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My First Twelve String


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This old spruce was in the way of progress, so I asked the owner if I could have the lower 6 feet to make a guitar with. He was pleased to give it me because he was not real happy removing it. I counted the rings and it is over 100 years old.

No1a.jpg

I cut it down to size with a chainsaw and then took the quarter sawed blanks to a friend. He has a horizontal band saw and he cut it up for me.

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u284/jo...photos/No2a.jpg

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u284/jo...photos/No3a.jpg

This is the first sound board made with book saw blanks. I think it is going to be a good one.

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u284/jo...photos/No4a.jpg

This piece of wood is what the sides, neck and back will be made with.

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u284/jo...photos/No5a.jpg

Jofes.

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There's more areas than what you pictured that are quartersawn... technically ALL areas are if you cut them right. Also... I don't know if I would have cut it how you did... spruce should be hand split, not sawn like hardwoods (like you had done). Without hand splitting you won't be able to control/know the amount of runout (there are two types, one you can see by how many grain lines run off the edges, the other you can't see, you have to simply cut it right). This second runout is important for acoustic tops... you should have talked to someone before cutting it how you did. Runout will affect the stiffness, and thus quality of your tops.

Chris

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There's more areas than what you pictured that are quartersawn... technically ALL areas are if you cut them right. Also... I don't know if I would have cut it how you did... spruce should be hand split, not sawn like hardwoods (like you had done). Without hand splitting you won't be able to control/know the amount of runout (there are two types, one you can see by how many grain lines run off the edges, the other you can't see, you have to simply cut it right). This second runout is important for acoustic tops... you should have talked to someone before cutting it how you did. Runout will affect the stiffness, and thus quality of your tops.

Chris

Verhoevenc, thanks for the heads up. Excuse my clumsiness. I only cut up a small amount of the tree, 24" in length. Then I split off a quarter of that piece. That is the piece that I sliced up. Can you explain how it should be done. I have more than 4 feet left.

Jofes.

Edited by jofes
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High mountain tonewoods (run by Shane Nefer) usually has photos of the process. Fryovanni (on this forum) might be able to explain it a little better than me. As far as I understand, you cut out a section that is of the length you want, then take wedges and using a HUGE hammer hammer them in. This will cause the wood to NATURALLY fracture along the correct runout free lines. First step I'd guess would be to fracture the thing into two semi-circles. Then, you use the same method to split off more "wedges" from each of these halves. You should end up with a bunch of "bolts" that from the end grain view look like slices of pie. Then, you trim off the point and the bark/edge and resaw this "bolt" into a billet (which will be the first product of your efforts that will have parallel faces). From these billets you can then resaw your tops like normal.

As for the sled, Fryovanni did a photo tutorial on it awhile back, check his profile, I think it was his most recent thread, so you can read it there.

Chris

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High mountain tonewoods (run by Shane Nefer) usually has photos of the process. Fryovanni (on this forum) might be able to explain it a little better than me. As far as I understand, you cut out a section that is of the length you want, then take wedges and using a HUGE hammer hammer them in. This will cause the wood to NATURALLY fracture along the correct runout free lines. First step I'd guess would be to fracture the thing into two semi-circles. Then, you use the same method to split off more "wedges" from each of these halves. You should end up with a bunch of "bolts" that from the end grain view look like slices of pie. Then, you trim off the point and the bark/edge and resaw this "bolt" into a billet (which will be the first product of your efforts that will have parallel faces). From these billets you can then resaw your tops like normal.

As for the sled, Fryovanni did a photo tutorial on it awhile back, check his profile, I think it was his most recent thread, so you can read it there.

Chris

Thanks Chris, I looked at Fryovanni's post. Read it back in August, excellent. His method is real close to how I did it. Except I used a chain saw to square up the billit. The horizontal band saw worked very well. I made 5 real clear book cut sets. And a bunch of sawdust. The rest of the blanks are air drying now. I will be cutting some Honduras Mahogany sides later this week and post pictures then. Jofes.

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I think you missed the point of my post... Fry's sled is only HALF the battle here. The most important part was the hand splitting of the bolts with wedges... THAT is what ensures you don't have any run out... his method FURTHER ensures you don't screw up your hand work of hand splitting when you make the bolts into billets. Please go back and re-read what I was talking about in my post.

THIS PAGE is the important part that you're not quite grasping. Take a look at how he's processing the log sections and how, because of these wedges, they split along their NATURAL lines (IE: no run out) and not along where ever the heck a saw tells them to come apart... get it? If not, feel free to ask questions, I'll be around.

Chris

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I think you missed the point of my post... Fry's sled is only HALF the battle here. The most important part was the hand splitting of the bolts with wedges... THAT is what ensures you don't have any run out... his method FURTHER ensures you don't screw up your hand work of hand splitting when you make the bolts into billets. Please go back and re-read what I was talking about in my post.

THIS PAGE is the important part that you're not quite grasping. Take a look at how he's processing the log sections and how, because of these wedges, they split along their NATURAL lines (IE: no run out) and not along where ever the heck a saw tells them to come apart... get it? If not, feel free to ask questions, I'll be around.

