Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fancy bits!

Here (as promised) are the first few stages of fitting the purfling and bindings to Ian’s guitar. It’s a slow process! You can see how the two different rebates are cut around the top edge (and then repeated on the back) one for the purfling and the deeper one for the binding. 
Although a router is used for much of the rebating, the sections near the points have to be cut by hand; first using a purfling cutter …………
Other details such as the slot for the end graft are also cut by hand.
 Now, in my blurb for my “Standard” mandolin, I say that, “Time is the most expensive component of any handmade instrument” and this small piece of detail work (the end graft) is a good demonstration of that- there’s about 3 hours work here!
The purflings have been going on piece by piece and with them all glued in place, the bindings are next. I’m using ebony; it never ceases to amaze me how well ebony bends….
And a bit more time, waiting for glue to dry...........

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

A belated Happy New Year to you all!

I had forgotten what a fiendishly complicated thing, my model 2 shape is to build! The rim is made up from four side pieces which are joined together with four carefully shaped blocks. As I now use double thickness solid linings (to add rigidity to the rim) there are 16 individual pieces to bend and glue in place. And also there six small strips of spruce glued to the sides to stop any cracks (from an accidental impact) travelling too far around the guitar. These side braces are necessary on a guitar as the sides are under tension from the strings. With the rim made, the ebony points are fitted, glued in place and then blended into the curve of the body. I make that 32 individual components!
Once the rim is completed it’s ready to receive the soundboard and back- the small notches around the edge house the ends of the braces.
And here we are- the body assembled and cleaned-up- very striking eh?
Next step, bindings and purflings, oh and wee bit more abalone!

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