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Ken_N

Inside First

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Well yesterday I put a couple hours into the belly.  Four hours so far.  First I got it down to around 5 mm. I penciled out the convex part.  I went back over the inside, and made it fit the chain everywhere. After I got it all down to five, I  marked the middle  to 4 mm.

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I finished smoothing up the middle at 4 mm, and decided that I had to cut the notch for the neck, drill the pin holes, and mark the outside and trim it down.

20180607_090427.thumb.jpg.12577969f3d59f3f83674c33f89b3a6c.jpgThat's where I left it yesterday before I went to work.  But there is trouble in paradise.

In the first post on making this replacement, someone should have butted in like Fred Sanford, and said, "Hey you big dummy! You'd better trace the outline of that belly on a piece of paper.  Mark the centerline and then TURN IT OVER, and copy the reversed profile on the bottom face of your belly."

Well I guess that's how it goes. I thought I marked it out WAY bigger than it was.  Lesson learned.  I'm busy the next couple of days, but the next order of business is to make a paper pattern.  Then do whatever I have to do to fix it.  Maybe a wing on a corner?

 

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Well I did have a half an hour yesterday to find out what's going on.  A multiplicity of things.  The first was one that I never even thought of.  The neck is off center.  I made the neck and fit it.  Then I cut out the belly notch.  I never thought that the angles on the root could be off.  They are, so the. neck is on center at the button, but to the treble side at the top.  

The second problem I thought of.  I use the half pattern that I used for drawing out the mold to mark out the corners.  Two things could be wrong.  The holes in the pattern could be off center.  The holes in the form have to be on center because of the way that it was made; the form might not be symmetrical, but that's another story.  

The other thing that could be the problem is that one, or both of the holes in the form might me on an angle.  I drilled them on the drill press, but I don't trust it for square.  

I checked the corners, and they do slope from the centerline, on both sides.  Wow, that's odd.  They both slope down to the treble side.  There goes that idea.  They are just wonky.

Anyway, after cutting the notch for the neck 3 mm wider, and keeping the bottom right on center, the whole thing should clean up.  

Days like this are very good.  You learn a whole lot!

It reminds me of Kepler.  I read that he was really depressed when he found that the solar system was not running in perfect order as he suspected.  Everything was all worked out of place with funky elliptical orbits, and stuff.  I tried to find the quote, but I can't find it anywhere.  It was something like " I was astonished to find that God built the universe on a cesspool."  It wasn't as he expected.  Everything works off everything else.

The entire human race is built on a cesspool, and we work out the same way: everyone can affect everyone else.  

Be good.

Saturday I can cut the outline and see if one corner might need a little something.

Ken

 

 

 

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Ok, back to the revised battle plan.  The outline works, but barely.  Somehow I lost almost all of the overhang on the c bouts.  I asked on the Pegbox for suggestions on what to do.  Leave it and live with it, or try to fix it.  I will just fix it.  It can't be that hard.  The rest of it looks ok, and I have to patch a pitch pocket anyway.

I finally have the ground on the Plowden done.  It is still just barely past wood, you can still almost feel it.  I haven't prepped it for some color coats, it's still not REALLY dry, but this is what it looks like.  Much darker than I've ever done before. I love the light coming in the doorwall off the deck on sunny mornings.

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Hah, funny you should ask. 

I've been cursed by the varnish gods.

I put a coat of clearish varnish on, and it din't look bad, but the color coat made it so that I couldn't see ANYTHING on the back.  Couldn't see the one side light, and the other dark.  So I stripped it.

Tried again, and the vanish looked great, but it would go on smooth, spreading out with fingers very thin, and then when I looked at it later, it was like it had pox!  Little dots sticking up all over the place.  I never had that problem before. Smoothing them out cut into the color.  It was a disaster.  It's coming off the next chance I get.  I can't stand looking at it.

