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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 10:57 am 
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I'm using the hickory. It is about as unlike the Port Orford cedar as one can imagine. The POc is fine-grained, stiff, and brittle. The hickory is coarse-grained and flexible. Supposedly, hickory steam-bends fairly well. It does not bend very well with just heat. The amount of spring-back is incredible.

I did manage to bend it enough to get it into the mold. I've glued the kerfing to one edge. I'm using reverse kerfing to hopefully help control the spring-back, although when the top and bottom are attached that shouldn't be an issue.

The 2nd picture shows how the corners are done. There is a post in each corner, with a rabbet to accept the ends of the sides. I'm not sure I'd do it that way again, but I guess it will work. Since the corners will likely get bumps and dings, I made the posts out of dogwood, which is very hard.

It was difficult to get the ends of the sides to butt tightly, so I may inlay a strip of pufling along the junctions to cover up the not-always-perfect fits.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 4:17 pm 
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I'm getting to like appearance of the hickory, although I'm not sure how great a tonewood it is going to be.

Here is a photo of the assembled sides and the in-progress neck. The neck is Spanish cedar. The stuff is incredibly light. I may add a couple strips of carbon fiber for strength and stiffness.

There is also a .pdf of the current incarnation of a heastock design. The tuners are a bit of a problem, since there needs to be 5 on a side. My current thought is to get a set of StewMac's six-on-a-plate tuners for a 12-string guitar and cut off one on each side to make it five-on-a-plate. It's about the cheapest solution. I could use Gotoh mini-510s, but they would be more than twice the money, and the weight.


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 5:25 am 
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After my disaster trying to bend the curly Port Orford cedar sides and having them break with remarkable ease, I wrote a note to the supplier, Oregon Wild Wood, describing my experience. I had no expectation that they would, or should, do anything about it, which I attributed to my lack of skill, not a wood defect. I did suggest that they add a cautionary note to their descriptions of the sides saying that they were tricky to bend, but that was it.

A couple of days later, I got a reply. OWW offered to send me a less-curly set of sides for the cost of shipping., As far as I was concerned, they didn't have to do anything, so I was very appreciative of their offer. I accepted the offer, sent them the shipping cost, and the replacement sides arrived yesterday. They are very nice. I had already gone ahead and used the hickory so I'll save these for another project sometime.

Oregon Wild Wood is definitely on my list of "good guy suppliers."

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 Post subject: Carbon fiber
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 3:33 pm 
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Mostly because I had some, I embedded a couple strips of carbon fiber in the neck using epoxy.

FWIW, the cheapest place I've found to get carbon fiber is here: https://dragonplate.com/default.asp

They have a $30 minimum order, but that isn't much of a hardship.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 10:23 pm 
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It's looking good Steve. The hickory sides look nice. I bet you get some depth to them when you do your finish work.


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:49 am 
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I decided to use the StewMac 6-on-a-plate tuners and cut one off on each side. They aren't particularly attractive, but they should do the job and are much cheaper than the Gotoh Mini-510s.

The headstock is coming along. I put a hickory cap on the front so it matches the sides. I will probably put something on the back as well. I had thought of doing a volute on the back, but that would interfere with a cap so I probably will forego the volute. The Spanish cedar is so soft it can do with some protection. It may not have been the best choice of wood for this instrument, but I had no experience with it and had no idea how it would be. After my experience with the butternut, and now the Spanish cedar, I've about had my fill of very soft woods.

The headstock shape is different from what I've done before. I chose this shape with an eye to having more direct nut-to-tuner lines for the strings.


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Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 6:53 pm 
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I'm using Spanish cedar for the neck on the custom build, and it is soft compared with mahogany or rosewood. I really enjoyed the smell when I sanded!


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 Post subject: Fingerboard done
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 8:21 pm 
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Today I finished radiusing and trimming the fingerboard to final width. Raidusing a fingerboard by sanding with a shaped sanding block takes a while.

The width at the nut is 1-5/8", width at 12th fret is 1-7/8".

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There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
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 Post subject: Re: Bell Cittern
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 7:39 am 
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It's coming along.


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 8:35 am 
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In keeping with the minimalist theme, the rosette is a single ring of B/W/B/W/B.

I like to bind the sound hole. I'm not sure why, but I do. In this instance I used a strip of black fiber binding. When heated, it bends readily. I pre-bent a strip into a ring and cut it to length, which turned out to be just a hair short. I had to fill a small gap.

To ensure that the ring made good contact all the way around and was truly round, I turned a tapered plug out of a piece of scrap wood. The edge has a 2 or 3 degree taper -- not much. I applied glue to the binding strip, put it in place, then pushed in the plug to force the strip out against the sides of the hole. The plug has a ring of tape on it to make sure it doesn't get glued in place accidentally.

When the glue was dry, I pulled the plug out and shaved down the edge of the strip so it was flush top and bottom with the top.


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Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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