Thursday, June 29, 2017

Random Stuff 2

The Scheppach had its first big test this week- 75mm of mahogany- didn’t seem to throw up any problems! So far, so good.
I recently bought some black mother of pearl for inlays and I thought that I’d try it out my N logo.
I like the effect, it has a bit more colour to it than “white” pearl yet is more subtle than abalone. Not easy to photograph though!
As a post script to the last post, “Watching TV…” you must try to see the Handmade in Japan series on BBC4. Quite extraordinary patience and attention to detail; wonderful!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Watching TV…

One reason that you might be reading my blog is that you like making stuff- it’s always interesting to see what other craftspeople do and to know that it’s just not you who’s mad! There seems to be a plethora of reality TV shows where various stuff from cakes to rat rods are made. Many of them show the main protagonists getting frustrated and swearing a lot; presumably this is what has been deemed necessary to attract viewers! And there some, where making process is more important, these are our favourites-
Sin City Motors: follows the guys at Welderup building rat rods.
Forged in Fire: a competition for bladesmiths making a variety of weapons.
Café Racer Naked Speed; various bike builders, building café racers.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

New Bandsaw

This is my new Scheppach bandsaw. Unfortunately my faithful Delta bandsaw had to be replaced; the tyre on the drive wheel snapped! Although it’s easily repaired, and normally I delight in making good, the tyres are only available from the USA and couldn’t afford to be without a bandsaw whilst the new one was shipped. So 24 hours after the tyre broke- a new bandsaw!
 My initial impression is very favourable; it’s really heavy duty and professional quality but on smaller scale! I’ll let you know how we get along………….

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Neck Carving.........and more

I've just completed the “woodwork” on David’s Standard mandolin and I thought that I’d show you a few photos of the neck carving process. For me, carving the neck is the last big job, up until now, the neck has been left square; this makes gluing the fretboard on and the whole fretting process much easier.
Step 1 take off  the waste wood- down to the fretboard's edge.
Step 2 take the neck to near its final depth.
Step 3 carve the profile
 And after much carving, scraping, sanding and checking; the final neck!

And here's a couple of photos for the family album...............

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Saturday, June 03, 2017

Mandolins progressing.........

In the last post, you saw the tailpiece that I had just completed for Andrew’s twin-point. This week I’ve set the mandolin up, prior to its finishing; one of the things that I love about making instruments with floating bridges is that, you can get it set-up and playing perfectly before finishing.
I spend long time setting-up my mandolins, adjusting the action and intonation to what I consider to be the optimum for it.
Also, this week has seen the neck fitted to David’s Standard mandolin. I use a type of open mortice and tenon joint on my mandolins. I decided to use this type of joint long ago rather than the dovetail that I use on guitars; the reason being I was concerned that narrow part of its tail would be quite thin on comparatively narrow neck of a mandolin. You can see from the photos below my joint is really chunky, so masses of strength and surface area for the adhesive.
These days I use epoxy for my neck joints- the joints are so snug and accurate that I don’t need clamps. I find that if you use Titebond on such a close fit, the moisture in it makes the wood swell and the joint locks up before the neck is in its correct place!

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