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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:08 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:19 am
Posts: 9
First name: Ankit
Last Name: Lall
City: Kolkata
State: West Bengal
Zip/Postal Code: 700099
Country: INDIA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hello,

Im from Calcutta, India and have been a lurker on the forum for a while and haven't had a chance to post anything on here yet.
I thought id take this opportunity to share my progress on my first build that i started quite a while ago but had to stop because we moved houses and in the process I lost most of my tools and any if not all material i had started with.

My reference so far has been Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology by Cumpiano and Natelson and the Internet.

For my first build I'm using mostly reclaimed wood:

1) 3 piece Top - Spruce/ Pine salvaged from a plank of wood from a shipping container.
2) 4 piece Back - Local Mango (as i was told) from a plank precut for use in building constructions sourced very cheap.
3) Side - Mango from the same plank used for the back
4) Neck - Kapoor Wood (Camphor Wood) which i had rough shaped about 5 years ago.
5) Finger Board - Indian Rosewood
6) Rosette - Super Intimidating, Haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to do it yet, have a few options i think.
7) Bindings - Unknown Local Wood stripped from precut beadings used for furniture and general carpentry
8) Kerfing/Lining - possibly from similar precut beading as above
9) Bracing - Similar to the Spruce/Pine used for the top. options are Toon (Toona Ciliate, Indian Red Cedar) and Locally available Tropical Hard wood.
10) Frets Nickel Silver - Sourced Locally and quite economically from a Music store. Almost thought i'd have to use Steel Stock to make Bar frets as initially i couldn't find fretwire, unless i paid a ton for shipping or had them shipped from an unreliable source in China.
11) Finish - Im thinking French Polish using Local Shellac Flakes or NC Lacquer . Not sure yet

I am using mostly hand tools and nothing fancy. The only power tools i have so far are a hand Drill which i haven't figured out a use for yet and an RO Sander which i have used to collect fine wood dust for filling imperfections.

Im at a point where its getting quite intimidating, particularly with the rosette. As you can see I've cut and chiselled the channel and not done a very good job of it and the width of the channel is just based on a whim. I don't have a solid plan for the rosette yet.

Also, I've made the side slots in the neck wider than what was mentioned in the book as i didn't have a very good saw or technique to cut the fine slots. I thought i'd use wedges to get a snug fit on the sides.

I hope i can draw from the immense knowledge present on this forum and any advice and/or suggestions would be very welcome and greatly valued. I know i am working with limited resources but this is what i have to my disposal without spending a poop load of money as such any helpful information would go a very long way.

Here are a few pictures of my progress so far.

Thank you for viewing my work and taking the time to go through this very long first post.

Cheers,
Ankit


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Last edited by Ankit on Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:50 pm
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Looks good Ankit, welcome to the club! What kind of glue are you using?



These users thanked the author pat macaluso for the post: Ankit (Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:49 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:40 pm 
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Hi Ankit and welcome to the OLF. Looks like a fun project and like you're making good progress in spite of the limitations you're dealing with. There are lots of folks here to help answer your questions and a wealth of information available by using the search function.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Ankit (Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:49 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:32 pm 
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Welcome to the craft!
Don't worry about lack of tools, most of us built the first few without much more than you have. More and better tools usually makes the task take less time, but don't necessarily give a better result.

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These users thanked the author Rodger Knox for the post: Ankit (Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:49 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:32 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Hi Ankit,

I am also wondering what kind of glue you are using.

If I may, a bit of constructive criticism also, never lay a top or back flat on a table or board or anything for very long. It is wise to allow the humidity to reach both sides of the top or back. I don't know your humidity conditions where you are, but laying it flat on a table will either cup the top or back or bow it depending on which side lays on the table and the relative humidity. Leaning them against a wall at an angle so that the air circulates around the top or back is the best. Also seal the ends with a coat of shellac.

I would recommend staying away from lacquer and try a shellac finish for your first instrument. Lacquer is very toxic.

