Up way too early this morning. Again.

 

Got started on my binding and purfling.  Fairly straightforward binding, but I’m using a lot of thin veneers which is a first.  Held it up to the guitar just to make sure I liked it.

binding scheme

Got everything measured, thicknessed, etc… Routed the ledges in on the adirondack top guitar.  Binding ledge is .080” into the body and about .350” high.  Purfling ledge is around .060” deep and .180” into the top.  Came out pretty clean.

binding ledges

 

ready for binding

Started gluing the purfling lines on one side at a time.  Normally most people install the end graft prior to binding.  I’m going to do mine after the purfling is in, mostly because I have a “different” end graft scheme that I may try.  I did a sample.  I like it, and I hope I can pull it off.  I hesitate to post any pics before I know if I can make it work.

IMG_7435

Hope to have all the purflings on this one tonight.  Keeping my fingers crossed that there are no gaps when I pull the tape.  Then I can see how ambitious I am on the end graft.  Need a better night sleep for that.

 

After much rim sanding, cutting, notching and gluing, here are the results.

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Three boxes done.  My first three steel strings.  Guitar numbers 3,4 & 5. This is probably all I’ll get done this week. Next step is trimming backs and tops flush.  Then sanding the sides down nice and even.  Once that … Continue reading

Brace yourself for another cheesy headline…

Wait, I used “brace yourself” already.  Damn it.  Oh well.  I need to work on my delivery.

Got some decent shop time in this weekend.  Lots of bracing going on.

I must say, working on three is a bit much.  Some of these steps can get a bit tedious, but there are a few new operations that I haven’t done, and by the third one, I usually find a way that works well for me.

Cut all my braces, planed them to size and started rotating the tops through the go bar deck.

box o bracesgo bar bracing

Hadn’t done an x brace before.  Wasn’t too bad as far as layout goes. Fairly happy with how they came out.  Using HHG was a bit of a challenge with the X braces.  The first one I did in two pieces.  It came out OK, but the alignment could have been a bit better.  It wasn’t bad enough that I had to redo it, but I wanted to get it as close to perfect as I could.

x brace lap joint

For the second two I glued the x first then glued the whole assembly on. That’s a decent amount of gluing surface, so I heated the top with a heat gun.  I also tried putting the x under a heating pad, which wasn’t necessary.  I ended up just using the heat gun on the last one.

My glue up sequence: Short braces first.  Then some shaping  before I added the X brace.  Then I added the bridge plate, tone bar and remaining little brace above the rosette.

brace sequence

I have the upper cross brace on the adirondack top.  Just need to add those to the second two palladium tops and they all should be ready to carve.  I guess I could call it voicing the top, but since I really don’t know exactly what I’m doing, I’m gonna stick with calling it brace carving.

These tops are surprisingly bright and tight sounding right now.  I’m going to be interested to see how that changes as I carve.

Oh and I needed to make two brackets for the wall.  Thought it was a good opportunity to play with finishes a bit.   I made this stain from black walnut hulls last fall.  This bracket has one coat of fresh stain, which will lighten up when it dries.  I’ve done a couple samples before that I liked. One coat, then sand, second coat, then boiled linseed oil. Then I’d need to add a seal coat of shellac.  It really seems to pop the grain well.  This is what I’m thinking about using under the finish on the flamed maple guitars.

stain samples

Last of the rosette nonsense.

I was pretty happy with the last two rosettes.  Especially the channels, which came out really clean.  I’m not sure if I could have done any better with a router.

Nice and clean, all with hand tools.

Nice and clean, all with hand tools.

Oh, and what do I see… another tiny plane….giggles… how cute!  Despite how damn adorable these are, they are real tools.  Used the block plane to flatten out the bulk.  It was like pushing a toy car around a racetrack.  Sharp little sucker made some nice shavings.

Precious little sharp cutie!

Close up of the last rosette.  Only difference with this one is the cherry purfling to match the cherry guitar.  The others were flamed maple.  This shows the lutz spruce a bit better, which is absolutely gorgeous.  Tight grain, nice medullary rays.  I hope my finish will do it justice.

3rd rosette

And a pic of all three before final sanding to thickness and cutting out the soundholes.

Three tops

On to the bracing now.  I’d love to say I split it all, but there were a few minor knots to work around.  Split bracing ensures quartered grain, which is the stiffest and most stable, and is very important on braces which need to be as light and as strong as possible.  I split the billet along a grain line, planed the side flat, and used that side to band saw my brace material with the proper grain orientation.

splitting bracing

I hope to have these tops braced up, or almost all braced up by early next week.

Days of wine and roses.

Gallery

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Actually it was only one day.  No wine.  And rosettes, not roses.  Oh well. Lots done on the tops today.  To make a long story short… I’ll use bullets. – thicknessed all my purfling – made a test rosette channel. … Continue reading

The stuff that dreams… I mean… rosettes are made of.

All my binding, purfling and rosette materials are cut.  I’ll probably need to build a scraping fixture to get some of them to perfect dimension.

Materials

 

Here is the rosewood binding.

Rosewood binding

Starting to work on the tops.  The adirondack top (from the stash of Martin wood) was fairly even in thickness, so that one is gluing up first.  I’ll need to even out the lutz spruce tops before I join those.

adirondack top

I think I have my binding scheme worked out.  Thinking about the rosettes, which will be pretty simple compared to the last ones I did, these are my top choices.

For the flamed maple guitars: BWB/maple/rosewood/maple/BWB

Rosette scheme- maple

For the cherry guitar: BWB/cherry/rosewood/cherry/BWB

Rosette scheme-cherry

The other option I looked at was the same pattern, but swapping out maple/cherry on the outside with rosewood, and doing maple/cherry in the center.  I think that may be a bit too dark, especially on the flamed maple.  Could be an option on the cherry one though.

This post is legally binding…

Ok, forget legally, its just about binding.

Last guitar I cut my own binding and purfling, which was fine, but they were thick a bit less detailed.  This time I ordered veneer to make my binding and purfling with.  This is the only semi-finished wood I’ve used so far and I’m feeling a bit guilty.  The veneers are either .020″ or .030″ thick, which would be tough to cut myself with the equipment I have.  At least I’m laminating it all as opposed to buying it pre-done, which is harder in some ways, and probably easier in others.

veneers

The easier part is that I can attach the side purfling right to the binding, therefore being able to bend and install it at the same time.  Purfling for the top and back still has to be done separately.

Here is how I did the binding for the flamed maple guitars.

I had some 1″ thick flamed maple left over, so I cut it in half, leaving approx 5/16″ high by 1″ wide x 32″ long strips.  The grain in this was flat, which is perfect because when cut it from the side it shows the quartersawn face which will have the most flame.  Then I cut strips of veneer (.020 black, .030 white and .020 black) and laminated them to the bottom of the flamed maple, essentially making a sandwich.

veneer stackingclamping

This is where I used a heat and water proof glue as opposed to hide glue, as these will be bent later.  Then I planed each side flat and cut .080″ wide pieces on the bandsaw.  This left a planed side on each piece.  Then I did the same till the sandwich was all cut.

More fun shavings Flamed maple BWB binding

This was definitely fun.  I never really knew how all that detail was done before I started investigating.  I’m keeping this pretty simple and standard on these.  The hard part is getting all the purfling to line up properly and mitering around corners, etc… thats where the challenge will be.

I’m gluing up the binding for the cherry guitar now.  Then I just need to make purfling strips for the tops, backs and rosettes.