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Jose L. Romanillos, Antonio de Torres, 1995
Many people don't know how much work is involved in constructing a guitar bridge, I know for most classical guitarists it is simply an anchor point for the guitar's strings.
I arch the bottom of the bridge to match the guitar sound board's doming, cut a channel for the saddle to sit in and I make a tie block for the strings.
The tie block gets covered with a piece of mother of pearl, this protects the tie block from string wear and gives the guitar a bit of bling.
Since I am making a fairly close copy of a Hernandez y Aguado bridge, the tie block is sloped towards the saddle slot, this was original done to increase the breaking angle of the strings over the bridge. This helps increase the overtones in the guitar. Compare that with a modern flamenco guitar bridge and you will see the string "breaking angle" is very, very shallow, the string goes almost straight from the tie block to the saddle.
I souped up the blade on my grandfather's Stanley No.192 rabbet plane and it works wonders in cutting out a rabbet for the tie block overlay.
It would be nice to close up the mouth of this plane just a little, but if I do my job of properly sharpening this Sweetheart Era blade it performs with perfect aplomb.
The Rocklite Ebano bridge with its new MOP tie block overlay. I put a bit of hide glue on the tie block, dry it with a heat gun, clamp the MOP onto it and then run some CA glue along the edges.
Tomorrow is the day from drilling the string holes in both bridges, then the final shaping and carefully stowing away the bridges so they will not become damaged.
Please bear with me as I find a new template for my blog, I want the blog to be easy read and search.
Here's a video of a brilliant young guitarist from Australia, Stephanie Jones!
After five prototypes, I’ve completed the first project for the expansion of “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” which should be out in 2018.
I now have to make a SketchUp drawing of the stool, which will take longer than building the stool from wood. After busting out a lot of staked chairs and stools this year, I’m able to build this stool in 3-1/2 hours, which includes finishing time.
The finish on the stool – a combination of “udukuri” and “shou sugi ban” techniques I’ve been experimenting with for more than two years – also allows me to add an appendix to the design book on these processes and the tools involved.
I’m quite happy with this design. It’s simple, comfortable, inexpensive and easy.
I have to take a break from the projects for the expansion of “The Anarchist’s Design Book” to build a commission and write an article for Popular Woodworking Magazine. When I complete those projects, I’ll return to making a staked armchair, a staked settee and two boarded projects for the book.
The boarded projects include a nailed-together version of the Monticello bookcases I built in 2011 and a boarded English settee. This has long been on my list of projects to build. If you aren’t familiar with the form, check out this entry from TheFurnitureRecord.com.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: The Anarchist's Design Book, Uncategorized
While in Tel Aviv last week, I paid a visit to a few of my favorite places – trade stores and friends’ shops that I used to frequent while living in Israel. One of these places was Sahar Finishes store. The owner, Mosha Srebrnik, is the grandson of the man who founded the business almost a hundred years ago. The small corner store looks as if it has hardly changed since then, except […]
My only beef with it for a long time is the smell.
It turns out that BLO isn't boiled at all. Nowadays, raw linseed oil (which works as a finish, but takes weeks to dry making it unhandy) is mass produced by adding metallic chemical drying agents such as manganese and cobalt which through the magic of chemistry makes the linseed oil dry relatively quickly.
A quick internet search produced a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for some BLO, which includes this:
Effects of Overexposure:
Inhalation: Vapors may cause irritation of the respiratory tract.
Skin: Prolonged or repeated skin contact may cause irritation or dermatitis.
Eyes: Contact with eyes may cause burning and tearing.
Ingestion: Ingestion of large amounts may cause gastrointestinal irritation.
Chronic: Not Available.
Overall, it looks pretty safe. But not totally. I wouldn't drink it.
Then, I was ruined by Dictum. They sell a Swedish cold-bleached linseed oil.
|Linseed oil from Dictum. Also, some great smelling turpentine balsam, and some natural tung oil from Denmark.|
What could go wrong?