The Gofriller is almost ready to varnish though, and it looks very cool.  I have the left side of the front and back to finish the recurve on, and it is done.  I was going to show it at the MVA 2 weeks ago, but I got there just before it started, and didn't  have time.  It was a jam packed meeting. I was going to show how I did the recurve using a variation of the area tuning by Keith Hill.  

It works great.  I'll tell you about it.

The Plowden is 301 grams without a fb.  The Gofriller is 266 right now, and it isn't quite done.2111942431_20181108_1405192.thumb.jpg.ea9ef721cf07a582c304d436674de7b6.jpg

I only had one place one one corner on the back where I have to add a piece of black to.  The purfling cutters that I made worked great.  Cut right down to depth.  The only problem  was on the back, where the tool I use to dig the wood out between the cuts just struggled the entire time on it.  The belly was easy.  It took longer to dig out the wood on the back than to cut both sides, and dig the wood out of the belly.

Did I ever show those cutters?

I'm thinking of Vernice luterie?  Is that the name? The guy in Italy.  His stuff is said to be more self leveling.   The yellow and the darker, with no pigments.  Show the wood off good.  If it works, I'd have no problem throwing away EVERYTHING I made.

Now for UGLY. Showing it on Maestronet? Why not.  What in the world is going on with this? Perfectly smooth when put on.  I used citristrip, everyone says it is good. 

That's why I've been doing planning.  Regrouping?  Trying to stay sane. 

 

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3 hours ago, Ken_N said:

  Little dots sticking up all over the place.  

Did I ever show those cutters?

 What in the world is going on with this? Perfectly smooth when put on.  I used citristrip, everyone says it is good. 

That's why I've been doing planning.  Regrouping?  Trying to stay sane. 

 

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After some thought that appears a reaction between a resin and a solvent, like acetone or maybe alcohol, during the early drying period.  I've never had that problem on wood but may of had that issue of clotting? while ingredients were in a jar together. 

No, I have never seen your purfling cutters.  Do they mark wood cleanly?

I use Citristrip for varnish removal to bare wood or what I perceive to be bare wood - not convinced yet that the stuff will remove eggwhite grounding. 

Planning and regrouping eh, along with being sane?  It's do-able, I think.

  Here I'll have to move all of my guitar stuff out of the way before getting back into working wood.  I haven't played an electric guitar in over ten years until a month or so ago.  Picked one up to clean the dust off of and the next I knew I was at the bench with a guitar, processor, cords, books etc.  But winter time is fiddle making time around these parts for me so I'll need a few days to get going with wood again to fight off boredom.  

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I just used scrapers, water, and 800 wet/dry.  The varnish never gave any problems before. 

The purfling cutters worked great, and cut right to depth.  I made two so I can set the width. I tried them before, but the blades were not sharpened properly.  They were too thick; now they cut good. I cut them after the plates are glued on the ribs, and the outline is finished.  The long guide rests on both plates, and keeps the knife cut perpendicular, something I have trouble with by hand. 

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Guitar stuff?  I have the baroque mold made, but a few weeks ago I saw a cool guitar somehow on youtube; and archtop by Koentopp Guitars in Chicago.  The Amati.  I thought, "This fits right in with violin making.  Right between a viola and a cello.  I told my wife, I'd like to make that one; just for me to play."  She said that she always liked it when I played the guitar.  I found some time when I was working midnights to play just before going into work.  Just learning with a book.  More like Spanish classical?  Finger picking, bass notes, and some strumming. It was fun. I thought that she was sleeping in the bedroom.  41 years, and I still like it when she says stuff like that. My old garage sale classical had pretty good sound; but I had to do a lot to get it to play. Still, the neck isn't straight; the frets are really low, the saddle is coming unglued. 

This is the beast.  I've drawn it up.  16" instead of 17.  17 just looks so HUGE.  I only need some spruce,  unless I can find a back and ribs set for arch top somewhere cheap.  Probably with two "bass bars" not cross bracing; the arch should have the cross brace built in. 

http://koentoppguitars.com/blog/the-hog-amati/

I want to get these two violins done too.  I like having projects in different stages,  but it would be even better to not have to go into work!  Work steals a lot of your day, don't you think?

