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Old 02-24-2019, 09:29 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Default Build #3: sitka/black walnut 000

I've decided to start the early phases of my third build. It will be a 000. TBH I traced an OM and am in the process of making a new mold in MDF. I had to buy a new 1/8" bandsaw blade but I'm proud of how well they turned out. I'm hoping to use the cutouts as a bending form; they don't have to be exact. I also have a fresh flush cut router bit to even everything out:



This will sort of be a partly-serviced kit as I have
- pre-machined 1/4" Martin X bracing,
- a pre-mortised dovetail joint neck block,
- a CNC'd Martin short scale neck with modified V profile (and of course a premachined dovetail tenon,)
- a serviced 1.75" wide/24.9" scale fretboard, and
- an ebony bridge with 2-1/4" spacing:



Pay no attention to the guitar carcass and blueprints . I was initially going to retop it with a student grade sitka tp from RC tonewoods but opted to just start from scratch instead. The top is a student grade sitka spruce unsanded top from RC Tonewoods; one of the $20 specials. It doesn't appear to have much runout.



What will make it a 000 is that the neck will be 24.9" scale with 1-3/4" wide nut and modified V neck profile and a dovetail joint. I've been sitting on this one for 9 years now. I bought a serviced ebony fingerboard from LMI a few years ago and inlaid in the markers. My eyes are still crossed from the task! Afterwards I tapered it and added flamed maple binding. The neck already had positioning brads in it and a truss rod so I took the opportunity to align the fingerboard into position.



Finally, I had purchased a mahogany dovetail neck block for a 000 and an ebony bridge from the Guitar Maker's Connection at Martin. Rounding it out I bought a set of black walnut from Stewart MacDonald that was on sale this week. I already have fret wire for both my builds waiting to be installed as well as a herringbone rosette. The only pieces missing are sitka ladder bracing for the back, kerfed lining, body binding, center strip and purfling and tuning machines.
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Last edited by Neil K Walk; 02-24-2019 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:47 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Step one is joining the plates. I've already begun with the soundboard. I made a shooting board from MDF and some pine blocks. It's sufficient, though in afterthought I wish I'd made it slightly longer. I was being economical with regards to limited space and use of materials.



I also pieced together a rudimentary candling table using a piece of 1/4" Lexan and a pair of work horses to suspend it over a desk lamp. While functional, the plexiglass (while still fairly firm) is still not rigid enough and will flex, making it look like the joint is not flush enough. Just holding it up to the light (and avoid backlighting) is the way to go in this case. Not a problem: I didn't spend additional resources for the Lexan. I had it lying around after my kids stopped throwing things at windows.

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Old 02-24-2019, 10:51 AM
mercy mercy is offline
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I applaud your wilingness to share. Ill be watching the procession.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:03 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Thx. I’m hoping that the feedback will inspire me to work at it more consistently than I have thus far with my previous projects.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:04 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Using a shooting board is an exercise in patience and restraint. Any change in pressure will alter the depth that the blade will "bite" into the material, but I'm finding that a sharp blade, doing only 1-2 strokes at a time and marking lightly with a pencil where to concentrate is a prudent tactic.

Meanwhile, for $20 I am actually quite pleased with the quality of the sitka. There is some slight silking and very little runout.



I'm about 99% there. The only reason I haven't joined the plates is because we had a severe swing in temperature and my humidifier is struggling to keep up. I feel like 35% RH is the lowest I feel comfortable with; it went down to 28% according to my workbench hygrometer. Fortunately, the wood itself remains stable with minimal (if any) "potato chip" distortion. As you can see from a previous picture I keep it stored appropriately suspended on "sticker" blocks over a shelf that is slotted to allow for good air circulation.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:37 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil K Walk View Post
Using a shooting board is an exercise in patience and restraint.
Sure, but keep in mind that the sound hole removes that portion of the centre seam and the area above that, covered by the fingerboard, is never seen, and is reinforced by end blocks, cross braces, whatever else you put in that area. Practically, the portion of the joint that needs to be perfect is the visible portion in the lower bout below the bridge.

Changes in humidity make accurate fitting of thin components very difficult since they are constantly changing size and shape. I once had a top braced to a convex arch change to a concave arch as the humidity changed. Trying to fit, for example, side contours to that is difficult, to say the least. If you can't control the humidity in a larger area, a small closet of large box/chamber can relatively easily be maintained, taking components out to work on them then returning them to the controlled environment.
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:44 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Sure, but keep in mind that the sound hole removes that portion of the centre seam and the area above that, covered by the fingerboard, is never seen, and is reinforced by end blocks, cross braces, whatever else you put in that area. Practically, the portion of the joint that needs to be perfect is the visible portion in the lower bout below the bridge.

