Monday, May 4, 2009

Carving the Replacement Soundboard

Monday, May 4, 2009.

Not a lot got done in the last week, but enough I guess to still say I am moving ahead even if much of it was put in to remaking the soundboard.

I started the week by removing the clamps from the peghead where I had glued the front veneer and then gluing on the back veneer. The front veneer is ebony wood and the back is simply a thin maple.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that virtually no glue got into the truss rod pocket so that little mistake didn't end up hurting.

Then I moved on to the soundboard. Unlike the original soundboard, the raw wood for this one came in a bit warped which made it a bit more difficult to glue up and then made it a lot more important to plane flat before starting to carve. This is not really a straight forward thing to do when your would is not flat on both sides but rather wedge shaped. Obviously, a method must be found to allow the wedged side to face down while feeding it through the power-planer. For this, I remembered reading that Lynn Dudenbostel uses a couple of strips of wood as supports - so I thought I would try it.

I dug out a long, thin piece of scrap wood that shipped as a stiffener with something else (I can’t remember what), cut it in half, and glued it onto the spruce blank.

Knowing that the areas where the glue is applied (pretty much only under the clamps) is going to be carved away anyway and that the strips themselves are nothing more than scrap, I figured the gluing was a pretty good method for making sure the strips stayed in the same location from one pass to the next. Seems I was right.

Once I had the one side nice and flat and my outline drawn on, it was time to carve. Here is where I am as of now.

As you might notice, unlike the first soundboard, I have begun carving the scroll as well as the body on this one. I decided to abandon the idea of carving the ivy leaves on the scroll as I had originally planned and go forward with a traditional scroll. I made this choice because I am finding that this project is challenging enough without this additional feature. I will, however, go ahead with the inlay as I had previously planned.

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