Gibson OO- Side bending

I decided that today was the day to thickness and bend up a set of flamed maple sides.

Here they are resawn.

Flamed maple sides

I had done some test cuts with my planes.  The antiques didn’t really do well.  I have a Lie Nielsen 4 1/2 with a 50 degree frog that did pretty well.  I really gave it a good sharpening.

Really sharp plane blade

Planed the sided cross grain.  Then went with the grain with a card scraper.  They ended up between .090″-.100″ thick.  Then I joined the face edges and cut to width.

Planing flamed maple

This is my hot pipe bending set up.  Started with this, then realized that the bend in the waist was too tight for this pipe and had to improvise another one mid- bending.  I just sprayed the wood with water as I went as opposed to soaking.  Used the hot pipe and checked the shape with the plexiglass template sitting beside the pipe.

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Luckily I had a smaller diameter aluminum pipe sitting around.  Rigged it up and put the torch in the back and bent the rest of the first side.  Then bent the other side on this pipe.

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After  some fussing I had one set of sides bent up.  Now its sitting in the mold overnight.  Flamed maple is not as easy to bend as walnut, which was the only wood I had bent previously.  Came out ok though.

Bent guitar sides

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Afternoon of resawing in my dads shop.

Found a new blade for the band saw. Changed blades after I made a plexi template, then did a thorough set up. It cut much nicer this time. 


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Used about 5 feet of the bigger flamed maple board. Resawed two sets of backs and two sets of sides.

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Doesn’t show well in the picture but the sides have some really nice figure.

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Used the other half of the board I cut the sides from to make some blanks for a laminated maple neck, just in case I decide to go that route. 
Also cut some neck and tail blocks and a bunch of kerfing strips from a big chunk of basswood.

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I now have a template for a 12 fret to the body from the build along and a full plan for a 14 fret from LMI. 
Now I don’t know which to do. I like 14 fret, but the 12 fret essentially slides the fretboard down two frets and puts the bridge smack in the middle of the lower bout, which I think may sound better. 
I guess I’ll sleep on it and dream of neck wood and binding combinations while I’m at it.

In rare form…

Ok, maybe not rare, but its a form.  I on the other hand, may be in rare form.  I’ve been replacing lyrics in my head all day.  Currently “Hazy shade of winter” by the Bangles, somehow involving Jonathan Winters, but I don’t have all the lyrics worked out in full yet.

Anyhew…

I made the form for the Gibson OO build.  I’ve seen many different ways people do this and basically figured out what I liked and added an alignment feature based on how large injection molds work.

Used my dad’s shop.  He has the tools that make it easy, such as a belt sander and oscillating spindle sander.  I traced the form onto some 3/4″ ply.

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Screwed four pieces together and cut them out on the band saw.

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Used the sander to smooth to the line.  Split the forms into two halves and blocked with pieces of 2×4.  Air nailer and glue to attach the blocks.  I dadoed an alignment block on the top and bottom where the forms come together.  This makes a very positive 2 axis alignment and is much easier than aligning dowels.

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Added the top layer of plywood.  Cut the overhanging blocks and the outside perimeter on the bandsaw.  Then smoothed with the sanders.  Made interior clamping cauls with the excess.

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Took the mold back home to my shop.  Sealed with shellac and put on trunk hasps to keep the mold together.  Its really solid, but comes apart in a snap.

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Dog sitting at my parents tomorrow, so I should have more shop time there.  Need to work on resawing more maple backs and sides.  I can also cut basswood neck and tail blocks as well as kerfing if I have time.

Still up in the air on neck wood.  I really like flamed maple with flamed maple, worried about how brite it will sound. I could also go straight mahogany or spanish cedar on both the maple and cherry versions.  Thoughts?

Wood shopping trip…

My dad and I went to the local saw mill.  This is what I picked up.  More flamed maple, two boards.  One big board of flamed ambrosia maple.  One board of amazon mahogany, and a big chunk of basswood.

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The maple I picked up last time was flat sawn, which I will use for laminated necks.

I love the local sawmill.  Its so inexpensive.  The ambrosia maple is about 1″ x 12″ x 8’ long.  It has some nice figure, which is hard to photograph.  I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to use it, but it was 14 bucks!

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This time I was trying to find pieces of flamed maple that had some decent quartered grain in it for backs and sides.  Both boards have a mix of grain.  One thing I realized… new band saw blades are definitely needed!  I think I’ll order a couple carbide tipped blades before I try to saw any more.  That and I need a few good hours to really set up the band saw.  Then I can go at it and resaw all my backs and sides.  I somewhat successfully resawed a section of the smaller board.  Despite the poor saw job, it looks like it will work.

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I made the piece long enough for sides.  Worst case, I’ll cut them down to side width.  Took a pic with the template for my classical on top.  Next guitars will be OO size, but the template is close enough for now, just to see how it would look.

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New workshop addition

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I have a new corner, or wall, in the workshop. Made a quick bench out at my dad’s shop, using his power tools, mainly because I don’t really have room for anything major. Used two old drawers and built around them. Put the new bench in. Just put the stainless top on it. Hung some pegboard. Nice little home for the dehumidifier and fixtures underneath. Drawers for my sharpening items. I hung the pegboard from the wall with big brackets over the aluminum bar. At some point I can make storage up top, maybe 18″ deep of open rail shelving, for wood or lightweight fixtures, etc… Not much more I can fit in the shop.

Guitar back mit braces glued on

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I spared everyone the layout and clamping process this time.

Backs are looking good.  Hope to have the braces carved down tomorrow.  I like the walnut with the redwood center strip.  The braces are mahogany from a porch, which you can see on the untouched exposed side, but they will finish up nicely.  I think a bit of shellac just on the braces and back strip once they are carved and sanded.

Then on to the sides.  Bending them on a hot pipe should be an adventure, that is after a lot of planing to thickness.