Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some Progress

Wednesday, March 4, 2009.

Been spending more time working on the mandolin, or at least the fixtures and tools for it, and less time writing about it lately (especially since nobody is reading, so far). Here are some pictures of what I got done.

I received my second round of practice wood for bending last week and discovered something interesting - not all practice wood is necessarily the same. This time around, the wood thickness and width are practically identical to that of the real stuff. This means I was able to work with pieces that don’t have to be modified (other than trimming to width) prior to bending. I think my results are pretty good.

I also finally got to finish making all my cello clamps. All I really had left was to glue leather on to one side and then trim them up.

One of the things I finally got done was to get the wood for the back split. As I wrote before, I was not able to do this myself because I don’t have a saw large enough to do it. Initially I started trying by using a handsaw.

This is where I was after about a half-hour of sawing (with a new saw, I might add).

I worked on it for another half-hour the next night and finally gave up. Fortunately I was able to find a friend who has a large bandsaw and got it done. Once cut, I noticed that the wood has a nice cup to it.

Here you can see, that when laid out in book-matching fashion, the two pieces cup in opposite directions. Not having a planer I will try to level this by hand once glued together (wish me luck).

Looking at the top, you can also see that the book-matched edges will need some truing before I can glue them to together. For this, I created myself a “truing board”.

As you can see, I made this out of two pieces of 3/8" plywood with a 2 x 2 on each edge. This assembly is then glued to a piece of 1" thick poplar. Once I had this built, I took a look at my hand plane and realized that the blade on it was in sad need of sharpening. For that, I purchased this honing guide.

Using it along with several grades of wet-dry sandpaper glued to a pane of glass, I should be able to get my plane sharp enough to work with.

And, finally, I have started making the cut-out in the neck for the truss rod. Mr. Siminoff describes using a table saw with a fixture to cut this, but he also mentions that it can be cut using a Dremel or carving chisels. I am a little nervous about using a table saw for this, and lacking the proper bits for my Dremel, I decided to use the carving chisel technique. Here is where I got to last night.

I still have a ways to go before I get the depth right and I still have yet to get the pocket cut in the peg head for the truss rod nut, but I think it is a good start.


Clare said...

I like your method of mass glueing the leather to the spool clamps. Very smart.

Clare said...

If I ever try a mandolin truss road slot, I'll use your chisel method, not having a table saw or router.