Sunday, September 18, 2016

More OM

In the last post, I hinted at the fitting of Philip’s OM neck.  So, a tenon is cut on the end of the neck and painstakingly fitted.  It takes quite awhile to get both a snug joint and the neck’s alignment correct.
Fast forward………..Here you can see the neck, fretboard support and two-way truss rod in place, all ready for the fretboard to be glued on.
Fast forward again……I always put a compound radius on my fretboards and the crayon lines are a quick visual guide as to how much wood has to be removed.
Then the dots and a cup of tea whilst the epoxy sets.
 And after a real good clean-up I’m ready for the frets. Now when you look at luthier supply websites, you’ll be amazed at how many tools are available for the fretting process. There is a trend to use “press” type tools to squeeze frets into their respective slots. I think that this is a response to more makers using bolt-on necks which are shaped before they are fretted. This makes the the neck tricky to support whilst hammering in frets.
 As you can see below, I like to leave my neck square, this way they can be firmly supported so that they don’t bounce when a fret is hammered in.
 Also above, you’ll see my favourite fretting tools; a pair of 120 year old piano wire cutters and a ball-pein hammer. You can buy fancy dead blow hammers etc if you wish, but if the neck is well supported you won’t have any problems. I’ve polished the face of my hammer so that it doesn’t mark the frets.
The only really “specialist” tool that I use is a fret rocker- I use this to double check that each fret in seated correctly. I believe that some young folks would call this approach “Old School."
Job done.

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Monday, September 05, 2016

OM body

The body of Philip’s octave mandolin is now complete. Below you can see the sequence of the herringbone purflings and the maple bindings going on.
And here are a few choice photos of the body, all cleaned-up.
With the body complete, the next stage is to route the pocket for the neck joint into the end of the body joint (not for the faint hearted!) and then to fit the neck……..
More on that anon...............

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