Changes in humidity make accurate fitting of thin components very difficult since they are constantly changing size and shape. I once had a top braced to a convex arch change to a concave arch as the humidity changed. Trying to fit, for example, side contours to that is difficult, to say the least. If you can't control the humidity in a larger area, a small closet of large box/chamber can relatively easily be maintained, taking components out to work on them then returning them to the controlled environment.
Thank you for bringing up that first point, Charles. I was pondering that very point and nearly discounted it because I thought it would somehow compromise the voicing process. Iím particularly interested in doing deflection testing so that I donít overdo it on reducing the thickness of the joined plate. Thatís my biggest regret on my second build; there was too much flex on the soundboard because I planed it too thin.
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:59 PM
emmsone emmsone is offline
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Looks good so far. Any reason why you picked 'student' grade sitka?

David
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:36 PM
Dino Silone Dino Silone is offline
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Iím not sure Iím seeing the picture correctly, but if Iím seeing what I think Iím seeing, Iím a little confused about how youíre using the shooting board. It looks like the two plates for the top are overhanging the MDF shooting board by a couple of inches, so youíre essentially almost jointing the plates freehand. (Except that youíre guaranteed to be square, assuming the body of the plane is square to the sole.)

If thatís the case, Iíd offer the following:

The typical way to use a shooting board is to use the edge of the bed to register the sole of the plane, which automatically limits the depth of cut, and also guarantees that it will be as straight as the edge of the shooting board.

You would clamp the material so that only a tiny bit overhangs the edge of the shooting board, then plane along the edge until the plane canít go any further - it will be stopped because the iron doesnít go all the way across the sole at the mouth. (Unless youíre using a rebate plane - which you absolutely shouldnít be doing for shooting.)

That should give you a perfectly jointed edge, without having to worry about pressure, how many passes, etc - when the plane canít go any deeper because itís stopped by the shooting board, youíre done.

I apologize if I misinterpreted your pictures.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:20 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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No, youíre absolutely right. Iím definitely letting it hang off the edge too much. Thatís probably because Iím using a piece of scrap to true up the outside edge. That piece of scrap is probably too big; Iíll use a straight edge next time.

Sorry! Iím still learning. For my first build I used a jointing table. For my second I did something similar.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:51 PM
Dino Silone Dino Silone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil K Walk View Post
No, youíre absolutely right. Iím definitely letting it hang off the edge too much. Thatís probably because Iím using a piece of scrap to true up the outside edge. That piece of scrap is probably too big; Iíll use a straight edge next time.

Sorry! Iím still learning. For my first build I used a jointing table. For my second I did something similar.
Glad to help! It always does my heart good to see people using hand tools and traditional techniques.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:51 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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On the subject of jointing tools...

An unnecessary, but nice to have is a shooting board track that Lee Valley came up with. It has a snug fit to one's plane - the track does have a range of plane sizes with which it works - and glides on teflon tape to run very smoothly. There is zero play along the travel of the plane, if you set it that way. It works well, though a fairly recent addition for me. They also sell a shooting sander, a metal "plane" affixed with sandpaper, that rides in the same track and is the same width as their mitre (shooting) planes. That works really well for shooting the bottoms of nuts and saddles making them flat and square in a few strokes.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/pag...48&cat=1,41182

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...28&cat=1,42500

They recently introduced an adjustable angle shooting board fence. That works quite well also, but probably isn't something that'll get used too often for guitar making.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/pag...80&cat=1,41182

For many years, I used a long plane for shooting tops and backs. In more recent years, I acquired a mitre plane from both Lie-Nielson and Lee Valley. Both work well, though I prefer the Lee Valley plane: it's easier to use, has better ergonomics, easier to take apart, put back together and it has a skewed blade making it a little easier to push. Neither are essential, but both work well.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:56 PM
Dino Silone Dino Silone is offline
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I don’t have any of the L-N or LV stuff, but once you get the hang of using a shooting board, any plane whose sole is square to the sides will do the trick. (Though sometimes I wish I had that handle that sticks out on the side of the miter planes, though.)

On the angled shooting board: I use a couple of homemade ones to clean up scarf joints for headstocks. (I could have made one with an adjustable angle, but ... MDF and scraps are pretty cheap, and it was easier to just make them for the particular angle I needed for that build ... eventually, you have them in the important angles). They’re made to match the guides I made to cut the scarf joints with a ryoba. I’ve used various backsaws (both Western and Japanese), but the ryoba works absolutely the best. You can hold the flexible blade right against the fence when you start the cut, and it’s basically foolproof - the cuts barely need to be touched up.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:22 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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I got the seam to the point where it passed the candling test and joined the top last night. Now Iím setting my mind toward the next steps.

Iíve plotted out where the rosette will go (a herringbone rosette from Stewmac; dimensions are available on their website) and using a compass drew in the bounding lines. One side of the plates was smooth so that face will be the one I inlay the rosette on; I will reduce thickness on the other - and that will be the next step.

Along the way I plan on checking the stiffness using a deflection jig. I know there are no set numbers to look for but I plan to err on the side of caution - unlike last time where TBH I got carried away.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:35 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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I'm hungry for some Pringles. You?

Seriously though, I'm going to put this is a plastic bin with a couple of sponges and set it aside for about a week. The joint is good though.
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