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Old 02-11-2015, 07:36 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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Default 1st Kit Build Irish Bouzouki

I just want to preface this with I haven't worked with any kind of wood, glue, etc. since probably High School 20+ years ago so please, please bare with me

I was going to try to wait until after I was done with the build to post up what I wound up doing but of course as I get into this I have more questions than answers so here goes. Hopefully someone will be kind enough to chime in and help me out as I go.

My build is an Irish Bouzouki kit. Not many people selling them online that I could find so one can pretty easily find out where I purchased it from if need be.

I have some pics as I go along on my regular camera but for now I have a couple of question pic from my phone to start with...

1.
When I lay the sides down on a flat surface 1 side is straight but the other is bowed as shown in the pic. Should I worry about this now and try to sand it flat or should I just go ahead and glue to the tailblock and sand it later then glueing the top/bottom?


2.
The tailblock and the sides don't match up fully. As you can see in the pic the end do not touch freely. Do i worry about this or should i just glue it and make sure i have 2 clamps on each half of the tailblock/side? does it matter if the joint doesn't fully match up and there is some space at the end?


3.
the bottom edge came slightly crushed in the packaging as shown in the pic. this should not matter right. i will wind up taking off this excess when i join it to the heel right?

Last edited by Twilo123; 02-11-2015 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:39 PM
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This made my day
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:42 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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This made my day
is that good or bad. not sure how to take this lol
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:50 PM
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Definitely good. I would make sure you have a flat surface before you glue any block to your sides. The same goes for your end block. Do the sides need to be bent (tensioned) to fit a pattern? I would make sure everything fits snugly before applying adhesive.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:58 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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Definitely good. I would make sure you have a flat surface before you glue any block to your sides. The same goes for your end block. Do the sides need to be bent (tensioned) to fit a pattern? I would make sure everything fits snugly before applying adhesive.
thanks i was sweating for a second there lol.

to straighten out the 1 side that is off in the instructions it says to use sandpaper on the flat surface and then run the side over it. this way it sands uniform. for the headstock i cut off some of the ends and put a belt sander upside down in a vice to smooth/round out the edges. can i use the same method for evening out of side that is off? or should i just use sandpaper on the table instead. i can use a rough grit for this to even it out and then use some like 800 grit or even 1500 grit to smooth out the rough sanded edge right?
edit: i used the belt sander and got it much closer now. tks for the input.

The end block is tight when i measure it up to a t square so i think that part is ok.

i did not use a pattern as this was a kit. the sides came pre bent and the top/bottom pre cut to a certain rough degree.

btw thanks for the replies. much appreciated!

question: generally speaking for the sides though do they have to be perfectly flat against the flat surface or can they have say 1/16 bow in them in some places? will the titebond be able to hold the joint with a small bend like that and the purfling cover up any imperfection like that?
also i suspect the sides are not the same exact length. the only way to really measure once sides are bent is something like a taylor/seamstress tape measure right. a regular one is not flexible enough to measure the curves properly to get the total length.

Last edited by Twilo123; 02-11-2015 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:25 PM
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here's what i started with:

some basic tools. i'm sure i will need more as i go along


what comes in the box:


thankfully they label which parts belong where in some cases. also in this kit they had already drilled out the tuner holes in the headstock. i noticed on another older build online they did not.
for the back they labelled which side was inside which was a nice touch also.


Last edited by Twilo123; 02-14-2015 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:35 PM
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first off they have you mark the center line of the headstock all the way down through the neck. beyond that you can shape the headstock whatever way you want.

it comes squared out


i rounded it out by sawing off the top edge angles and then rounding them off on a belt sander.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:36 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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next i ran into the issue i posted originally in this thread up top. i wound up sanding them out. I was able to sand out the sides relatively flat against a flat surface. i had to sand down the tail block also to match. a couple of things i learned in this process.
1. rough sanding is much easier with a belt sander. used 1 upside down in a vice and it worked out great.
2. sanding is an art unto itself. a few times i thought i was done just to want a little more and then that last time made things off center and i had to start over again. sanding is like sculpting to me. constantly evolving and revising.
3. you can never have enough clamps.

so the next step was gluing the sides to the tail block. i wiped off what excess glue i could and will sand down the rest later.


