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 Post subject: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 944
This may be my next project. I think it was jointly designed by luthier Nikos Appolonio of Rockland, ME, and folksinger Gordon Bok. Noel Paul Stookey has one.
The one shown here is Jud Caswell's. Jud is a local Maine singer/songwriter. He let me borrow it for a day or two so I could take the measurements and some photos.
It has five pairs of strings and is tuned D-A-D-A-D. To hear how it sounds, try:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoB_-yWOJKo

The internal head block bracing is "interesting." I think Nick used to be a ship builder, which this bracing certainly is reminiscent of.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5422
Location: Hegins, Pa
interesting

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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:17 pm 
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I'm thinking of making the whole thing out of port orford cedar.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:02 am 
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I've decided on port orford cedar for top, sides, and back, and a Spanish cedar neck. I have no idea how it will turn out, but the result should be "interesting." I've ordered the wood. It should show up in the next few days.

I think I'll go for a minimalist look on this one. The cutaway OM I'm finishing up has multiple purflings, inlays, etc. I'm ready for something simple!

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 Post subject: The headstock design
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:57 pm 
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I've been trying to figure out how to put ten tuners on a headstock. Although I like the look of the pocket-slotted headstocks I did for my first two guitars (i.e. the slots don't go all the way through), I think for this one I'll do a solid peghead, with a somewhat different outside profile than I've been using.
If I use mini-size tuners http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Par ... Knobs.html , I think this will work.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:37 am 
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Location: Seattle
The headstock design looks good. I went the same way on my 12 string. The spacing looks good to my eyes;

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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:37 am 
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Thanks John. I may put a bit more of an angle on the sides to make the taper slightly more pronounced, but I've looked at it for a few days now and it seems reasonable and aesthetically acceptable.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 1:07 pm 
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More grief. The Port Orford cedar I got for the back and sides has a strong curl figure, which periodically results in a very short grain line across the thickness, making the sides quite weak. Here's a sort-of drawing of what I mean.

Anyway, when I tried to bend the sides, they snapped with an ease and facility that was quite remarkable.

So...I've glued the pieces back together, and will try again. I did get the sides bent close to their final curvature (14" radius) before they snapped. I hope they are "good enough."


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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:22 am 
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I haven't been able to get time with Carter to use his thickness sander, so I decided to try planing the top to thickness. Aside from it being a lot of physical effort, it's going quite well. I've taken it down about 0.050" and have about 0.025" to go.

I bought the #6 plane a while ago. This is the first time I've used it seriously, and it's doing a good job.

The top, with its straight and uniform grain, planes very nicely. The back is curly. I'm not sure how that will be to plane. That my have to wait for the thickness sander.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 9:44 am 
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I've given up on the sides. One of the sides broke, again, when I was handling it. I'll use something else for the sides.

I can't imagine using that wood for guitar sides -- I don't see how one could possibly bend it successfully.

I will now get a half-dozen responses from people saying, "I don't see why you're having so much trouble. I bend curly Port Orford cedar for cutaway guitar sides all the time and never have a problem."

Oh well. *I* sure can't manage the stuff. I could try some straight grain P.O. cedar, but I have some thin hickory on hand and I think I'll use that, just to be different.

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