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

This gallery contains 6 photos.

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

Rainy day flash of lazy inspiration.

I had plans of making a scraping fixture for my purfling. Started looking for materials and ended up just clamping a blade I had made to the machinist vise. 

Improvised scraping fixture
Just turn the vise screw to adjust thickness and pull the wood through. It works well, I’ll probably never make the fixture I’ve been thinking about. 
Getting materials ready to bend for the rosettes.

And after working on my spruce tops, I found a drum sander on craigslist and broke down and bought it.  About 2 years old.  Barely used, but set up very well by the owner.  It also came with a bunch of sandpaper rolls.  All for about half price of a new one.

Drum Sander

 

I re-sanded my already planed adirondack top.  Spruce is easy to plane, but its also scary because it cuts so fast.  One slip, knock of the blade, or a bit of tear out, when getting close to thickness (around .100″ in this case), and the piece is easily ruined.

I feel a bit guilty, because I really like to use hand tools.  But this takes the most labor intensive part and makes it easy, and very accurate.  I can also sand down veneers and bindings much better.  So this should allow me to do some of the details that would have been extremely tough if not impossible before, like 1/32″ thick book matched headplates, etc…

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.

Whats next here?

Well got my three backs down to thickness, or pretty close.  I may work the cherry one a bit more.  Just resting on the sides for a bit of inspiration.

3 Gibson OOs

Either its my poor scraping job, or I may see a bit of figure in that cherry back.  Hard to see in photos but spots shine in certain light, just a bit.

Guitar 5- Cherry back

What to do next?  I have some neck blanks glued up and can work on those.  Just got some veneer in and I can glue up purfling and bindings.  Probably take the spruce out of the freezer tomorrow and cook it again, before anything can be done with the tops.

Still a ton to do.  Its different building this way, you get to see a lot of big parts go together right up front, but all the little detail is still ahead.

 

Back in action! (or some other cheesy tag line of a similar nature)

 

back?shooting boardwhat was I doing here?

Back??

I was actually fairly unproductive this weekend compared to some.  But I did get a few things done.

Looked at the maple I cut for the backs and decided what grain orientation I liked.  Traced on the pattern and joined the edges.  Object is to see no light through the joint, which is not easy to do.  Joined… then held up to the window… then saw where the light was, touched up, back to window… saw where the light was…  Well, it took a few tries but I got one.

Using hot hide glue has been interesting.  You have less than a minute to spread glue, assemble and clamp.  Maybe more time if the room is hot, so that means I have less time.  Figured my best method was to get one side in place, spread glue on the other, wedge them together and weight the joint so it was even.  I think it looks odd, but worked.  A bonus is that I briefly got to use my other passion… random heavy industrial metal parts.

Tonight I cut out the shape and started to thickness.  I’ve only done this a couple times, but each time I think “damn you, asshole… learn to resaw better!”  I guess I can see why people use drum sanders.  I would imagine most mechanically inclined persons could a set a machine to a specific depth and push a button.  But it takes a very stubborn person to set up a plane and push it 15,000 times.  But its ok, I kind of like spending that kind of time on something, just looking, cutting, sweating, cutting, swearing, feeling, cutting, sweating… It was a good workout too.

Still more to go on this one.  Then, two more… Yay!

Apologies for going off a bit.  I think I’m dehydrated.