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Old 02-14-2015, 05:43 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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next up is to glue the sides into the neck. there is a cutout on the neck for the soundboard so you need to incorporate it by sliding it into place under the neck with some wax paper seperating so as to not glue the soundboard. that will come later. glue in the sides to the neck. clean up what glue you can and sand later. lots of sanding on this project lol.


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Old 02-14-2015, 05:47 PM
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so i'm left with something like this while it all dries.
onto to kerfing....


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Old 02-14-2015, 05:53 PM
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i am doing the kerfing by hand. i don't recommend it lol. what a Pita. i marked all 1/4" and saw them by hand. then before i glue them in i put a little water on the cut side to make the wood more flexible.



finally i glue it on and clamp it. i watched a video from blue creek who said that when gluing i should see wood through the glue otherwise if i only see glue i have too much which i followed. he also mentioned the wetting of the wood to make the kerfing more flexible when gluing in initially.

one thing i think i missed which concerns me a little is i didn't put anything between the sides and the clamps. i hope they don't make an impression on the wood by the time i take them off. i won't be taking them off for 24 hours.



Last edited by Twilo123; 02-14-2015 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:53 PM
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it looks like you have a Musicmakers bouzouki kit. I made one of those a few years ago as a demonstration. From what I can see, you're doing just fine.

I don't know if you know this, but Musicmakers has a forum of their own where you can post questions and have them answered by the people who actually make the kits. The URL is:

http://www.harpkit.com/phpBB/index.php

The nice thing about this forum is that you may see posts by other people who have made the same instrument and therefore be alerted to problems that you may encounter down the road. And your own comments will be useful to those who make that same kit later on.

I check on that forum from time to time myself, and will chime in on any questions you may post there if I feel I have something to add.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:04 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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Thanks JLT, i will keep that in mind.

so the kerfing is done. hand sawing all 4 pieces took a bit of time and patience. i found i got a rhythm over time but by then i was halfway done anyways. also the cuts on handsaw cannot be as uniform as using say a bandsaw or electric saw with a jig; especially for depth and angle of lines i would think. afterwards i sanded down the edges to make them flat with the sides and remove any excess glue that was squeezed out during the kerfing glue process. as suggested in the instructions i used a long wood block with sandpaper on 1 end to try to keep the sanding level and flat across the board. i thought i read or watched a video somewhere that said for kerfing to not actually touch the ends (tail block and neck in this case) so i cut 1/4" off on each piece to accomodate for that.


next up was to mark the inside sound hole for the bracing. i believe out of the box they are suggesting a simple x brace.


so for the brace first you glue the slots together. i believe i made a mistake here and i just clasp together and glued however the joint is not flush on the side that will touch the sound hole. by the time i figured it out the glue was dry so either i will have to loosen the glue, sand down the insert so it's flush, or sand down the bottom of the brace to make it all level. not sure which would be the preferred method to do this.


the x brace itself comes squared so i finally got to try a wood chisel for the 1st time. the wood was easy to work with and between that and some hand sanding i was able to thin out the brace a little while keeping most of the height. not sure for bouzouki if i should do tapered, scalloped, etc. but for now i just thinned out with full height.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:30 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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so i glued the x-brace on however i have some questions maybe someone is willing to answer.

1. usually when i see a build the braces are snug tight to the inside edges of the side. as you can see in my case they are short and do not run all the way to the edge. how does this affect everything? do the braces have to run all the way to the edge (see pic 1).

2. the instructions have the edge run out 7" from center line. as you can see in pic 2 naturally the bent sides are about 1/8" in from the 7" line. does this small amount matter? if it does how can i keep it bent out far enough. just cut a piece of scrap wood slightly larger and fit it inside? if i do that once the glue dries on the top and i pull the scrap out will it pull back into original shape and just rip the glue apart from the top?

pic 1


pic 2
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:09 AM
repete repete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilo123 View Post
3. you can never have enough clamps.
Haha when I looked at your pile of tools clamps were the first thing I noticed you didnt have enough of. Spring clamps really arent good enough for most clamp jobs. Ace Hardware has clamps on sale often so I have snagged a few of them every time I see them in their flyer.

Glue removal- Best method I have found over the years is to let it dry with any ooze. Use a damp to wet paper towel on the blobs/ooze to soften it up. Glue comes off easily.

Not an expert in Bouzouki construction, but everything I have seen on guitars, the main braces always intrude into the kerfing. I would label those as too short. make sure with someone else who may know more about that instrument.

Have fun with your build.

-r
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