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Monday, September 10, 2012

Resawing rosewood, the ancient way

What do you do when you run out of fretboards, and you won't see your big bandsaw for a couple of weeks? Well I decided to try a method that I saw in an instructional vid on the web, where a few guys sliced wood for veneers with a handsaw.

I had a nice chunk of rosewood and started out by planing the sides so they were parallel and square to each other.

Then the most important step is to score a line around the whole block. I used my lovely marking gauge that I got from Steve Caldwell of Weazel wharf. Steve is known as ecosteel on some forums I frequent. I made several passes to get the line deep. If you try it, be very careful at first since it wants to wander along the grain, if the grain isn't totally straight. Mine was, but I pulled the gauge hard towards the side of the block anyway.

Then you saw from the corners, all four. And it's now that the scored line helps - the saw follows the line and is guided by it. I've tried similar cuts without scoring and that's very much harder. As you can see I used a Japanese pull saw. One of the edges is for ripping. It works but I really want a rip saw from Lee Valley. I haven't bought it yet because of a negative cash flow but I yearn for it.

Anyway, the cuts eventually meet and then it's just the diamond shaped bit in the middle to saw through. And the first fretboard from this piece turned out as good as it could get! Some sanding, or even scraping is all I need to do. Or I can feed it through the drum sander. Yup, that sounds like the right level of effort.

So. This went well but it took a long time. About 35 minutes and I won't need to do any push ups tomorrow. And my excuses for not finishing Brain's resonator are almost spent. Darn.

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