Sunday, May 18, 2008

Getting there... slowly

I think I am getting closer. I just needed to put a little elbow grease in apparently.

Firstly, here is my set up. On the Triton work table I lay out an MDF work board and to that I clamp a piece of plywood to raise my plates slightly. I also used the clamps to also make a surround/frame of sorts around the plate - to hold the plate still so I can push against it.

Then I laid a think piece of MDF over my plate and weighing it down with a couple of bricks. Simply, only the edge of the soundboard/back plate is protruding so I can sand away with the straight edge.

So I am getting close, as you can see below. On the other side of my plates is my bright spotlights, you can see where the light is just coming through at the top.

After an hour or so, I worked out that for each sanding session I did before checking the joint, I was not getting much sawdust. Frustration lead to anger which lead to furious rubbing, lots more dust and the slow closure of the gap.

Time taken : 2 hours
Tools used : as below
AU$'s spent : Nil

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Joining the Plates

I have made a start on joining the two halves of my soundboard and back together. I know that everyone says "take your time", but this is getting ridiculous. I thought it would go together a lot easier than this.

I am using the plane and shooting board method and I think I am getting the right results - sort of. One minute the ends are too high and then the middle is high. I don't understand how it can change considering the straight edge can not sand the ends without doing the middle section as well and vice versa. I will endeavour with this system and post some photos tomorrow.

I defy anyone to be able to physically hold two 3 x 600 x 300 plates together and then hold them up to the light to ensure there are no gaps. I have been using painters tape to act like a second and third pair of hands.

Time taken : 3 hours
Tools used : spirit levels (straight edged shooting boards), sand paper, clamps, hand planes, pencils, rulers.
AU$'s spent : 1200mm spirit level $30.00, painters tape $10.00, sand papers $15.00, Contact adhesive and super glue $8.00, Methylated spirits $3.50

Photos of Wood

Well, I thought I should show you the wood I am about to destroy... I mean, turn in a fine musical instrument. When ordering my kit from Australian Tonewoods, I told Tim that I was more interested in learning the steps and rather than having the best pieces of wood in his shop, I wanted to keep the costs down where I could. Having said that even though it may not be the most eye pleasing pieces you have ever seen, I think they are nowhere near boring and they will make a great looking guitar.

I like the effect of having the really light grain running down the centre of the soundboard. Tim advised me to straighten the grain up a little when making the joint to increase the strength.

Alternatively, I could have the grain constant across almost the whole soundboard. That might make the center joint a little less visable from afar.

Here is the back in its naked beauty. I think it is nicely divided into sections

and the sides, with a little spirits to highlight.

the close up of the figure in the Tasmainan Blackwood

Time taken : 5 minutes
Tools used : Camera and gravity
AU$'s spent : Nil

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What have I done?

It occurred to me tonight that I better change the minor heading at the top of my page. I am really doubting my skills and I wouldn't want someone surfing in and thinking that kit guitar building was this hard.

I went down to see Tim from Australian Tonewoods tonight to collect my soundboard, back, sides, fretboard and neck wood. I had asked Tim to service these parts in sanding to width and making the scarpe joint cut on the neck wood. Even still, I am faced with a neck that looks like four blocks of wood and other bits of wood that really don't look like a guitar to me.

Tim has been great. He is clearly running out of clean space on his work bench, having used it to sketch out a dozen diagrams to illustrate what he is showing me.

I am really starting to worry.... It took me ten hours to make dishes... that is one tenth of the time that it took me to make the OOO. What have I gotten myself in for?

It's late - I will post some wood photos tomorrow night.

Time taken :
Tools used :
AU$'s spent :

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Clean Clean Clean

I spent about 4 hours in the shed today and really did nothing but clean. I have sorted it all out, everything has a place and now I have so much more room. I have tomorrow off work and then the weekend ahead of me - so I might actually get to make a start on things.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I am really happy with the way that the dishes have turned out. Without wanting to blow my own horn - I think they are accurate and I am really pleased. I could certainly produce them for less than US$100 (if you consider postage) - but I doubt I'll be starting an AU business in the near future.

Anyway I reflected on an old post tonight and read where I set myself some challenges,

- Learn to sharpen tools, in particular chisels
- Buy a band saw and consider buying a sanding station
- Order wood and supplies
- Construct a side bending machine
- Construct a mold
- Make a go-bar deck
- Make sanding dishes

So I have checked off three of those things. I tried to sharpen the chisels tonight... they are better, but I still miles away from shaving hairs off the arm.

Now that I have worked out I can mount the jigsaw in the Triton table, I don't think I need to buy the bandsaw this week. I bought a :WASP sanderso I have a basic setup. The gobar deck should be easy enough... so I am somewhat on my way.

Oh and I've been to LMI and ordered up. KTM-9, white glue, inlay spiral bit, radius sanding block for the fret board, fret file... US$130.00 + US$45.00 postage...geezz

Time taken :
Tools used :
AU$'s spent : US$175.00