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Friday, August 8, 2014

Installing neck reinforcement rods

I know it's rarely needed, but I see other builders do it and argue for it so since I had some carbon fibre rods at home I wanted to give it a go. Five necks; three sopranos, a tenor and a concert.

I cut the rods to length, roughly from the heel end and back to the first fret. Then I sliced them diagonally to wedges, thinking the thinner end should go towards the headstock where the neck profile is slimmer. But why, you might wonder, strengthen the fatter part more - that'd be strong enough already. Well there's more wood there and my feeling is that a thicker piece could warp more if humidity and temperature would play up. 

In the pic there placed on the neck backwards. 


Then I was going to place a block of 12 mm thickness at the first fret location and run it across my mini table saw, to get the slot to even out to zero where the wedges end. But the table on the saw is tiny and the block wouldn't make contact at first. Bummer! I really did not fancy making special wedges for each neck size!

But wait..! Wedges? I had wedges already didn't I. After an unprecedented stroke of genius, this is what I came up with. 


I superglued the sliced rods on some wide masking tape and Bob was, indeed, your uncle. Or my uncle. 

After running it over the blade a couple of passes (blade is 1.5 mm and the rods 2) this was the result. 


And after 10 more minutes this was the result. 


Clever, huh? And the tape already in place in time for glueing! Out came the epoxy. 


You'll notice that not all pairs are centered, but they will be. I avoided some sapwood on one and a chip out on another.

I feel so good about myself I'm gonna publish this method on various fora. 




Sunday, August 3, 2014

Resawing

It was time to try the theories out! I needed some fretboard blanks and while I was at it I decided to try resawing a chunk of cherry as well. 


This is obviously a shit saw, my Pax rip saw is at home. I actually finished the rip cut with the frame saw. 

Using my newly finished kerfing plane I put a guiding kerf slot around all four sides of the pieces. The one in the pic is a piece of bubinga that I will use for fretboards. 


This is the first slot half done. 


Then, the frame saw! I did notice almost immediately that practice is needed. The first cut went ok but since the bandsaw has gotten better (faced with its new opponent; the frame saw) I made some of the cuts on that. The guide kerfs stop it from drifting. 



And here are some of the parts I made. Left, an ebony guitar fretboard blank that'll make four uke sized boards; next two lengths of bubinga; third, a guitar fretboard blank of rosewood, also good for four uke boards; and to the right two 170 mm cherry slices, enough for one piece soprano soundboards. I'm well chuffed. And I will practise using the framesaw. 



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Going through the pile

Will you look at this? I spent some time sorting the koa sets I have on hand, and found 17 of them! A couple are big enough for concerts, the rest sopranos. I had real trouble matching tops and backs with sides. And I found that some bookmatched pieces actually weren't bookmatched; they came from the same board but there had clearly been a couple of slices taken out between them. 

I got them fairly cheap and a couple of sets are really good so I won't moan too much.