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Friday, October 25, 2013

Fretting / fretboarding

The new clamping setup (even further improved by chucking it in a vise) was so successful and quick this time I missed the Kodak moment when the frets sunk in. But I rapped the ends down into the slots first, leaving the wire in a shallow arch over the board. This is ebony and not really a team player so with only one end in the slot the wire wanted to roll over. And I've heard that this approach forces the barbs sideways, thus securing the fret better.

Then I filed the ends off and turned to the next stage, sanding the edges. And this is a first (about bloody well time innit): I clamped the board against a piece of maple so it stayed straight. After fretting there's a backbow leading to uneven sanding results - typically the ends get more in contact with the abrasive and the edges get a curve. But never again.

I take the fretboard down to a red hair's width less than the neck. Then I can sneak up with a scraper to the neck and get a perfect fit along the edge.

Last pic, clamping with surgical tubing. And a few clamps. Wrapping minmizes slipping but I put some brads in the neck as well. Two staples from a staple gun, nip off the middle parts and you have four points to press your fretboard onto.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New screws - glueing back with upgraded solera

I assembled the long screws with wingnuts and the extra long nuts and put them on the carriage bolts holding the supports.

Then I stared blankly at the whole setup for a while. Until I remembered some thin basswood pieces that was left over from the inserts for the solera, how fitting! I cut slots and tried them on.

The last pic shows the back being held down. I added some gobars between the strips, I'll fix a caul for the entire edge at some point. But for now, I'm really happy with this.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Neck carved, sides shaped

I put in the kerfed lining strips this morning and tonight I shaped the contour of the sides in the radius dish.

Then I carved the neck. I cut a groove in it the other day and epoxied in a carbon fibre rod as reinforcement so I can make it pretty thin.

So I carved away. And guess what I found? A bloody worm hole! But I've got my sales pitch sorted: "why would I use wood that's so bad not even the worms would eat it?"

Monday, October 14, 2013

Number 64

I got a piccolo strung up tonight, before going to an open stage night. I have some gob irons and a uke with me, but I don't know yet whether or not I'll play. I have very unpredictable nerves.

But the new piccolo turned out sweet. Like the others.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A hundred dollar screw investment

Well you never thought you'd end up here when you googled "screw" did you now. But if you're ever so little into senseless cash dispersal, this is the place for you.

Those of you who've been here a while surely remember this post from last year:

That was an attempt at facilitating glueing down the sides to the top. But since the threaded inserts I put in the solera were the work of the Devil and went in at different angles the whole concept kind of stopped at sketch level. I have used it but the other night when I worked on the koa concert I lost the last sliver of patience.

So. Since rage is the mother of invention I came up with this new setup:

1. New slightly longer carriage bolts for the moveable wooden angle supports on the solera.
2. A wingnut to secure the support to the edge of the insert (the inserts are different for each size uke I make).
3. A double length nut to get... a threaded insert! At the right place (it moves with the support) and at the right angle.
4. A long screw (sigh) with a wingnut close to the top.

You see where this is going, right? Now I can get many more screws (c'mon!) around the sides to which I can attach clamping elements. I don't know yet if these will be short or if they will go across the box as in the sketch version.

In the pic you can also see the lining I cut out from a 1 mm rubber sheet. I put this under the top to protect it when clamping sides.

Stay the hell tuned! I'm a couple of hundred hits from 100.000 visitors on this blog. Make it your startpage already.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Shaping braces on the koa concert

This is the third concert I build, without doubt the rarest of Argapa models. So there are no rules or truths yet, just me guessing and using whatever feeling or instincts I've developed during my almost five years as a hobby builder.

The pic shows the braces and bars about halfway done. I'd almost forgot my larger Ibex plane, and the wooden brace place. Both came in very handy and I can see myself avoiding some nasty cuts in the next softwood top I make - I'll just have to remember to use these planes instead of some more square ones.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Progress on some of the current builds

I have a lot on the bench. I count two resos, one concert and three piccolos. One of which is a custom model, not my standard cherry job.

Tonight's pics show:

- The braces and the bridge patch on the koa concert in the go-bar deck

- The old mahogany and the ancient spruce for mr. Monteleone's piccolo

- A reso body. It's clad with wood on the sides, and I need to trim that flush with the top and bottom. I forgot to run it through the drum sander the other night, and I never grasped the concept of flush trimming with a router. So planing it is... But maybe I'll roll out the sander again. Even if it's cumbersome and noisy.