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Andyjr1515

A Guitar Bouzouki - (no basses were harmed in the...)

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7 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

then P will have forgotten that this facility exists and almost certainly I won't be around to remind him

You could maybe stick a discreet label at the top of the neck block - "glued joint - steam access under heel cap"?

It's looking great!

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1 hour ago, atsampson said:

You could maybe stick a discreet label at the top of the neck block - "glued joint - steam access under heel cap"?

It's looking great!

That's not a bad idea :)

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I know this looks like just a picture with a whole load of clamps - but there's quite a lot going on underneath it all:

T4JPYBJl.jpg%20%20

On the left hand side is the headstock plate on top of two sheets of ebony veneer sandwiching a sheet of maple veneer, clamped down on a glass plate.  This will mean that the demarcation line between the headstock plate and the headstock will match that of the fretboard to neck :)

On the right hand side we have the fretboard being glued to the neck, which means the truss rod is fitted and the fretboard end has been shaped.

Other than that, it's just a picture of a whole load of clamps xD

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Headstock plate ready to glue and fretboard glued:

83f2mBxl.jpg

 

And does it still line up?

e7BSbggl.jpg

Phew!

The headstock plate will be glued on tomorrow - this is how the veneers worked out:

VZIPJVAl.jpg

All being well, I should be able to start the neck carve in the next couple of days :)

 

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Posted (edited)

The headstock plate is now glued on.  The plate has full area veneer to create the b/w/b demarcation line and, for the fretboard, it is built into the binding.  Pretty good match...

0oSwYu4l.jpg

There is a zero fret but there will be a bone faux nut just behind in the normal position that will be cut to act as a guide for the string spacings

To get all the the tuners fitting OK, I had to get the neck off, and the various files and planes out.  So while it was there I just took the corners off the neck profile too using a spokeshave and a micro-plane blade.  You can see the paper template that P gave to me (I sent him a profile gauge and some instructions to take the profiles of his best playing bouzouki).  Over the weekend, I will cut some plasticard profile templates from these and start the main carve  :

6PV22Sbl.jpg

 

So next job is the nut guide,  and then I can pop a couple of strings on the top and bottom pegs to work out where the bridge and saddle slot needs to sit:

5R1eZFkl.jpg

But before I can do that I have to cut the saddle slot and drill at least two string hole positions on the bridge ;)

What could possibly go wrong :D

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Andyjr1515
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Posted (edited)

And so preparations are afoot to fix the bridge.

I should point out that the sequence I am following is NOT what you will find in the text books but it is what I have done on the last couple of acoustic builds and works much better for me than the conventional methods. :)  The main difference is that I will be doing all of this with the back still off.

As I have recently learned, the spacing at the saddle and nut of a bouzouki between each string and between each pair has to account for the string widths so that the distances from string edge to string edge are even.

I have used a string pattern from one of the detailed internet sites of bouzouki specs and then scaled up the relevant dimensions to work out where the centre lines are.

Clearly at the bridge, it is the spacing of the string retention holes that determines the string positions and here I have the additional requirement of two staggered rows of hole, like on a 12-string acoustic.

I used a 12-string bridge to double check that I was getting the row spacing right and then used some schooldays arithmetic and 'avoiding accumulation of errors' precautions to mark out the hole positions, which equate to the string centre line positions just behind the saddle:

QMHCIZTl.jpg

 

Drilled using my small drill press with an accurate bradpoint - and then the acid test - do all of the holes line up exactly with the intended string positions:

TlyJ0ECl.jpg

I'm pleased to say that they do :)

Another Phew!

So next challenge is how to cut an accurate saddle slot.  I'll have to have a ponder on that one...

Edited by Andyjr1515
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There's lots of trialling and checking involved with an acoustic build.

The bone zero-fret string guide will be shaped before fitting, but the slots are basically in the right place:

k08zmwYl.jpg%20

Then, with the two outer tuners popped on, and a couple of spare strings from my bits box, I am able to first determine where the guide would be fitted at the nut end to give me equidistance from the fret ends, and then, popping the strings through the outer holes in the bridge and pulling them tight, where the bridge will go left/right-wise.  Ignore the kink in the bass string - I couldn't pull tight and press the camera shutter at the same time!:

zF3G2Dgl.jpg%20

NfCqgjFl.jpg 

What I am happy about is that is has confirmed I got my bridge peg holes in the right place :)

Once I've cut the saddle slot in the bridge, then I can position it forwards/backwards-wise and then glue the bridge! (Again, not the sequence you will see in the text books...I will explain my logic later ;)

As always, thanks for looking and for your kind comments.  Always greatly appreciated :)

 

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The fitting of the bridge is perhaps the most critical part of an acoustic build.  It simply has to be right.  And there are big, big, problems if is isn't.

First step was cutting the angled saddle slot.  In the end, I had to make another jig - to be able to accurately use a router:

TvXEYQJl.jpg

Next was recognising that the top is spheroidal - and therefore the bottom of the bridge has to be shaped accordingly.  Just to pander to @SpondonBassed 's engineering background, I will use again the old 'engineers blue' trick:

First I put some masking tape on the top and put some school chalk evenly all over it:

MheAHpul.jpg

Rubbing the bridge a small amount on the chalk reveals the high spots:

5jtJgT6l.jpg%20

Sand the chalk marks off and repeat...and keep sanding the areas where there is chalk and repeat and repeat.  This is starting to get there:

XVg0oyJl.jpg%20

As long as you only sand where the chalk is, you are always lowering the high spots.  Eventually, there is chalk on every bit - and then you know it's a perfect fit.

