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Monday, July 11, 2016

Preparing neck blanks

Vacation is well under way, weather's nice and humidity is quite high in the workshop. So I won't glue the tops on the resos yet. Instead I'll prepare hhe neck blanks, a whole bunch of them. I have a new idea of how to reinforce them, and how to cover up any visible traces of that reinforcement. They don't need that much extra strength on account of the string pull but I want some insurance against movement of the wood. I figure a slot, a feather and the glue will give me that. 

First I plane the face of the headstock, getting it flat and roughly square to the upper face of the blank. 

I check with my wee engineer's square. 

Then I plane the upper face. There is something going on here more difficult to show in pictures, I keep checking the length of the upper face to see that I have around 190 mm there. If it got too short when I did the headstock then I push down at the nut end on the upper face. If it gets too long I return to the headstock to shorten it (the aforementioned upper face). 

If it's too long it means I'll have to chop the blank off at the heel end and that might make the heel too small for the barrel bolt. 

The pic shows me checking for gaps and divots against a goose neck led light. 

I scribe a line exactly at the angle to define it. It can be hard to see without the line. Then I scribe a line at the heel end, at 186 mm from the angle. This will give me what I need, a shelf for the nut where the nut itself hides the edge of the headstock overlay. I can't be arsed doing a nut slot between the fretboard and the overlay, that's too fiddly and I don't care for the vulnerable edge of the overlay. 

I have a couple more to make but the pile grows rapidly. 

The mahogany one is for me. I plan to treat myself to another Argapa, about bloody time I'd say. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The great side bending project, redux

It was just as well as it happened last week. It was a much better procedure to bend and then glue one at the time, and the only drawback I can think of is using a bit more electricity heating up the iron six times instead of one. 

First pic shows the gadget I made, saves the fingers and reduces the risk of splintering the wood on the outside of the bend. 

I put glue on the skeleton and start applying the wee clamps at the middle. Doing one at the time also saves me from owning a thousand of these, now I get by with what seems like several hundred. 

They exert little pressure each one of them, but combined it must amount to... a few kilos. 

This is where a one piece rim really shines, it's possible to tension it with the horizontal spool clamp at the waist. Then a few of my quick clamps finish the upper bout and the heel end. 

This is the stack of five, the sixth is the one with the clamps and not in the pic. 

And a pic where I try to capture my skillz. The joint is tight all the way around. With all this practice I've gotten fast, from start to finished clamping it takes around 25 minutes. Starting when the iron is hot of course. 

Next I'll reinforce six neck blanks and maybe carve them. I'm not sure I want to glue the tops since the humidity is up in the workshop. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The great side bending project

So after installing a new shower and seeing to the laundry and making dinner it was time to fire up the bending iron. While it was getting warm I nailed a piece of sheet steel to an angle made from two bits of wood, to assist me in bending. I will show action pics next time. 

I picked up a rib of cherry. I planed the dowels on one of the skeletons so they were flush with the plywood. I made a plan for the evening, first cherry, then walnut, then cherry again before the first maple one. Then the other maple and the last walnut. It felt right. 

But then my boy came home so after the first rib we sat down to watch Alien 3. I did make a sideways spool clamp though, for the waist, and I'm very pleased with it. Makes tensioning the one piece rib easy.

I'll continue tomorrow. With a maple one, then a walnut...