Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Purflings and Bindings

I’ve been working on the purflings and bindings on Roland’s instruments. Around the soundboards, I’ve used two strips of fine black/white/black purfling joined together to give two white lines separated by a thicker black one; this complements the rosette nicely. Then I've bound the edges with ebony. It’s always quite amazing to see ebony bend. Below are a few photos of the process.
Around the back edge of both instruments, I decided to use a boxwood line as purfling. I’ve always liked its cream colour and it complements both the walnut of the guitar and the mandolin's pau ferro. However, rather than just a boxwood line, I made some black/boxwood/black purfling. Although the black lines are only 0.16mm thick, it’s just enough to sharpen up and define the boxwood against the backs.
What with all the tiny mitres it took a long, long time to do, but I’m very pleased with the results.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

10 String Mandocello

Jonathan’s 10 string mandocello has now been completed and he came up at the weekend to collect it. After the mandocello’s long gestation period and the to-ing and fro-ing of so many emails, it was good to meet Jonathan in person again (I built him a guitar 5 years ago). As I’ve said before, it’s always a great compliment to be commissioned for a second instrument.
Anyway, below are a number of photos of the completed instrument. I’ve include a photo of the ‘cello with me, just to get an idea of scale! And before you ask where the video is, I felt that I was unable to do the ‘cello justice, but Jonathan has promised one, once he has got to grips with it; as you’ll see, it’s a magnificent beast!

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Indian rosewood

I’ve just bought these 3 lovely sets of Indian rosewood for stock. Some of the best rosewood that I’ve seen for a while; bang on the quarter, straight grain and with that wonderful rich purple-brown colouring.
Notice that I’ve written the date, so although they are already dry and could be used now, they’ll be stacked for use in at least a year or two. Obviously enough for 3 guitars, but if I’m careful I could get at least 6 mandolins!

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Angle plate?

You may remember a few posts back that I was very pleased with an angle plate that I had just bought? So why would a luthier want an angle plate?
Here’s why; spot on for drilling holes on a fretboard's edge (amongst other things).

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Roland’s Pair Part 2

The bodies of both of Roland’s instruments have been assembled and the next stage will be to route the rebates for the purfling and bindings. Meantime some choice photos for you.

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Saturday, September 05, 2015

You can never have too many clamps!

You’d have noticed from some of my posts, that a lot of clamps are used in instrument making. I have quite a range of differing types and these small G clamps come in very useful.
I’ve had these since I was a lad, so you can imagine how I felt when I “lost” one in the depths of the workshop.
Whilst looking for the missing clamp, I was prompted to do a quick inventory to see how many clamps I had in total; 190!
Even so, I was dead chuffed when I found these NOS on ebay!!
Now I have nice little family of 5 vintage “Futters” clamps.
Better make that 193 different clamps!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Roland’s Cutaway

Cutaways add an extra layer of complication (and interest!) to the construction of a guitar's rim. I like my cutaways to blend seamlessly into the neck; as it all takes a wee bit of planning, I thought that you'd like to see the process.
All of the various rulers represent the centre line, position of saddle, edge of the fretboard etc.
The mould is then modified……
....and the sides bent.

There are three Honduras cedar blocks that hold the sides together; each carefully shaped and glued in place.

Once the blocks have been glued in place, the double thickness solid linings go on (easier said than done); there were photos of that part of the process in the previous post.
The sharp end of the cutaway has a “point” fitted to it; this protects the end grain of the sides from being accidentally chipped. A piece of English walnut is glued on and shaped so that it blends into the cutaway.

Meanwhile, down at the blunt end, the end graft is fitted and at this stage it’s also easier to drill the hole for the end pin.
And here is the completed rim with its top and back edges sanded to fit the soundboard and back, housing joints cut to take the end of the braces, and a couple of side braces in case of any accidental impact to the sides which could cause a split.

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