Next is position the bridge - scale-length-wise and double checking with the string lining up:

g1ou5mkl.jpg%20

Then cut round the bridge through the masking tape:

O8bBh4zl.jpg

Wood components have a tendency to float on the layer of glue while they are being clamped, and so need position positioning.  So I now drill through a couple of the string holes and will use some bolts to position and help clamp during gluing:

3P36KEtl.jpg

But, the main ooomph is a long reach clamp with yet another home-made jig - this one is to act as a clamping caul for the bridge body, and then the two captive screws clamp down on the bridge wings:

kcCs11hl.jpg

And there it will sit until morning :)

 

 

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And it really is starting to look like a guitar bouzouki now :)

FuSQa9sl.jpg%20

A few more jobs to do with the back off - installing the Pure Mini transducers and cutting the top of the end graft to size being the main ones - and then I can glue the back on and sort the back binding.

Then I can start the final sanding and finish coats of the body while working separately on the neck carve :)

 

 

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3 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

And it really is starting to look like a guitar bouzouki now :)

FuSQa9sl.jpg%20

A few more jobs to do with the back off - installing the Pure Mini transducers and cutting the top of the end graft to size being the main ones - and then I can glue the back on and sort the back binding.

Then I can start the final sanding and finish coats of the body while working separately on the neck carve :)

 

 

From here it looks like you've carpeted the inside to match your living room suite.  How very co-ordinated of you.  Heeheehee

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50 minutes ago, SpondonBassed said:

From here it looks like you've carpeted the inside to match your living room suite.  How very co-ordinated of you.  Heeheehee

He did say it was going to be lined.

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4 hours ago, SpondonBassed said:

From here it looks like you've carpeted the inside to match your living room suite.  How very co-ordinated of you.  Heeheehee

Such a fleeting jocular moment....because....the back's on!  xD

cnhefaql.jpg

 

And the peg holes are taper reamed and the all important label is fitted:

NE3hgtTl.jpg

 

So tomorrow, I should be able to do the binding and then that's all set for final sanding and the start of the finishing process while I finish the neck carve :)

 

 

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18 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Such a fleeting jocular moment....because....the back's on!  xD

cnhefaql.jpg

 

And the peg holes are taper reamed and the all important label is fitted:

NE3hgtTl.jpg

 

So tomorrow, I should be able to do the binding and then that's all set for final sanding and the start of the finishing process while I finish the neck carve :)

 

 

Very cool indeed!

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Well, off and on it's taken all day, but the back binding's done and the first rough sand.  I won't go through the process because, of you go back a few pages, I ironed on the back binding exactly as I did for the top.

b6Myxa3l.jpg

But a quick mockup is always in order:

Aquuz9nl.jpg

5IquYQ9l.jpg

 

So now I can start the finish process for the body while I start the proper carve of the neck.

I usually apply a 'reveal coat'.  I use the first coat - applied and slurried - as a grain fill, a sealer and also to reveal the dips and lumps or the glue over-spill.  What it reveals also is a decent view of what the final colour will be.  These two pics are in fading light, but I'm sure you get the idea...

izZxQBfl.jpg

Not certain what the lighter areas on the back are - it could be the wood but equally it could be that it will sand off.  At the moment my money is on the latter, and if so, the reveal coat will be living up to its name.  But is the same colour as the very centre join - and that's definitely the wood colour.  The full post-reveal sanding session will answer the question.  Whatever, once the finish varnish is one, that figuring is going to be stunning.  There are some beautiful colours in there!  No wonder they call it Red Gum Walnut!

lJVc9zCl.jpg

So next steps in the coming week are body finishing, neck carving and daughter's Covid-fluid-situation-arrangements-govt-might-change-plan-again-already-cancelled-once-and-you-never-know wedding :)

 

 

Edited by Andyjr1515
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Well, that patterning is definitely the wood - and now I've sanded down properly you can see the bookmatching.  It has also toned down the contrast a touch.  I don't know how well the photo looks here but in real life it's beautiful!  There's an orange hue mixed in with the browns - delightful and further finishing will only enhance :)  

FsK3Cuwl.jpg

tLgVjZjl.jpg

I've also tidied up the surround of the rosette - I'll put up a shot once it's dry enough to sand off :)

 

 

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48 minutes ago, SpondonBassed said:

I can't see images.  I don't have Imgur blocked either.

That's weird!   I assume from the likes everyone else can see them?

I'll try again here John, just in case:

FsK3Cuwl.jpg

tLgVjZjl.jpg 

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And the top with its first coat of varnish:

eR5ofAgl.jpg

Some nice chatoyance (ripples, @Si600  ;) ) showing in the spruce.  The rosette's tidied up nicely, too.

I won't do regular updates of the finishing - it's a bit too much like watching paint varnish dry.  But fear not, those who have run out of anything else to look at in lockdown, I'll do the updates of the neck carve.

Andy

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6 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

I won't do regular updates of the finishing - it's a bit too much like watching paint varnish dry.

OK - I fibbed! :D

I promise I won't do any of the subsequent coats...but this is the first coat:

C7WZBWch.jpg

SGg4EOih.jpg

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1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

OK - I fibbed! :D

I promise I won't do any of the subsequent coats...but this is the first coat:

C7WZBWch.jpg

SGg4EOih.jpg

Looking fantastic already!

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