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Radius and sanding board discussion
Author
Post
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 332
I have been trying to read all the post about radius bars, dishes, 15' radius, 25'radius, and sanding boards. I do understand WHY you need this step, and i understand stewmac's sanding board idea, but for one I don't know how to make the 5 and 1.5deg. wedge. As I read about this step I begain to read about radius dishes and bars. How do these work? Also, I am trying to understand what is ment by a 15 or 25' foot radius. In my mind I am thinking of a circle with a radius of 15-25 food....that is a big cirle. I must be missing something.
So, first could you explain radius dishes and bars.

Next, could you explain how I can make the correct angles using tools that a beginner would have? (I don't have a scroll or band saw)

Last, please forgive my lack of understanding.

Jan 04, 08 | 10:25 am
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
You have the idea right, those radius numbers are indeed based on a circle (actually a sphere) with those radiuses. The dishes are basically a section of the sphere, for example a 30' radius dish is a section of a ball that would have a 30' radius. Yep, it is big but it gives the shallow angle that provides the slight dome desired. A radius bar is basically a sliver of that dish. I did the stewmac 1.5 and 5 degree sanding bar and it works, but it gives a flat edge on the kerfed linings that can telegraph through. The sanding dish and bar sands the linings to a very slight curve which helps keep the glue line from telegraphing.

For your first, I would suggest using a radius bar. Ken has a great tutorial on his site explaining how to use one. It does a great job and is an easy way to get the job done. I prefer dishes as they are good for sanding and clamping. If you plan on making more than one or two guitars, dishes are the way to go IMO.

If you want to do the stewmac sanding bar, I made an adjustable one because I couldn't figure a safe and reliable way to cut the wedges. The other thing is that stewmac does a very poor job of explaining what the final outcome of the sanding should be. They say to make a 2' plank with a 5 degree wedge on one side, and a 1.5 degree wedge on the other. That is incorrect as the overall angle of the sanding bar will not be 1.5 and 5 degrees. The goal is to get the linings sanded to these angles. In order to do that, the angle of the jig from end to end needs to be those angles. If you build it exactly as they say, the angle of the sanding edge won't be correct. That is why I made mine adjustable. I could set the angle at the sandpaper end by adjusting the wedge height. If I remember correctly, to get a 5 degree sanding angle, the wedge actually needed to be somewhere around 8 degrees. It is based on the height at the opposite end, not the degree of the wedge. Heck you could glue a square block on the end and as long as it is the correct height, you will get the correct angle.

Just another reason to use a radius bar or dish. If you do a search, Ted had a good post about how to plot the dots on a 2' line to draw the correct curves. Hope that helps..... probably made it clear as mud!

Here is a pic. of the stewmac sanding bar I made in case you want to copy it.



My Blog

Jan 04, 08 | 1:34 pm
Dave

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 31
I am about 30 days into building the same guitar, my first. I used the reccomended method by Stew-Mac, and it worked fine. After notching the sides for the top and back both pieces fit well prior to applying any clamping pressure.
I made the wedges by solving for the rise on an 8" run for each angle -- Tangent 1.5 = X/8; Tan 5 =x/8. I came up with 0.2" x8" for the sides of the 1.5 degree, and 0.7" x 8" for the 5 degree angle. I drew these onto a 2x4 and cut them out with a jig saw. I glued the wedges onto a 2ft length of 2x4 and fixed the sand paper to the non wedged side of the 2x4 with spray contact adhesive. The jig saw does not get the smoothest cut, so I glued the rough side down to the 2x4 allowing the guitar to see the smoother side.
I did not make an arc board since it would have required a much longer cut. And I would have needed to smooth the edge prior to using it on the guitar. I have made jigs for other projects in the past that required large arcs, and I used a string an pencil for drawing an arc for those projects.

15, and 25' for the top and back radii seems about right conceptually. We are asked to make relatively shallow angles - 1.5 and 5 degrees.

Hope that helps,
Dave

Jan 04, 08 | 1:51 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
David has a great solution there. Not having an engineering mind, I used a simpler process. If you have my book, the directions are in it. Basically, all I did to make a sanding bar was to stretch out a tape measure to 25' (or 15') use it and a pencil to draw the arc on a 2x2 piece of poplar, cut the poplar on that line, and stick some sandpaper on it. Works like a charm. They can be made quickly and accurately so you can work with differing radii.

