with a framing plate that has a couple holes drilled in it so I can use screws to suck the wood against the framing plate. I have placed 80 pound blocks of Maple on the table and it slides ok, but if your plan was to saw a lot of wood over say 60lbs. I would use a sheet of teflon on the bottom of the table(a bit of ivory soap rubbed on the table slicks thinks up pretty nice also).



I find the best angle to slice the wood on quarter, and aligned with the split. Then I secure it to the nailer end of the table.


Then I align the other end of the wood and secure it with the locking pin, and then I cut the face.


Then I flip it on the cut face, align with the split, and make the cut for the base.


After I make those cuts I check to be sure the cuts are straight and square.


Then I check both ends to find how thick the billet can be and still yeild usable sets. Set my fence and slice to size. The off cuts are usually good bracing stock.


Then I set the fence for sawing soundboards and slice away.


Sticker the sets and dry as usual(generally I keep a fan running to keep the air moving).


For Spruce like this that is a little wetter I like to use a blade with few TPI(The blade I am using on this is 1.3 TPI) which really seems to work nice.


Edited by Setch
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Rich, what a nice set-up. Between talking to you and Dan outside the guitar show and your posts, you're wetting my interest in building an acoustic.

It might be a while yet, my arm is improving and I *may* not have to have my shoulder replaced, but I now need both knees replaced. Don't get old!

Let me know when you get down this way. BTW, the lab puppy is still an absolute psycho. But too cute to stay pissed off at.


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Gw, I use several different saw blades depending on what I am cutting. Woodslicers(or Bladerunners) are best when absolute low loss cutting is a must(the total kerf is about .035" with extreamly smooth cut surfaces, 3-4TPI), but they will dull quickly and have little beam strength or tolerance for running dull or pitched up. If I am cutting plywood or cheap wood I will use Timberwolfs(they do not leave a smooth cut and are not very low loss, but they are cheap and disposable, generally 2-4TPI depending). For reliable resawing and moving a lot of wide material. I use Lenox Carbide(this blade in the pictures is a 1" Woodmaster, blade is .035" and the overall kerf is about .050" with a reasonably smooth surface, 1.3TPI). A carbide will run material faster, stays wicked sharp much much longer, and has outstanding beam strength.

Marty, You would love building an acoustic. When you get ready I would be happy to give you a hand getting your jigs and such put together. It is a snap after you have the jigs(then it is a pretty pleasant process). You can grab whatever you want from my stash(back, sides, soundboards, bridges, veneers and what not), one stop shopping on me :D .

That little Shelty we got for Alyssa is quite a handful(spazzy little monkey), but they are a lot of fun.

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