Jump to content

First Acoustic. Not exactly a guitar...


Recommended Posts

Scott, the fingerrest is also macassar, just from a different supplier. I originally only ordered the headplate and backstrap along with the redwood top from Oregon Wildwood. I forgot to order a third piece for the fingerrest, so when I went to just order that piece they wanted like 19 bucks shipping, so I said screw it and ordered it from LMI instead while ordering some other supplies. I asked them to send me a really stripey one, which they did. And I think it looks great. It's just not a perfect match to the headstock. I think it will be fine when the finish is on. The fingerrest is going to remain unfinished, it's been polished up through 12K grit with Micro Mesh. So, the headplate should darken up and be a pretty good color match. I think it will look fine even with the slightly more diffuse striping pattern.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 247
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

The back plate has been attached and about 90% filed/sanded/scraped flush with the sides. It's very close in most areas except for the scroll and neck join/heel areas.  The join is pretty solid.

Thanks guys. Update on finishing. This is after the 4th coat of Tru Oil. Lots of fine sanding has things starting to feel pretty smooth, and I'm starting to get a little build and shine. I reckon I'm

Neck mortise cut and neck heel fit. I need to tinker with things a bit and get the bolt hardware installed, then the top can go on. 

Posted Images

Excellent. don't you just love what happens when you polish wood up to micro mesh 12K? I once had a similar issue with Indian Rosewood between a fretboard and headplate, I ended up spraying a little dye on the headplate to make it match the fretboard. I'm not saying you should do that, just that I've also felt the difference inherent in two pieces of the same species.

Cheers!

And I must say you have set quite a pace on this build.:)

SR

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the fingerrest really shines like glass in the light. Macassar takes such a nice polish. I'm a huge fan of Micro Mesh.

I'm going to kind of play it by ear as far as matching the headstock with the fingerrest. Right now the plan is to hit it with a little garnet shellac before adding tru oil. If the color isn't right I can always mess with it from there. 

Scott, I very much attribute my current pace to my diet. Besides being a pretty free time of year for me I have so much energy in the evenings that  after the kids are in bed I'd rather go out in the shop and work than veg in front of the TV. :)

I should have my body form finished this evening, decided I could proceed on it without waiting on the template. Then I will just need to finish my headblock and tailblock and I can start bending some sides! I'm very much looking forward to that.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Spent a few hours working on the neck carve last night. Still needs some thinning out at the shoulders, the profile feels a bit 'clubby' as it is. But it's getting closer, and the heel is nearly there. 

I finished my body form. It's 1.5" thick MDF, made in two parts. It can be taken apart when using it as a form for bending each side, and then clamped together when gluing the head and tail blocks and installing the kerfed linings.

20170424_214818.thumb.jpg.39e6c64baff7be6bae4f6b14f8e60ac9.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

More work on the neck. Even though I don't have my acrylic templates yet I said screw it and sanded the headstock to final shape. Then started working on the headstock to neck transition. This is such a rewarding part of the build, it's quite therapeutic. I think I'm about 2/3 done with the whole neck shaping procedure at this point.

20170425_224311.thumb.jpg.8cbed5fd355cd029ee08ebce86b51f24.jpg20170425_233408.thumb.jpg.ddf159af4a3e31fe4c9e2402afb62162.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

This little head block was a bit of a pain. Thanks to the scroll and the fact that the bent sides will be inset into notches in the block there was a lot of fiddly work involved. Looks like it will do the trick though. It's a laminate of two layers of mahogany with a little walnut in between. Should be quite strong.

20170426_225757.thumb.jpg.ac18cc966e97f5c2b0952570c7539d3f.jpg

Finish the tail block and a little more tweaking on the neck and I'll be ready to start bending the sides.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Scott. 

Got the first side bent last night. I decided to start off with the most difficult part first, the scroll. I figure that if I was going to break any wood it would be right there. So, it went really well, and right at the end I decided the waist needed a bit more tweaking, so I went to bend it a bit more and sure enough, crack. It wasn't all the way through , and only on the bottom (and inside) half of the rib. But it certainly freaked me out when it happened. I glued the fibers back down with a little titebond, and that seemed to get most of it. I'll sand it out and see how it looks. I can add a small structural brace, or laminate a piece on top of it, if necessary. That would be common on a guitar, regardless of cracking, not so much on a mandolin/mandola.