See one "in action" at this page on www.KitGuitarBuilder.com

Jan 04, 08 | 1:56 pm
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
That helps a lot guys. Thanks. I still don't really understand how you make one of those radius bars like bill uses. All i can picture is drawing a 50 foot wide circle on the driveway and tracing a portion of it on some wood :)

I believe I will make a hinged sanding bar as shown by davidmor. Looks simple enough.

Davidmor, I guess I would just make the appropriat length on the shorter hinged piece of wood by finding the appropriate length using all that geometry stuff and double checking the angle with one of these?


Jan 05, 08 | 7:27 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
1. Get a 25-foot (or more) tape measure.
2. Pull the tape out to the 25-foot point. Secure one end.
3. Get a pen or pencil.
4. Get a 2" x2" x 24" piece of poplar or other wood.
5. Place the wood so the extended tape measure's 25' mark or 0 mark will reach it.
6. Hold the pencil at the 25' mark or the 0 mark so it will make a mark on the wood.
7. Move the end of the tap you're holding in an arc, with the pencil or pen marking on the wood. You only need to draw as much of the arc as the wood is long ... no fifty foot circle needed.

Pretty simple if you can think outside the box for a minute.

Not every engineered device has to be made using other engineering devices.


Jan 05, 08 | 8:24 am
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
Bill,
If you took the nice arc board you show in your book and measured the difference between it and a straight edge 4" from the end, would that give dimensions for a wedge to go on the end of a 2' sanding board? I understand that a straight edge and an arc are different, but a 4" section of a 50' arc must be almost straight, and on the 1/2" or so of the guitar rim that actually gets sanded it must be nearly impossible to tell the difference. Maybe you could sell it to stewmac and fix that confusing method they suggest.

Jan 05, 08 | 9:45 am
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
My "box" is very small, but I think I did go a little outside of it. I think I understand what you are saying bill. Thanks for the simplified version. Took me a little while to understand that the tape measure would pivot on an axis.

Jan 05, 08 | 4:53 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
High -- that's an interesting idea. Seems as if it would work fine, but maybe one of the engineers here in the forum could confirm it. I would only do it visually. (In any case, I no longer have that board; I loaned it to a friend in California and haven't seen it in a year.) AND ... Just so you guys all know ... I was told by a junior high school counselor, when I told her I wanted to be an astrophycisist, that I was basically a piece of s**t in math and I shouldn't even bother to take any classes. So, I didn't take anything beyond Algebra 1 in the 8th grade. I can do only basic arithmetic. So, I can't figure these things out and have to do it all with more basic methods or invent new ones.

Matt -- sorry, didn't mean to offend ...

Bill

Jan 06, 08 | 8:54 am
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
Ahhh yes, you gotta love those "professional" counselors in the public school system. Unfortunately mine told me basically the same thing in 8th grade and tried to shove me in 'basic math' for 9th grade. Fortunately I had some logic behind me even at that young age and I fought with him arguing that I had been doing basic math since elementary school. Since my grades were lousy in that, maybe.... just maybe I would do well trying something different like Algebra. After lots of fighting he gave in and let me move on to algebra. I proceeded to get straight A's starting with algebra and all the way through level 1 calculus.

I give very little credence to what the public school counselors have to say. If I had listened to my oldest daughters HS counselor when she was going through a major un-diagnosed depression in 9th grade, we would have pulled her from school and given up. They told us that she would never graduate, to pull her out of school and find her a menial job. Once she was diagnosed, things changed and she has since graduated and is doing quite well in college now. My opinion is that public school counselors are nothing more than wannabees that couldn't make it in the real world.

But hey, that is just my opinion.


Jan 06, 08 | 9:14 am
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
Shop was my favorite class in 8th grade, but I wasn't allowed wood shop in HS because I was "college bound." I went on to spend a career as a music teacher, many of those years teaching guitar classes. Counselors often advised kids that music is fun but they needed more serious classes instead. But honestly, counselors aren't all like that.

Jan 06, 08 | 9:55 am
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
Yeah, I guess my first comment was a bit harsh and I probably should have used a bit more tact. Unfortunately my experiences with public school counselors has been horrible. When you have gone through what I went through with my oldest daughter just a few short years ago, you tend to get a bit cynical. I am quite sure that there are some very good school counselors in the public system who have the student's best interest at heart. Unfortunately my batting average with getting one of these good ones has been a big fat '0'.

