Monday, June 29, 2009

A Sneak Peek!

About 10 more coats and it will be ready to cure. I'll post all of the finishing details at a later date.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!!

The end seems to be in sight!  And, although tedious, I've finally figured out how to get all of the pictures to have links to their larger versions.  Click on any pic to get an enlarged view.

I've been working on it quite a bit and here's what she looks like now:

Since my last post I've managed to shape, drill and glue the upper bridge or шемсток, drill for the semi-tones, add the trim piece and riser for the pin block, shape and drill the bridges, glue in the structural bracing and glue on the "fingerboard" (which isn't really a finger board).  Here's some of the details:

Shaping the bridge is not very challenging, but drilling for the holes is.  The first step is to align the bridge in the position it's going to be when it's completed.  Using my domed sanding disc, the fit between the bridge and the top was great:

Once in position, I use a laser level and some graph paper with 6mm spacing to lay out each string.  I found the graph paper on a site here .  My setup looks something like this:

Here's a close-up of how I use the laser to mark the holes for each string. I line up the laser with the correct hole in the upper bridge, then the graph paper, then make a mark on the bridge.  To align the graph paper, I use a ruler to extend the line of the neck so that the bass strings will be parallel to the treble strings.

While I'm at it I mark the locations of the tuning pegs and semi-tone strings.  Unlike the main row of strings, It's very difficult to mark their locations using a template.  Once marked, I use an awl to start each hole. this setup to drill the holes at the correct angle. If you look, you'll see that I use surgical loupes to get a better view.

Unfortunately, I screwed up the first bridge and had to re-do it.  Once everything is drilled, I can drill two pilot holes in each bridge to hold them in position for temporary work and for final gluing. In this next shot, you can see the little wires with a hook on the end sticking out of the bridge.  I've also attached the template to mark for the tuning peg holes.

Finally, here's a picture of the inside of the instrument with the structural braces glued in.

To drill the holes for the semi-tone strings which go into the wood at a weird angle, I use a jig of my own design below.  I later learned that surgeons have been using a similar jig for ACL reconstruction...go figure.

At this point, there's not much construction left, mostly final shaping and finishing.  Stay tuned!