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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Bending sides of mystery wood

The soprano I build for my daughter Li will have a top of the century old reclaimed wood from a boat. A boat that her grandfather swapped a 1950’s Zündapp motorbike for - I think I told you a couple of years ago and I’m certain you remember. 

The back and sides will be from this dark wood, of a species I shall not guess. Maybe Micke will email me if he sees this, he set me straight on that last reso in april. 

Anyway the wood is heavy, hard and felt a bit brittle. Not unlike plate glass. So I hesitated bending it directly on the form with the blanket, opting instead to bend it on the pipe and then setting the shape on the form. So I bent the sides close to shape and wrapped the first one in paper. It was some packaging paper I had around, but I think a heavier craft paper had been better. 

Then it went onto the form. I started with the waist as usual, clamping it down tight. Then I took the bouts one at a time, and it wasn’t scary or difficult as they were almost in shape already. 

And after drying out and cooling off it looked line this. A lot of resin had come out of the wood and soaked into the paper. I’m glad I chose paper instead of aluminium foil, not that I’m sure there would have een any sort of reaction. 

And here they are. The lower part with the more flatsawn pattern will be cut off and then the bookmatch is surprisingly good. And it’s got two eyes, staring evilly. Is that a word, evilly? Should be. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A few new projects

Many pics of my roaring start. The fall season will be busy. First pic is me resawing a piece of an old door. Spruce or pine, don’t really know, it is old, dry as bone and very tightly grained. It’ll be a top for a soprano with mahogany back and sides. 

Then I spent a gruesome couple of hours kneeling by the drum sander. It’s really hard work but in the end I had processed wood for three sopranos and a reso. 

Wait, this second pic was taken before that. I cut the parts for the reso very carefully from that wide mahogany sheet I made last weekend, laying them out to ensure maximum yield. 

Here’s the one piece rim for one of the sopranos. I bent it on the bending iron and will do that for another one as well. The third sop will have sides in two halves so I’ll bend those on the bender. It’s some dark hard wood so the bending blanket will probably be a bit easier. 

This is my last reso skeleton, maybe I’ll order some more. First I plane the dowels down so the skeleton is smooth and even. The sides will be a one piece rim because it is way easier to glue them on - I have a shopmade waist clamp that puts tension all around the lower bout. 

And that clamp is two dowels and two pieces of all thread. Other clamps may come in handy too. 

Then I laid out the centre points for the sound well and the sound ports. I did make a small mistake here though, glueing the guide blocks before cutting the holes with my rosette and hole cutter. The blocks were in the way but I persevered and conquered. 

I have used aluminium mesh for the grilles but this time I use steel. I think it’s better because it will be stronger, even though the holes are a bit larger. In the pic you can also see the rare appearance of epoxy glue in my workshop. 

And the last pic then, the top glued on. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Making plans

Trying to lay out various projects on available wood. At first I thought a few of them would come from my newly sawn mahogany slice but I found many interesting pieces in the stash so I’m thinking again. I have wood from an 1890’s sailboat, spruce from an old door, some dark tropical wood I got from somewhere and I don’t know. Maybe this autumn will be a journey into reclaimed vintage stuff.