Sounds great Don. If you have some idea how to make the radius sanding bowls that would be really useful too. I will post pics of whatever I come up with to bend the sides but so far I think it will look alot like the ones in Charles Hoffmans shop website.
Hi Don, I think your setup looks very close to what I had in mind. Right down to the inserts to clamp the top on. I'm not burning up the world with progress here. Busted up my foot in karate a while back and it giving me some grief. Had to run on of the dogs over for emergency surgery this morning. The usual stuff but not much to do with building anything. I'll be very interested in what Bob has for comments. There is a nice piece in "Fretboards" magazine about Martin's D-18 Authentic you might want to see. It also has a sidebar on how they are bringing back hide glue for that instrument. Some pictures of their older equipment that is now being used in the custom shop too.
Looks good to me, keep up the progress.
Holy cow, Donald, that looks beautiful. So, you're going to be able to work in a face down or face up orientation. It seems like you'll be able to manipulate the neck angle as you glue the top on, too. Looks like you're ready to go.
An adjustable taper jig is a great thing to have. I just put a piece of piano hinge at the end of a pair of pieces of 3/4" plywood. I stick shims of different thicknesses at vaious spots between them to create the taper I want. If I want to taper a fingerboard, I just stick it on the jig with a couple of patches of double sided tape and run it through my Performax sander until I get what I want. Great deal of satisfaction seeing something so simple get me something I want.
Just be careful with the router. I hate them and anything else that spins that fast. I still use them alot but I hate them. As for the taper, you might want to wait until you get the body and neck together in a stable unit and have a rough bridge with a saddle in it before you commit to a specific taper for the fingerboard. Am I being an old woman on this? It's also useful to build in about 0.5mm of windage for relief at the 12th fret just to account for forward pull of the strings. It can be accomodated either at the saddle or with the fingerboard taper. Keep it rollin'.
Sorry, forgot to answer part of the questions. I use either spruce or cedar depending on the requirements of the customer. Left on my own, I usually use spruce. Engelmann on the short scale guitars and European on the full concert sized guitars; it's a price point issue. Bindings are always offcuts from the sides just to get a good match in a very conservative treatment. I always use B&S sets dimensioned for Dreads or Jumbos because the sides are wide enough to get bindings and back strips from and the waste from the upper corners of the back can be turned into a bookmatched headplate. Most parts of the buffalo are edible.
No opinion on using True Oil on guitars. I've only used it as a rubbed on finish for gun stocks. I do think, though, that it would be a better choice than rub on polyurethane, for example. If I were to use it on a guitar, however, I do think I'd still seal all surfaces with shellac before I rubbed it on.
Donald, why don't you consider creating a blog on your page that chronicles the building of your classical. It's really pretty easy and Cliff and I could keep up with where you're at with it and make rude comments. You can keep adding entries and pics as you go along and if friends or family want to know what you're up to, you can send them to your blog. Whatcha think?
The company I have been dealing with for Uke parts and info recommends Tru-oil for finish but I'm really not crazy about that idea. I used it on gunstocks and didn't find it to be that durable and it will turn cloudy if exposed to moisture. Of course french polish is toast if someone spills a martini or a shot of Jack on it so I guess you pays your dues and takes your chances as Granny used to say. As deep as you are into building I think I would spring for one of the inexpensive HVLP spry rigs and just finish it in laquer. I like Bob's suggestion about the blog. I'll try one too if you do...
When I ws finishing gunstocks with True-Oil, I was using spar varnish as a sealer coat. I thinned it 1:1 with paint thinner and it worked out just fine.
Stick to the plan as closely as possible when it comes to all dimensions and materials. Those fans aren't too small given the top thickness. And, yes, the fans should be tapered to zero at the ends. Pay particular attention to the plans, though, regarding the profiling of the fans. I can't remember if the plan calls for a constant height over most of the lengths or whether they were tapered from the middle.
Stick to mahogany for the back braces. To get the proper response from the back, thge mass of the braces is also a factor and spruce would be too light. As for the center strip, I've used spruce, mahogany, and Spanish cedar and wouldn't know what to look for in tonal differences. I'll just say that spruce has more of a tendency to curl and refuse contact at the edges.
It sounds to me like a thinned coat of shellac is the best thing if you are not going to spray laquer. I am going to butt my head against the wall at least once and french polish at least the soundboard. We'll see what happens after that.
The tie block is the section of the bridge that has the holes that the strings go through. Some builders like to gussy that up with decorations that match some part of the rosette. Others like to just frame it in a simple bone box. I just do a couple of 2mmX2mm bone strips. One function of thte bone strips is to prevent denting of the rosewood by the strings.
As for questions, absolutely no problem. Keep them coming.
If you look at the menu on the left of your personal page, you'll see something called Blog Posts , just above you list of friends. Click on that and indicate that you want to start a new blog. You can give it a name, like "My first classical guitar build" and then add some text and pictures. If you insert a picture via the Browse function, it will show up in you text as some sort of gobbledegook at the top of the text that you've entered, but you can preview and edit your post as much as you want before you post it. If you don't like where the picture is, you can cut and paste like most any other app. When you finally publish the post, it will give it a time and date stamp and then other will be able to see and comment on it.
I was on the look-out and just saw it. Congratulations. You've just launched yourself into the great blogosphere. You know you can add text under the photos if you need to elaborate on anything, rather than using the comment box. Keep it comin'.
I guess Bob would be the guy who could tell us if it's close enough. Just me personally I think I would get a hot pipe set up and try to get them a little closer. I sort of figure that if something has to be forced into place and held while the glue dries it's just stress built into the structure and some way or another something is going to give. Now maybe the sides just sort of settle in and nothing bad happens or maybe a glue joint pops loose when the temp or humidity changes. I don't know but that's how my thinkin' runs anyway.
I'm with Cliff on this. Just because one set of wood is different than the next, they each come out of the bending setup with different amounts of spring back. I always make adjustments afterwards on a bending iron so that it only takes a pinkie's pressure to get them to the walls of the form.
Donald was kind of stuck at the point where we saw the picture because the sides had already been cut to length and fitted to the neck slots. The good news is that there won't be alot of tension in the guitar because he didn't force them to conform to the mould.
I can't imagine that this will be your last classical, Donald. The whole experience has to be viewed as a shake down cruise and you'll look back to things that went difficultly and figure out how to get them done better. With every build, I always pick out a couple of things that I want to improve and do something differently. For example, I just found a way NOT to make laminated linings and I'm paying for that. That's just the life of the developing luthier and alot of the fun and satisfaction.
Donald, I don't think I ever mentioned anything about laminating sides with cedar, did I? If I did, it was a mistake and I probably meant cypress. You can get extra sets of sides from Allied Luthiers in Healdsburg.
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