Friday, May 15, 2020

Archtop #4- Slight Diversion

Before I started work on the top plate of archtop #4, I wanted to make a second wooden round-bottom plane. Once I get started on the carving of the top-plate, I won’t want to stop! So, I’ve reined myself in and decided to make the plane before I start the next stage.
 If you watched the video in the last blog post, you would have seen why: essentially, I need another plane with a tighter longitudinal curve on its base
For a while now, I’ve been interested in Japanese design and craftsmanship and there’s a great YouTube channel with lots of woodworking videos. One thing that interested me, whilst watching these Takumis at work, was the sheer number of tools that these guys have; all very simply made, but specific to one job. If the tools are simply made then you’re probably inclined to custom make them as and when required.
So, to a certain extent, I’m now trying to adopt this approach towards my tools and work. The round-bottom planes; they’re relatively cheap and quick to make, so why not make more than one, if it means that your work can go that little bit better. Anyway, here are a few photos of the finished plane and the video above, is my ideas on making a wooden round bottom plane- it’s not a “how to” guide!

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Monday, May 11, 2020

#4 backplate

I’ve just completed carving the back plate for Archtop #4. In order to cope with the irregular grain of the sapele, I started off with a good sharpening session. I can’t over emphasise the importance of sharp tools, especially when dealing with high figured wood.
The first step on the outside, was to do some rough shaping with the Wagner Safe-T-Planner; always with trepidation.

And then much planning, scraping, and sanding by hand.........
There’s more detail in the video.
Here is the finished outer surface; it’s had a quick coat of sanding sealer, just to pop the grain- doesn’t it look lovely!
 Then on to the inside. From a woodworking point of view, I was extremely happy with how this went. My squirrel-tail round bottom plane works like a scrub plane, it’s good for relatively rapid removal but doesn’t give a smooth surface finish, hence making the wooden one, a few posts back.
As it happens, the wooden plane worked much better than I thought it would, giving a really good surface finish.
And the video!

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Monday, May 04, 2020

Robin’s revisited……..

You’ll remember Robin’s Hybrid mandolin (Flat top/Arch back) from a few months ago? Well, here’s a chance to hear it in action. Many thanks to Robin for the recording- always grateful hear my instruments in action.

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