Chris

Generally you want to try to get your quartersawn orientation within about 5 degrees of perpendicular to the face(although I would personally would never waste wood that is say 10-15 degrees off because it is just dandy in terms of function-IMO). You want to limit your face grain(this is not the growth rings) runnout (this is where splitting comes into play) to within about 2% (this translates to about 1/2" along 24"), which is not too hard to do as long as you follow the direction the wood naturally splits. I believe the testing that has been done has shown that less than 2% runnout has little effect on strength, the higher the degree of runnout the more loss you will see in strength. Some builders are quite absolute and will accept absolutely no runnout to speak of, which is very challenging to find in wood that needs to be cut 21"+ in length and 8"+ in width. I figure as long as you make sure your within 2% your doing just fine.

Good luck, and be sure to dry that Spruce ASAP to avoid discoloration (cut fast/ dry fast!)

Rich

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I think you missed the point of my post... Fry's sled is only HALF the battle here. The most important part was the hand splitting of the bolts with wedges... THAT is what ensures you don't have any run out... his method FURTHER ensures you don't screw up your hand work of hand splitting when you make the bolts into billets. Please go back and re-read what I was talking about in my post.

THIS PAGE is the important part that you're not quite grasping. Take a look at how he's processing the log sections and how, because of these wedges, they split along their NATURAL lines (IE: no run out) and not along where ever the heck a saw tells them to come apart... get it? If not, feel free to ask questions, I'll be around.

Chris

Generally you want to try to get your quartersawn orientation within about 5 degrees of perpendicular to the face(although I would personally would never waste wood that is say 10-15 degrees off because it is just dandy in terms of function-IMO). You want to limit your face grain(this is not the growth rings) runnout (this is where splitting comes into play) to within about 2% (this translates to about 1/2" along 24"), which is not too hard to do as long as you follow the direction the wood naturally splits. I believe the testing that has been done has shown that less than 2% runnout has little effect on strength, the higher the degree of runnout the more loss you will see in strength. Some builders are quite absolute and will accept absolutely no runnout to speak of, which is very challenging to find in wood that needs to be cut 21"+ in length and 8"+ in width. I figure as long as you make sure your within 2% your doing just fine.

Good luck, and be sure to dry that Spruce ASAP to avoid discoloration (cut fast/ dry fast!)

Rich

Thanks Rich, I have been discussing with Chris how I should have started the job. :D I split what was left from my first saw cuts over the 24" length It was almost 2" ~ 8 %. Soooo :D , I am going to reverse brace it and make a solice out of it. I have lots of wood left and will try again after splitting the billits off this time.

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I think you missed the point of my post... Fry's sled is only HALF the battle here. The most important part was the hand splitting of the bolts with wedges... THAT is what ensures you don't have any run out... his method FURTHER ensures you don't screw up your hand work of hand splitting when you make the bolts into billets. Please go back and re-read what I was talking about in my post.

THIS PAGE is the important part that you're not quite grasping. Take a look at how he's processing the log sections and how, because of these wedges, they split along their NATURAL lines (IE: no run out) and not along where ever the heck a saw tells them to come apart... get it? If not, feel free to ask questions, I'll be around.

Chris

Generally you want to try to get your quartersawn orientation within about 5 degrees of perpendicular to the face(although I would personally would never waste wood that is say 10-15 degrees off because it is just dandy in terms of function-IMO). You want to limit your face grain(this is not the growth rings) runnout (this is where splitting comes into play) to within about 2% (this translates to about 1/2" along 24"), which is not too hard to do as long as you follow the direction the wood naturally splits. I believe the testing that has been done has shown that less than 2% runnout has little effect on strength, the higher the degree of runnout the more loss you will see in strength. Some builders are quite absolute and will accept absolutely no runnout to speak of, which is very challenging to find in wood that needs to be cut 21"+ in length and 8"+ in width. I figure as long as you make sure your within 2% your doing just fine.

Good luck, and be sure to dry that Spruce ASAP to avoid discoloration (cut fast/ dry fast!)

Rich

Thanks Rich, I have been discussing with Chris how I should have started the job. B) I split what was left from my first saw cuts over the 24" length It was almost 2" ~ 8 %. Soooo :D , I am going to reverse brace it and make a solice out of it. I have lots of wood left and will try again after splitting the billits off this time.

Chris is a pretty handy fella to have around :D . If I can help out feel free to shoot me a PM. The nicest part of using split bolts it that you can get wonderful bracing from your off cuts, and you have control over the quality of your cuts. One other thing that I should through out there, is to be sure you account for splitting and checking when you buck the wood. If you can get through the whole process(buck,split,resaw, and start the drying) in just a couple days, you can cut closer to your needed length. If you are going to have to leave the wood in larger dimensions for a while add extra length when you buck the wood(maybe 26" or so), this will allow you to cut away the ends that will check(it is inevatable if the wood is in large form as it dries).

Peace,Rich

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