Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gluing the Heel-block and end block, also gluing the kerfing to the sides

Decided how to connect the neck to the soundboard: I didn't like the option that was in the book and I didn't like an experience I had with screw in nuts (back when I did the box joint jig). Plus the screw in nut would be going into end grain on the neck... So I decided to try a furniture style nut. Like below.You will see the holes drilled in the heel-block to accept the neck of the guitar. The other hole at the bottom is for the truss bar adjustment screw.
One of the things that was holding me back from finishing up this project and for that matter, what could have made the inlay much easier was this tool below. I finally ordered a routing base specifically designed for binding, but also great for inlay. Can't wait to use it!
You will notice three cleats (diamond shaped pieces of wood) on the soundboard. I added those a while ago but didn't post. that process. It was simply gluing on some Sitka Spruce squares and chisel them into a pyramid shape.

Making sure the end-block is at a 90° angle to the soundboard.

Gluing down the end block.
Gluing up the heel-block.
I used that scrap block of wood from an earlier post that I saved to keep this heel-block pressure straight down. (because the top is cut at an angle.) See top of block photo below.

Gluing the kerfing on the top of each side of the guitar. I had to put rubber bands on each of the clothes pins to apply more pressure to the kerfing. (better clamp)

Above you can see the reverse kerfing that I ended up using. (not what I made...)

All glued up! Now that's a lot of clothes pins. I used the business card and sponge to apply the glue.

If you're still following this blog, write me a comment below! I could use the encouragement... or critiques.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Where did I go?

Ok, so I took a very long break since July...

New puppy has been taking most of my time for the last couple months...
Her name is Jasmin or Jazzy.I've been doing a lot of other stuff too, but now it's time...
I'm back. Although I wasn't posting I did do a lot of sanding and refining the soundboard (more on that later). Also, I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted to do as far as the kerfing went. I decided against using the kerfing that I made and will use reverse kerfing instead. I was just afraid that the thickness of my table saw blade was just too thick to make good kerfing... I don't know but that's what I did.

I will be posting photos up tomorrow to show that process.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Making the Kerfing

It's been about a month since my last post. We've had a lot of company this last month, plus I've been doing lot's of other summer-time stuff and honey-dos. I should have just purchased Kerfing but once again I just had to make it from scratch. (at least on this first guitar).

Started buy cutting out many of these blocks of mahogony.

Then made a mark on the saw table to line to wood up.

Just continue to line the mark up and cut.

Almost done.
All the blocks are kerfed.

Cutting the kerfing on a steep angle.

All the angles are cut.
Finished up by ripping them all down to finished size. I think I have enough kerfing to do a couple guitars. Really glad this step is done!

Kirfing Jig (a waste of time)

I based the design of this jig off from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0BIQGoO_Vc

Except, I thought It would be more useful to have a wheel advance instead of a rack advance.
I did all the math and sure enough this will advance a quarter inch every click.

Once circle for advnacing the wood and the other to go between the gear and the advance.

I placed old bicycle tire rubber around the bottom circle to help grab and advance the wood.

Completed jig.
Lever moved to advance the wood.
So did it work? Yes, and no. It did work in advancing the wood, but was inconsistent when the wood block thinned out a little. I was disappointed and will most likely re-make this someday with springs to hold the wood up to the round block and I'm sure it will work perfect. I just got tired of building jigs and wanted to get back to working on the guitar.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bending the Sides

Last night I went over to my buddy Dave's shop to bend the sides of the guitar. This is the process that I've been asked about the most by people when I talk about building an acoustic guitar. Basically you get the boards wet, heat up a pipe, and bend the wood around the pipe in a series of heating and cooling.

I used this pipe, below. Dave welded a cap on the end and I drilled an exhaust hole out the bottom-front. Then I simply shot the propane flame into the back of the pipe (held by a vise) to heat it up.

I decided to test this process out on a piece of scrap rosewood to get the feel for the bending process.

The hot pipe drys the wood out quickly so I have to hit the wood often with a water spray bottle. We noticed the sweet smell of rosewood billowing in the shop after a while.

You pretty much just have to rub the wood on the steel for a while and then you will feel the wood relax. Then you apply some pressure and hold the bend while you lift the wood off the iron. When the air cools the wood it retains it's shape.
There is a lot of checking the bends to a pattern I've drawn on a board. Then I would mark the spot of my next bend by grabbing the wood in that location and bending some more.

Notice how the wood looks lighter where the iron is touching the wood – it's drying the water quickly.

Finishing up the large round bend at the back of the guitar.

Again checking it to the (actual) template.
Both sides done.

I took these home and laid them on the back of the guitar (just to get a visual). Wow.

After these photos were snapped I decided to clamp the sides to a board in the exact shape of the template – hoping that this will keep them from re-adjusting shape before I'm ready to assemble the box. I absolutely love the look of this rosewood body and am very motivated to keep this project moving along.

Addition: I showed up at the shop at 7:30 and left at 10:30. So I'm guessing both sides and the test piece each took about 45 minutes each to bend. We did have some set-up time and some BS time. Our buddy Chris showed up too and he watched the shaping of the last board. Was nice to catch-up with him.

– Dave thanks so much for the use of your shop and for doing the welding of the pipe. You've been a big help!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More Gluing and Carving of Braces

Carving up the X braces. Still need to sand these down a bit but pretty much completed the soundboard.

Gluing up the back braces.

Rounding the back braces while the glue drys.

Much of the carving was done with this little plane that Creig loaned me. I may forget to give this plane back to him – it's very useful for this type of work.

All carved but not sanded.
Another angle of all carved but not sanded

A lot of sanding tonight then, maybe bending the sides.