Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 2010 update

Some time around early January the build suffered a setback when I realized that top and back had lost the arch that I had built in to them, using shaped bracing. What happened is that I had glued these parts together in November, in my basement, while it was much more humid than I realized. We had been getting snow in November, and the furnace was on a lot, but the relative humidity hadn't lowered yet. So what happened is that when the humidity did get lower, the top and back shrank.

I thought about just waiting for the humidity to rise again, and proceeding with the project after that. But I knew the best thing to do would be to carefully and tediously remove all of the bracing and make new parts.

I bought some really nice looking lumberyard spruce and dried it out in our oven. I made a whole set out of bracing with this stuff. And then I dried it some more. But even after days and days of 200 degree baking, the pieces were still wet when I sanded in to them. So I ditched this project. It did have the whole house smelling like a Christmas tree, though.

I then obtained more air dried spruce from John Hall and made a third set of bracing. That one is a charm, as they say. I've got all the bracing removed now and the third set is working out really nicely.

In the time leading up to this, I've made even more new tools. First of all I put together a psychrometer to help me get an accurate relative humidity reading. I use it to compare the temperature of a wet bulb to a dry bulb. So now, this won't be an issue any more.

Another thing I built is the tower for my binding jig. It will hold my laminate trimmer which will cut the binding channels as the body is passed in front of it.

And here is a miter sled so that I can make my own tapered fingerboards.

And lastly but not leastly we have here a pair of radiused sanding dishes. One has a 15' radius (for the back) and the other has a 25' radius (for the top). I'm really pleased about this because it makes everything so much more accurate, as well as quicker.

This weekend I'll be posting pics of the new bracing and hopefully close up the box soon after that.

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