The first thing I found was this great YouTube video by Joe Besch:
His website led me to a page on Tad Spurgeon's website. Mr. Spurgeion's passion is oil painting, and shares on his site how oil paints made by the old masters were made from linseed oil.
I figure if this is good enough for the old masters, it should also work for woodworking.
Enough blah-blah. Let's get to work:
First, instead of pressing my own flax seed, I ordered a liter of pure, quality raw linseed oil from El Barco, a local paint shop in Valencia.
|Raw linseed oil.|
I'm not sure, and if you would like to try it, I'm sure you'll have success using only tap water.
|Believe it or not, you can buy sea water at a local grocer for 3.99/liter!|
|beach sand and seawater. And who-knows-what.|
|Filtering the sea water.|
|The clean sand.|
|Next I dumped in my raw linseed oil.|
|Oil on top, the water sank below it, and the sand is on the bottom.|
|After the mixture was shaken. Not stirred.|
Then, let it sit in the sun.
|After an hour.|
If you are wondering what you are looking at, you can clearly see everything settling in layers. The bottom is the sand, and the little black bubble looking things above that is actually clear water. It is heavier than the oil so it sinks to the bottom.
The yellow band is a layer of fat we've just rendered out of the raw linseed oil. I suspect this is the stuff that prevents raw linseed oil from drying quickly.
The brown layer on top is the good stuff.
|The next morning.|
I'll follow Joe Besch's advice and do this process again with my refined oil. I imagine after a couple times of this, I should get some pretty nice quality stuff.
The last step is to let it rest in the sun for some weeks or months, and the yellow color will evaporate away.
For my purposes, it probably doesn't need to be crystal clear, but it will be fun to see how far I can take this.
There is likely to be quite a bit less than one liter of oil after this process, but what I have should be good.
I'm not sure if this will be worth it, but it is fun to see if it will work.
Keep an eye on this blog in the future, I plan to post on the results of this experiment over time.
I have to say that Richard's conclusions about the BU jack are spot on, 100%.
Does this mean I am recanting my endorsement of this tool? Absolutely not.
|This plane is really great at end grain.|
What about the rest?
|Can one joint with this plane?|
|This thing works great shooting end grain. Did I already say that?|
Well, I have to say that while those other planes do better at those tasks than this plane, the BU jack will indeed do them all.
|I almost always do all my jointing with this plane.|
I had noticed that many great woodworkers had recommended "beginner's tool sets" that required many thousands of dollars to fill out before a beginning student could feel like they could do "proper" woodworking.
I thought that was baloney then, and I think it is baloney now. A jack plane (whether BU or bevel down, new or vintage), is a great first tool to get because of the versatility.
Other tools work better for those everyday tasks, but one plane instead of four can be a deal maker for a beginner.
After my exclusive use of this plane for the time I used it, I found out that "plane monogamy" (as Christopher Schwarz puts it), is a wonder.
Face it, there are all kinds of situations where even the largest hand tool shops require making a plane do a bit more than what's in it's name.
To be able to do these amazing tricks with a plane, one really, REALLY needs to know their tool.
I learned that it really is true that you can't buy skill by purchasing a new tool. One should learn how far they can push (get it?) a tool they have before deciding if another is needed in their situation.
|Plus, using the same tool is faster: you already have it out.|
For rough work, I do my best to avoid having to thickness stock very much. My wooden jack plane with an eight inch camber on the blade hogs off wood like crazy and in no time flat. A BU plane is difficult to put a camber on the blade because of the angle of the bed. Taking 1/16" thick or thicker shavings isn't going to happen.
It will take medium sized shavings. If your wood is roughly the thickness you need it, and mostly flat to start with, it is a breeze to bring it to good working dimensions with this plane.
For fine smoothing, again, choose your wood wisely. This plane will easily achieve a finish quality surface without much work. Even without going crazy with steep sharpening angles. Make sure the blade is as sharp as you can get it, and you will be fine. At least until you try to plane against the grain. Even then, lighten the cut a little more and close the adjustable mouth as tight as you can.