 

 

 

 

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I started posting again on my violin making blog; on building an Archtop Guitar. 

https://violinsbyken.blogspot.com

I'll put some things up here too.  The post hasn't eve had one page view yet!  Like always, I have LOTS of questions, and not many answers.

The del Gesu is getting stripped again, and I think I'll do that one, and the Gofriller at the same time.  I'm using some more wood I found that I bought a while ago, for reasons unknown.  They looked cool?  The guitar will have a curly bubinga fingerboard, curly redwood top (on my way from Oras Island Tonewood), Euro Sycamore back,  Big leaf? sides, a laminate neck with Birdseye, and some dark wood for the middle that I find.

Anyone know anything about truss rods?  Most guitars have them.  With an electric, I can see how they would fit.  I can see how they would fit on flattop.  But an archtop has that fingerboard extension.  I'm thinking it would end before the dovetail for the extension.  

Also, it seems like the extension sits on the upper block, and the top is cut around it.  Is that what I'm seeing?

It should be fairly straight forward.  Yes, I will do it inside first.  Why wouldn't you?  It screams to be done that way.

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9 hours ago, Ken_N said:

Anyone know anything about truss rods?    I'm thinking it would end before the dovetail for the extension.  

Also, it seems like the extension sits on the upper block, and the top is cut around it.  Is that what I'm seeing?

It should be fairly straight forward.  Yes, I will do it inside first.  Why wouldn't you?  

Truss rod slot - 1/4" wide x 7/16" deep.  I made my own using 3/16" non-threaded rod.  If you're going the store bought pre made truss rod route don't cut the groove until you see what you have to work with.  After rod is installed cap the top of the groove with glued spruce and chisel down after drying.  Truss rod does not go into the extension.

The neck extension is actually glued on top of the dovetail.  Make  the extension piece 5" long, 3" wide and 5/8" thick.  Your dovetail should have a 4.5 degree taper.  The part that goes into the neck block should be 5/8" deep.  The ledge that you'd want to glue the extension piece onto would be the 5/8 deep dovetail in addition to another 3/16" taken out of the neck 5/8" deep.  It's like gluing a 5" piece of wood to make the neck longer.

I think doing the outside of the plate would be safer personally.  I'd want it to look good first on the outside before removing wood on the inside.  X- bracing can work but you'll have to make sure the bracing lines up under the bridge feet.

This project would turn out better if you purchase the Benedetto book of archtop making.

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Thanks uncle duke,  I'll buy the book.  I was thinking about buying that book.  Still time to put it on my Amazon wish list for the procrastinators.   The extension will have to clear the body then.

The 14 1/2 inch one will work fine then.  At least something that I was thinking was right.

 

 

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Well, people look at my violin making blog, but not the guitar post. I'll still put the build up there, but I'l talk about  it here as well.  

My belly wood came.  Curly redwood.  It felt light, so I measured and weighed it.  .36SG.  That seems pretty light.    It has a nice curl to it; I'll have saw it in half.

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I almost have the varnish all off the Plowden.  It isn't easy.  The edges and the scroll are the hardest, I haven't tackled the scroll yet.  I did get the color coats off; they were easy;  but the ground coat absorbed a lot of color, and I want it gone too.  Maybe that was the source of my bumpy bubbles, slightly softened ground from the Citri Strip?  The ground did not have any color in it the first time I stripped it.  I don't know, but I'm only going to varnish this instrument 1 more time.  The Gofriller needs the fluting on the back of the scroll; somehow I missed it; and they both need the pin holes filled.  I ALWAYS forget that.   Who has little wooden pins sitting around?  Or big ones, if someone uses the wrong drill bit. 

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I haven't done anything with that neck.  Why is it SO DARK?  