Good luck to you and do not be in any hurry. Plan ahead...

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Ankit (Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:48 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:18 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:19 am
Posts: 9
First name: Ankit
Last Name: Lall
City: Kolkata
State: West Bengal
Zip/Postal Code: 700099
Country: INDIA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thank you everyone for the warm welcome, encouragement and taking the time to reply.

So this is the Glue I'm currently using and have started with.

http://www.pidilite.com/product-subdeta ... &width=780

These are the other adhesives available from the same company ( you'll have to click on the wood working section on the left)

http://www.pidilite.com/products/adhesi ... s-1-1.html

Theres no titebond in India but this is the most popular brand used here.

I have also recently acquired some Hide Glue Locally (Raw Animal Gelatine Granules) but i have not tried using it yet. I will put up some more pictures with my next post.
Quote:
If I may, a bit of constructive criticism also, never lay a top or back flat on a table or board or anything for very long. It is wise to allow the humidity to reach both sides of the top or back. I don't know your humidity conditions where you are, but laying it flat on a table will either cup the top or back or bow it depending on which side lays on the table and the relative humidity. Leaning them against a wall at an angle so that the air circulates around the top or back is the best. Also seal the ends with a coat of shellac.

I would recommend staying away from lacquer and try a shellac finish for your first instrument. Lacquer is very toxic.

Thank you for that advice Haans,
Ill definitely keep it in mind. As of now i only lay them on a flat surface when I'm working and for taking the pictures but i kind of figured there might be an issue with airflow and humidity as where i live is a highly humid place. Therefore i have been storing the top and back plates in my cupboard upright between layers of Woolen Jackets and suits that i am not really using.
Thanks for the tip on sealing the ends with shellac. Ive been lazy and not mixed a batch of shellac yet due to my concern about using Denatured Alcohol as a solvent for it and also because I'm a not entirely sure about the ratios. I was thinking i would use 99% ISO or is Denatured Alcohol alright to use ?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:54 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:19 am
Posts: 9
First name: Ankit
Last Name: Lall
City: Kolkata
State: West Bengal
Zip/Postal Code: 700099
Country: INDIA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
So here are a few more pictures :

1) A bending iron I rigged up using a stainless steel mug stuffed with aluminium foil and a 175 watt Cartridge style heating element. It does get hot enough for the water to sizzle and dance .
2 and 3) A piece of teak or Shegun (pronounced shay-goon) as it is known in Bengal that might work for the fingerboard ? I know its got heavy oil content because the plane just glides on it but it does look pretty . Given that rosewood and cocobolo and other regularly used fingerboard material are also woods with high oil content do you guys think this might work or should i stick with with Rosewood? It is quite a resonant piece, the teak.

Thank you for Looking,
Ankit


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:50 am 
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Walnut
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:19 am
Posts: 9
First name: Ankit
Last Name: Lall
City: Kolkata
State: West Bengal
Zip/Postal Code: 700099
Country: INDIA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
So a bit of an update! and some questions for the good people of the forum :) !

1) The iron seems to work
2) I evidently didn't thickness the sides enough. Didn't have a calliper to check with. Its definitely more than 3mm thick. Is there a way i can thickness it post bending ? any suggestions ?
3) ITs taking shape but it took me a day almost to bend that one side ( with breaks of course) Anything i could do better to get the shape to conform to its boundaries

Thank you all for looking and for your invaluable advice!

Best,
Ankit


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:01 am 
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Bending sides is probably the most common area where new luthiers have trouble, I know I did, I ruined several sets of sides before I got one to bend correctly. I think you will find it very difficult to thin the sides after you have bent them unless you are willing to do a LOT of sanding. Do you have enough wood for another set of sides? I would recommend starting with a new set of sides and thin them to about 2mm before bending. If you can find some more scrap then practice your bends on scrap and once you get the hang of it you can bend your "good" sides. It can be a bit frustrating but you're making good progress - hang in there and you'll get it.

