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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SlingBlader, Jan 9, 2017.
The price isn't as bad as I thought it would be.
That's sorta what I thought considering you can easily drop $90 on a 1/2" compression bit.
I found details in your build thread that were not readily available anywhere else... total lifesaver.
Come to think of it, one example is your neck routing jig. I know that Gil had a similar jig posted in his thread over at TDPRI, but the pictures were so bad, I could barely make it out. You brought the clarity, man, I just put my own spin on it.
Prepping the tops
I had a couple pieces of figured maple laying around that I bought on eBay a couple of years ago. They didnt cost much, so I figured they were perfect for this project. I wasnt sure what to expect as the raw billets were not too impressive, but they were certainly nice and had a good amount of character.
To prep them for resawing, I had to joint one face and one edge. I used my low angle jack for the bulk of the flattening. I use a blade honed to around 37 degrees for an effective angle of 49 degrees for figured woods. I also frequently spritz the wood with a mix of denatured alcohol and water to help reduce the tearout.
I just love the smell of maple shavings in the morning
Once the surfaces are essentially flat, I follow up with a number 7 jointer to finish the process. Flat and square.
I mark the two jointed surfaces and keep these against the table and fence during the resawing process.
This is the top for #2 along with a well-deserved refreshment.
Man, this post is getting long. Hope I'm not killing everyone with too many pictures. Someone reach out and smack me if I'm going overboard.
I'll pinch this one off and start another post.
Resawing and glue-up
I set up a featherboard to help keep the stock against the fence and my wife helped to catch on the outfeed side.
And here are the tops after resaw with a little DNA spritzed on them. I think they will work.
Before I glue up the bookmatched pieces, I need to true up the glue edge. These pieces are narrow enough that I can joint them both at once. So, I fold up the pieces, just like a book and align the glue edge. I clamp both ends with F-clamps and put the whole assembly in the vise.
I joint both glue edges at once with a #7 jointer plane. Once I can take a full length and width shaving in one pass, Im done. The beauty of this method is that even if my overall edge is not at 90 degrees, the pieces will still mate up perfectly and the glue-up will lay flat.
I put some waxed paper on my bench and glued up the tops using my bench top as a flat clamping caul. This bench is a split-top and I can remove the center strip so that I can clamp nearly anywhere on this top. A very handy feature.
And here they are out of the clamps.
Thanks for looking.
Very nice. There is no such thing as "too many pictures"! ;-) Great work and a great work shop.
Same! (as to being in agreement about there never being too many pics)
Looking forward to seeing your build unfold.
I bet this is the most poplar thread of 2017.
Thanks, Peter... it's just a garage. lol
Thanks to both of you!
Now that's funny right there, this is just sort of a "monkey see, monkey do" scenario here.
Thanks, man! Sorry, I missed you in the multi-quote earlier.
Indeed, more pictures will always be a good thing! You've got the beginning of a beauty, for sure.
Also, I love that big ridiculous template bit and I'm totally buying one.
Thanks, I hope they turn out well. That bit is something else, but the first time you hear it come up to speed, it can be a little intimidating for sure.
The tops... continued.
OK, so the next step was to get the tops cut to rough shape before gluing them to the bodies. The first thing that I did (not pictured) was to flatten the glue side of the tops. I also flattened the glue surface of the bodies. This didn't take long as the glue-up went well and the pieces were pretty flat already. Again, I used planes for this.
I aligned a body template to the center line of the tops and traced well outside the template.
I took these to the band saw and cut them out.
Next, I aligned the tops to the bodies and used a couple of clamps to hold them in place.
I took this assembly to the drill press and drilled pilot holes through the pickup and neck mortise locations.
I preinstalled washer head screws in these locations, made sure that everything could still be aligned properly, and then removed the screws. These will act as clamps during the glue up.
I attached some scrap material to the back of the bodies to protect them from clamp damage. Ultra high-tech fastening method here.
I added a little additional water and a small amount of salt (helps to extend working time) to the hide glue and brought it on up to working temperature.
Using hot hide glue on a large surface can be tricky, so I made sure to lay everything out exactly where I needed it. I ran through the procedure mentally, sprinkled some chicken blood on the floor, performed a ceremonial dance, and I was ready to go.
I pre-heated the glue surfaces with a heat gun to improve working time. I used a 1 1/2" chip brush to quickly apply a nice even coat of glue to the top of the body. (no pictures of this for obvious reasons) I made sure to stay away from the wiring channel to avoid excess squeeze out in that area.
I quickly applied the top, and snugged down the screws being sure to keep the center lines, well... lined up. I installed a bunch of clamps around the perimeter of the body and got a nice amount of squeeze out.
And there you have it. OK, OK, I know. Obvious overkill here, but dammit, when it comes to clamps I find it hard to control myself.
Thanks for looking,
That top is a stunner..
Looking forward to seeing the finished product
Thanks, much appreciated!
Bringing the tops to final thickness
The tops were over the 5/8" thickness that I needed, so it was time to bring them down to size. Ideally, I'd use a drum sander for this, but I don't own one yet. I set up this questionable rig with my router to thickness the tops. I'm not proud of it, but it did work. I used an oversized base that I made for another project along with some spacers clamped to my router table. I should have waited, built my box jig and used that instead. I moved my router table outside so that there was less mess to worry about.
Here it is in all its glory.
This is a big 'ol bit made by Amana that I used to flatten the tops. It worked really well.
Here we are in progress...
And done. Removing this material revealed a hidden inclusion/flaw in top #2. No biggie, it just adds some character. I'll fill it with some tinted epoxy later.
Thanks for looking,
Good work so far!!