 

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32 minutes ago, Ken_N said:

Well, people look at my violin making blog, but not the guitar post. I'll still put the build up there, but I'l talk about  it here as well.  

My belly wood came.  Curly redwood.  It felt light, so I measured and weighed it.  .36SG.  That seems pretty light.    It has a nice curl to it; I'll have saw it in half.

20181211_110948.thumb.jpg.2a3b791efaf60e644d7c2519c8286034.jpg

I almost have the varnish all off the Plowden.  It isn't easy.  The edges and the scroll are the hardest, I haven't tackled the scroll yet.  I did get the color coats off; they were easy;  but the ground coat absorbed a lot of color, and I want it gone too.  Maybe that was the source of my bumpy bubbles, slightly softened ground from the Citri Strip?  The ground did not have any color in it the first time I stripped it.  I don't know, but I'm only going to varnish this instrument 1 more time.  The Gofriller needs the fluting on the back of the scroll; somehow I missed it; and they both need the pin holes filled.  I ALWAYS forget that.   Who has little wooden pins sitting around?  Or big ones, if someone uses the wrong drill bit. 

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I haven't done anything with that neck.  Why is it SO DARK?  

 

Beautiful piece of redwood!  Why so dark?  What did you do?

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There is nothing on it, or I should say, I didn't put anything on the neck.   I don't think I did.  Maybe some oil or wax, but I've never done that before!  Maybe from the gel on my gloves.  That's it. 

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I had time to cut the redwood up.  Sliced a couple of diagonal braces off first on the bandsaw.

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The wood has a lot of luster, and silking.  I had to get out my big bad ryobi to do the split.  It is 289mm long and the rip side has 3 teeth in 2 cm.20181211_142317.thumb.jpg.faa80c0afe2f7eaffd3fccc551e9d150.jpg20181211_142040.thumb.jpg.1ebd0914175cd061b542a9ee25e4ce64.jpg

It should work out.  I cut it to get the tallish arch I'm looking for.  The cut on the piece worked out good for that.

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On 12/11/2018 at 10:36 AM, Ken_N said:

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You may as well start scraping the neck and scroll finish too.   Why?  You might find a finish/varnish that works well and you'll have all clean wood to apply it on to capture the Ann Arbor violin making aura/spirit.

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On 12/12/2018 at 5:57 PM, uncle duke said:

You may as well start scraping the neck and scroll finish too.   Why?  You might find a finish/varnish that works well and you'll have all clean wood to apply it on to capture the Ann Arbor violin making aura/spirit.

Yeah, all that stuff is coming off.  All I need is a stiff wind from the south.  Not even that stiff; it's only 60 miles. I do have a package from Italy, but I can't open it until after Christmas.  I have more than a week to scrape it off, and finish the fluting.

I did add the Benedetto book to my Amazon wish list, and the very next morning, one of my daughters asked my wife for a link to it. Cool.

I joined the redwood top yesterday, and glued it up this morning.  That was by far the easiest joint I've ever done.  That stuff is a joy to plane.  It IS easy to split along the grain though.  I'll have to be careful with it.

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I sawed the back off yesterday too.  It has a bit of a bow to it.  I'm going to let it work for me. I'll plane away some of it on the inside to the point where it is almost to the blocks,  then I'll double the ends to get it flat.  It will have binding around the outside,  so that will cover the doubling.  

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I had  a copy of the drawing made so I can make a template.  I'm using my material of choice.  1/8" hardboard.  I spray glue the drawing on, and cut it out.  The radius cut on the hardboard was done with a thin Japanese saw.  It was too wide for my bandsaw.  I didn't know it would work so well. 

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Yes, I am planning on having an odd upper block, unless someone talks me out of it.

 

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On 12/11/2018 at 1:16 PM, Jim Bress said:

Weird, looks the same as what I can see of the ribs and scroll.  I'd blame the naughty elves that got kicked out of Santa's workshop.

