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Finished! A Guitar Bouzouki (don't you know what one of THOSE is?)


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And so, as a post-script. P and his delightful wife arrived last weekend to pick up the Guitar Bouzouki.  And I think he would be happy in me saying he loves it        For me,  that is a great pl

One of the reasons for the detailed threads is to remember what I did last time. Like thicknessing the sides from 4mm to 2mm. Clearly not the block plane.  But was it my No5 Bailey plane?  O

Anyway, a few more arty f**ty photos  

Posted Images

And the purfling is in.

_MG_1359.thumb.JPG.ec8c972d3b6006875a082d118e817177.JPG

Next is the swift inlay and then I can cut out the soundhole, using the same Dremel radius jig so that the corners are concentric with the detailing.

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1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

It did feel a bit like the guy sitting on the thin side of the branch he was sawing off!

 

1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

My admiration for the prehistoric engineers who sorted out getting the uprights square and vertical on Stonehenge has made a great leap:

 

 

1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Gluing time will tell whether any of that has passed on down through the gene pool:

:killinme

Always entertaining Andy!

And instructive.

And impressive.

This is good stuff!

SR

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I'm really liking your setup as well Andy. Much more organisable and usable. Those dog hole clamps are a great boon. Perhaps since I might have to move towards more hand tool work, a tail vise and various dog holes would be in my near future also.

Plywood! For many success and great happy.

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40 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

I'm really liking your setup as well Andy. Much more organisable and usable. Those dog hole clamps are a great boon. Perhaps since I might have to move towards more hand tool work, a tail vise and various dog holes would be in my near future also.

Plywood! For many success and great happy.

I agonised over that workbench. 

Never having had one or any sort in the past - you remember my workmate days - I was a bit in the dark (and in the cellar, literally!) about what features I should be considering.  But I'm very pleased with what I eventually chose.  And the dog hole clamps are the feature that - without any doubt - I use the most.  There are so many things where I have no idea how I would do it without them!

So it was worth all the agonising! 

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Totally. The first mistake one can make with a workbench is a lack of weight and thickness in the top. Dog holes and holdfasts need that to work, plus any work with a hand tool needs the workbench and workpiece to stay put. 

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Thanks, folks :)

This morning, I cut out the top, around 10mm oversize all round at this stage.  I know it's small beginnings, but this - to me at least - is still a very pleasing start:

_MG_1383.thumb.JPG.725d841ba9888bd7ca858f2e691c9bf1.JPG

 

So next jobs, while I'm sourcing the bracing woods, is preparing to bend the sides.  But first, I have to cut them to shape (a LOT easier than trying to cut them once they have been bent - and don't ask me how I know!).

Basically, the sides themselves will reduce from around 95mm deep at the heel to around 80mm at the neck.  But - that's not a straight line.  Because of the waist, the back side of the side piece does a double elongated s-curve  - and where and how much that is, depends on the waist shape.  Now, I'm sure a decent CAD package (or a cheap one with a decent operator) could sort it out in minutes.  But I use CAD so infrequently, it would take me as long to work out how to do it than just cut a cartridge-paper template, put it into the mould and eyeball it (you look at the mould from the side and mark a straight line in dots from one end of the paper to the other and, when you stretch it out again and join up the dots, it will be - miraculously - the correct stretched out S you want. 

Pictures will make that easier to explain.  I'll photograph it as I do it  :)

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And so to the shape of the sides blank.

Normal warning as with all my threads - I'm happy to describe what I do and why...but please never assume this is how or the best way it should be done ;) 

I start off with a rectangular sheet of cartridge paper taped so that it follows the outer shape of one of the sides in the mould.  The bottom edge represents where the top will be and the top edge where the bouzouki back will be:

_MG_1388.thumb.JPG.5cfe30b0f7621e5541f6925293890b4e.JPG

 

So eyeballed edge on, this is how it looks:

_MG_1389.thumb.JPG.27aad743df5309b2d065a38d935abf7c.JPG

In broad terms (there are foibles I'll cover in later posts), edge on like this, we will want the back to go from 105mm (plus the top and back at 5mm total will give a final tail end depth of 110mm) to 85mm at the heel (total heel depth ending at 90mm) in roughly a straight line.

So what I do is mark the 105 at the back and 85 at the front, and pack up a straight edge to that angle:

_MG_1390.thumb.JPG.137e01156aebf0e80d83018e383955c0.JPG

I then run a metal ruler at 90 degrees to and along the top of the beam and mark spots on the paper all the way from the tail to the heel:

_MG_1392.thumb.JPG.2f3d922bf08bece130b75c09b15be7e9.JPG

So I then end up with a series of dots all the way along the paper which I join up and then cut out with scissors.

And, although this is not perfect, it is close enough to be able to use as the basis of fitting the back at the appropriate time:

_MG_1393.thumb.JPG.93d8aca1c78fa2bc56595edaa0de6990.JPG

And stretched out, you can seen that this is a million miles away from a straight line between the two points:

_MG_1394.thumb.JPG.a0c802ea78f3131cdbaaa3a699bb4763.JPG

And - although it is very subtle, I can see the concave curve at the heel end, changing to a convex curve at just under halfway - which makes me think that my attempt is at least in the right ball-park

So next job is thicknessing the sides to around 2mm and then cutting them to this shape - and then the scary bending can begin :)

 

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Fantastic work Andy, if you hadn't gone into detail about the taper along the back of the sides, I'd have cocked that up! I picked my plans up from the printers yesterday and my mould is arriving on Monday, so excited :) 

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What's the rationale behind putting the bending iron on it's side? is it easier to keep the bend square? I was toying with making some sort of table that the iron could sit in and keep the sides flush on the table to keep them square - when I was bending some little binding pieces to go around a truss rod cover, I saw how easy it is to bend a twist into the work.

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11 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Red Gum walnut is new to me

New to me too.

Red Gum - yes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_camaldulensis

Walnut - yes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juglans

Red Gum Walnut? Sounds like someone wasn't sure if it was Red Gum or Walnut when they put it up for sale :unsure:

Either way, doesn't matter. It's looking splendiferous at the moment. The Guitar Bouzouki is already a hybrid instrument; may as well use hybridised timbers to build it :D

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7 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

It's also called Satin Walnut. I'll check when I get a moment, @curtisa but it's probably an insect or fungal description rather than a species, a bit like spalted stuff.

And also called Sweetgum.  It's here:

https://www.wood-database.com/sweetgum

I was wrong about the insect, fungal stuff.  It is indeed a species.  Liquidambar styraciflua

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6 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

I picked my plans up from the printers yesterday and my mould is arriving on Monday, so excited :) 

Me too! :)

6 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

What's the rationale behind putting the bending iron on it's side? is it easier to keep the bend square? I was toying with making some sort of table that the iron could sit in and keep the sides flush on the table to keep them square - when I was bending some little binding pieces to go around a truss rod cover, I saw how easy it is to bend a twist into the work.

You can do it either way, @ADFinlayson 

I do it this way because it takes controlled, sustained force while, as you say, keeping everything square.  That's difficult when you are using just muscle power - so I am using body weight as the force and muscles as the control

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I keep coming back to look at your mould! So little material lost compared to the other ones I've seen. And much less work to sand the inside flush. Who knows, maybe someday I'll copy that design to make an acoustic!

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