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The Black Queen


komodo
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If in doubt, grab a beer and things work better....

....unless you're at work I guess.

 

The quilt is nicely symmetrical in the centre! Often they are a mirror image but with the reactance to light being out of phase with each other due to the rising/falling grain being 90 degrees out from the bookmatching process. Dyeing a top this way tends to reduce that phenomenon, which is positive.

In comparison to the warm colours in the Ebony, that Maple is an exceptionally light blonde, almost to the point of being cold side by side! I presume you're going to give it a warmer colour at some point? I can't remember what the intended scheme was now because the process has been detailed at such depth!

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You mean the light wood on the back/sides? Thats swamp ash, flanking the ebony core. My plan was to leave it completely 'blonde' but I can easily change direction and tint the lacquer if it needs it. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Whats the fretboard plan? Very similar to the original idea, I’m using the sterling silver wire, three different gauges. The glow powder just didn’t work. I mean it WORKED, but didn’t look great. Also, I probably won’t be playing in the dark at home, sooo... The silver sparkles in the light, edges are sharper and stars are smaller. 

Smallest stars are punched with awl, next size is a tiny end mill, next is my smallest drill bit. Everything is done over the paper template done in Illustrator. Wire is inserted, clipped and flooded with CA.

Last pic is bad, but shows comparison of test silver star near the glow stars. Glow stars have irregular edges, flat color and air bubbles that could be filled.

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Veeeeery cool. I think you might need some kind of protection for the silver against tarnishing, however fret polishing every few months should cover this. Pure silver is double the price but tarnishes less than copper-alloyed silver. Other silver alloys such as Argentium are available at Rio Grande. A bit late now, I know. 

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Wow indeed!

As a reminder it looks like you haven't yet filed the edges off the fret slots. A few strokes with a small triangular file helps to drive the frets in and it also prevents tearout should you ever want to pull the frets out.

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I'm sure that is in Komodo's to-do list....the slots look like they still need cutting to depth, so bevelling the outer edges is usually done after that. At least, to me anyway....bevelling before slotting to depth risks making the slot feel "shallower" to the saw, leading to non-vertical cuts and screwy slots. Unless you are using a slotting box....?

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Ah jeez, you and me both. Nina was haranguing me today to assemble our new bed, in spite of me wanting to alter a couple of minor details such as pencil bolt access, recessing the legs for non-slip feet, etc. Those minor details take away from the grand whole and affect how happy I can feel about the finished item....because those things are always going to be there in the back of my mind....!

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I struggled on redoing the board, mostly because I REALLY hate to see ebony wasted. But, c’mon this is the playing surface. The new Gaboon is so black, it’s hard to photograph.  
No worries on beveling fret slots. I’ll finish the stars, tackle an inlay, then do final sanding, recut slots that lost depth (I cut them on the sled when the board was flat), then get it glued on the neck.

Tarnish has been a constant in my head since way back when I first thought of it. I’ve done a LOT of silver smithing, and and I’ve seen lot’s of inlay using silvers that look great, I’m not too worried. Minor buffing would take care if it. This is 925, and really sparkles.

Three sizes done, I kept it sparser this time which adds to realism. Adding any in the future if needed would be easy.

The inlay is going to be tricky, and cannot be done in the usual way (ie. cut, glue down, scribe, peel off and route). They are way too thin and delicate. Mostly I’m worried about making it realistic and not clunky. I might try a practice run on a piece before I commit.

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The majority of tarnishing in silver is conversion to silver sulphide rather than the expected silver oxide from oxygen. Silver is pretty unreactive in general in that respect, and the alloying with copper (to increase strength/hardness) is the largest culprit for tarnishing in Sterling/925 silver. I think your basic light coat of linseed should shield the silver from sulphur in the atmosphere, and a polish every once in a blue moon with the fretwork doesn't go amiss.

The reason I've had to learn this about silver is for inlay work on furniture. I would have elected to use fine silver rather than Sterling as it tarnishes less with exposure to oxygen; sulphur is the major cause. That said, tarnishing is useful for pieces where the inlay is raised from the surface and you want a shadow between the wood and the silver. I'm thinking of experimenting with sulphur derived from match heads, then polishing off the patina. Different end use, and certainly getting off track!

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