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

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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

Days of wine and roses.

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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

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.

Fixture for routing binding

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Binding part 2- I had pre fabricated a jig to cut bindings ledges and added the router when it was delivered Monday.  Bit arrived late yesterday.  This is based on one I saw online.  Router sits underneath the work table, height … Continue reading