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"Music is what feelings sound like"



These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Ankit (Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:10 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:54 am 
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Koa
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If its any consolation, those sides are VERY thick. And yet, you seem to have done a reasonable job bending them. You will have a lot less trouble when you work with sides that are much thinner (perhaps half as thin?).



These users thanked the author rlrhett for the post: Ankit (Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:27 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:27 am 
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Walnut
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:19 am
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First name: Ankit
Last Name: Lall
City: Kolkata
State: West Bengal
Zip/Postal Code: 700099
Country: INDIA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Dear all,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to look in and for your invaluable feedback.

This is a long overdue update.

Haven't taken many pictures but I've finished bracing my first top and a bunch of other things.
Attachment:
IMG_20151015_090253.jpg


Everything has been educational so far and I've had fun doing this.
Cant wait to begin on a second project but obviously theres a lot more left to do.

SO i have a question, since I'm going to be attaching the soundboard to the neck block and I've been following the Cumpiano and Natelson book.
Ive noticed that the book says you need to use nails to align the soundboard to the neckshaft and from what I've figured out the book states that they end up staying in.
Am i correct in assuming so ? Do i drive the nails in and leave them there ?


Thank you .

PS: I'm using teak for a fingerboard (not quarter sawn). It seems very stable (atleast i hope so :) ) and some neem for the decorative plate for the headstock. Ill post some updates in a few days.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:10 am 
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I checked the book, and it does indeed sound like he leaves them in.

And for side bending, those do indeed look like double thickness, so be proud that you managed to bend them at all [:Y:] No need to sand them thinner after bending. There's good logic behind using massive sides to provide a stable rim for the soundboard to vibrate against. Thin sides are more for easy bending and lower overall instrument weight, though they do seem to sound good too. But for strictly tonal purposes, thicker is probably better. Some builders use two layers glued together to make them thick on purpose.



These users thanked the author DennisK for the post: Ankit (Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:58 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:56 am 
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Ankit wrote:
Dear all,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to look in and for your invaluable feedback.

This is a long overdue update.

Haven't taken many pictures but I've finished bracing my first top and a bunch of other things.
Attachment:
IMG_20151015_090253.jpg


Everything has been educational so far and I've had fun doing this.
Cant wait to begin on a second project but obviously theres a lot more left to do.

SO i have a question, since I'm going to be attaching the soundboard to the neck block and I've been following the Cumpiano and Natelson book.
Ive noticed that the book says you need to use nails to align the soundboard to the neckshaft and from what I've figured out the book states that they end up staying in.
Am i correct in assuming so ? Do i drive the nails in and leave them there ?


Thank you .

PS: I'm using teak for a fingerboard (not quarter sawn). It seems very stable (atleast i hope so :) ) and some neem for the decorative plate for the headstock. Ill post some updates in a few days.

I have also heard of others putting staples in the back of the fret board and clipping the head off so that you have a couple brads sitting proud of the surface to hold the fret board in place during glue up. Of course, that's not quite the same as using nails or pins for alignment or registration during the build, but the end result should be same.



These users thanked the author Glenn_Aycock for the post: Ankit (Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:58 am)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:46 am 
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Walnut
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:19 am
Posts: 9
First name: Ankit
Last Name: Lall
City: Kolkata
State: West Bengal
Zip/Postal Code: 700099
Country: INDIA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Update No. 5 (I think)

Here are a few pictures.

I ended up taking the nails out after gluing the sound board on to the heel block.
Placed the rough shaped fingerboard to see how it sits on there. surface of the soundboard to the neck isnt 100% flush. Sanded the section of the fingerboard that sits on the soundboard down to create a sort of a "micro shelf" so it falls into place . I hope that works out.
Good advice and pointers are invaluable and very welcome.

Thank you for your time and looking in.

Cheers,
Ankit


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