It's getting there.  The one side of the back IS darker.  Unless you look at it from the other side; then it is lighter.  On a back I like it.  Not so much on the front.  The curved blue steel knife is far more useful than I thought.  

Insidious little devils, aren't they?  The varnish wasn't that dark, and it was very thin and transparent.  Weird.

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2 hours ago, Ken_N said:

It's getting there.  The one side of the back IS darker.  Unless you look at it from the other side; then it is lighter.  On a back I like it.  Not so much on the front.  The curved blue steel knife is far more useful than I thought.  

Insidious little devils, aren't they?  The varnish wasn't that dark, and it was very thin and transparent.  Weird.

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Varnish Devils. A new mythical creature I could readily believe in. I’ve started doing my whole treatment on cutoffs of each different piece of wood, even of the same species. Spruce, back, ribs, and neck all seem to behave a little different. Then of coarse there’s still little surprises on the actual instrument, but hopefully all surprises are small by that point. 

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On 12/20/2018 at 3:50 PM, Jim Bress said:

Varnish Devils. A new mythical creature I could readily believe in. I’ve started doing my whole treatment on cutoffs of each different piece of wood, even of the same species. Spruce, back, ribs, and neck all seem to behave a little different. Then of coarse there’s still little surprises on the actual instrument, but hopefully all surprises are small by that point. 

I used my Christmas present from Italy, red and yellow varnish from Vernice luthieria ?   Very thin, but a lot of color. I found, not right away, that a foam brush works great.  Mixes well with oil paint.  This is yellow mixed with Azo Green over a shellac seal.  Then just straight red.  Nothing fancy.  

The other one is more tricky.  I'm trying for wine red over gold. Not so easy.

It's sunny and 50 degrees.  I'll take it all winter long.  

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20190211_122046.thumb.jpeg.0e2ad2cafa1936a027c93400d8438601.jpegI have a bad habit of looking at my varnish in the sun.  It always looks better that way to me.  But who looks at varnish in the sun?  

Even the orange del Gesu had some varnish peel off.  Weird. 

But I'm working on the archtop guitar now.  Want to finish it for my birthday in June.  Lots of luck.

Last weekend I needed to get another plastic profile gage so I could draw the arches out on paper and see what I have.  When I started to put them together I was shocked to discover that I had to pull all of the red plastic pieces out of one, and turn them around so they would match.  Has anyone else done this before?  I guess they'd have to make a right and a left otherwise. 

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I have a description of what I'm doing on the archtop blog I started.  It will document everything.  The latest is talking about the arching of the back.  

Of course it is inside out, but in this case the middle of the outside is closer to finish right now.  I wanted to get as much height as I could out of the wood.

https://kensarchtop.blogspot.com/2019/01/build-archtop-guitar.html

Any questions or help would be appreciated.

Ken

Edited by Ken_N

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I have the Archtop back somewhat roughed out.  It is the way I usually work.  Get the inside concave arches, and the outside convex arches close to size; and the edges still thick; and the profile not defined exactly yet.  Then I might do the neck, and get everything 3/4 done before doing the ribs. 

Then it goes fast. 

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You can see the diagonal arches, and the centerline arch marked on the outside.  The outside centerline arch is a 1100 mm radius.

I think it looks cool, but it will look much better finished.  

The bigger arches are a lot of fun.

Ken

 

 

 

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I made a form the other day for the arch top guitar.  I used a 2 X 10 X 4' piece of Fir(?) from Menards.  Curly grain and insect holes.  Looked very cool.  It is collapsable. I don't think I'll glue the back on though, probably just the linings.  I'd glue the back for sure if it wasn't a cutaway.

My Chinese bending iron, that isn't even very good for violins after extensive filing, is even worse for bending guitar ribs.  But it was tall enough for an archtop, so it worked.

The blocks on the bottom raise it high enough to glue the blocks on at the right height, so there is room to put the linings on both sides.

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