Sorry if I have offended anyone, I should have taken a moment to consider what I was saying before hitting the 'submit' button.

My blog

Jan 06, 08 | 12:15 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
David -- couldn't agree more heartily, having been a victim myself. The end of my story proved the HS "Coach/Drivers Ed Teacher/Counselors" wrong, too. Later in life, I was 29, selling real estate, wanted to finish college, etc. Since I have dropped out/been "flunked out" with a 1.91 GPA, they wouldn't let me back in unless I took a summer school class and got 3 units of "A", which would give me a 2.01 overall. The only class I could take was a 500-level class in Symbolic Logic. I took the class, got the only "A" the prof gave, and was offered a full scholarship by the philosophy dept. They said I was a raw genius in logic and they wanted me in school. I didn't go back. Should have, but a "good job" was offered at the same time. Things work out, more or less.

With my own kids, I don't listen to their counselors at all, and I've told them so. They don't like me much. Both kids are straight-A students and happy. My son almost lost a full academic scholarship to the Univ of Texas because his counselor forgot to send in a form. He wrote them a letter about it and they responded with an offer -- full ride.

David -- I think you're right about counselors -- wannabe's. I share your low opinion of their performance.

Hugh -- I haven't found a counselor yet that was worth his or her salt, at the HS level. They are too overworked, don't know the students (unless they are "problem" kids and are seeing the counselor all the time).

In High School, being a lousy student, I had a 2.5 GPA overall. But, in football, I was offered a full ride by the Univ of Calif Santa Barbara. I found out, after not trying for it, that I could have taken two tests and gotten in and would have had a good university education instead of going to the State College I cared about not at all. My counselor, a coach/counselor/Driver'sEd Teacher, had not known about the tests at all, and had told me, "You should have worked as hard in class as on the field." He had gone to UCBerkeley on a football scholarship, but knew little about helping his students get the same thing.

I'm afraid, for various reasons, though they might be great folks, HS counselors are all like that. Not enough time, not enough motivation, too many students ... Like David said, part of the public school system. Like I say, the product of the N.E.A.

Bill

Jan 06, 08 | 12:16 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Maybe I'm harsh, too. May that's on purpose. I hope that if a counselor lurks among our group, he will take this to heart.

People can be wonderful people, and still be lousy at their jobs. Of all the counselors I've dealt with, not one of them was good at his or her job, and it did cost me, and it almost cost my kids.

Jan 06, 08 | 12:18 pm
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
What will happen if I build a steel-string guitar and give it a flat, flat top like a classic has? What are the trade-offs?

Jan 06, 08 | 1:32 pm
Simon

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 67
Hi all,

I'm up to this stage with my first guitar (Stew Mac dread). I'm planning to use the wedge board, but was thinking I'd brace the soundboard and back first, then do some trial sanding using the left over kerfed lining to make sure I got the angles right before using it on the real thing.

I've been experimenting using PowerPoint of all things to come up with a curve that I could use as a template for a radiused sanding stick. I did ones for 15' and 28' and compared them to the braces in my kit. If the braces are a perfect curve and not flattened at any point, then either I've done something wrong or the Stew Mac braces aren't 15' and 28'. I'm thinking the former :-)

Out of interest, I've scanned in the templates as images. I don't suppose I could email the images to someone out there with one of those flexiglas (or other material) templates who would be willing to print off my template and check it against the real deal?

Cheers,

Simon

Jan 07, 08 | 2:50 pm
livermo1

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 65
I like Bill's simple method. I too scribed the arcs on a board and then cut it out and sanded it even.

In the absence of a radius dish I wrap it with 100grit and use the board to sand the kerfed linings and guitar edge. It is also used to glue braces into the back under the go-bar deck (when I have a luxury of time to glue each brace individually.) It works great and was simple to make and use.

Off topic, I'll say this...

Rather than blaming the individual counselors who led you astray or the districts who hired them, look at the funding system that allows "wannabes" to be the only people school districts can afford to hire. Allow schools to pay professional wages and you are sure to see professional results from the people those wages and positions attract. Allow professional organizations to do what they do and foster growth in skills and practice and you'll also see even better results

Now, I'll step down from the soap box and get back to the work bench where I ought to be.

DAVE!





Jan 07, 08 | 5:55 pm



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