20170427_224956.thumb.jpg.2263013727b2d44d127117ae08196ec6.jpg

20170427_224944.thumb.jpg.f079750056845882a5735a181abdcc5e.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, mattharris75 said:

Got the first side bent last night. I decided to start off with the most difficult part first, the scroll. I figure that if I was going to break any wood it would be right there. So, it went really well, and right at the end I decided the waist needed a bit more tweaking, so I went to bend it a bit more and sure enough, crack. It wasn't all the way through , and only on the bottom (and inside) half of the rib. But it certainly freaked me out when it happened. I glued the fibers back down with a little titebond, and that seemed to get most of it. I'll sand it out and see how it looks. I can add a small structural brace, or laminate a piece on top of it, if necessary. That would be common on a guitar, regardless of cracking, not so much on a mandolin/mandola.

If it's down near the edge, the kerfing will help a lot too. I had a bit of practice with this, myself.

SR

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the worst of it is near the lower edge. I removed the clamp this morning and it appears that the titebond took care of the worst of it, so I'm not worried. But it's still an annoyance. I am also using a reverse kerfed lining meant for a guitar, which gives me a little more height (5/8" vs 3/8"), so yeah that aught to cover quite a bit of it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh, well I do hate dust and disorder. I think much more clearly when my work area is straight. So going into jobs things need to be clean. In the midst of working things definitely get dusty, but I do my best to keep up with it. And I have this little helper who is very fond of vacuuming. And rulers. I don't know why... :)

5906b5e53e71a_EllieHelping.thumb.jpg.71d6518fdfb536ffa8ebb454a501aa98.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

No doubt. I'm glad the little one just wants to come out and sit in my lap and do 'work'. I can already see how my seven year old is growing up so rapidly (feels like having a teenager some days), so I cherish the cute little things that the three year old does. 

Thanks Scott. An end graft is pretty common on acoustic guitars. Not so much on mandolin family instruments. On F styles the top rib ends behind the lower point and on A styles they do the tail joint first and make up the slack at the head, since the neck joint is cut there anyway. Since this is sort of a hybrid some acoustic guitar construction techniques needed to be 'borrowed'. :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I was thinking of an F-style when I saw that first picture yesterday. I startled me. And I thought, well you don't have any points to hide it in, so let's just watch and see what you come up with. I like it.

SR

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

So, problem solving...

When gluing the ribs to the blocks I had a couple of issues . The first was the rib bent around the scroll coming up about 1/8" short of the notch in the block. This wasn't a big deal, and I knew right after I'd bent it that I was slightly off. But due to the positioning of it I figured I could glue in a strip after the fact the fill the space and it would never be seen. No biggie.

The second issue ended up being just on the other side of the block from the scroll where the rib is tightly curved and fits in the other notch on the head block. I hadn't anticipated that one. I had made a MDF wedge to fit in there (a poor material choice) to apply pressure on either side of those curves during glue up, but when I was pounding it in the MDF basically gave up the ghost and got stuck part way down. So I wasn't able to put pressure on the whole depth of the joint. The titebond caused some warping and it looked pretty bad. So, I ended up having cut out  about a 5/16" section with a small chisel and clean the glue off with a riffler rasp and add in a new rib piece. That was working in some tight quarters. It turned out pretty well, all things considered. The joint doesn't particularly stand out, and I think when it's all said and done it won't be very noticeable.

20170501_234129.thumb.jpg.9f1dd33e388216898d550e46a07f7fa3.jpg

Also, I never mentioned it, but you'll notice in the picture that the rib piece that wraps around the head block is actually only a small piece. I decided that would be much easier than trying to bend the entire treble side rib from that notch all the way to the tail block. And since the mortise will cut away all of the material there it would have been a big pain for no benefit. So, short rib it was.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night I leveled the top and back of the rim.  Here was my setup:

20170502_231005.thumb.jpg.abb36187effb41ca980f1ab20363b922.jpg

Three rows of adhesive backed 80 grit sandpaper stuck to my bench top.

It was tedious but effective. :) I literally spent an hour and a half repeating the same routine over and over. Hold at the blocks, fifty circular strokes, hold at the waist, fifty circular strokes, turn it 180 degrees, hold at the lower bout, fifty circular strokes, hold at the blocks, fifty circular strokes, vacuum the dust, check for level. And on and on. First the back, and then the front (didn't start checking for level until the back was totally flat, no gaps around the perimeter of the rim). 

It took a little longer than anticipated, but it's done. The depth at the tail block is about thirty thousandths thinner than the depth at the head block. But it is a consistent rise , not a low spot, and both the top and back of the rim are flat. I think that will be within spec for me...

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...