StewMac tools

A Weissenborn

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A Weissenborn

Postby Kerry Werry » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:01 pm

So been asked to build one...

Classic style 4 all Koa.... I've seen some alternate bracing patterns but for this one will probably go with the traditional pattern..

Rope bindings, I know how in theory, any practical advice appreciated..

Also any general things to look out for appreciated...

Obviously being all Koa I'd rather not mess something up :|

Kerry
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Re: A Weissenborn

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:36 pm

You can make "delicate" rope bindings by splitting herringbone down the middle. I've done that on a few guitars and an instrument that was a cross between a weiss and a dulcimer.
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Re: A Weissenborn

Postby Freeman Keller » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:27 pm

I have built two Weissenborns - basically at the same time from the same wood. Some things I remember

- there are two sets of plans - StewMac and LMI (or GAL, I don't remember). I used both, there are slight differences.

- most Weissenborns are X braced with two ladder tone bars. I saw an article in American Lutherie showing angled tone bars so I build one of each.

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Both sound good, but side by side everyone prefers the ladder bracing. Otherwise they are the same

- think about how you will build your body mold to hold the head.

- I bent the sides on a Fox bender with extra long mold for the neck

- I put too much of a curve on the back of the headstocks which means that the outside tuners were on slightly curved wood. One tuner even had the little point by the screw snap off when I tried to bend it

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- "frets" are inlay the same material I bound with (maple). They are only there for reference. I also used a bone saddle (instead of the fret wire) and a standard tall bone nut.

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- build to fit the Goldtone case. It is good quality and will save you ordering a custom case

- lots of information about stringing and setting up a Weissie (look in the archives at OLF). I like a heavy first and second string (0.014 or so) and usually tune to D but other tunings are possible. If you use too light of strings you'll tear up the edge of the fretboard (and your fancy rope binding) with your steel.

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Re: A Weissenborn

Postby Todd Stock » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:41 am

Pay attention to the MIMF plans in the neck area - the spruce doublers definitely help stiffen up the neck area, and prevent handling damage - I would not build without the doublers if side thickness is under 0.100". The StewMac plans have a body shape that appears to have been an artifact of the draftsman's imagination; the MIMF plans are pretty accurate when compared to the originals. Both plans lack key details, but between the two, all details are represented. Cap the X-brace - collapsing tops are a traditional feature of the early originals, and a cracked X is typical.
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Re: A Weissenborn

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:20 am

Luthiers Mercantile has rope binding. I don't know why they call this binding though because it is really purling.
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Re: A Weissenborn

Postby Freeman Keller » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:41 am

A couple more minor thoughts

- I made the tops perfectly flat - so far that has been OK but I also keep a humidifier in each case.

- as you know the fretboard is perfectly flat. Action is about 3/8 at both ends. There is no compensation at the bridge.

- I used simple rope style rosette but my binding is plain old maple. I think that is considered Style 2.

I played mine last night. These things have incredible sustain.
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Re: A Weissenborn

Postby Alan Carruth » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:02 pm

If I were making one with rope binding, I might just lay up a block of diagonal BW and glue up slices onto a strip of veneer. Then I'd thickness it, and glue another layer of veneer on top. Cut slice off the edge, bend it, and glue it onto a rabbet that is deliberately shallow by at least the thickness of one layer of veneer. Once it's on and the glue is dry, you scrape or sand off the veneer layer. That assumes you think its worth while to make the layup, so that you'd have more around for another build.

Recently a student restored a ca. 1780 English 'guittar' (a cittern) that had rope binding. We had to remove the back, and the fine layup just fell to pieces. Since a lot of it was already missing we just replicated it. he glued up a block of BW of the correct thickness, of about 8 layers, iirc, and cut off slices from that. The end of the slice got cut off at a 45, and he cut successive slices from there that were a bit wider than the rabbet in a miter box. These were dipped in HHG, put in place side by side, and held for a few seconds until the glue gelled. Since each section was short and the curves were not sharp we didn't have to bend them to get them to follow the side pretty well for the most part. The back did continue up onto the heel, making a short radius, and there he actually trimmed the layup to fit the curve. It took a bit of time, but when it was all dressed down and rounded over it looked almost exactly like the top rope: the layup was close enough that he could use some to patch the top edge in a couple of places too. I would not be at al surprised if that was how the original was done.
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Re: A Weissenborn

Postby Kerry Werry » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:45 pm

Thanks everyone for the comments.. Yes looking at the LMI stiff it looks too thin as said more line a purfling..

Alan I think I will try and make some.. using the two layers of veneer method or maybe one layer or maybe small lengths set in individually ... LoL still some thinking to do at least the curves are not too extreme not he Weissenborn...

Just trying to work up the guts to resaw a nice Koa plank..... :?

Will be doing a flat top as that is what the originals were and probably traditional or mostly traditional bracing...

Thanks again everyone

Kerry
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