For jointing, I find this plane to be long enough to joint nearly anything I can throw at it accurate enough for gluing up a panel. It does take some skill. One will get good at making edges flat eventually with this tool. Just keep checking with a good straight edge, and practice removing the parts that aren't flat. Follow that up with a fine shaving from one end to the other. I find it rare that I need to pull a jointer out for edge jointing anymore.
I finished the shelf, but did not yet finish the drawers that were supposed to be an integral part of the design. It looks a little funny with that one strip of dark wood on the divider. That's because that is the same wood that will be the two drawer fronts. Maybe I can get them in over the next few days. In the meantime, I'll submit this shelf as it was Sunday night when I completed it.
Here are some pics of what I did on Sunday after my last post.
|I have an idea for the divider that requires stopped dadoes. It's only a little more complicated than through dadoes.|
|No router? No problem.|
|Except this part. This part was a little harder.|
|Not perfect, but this will suit just fine.|
|All parts for the carcase are done.|
|I wanted to pre-finish the parts, so before glue-up I burnished all of the pieces,|
|And applied a home-made soap finish.|
|This was actually the only parts I glued. Everything else is only nails.|
|First I lay out the nail holes. I learned the hard way that pencil lines are hard to get off after nailing.|
|Drill pilot holes with a tapered drill bit.|
|Insert the nails,|
|and drive them home.|
|I marked where I wanted the nail holes, then drilled with the tapered bit just until...|
|It starts to poke out the other side. Then...|
|Put the joint together and drill the entire pilot hole.|
|Everything is together surprisingly well!|
|Now it's time for the back. I cut three pieces to length.|
|Then I used my self-made ship lap plane. This thing is coming in way more useful than I ever thought it would.|
|Once the ship laps are done, lay out the pilot holes and drill.|
|All that is left is to trim the top pieces. I used a jack plane and a flat bottomed spokeshave.|
|Finished! At least, as finished as it will get for this Build-Off.|
|It involved a hike.|
|But the view is great!|
Today so far has been a lot of little stuff that you can't really see any progress with.
Hopefully I'll be able to nail the carcass together soon and get started on the drawers.
|I figured out why this toggle doesn't close right - a crack!|
|Easy fix with hide glue. On to regular programming...|
|Working on the spacer.|
|Glued a dark bit to the front.|
|Top rail being rabbeted in.|
|One step closer to glue up!|
|This spacer goes between the two drawers.|
Before just dropping my tools like I usually do, I had to ask myself, "What would Alex do?"
|Trying out the newly sharpened rabbet plane.|
|Oh, this is way easier than doing it with only a saw and a chisel!|
|Saw and chisel for a dado is easy, though.|
|What Would Alex Do?|
|Cross cutting shelves to length.|
|Now they are the right width.|
|Here's a sneak peek of the finished project.|
Time for coffee and pastries.
It's coming along, I should be done in about a week or so. :o)
I did cheat a little, in so far as I smoothed one side of a board I am using and ripping it to width. My excuse is I needed to know the dimensions of this board in order to finish the design of my piece.
Which I am doing in my head and on the fly.
Here is my plan so far:
Basically it will be an open-topped bookshelf, but instead of shelves, there will be a bank of two drawers.
I want it to be a bit modern, as well as a bit rustic. Therefore I have chosen an idea to be angular, with a couple of old Bavarian piercings.
The wood will be pine Leimholz from the home center, which isn't ideal, but it is what is available to me, as well as a rather special board for the drawer fronts.
The drawer fronts are from a board that was sent to me from Australia. Kerryn Carter of @toolschool fame was randomly selected in a giveaway I did on Instagram. The only way I could get her to accept it was to allow her to send me a couple of bits of scrap Australian wood in return.
One of the boards she sent was this really neat flat sawn bit of black wattle. I look forward to seeing what this piece will look like.
|Start of the drawer fronts.|
|My planing setup for this piece.|
|The start of today - nice and clean. Not for long, I fear.|
I want to use a soap finish on the pine parts, and a beeswax finish on the drawer fronts.