Search found 157 matches

by Chris Reed
Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:20 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????
Replies: 106
Views: 47162

Re: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????

Caley, guitars and mandolins use the same wire. Just different lengths/diameters (and different ends to fix to the bridge or tailpiece). So my table might help you here. From your post, your shortest string is about 7 inches and is an E. The table suggests that (for acoustic guitar tension) an E str...
by Chris Reed
Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:31 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????
Replies: 106
Views: 47162

Re: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????

Your zither has the notes for each string printed on the top, so you can reverse engineer the rough sizes you want from guitars and mandolins. Go to this site, and find the calculator where you type in the scale length and it tells you the lengths of each string (it actually gives you the fret spaci...
by Chris Reed
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Jam Session
Topic: My new job...
Replies: 17
Views: 8402

Re: My new job...

I'm an academic lawyer who has also done practice work through number of law firms, so conflict of interest has been something we thought about a lot. The trick is to agree how to prevent conflicts arising. I see two possible conflicts here: 1. You push your own guitar and persuade a customer not to...
by Chris Reed
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:49 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????
Replies: 106
Views: 47162

Re: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????

Looks very neat!
by Chris Reed
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????
Replies: 106
Views: 47162

Re: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????

That spool clamp looks fine to me. Note that the threads can dent the wood when you apply the clamp (ask me how I found out!), so I'd wrap some tape around it before tightening or put some scraps of cardboard between the threaded part and the wood. Up to you on the long cleat, but I'd find it easier...
by Chris Reed
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:26 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????
Replies: 106
Views: 47162

Re: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????

Step 1 would be to remove the back on your zither, to see how it is built inside. And if you do that you might even decide you can fix the old "repairs"! If you can sharpen and use a chisel then you can (very slowly and carefully) shave off all the wood and most of the epoxy. If the epoxy is rock ha...
by Chris Reed
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????
Replies: 106
Views: 47162

Re: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????

If you don’t plan to use hot hide glue, you might consider fish glue. Liguid hide glue does not have a good reputation for longevity. Not sure that's true any more. I've read a few recent tests which say that it works pretty much as well as hot hide glue except for glueing bridges. And also reports...
by Chris Reed
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????
Replies: 106
Views: 47162

Re: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????

I'd use hot hide glue for all the cracks and for the cleats. It's actually much easier than the mythology suggests - you'll need to find a baby bottle warmer to heat it, and any clean class jar which fits will do (though empty out the glass jar or the glue will crack flakes of glass off!). A yoghurt...
by Chris Reed
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????
Replies: 106
Views: 47162

Re: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????

Chris - could Caley protect the surface with some packing tape to allow leveling the splints? That's what I'd try, starting with a sharp paring chisel, then a scraper, then finally a razorblade-scraper. Packing tape is pretty tough stuff, tools slide nicely against it, and if she spaces them proper...
by Chris Reed
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:00 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????
Replies: 106
Views: 47162

Re: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????

I'll add my voice to Bill's. Don't use glue and sawdust to fill those cracks. Glue and sawdust looks very much darker than the original wood, and also you'd have to sand it down level which would remove the decoration. I've used glue and sawdust on mahogany necks to fill dings, and even there under ...
by Chris Reed
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:49 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????
Replies: 106
Views: 47162

Re: Repair of Zither (Harp Mandolin) ??????

If you can live with visible cracks on the soundboard then you can still cleat them. Take a guitar top E string (or nylon fishing line), drill a tiny hole in the cleat, hot hide glue on the cleat, then use the wire to slide the cleat along the crack and pull into position. With HHG just pulling gent...
by Chris Reed
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:00 am
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: Salvaging mahogany from old furniture?
Replies: 5
Views: 4908

Re: Salvaging mahogany from old furniture?

I've recycled furniture for ukuleles, and am currently making a pair of guitars using largely wood from a mahogany wardrobe door. The biggest problem is finding vertical grain wood. Most furniture is made from flat-sawn pieces (if it's solid wood at all). This can still work, but you have to design ...
by Chris Reed
Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:26 am
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: HELP!! Side Bending
Replies: 17
Views: 12363

Re: HELP!! Side Bending

I use a heat gun with a 3 inch/75mm steel pipe and it gets hot enough, but I still have to rock the wood on the pipe to heat a wide enough portion to bend. If I don't rock it, I scorch a narrow strip and also produce a sharp kink rather than a nice bend. A damp rag on the pipe and aluminium strip on...
by Chris Reed
Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:09 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Mandolin Information
Replies: 8
Views: 6551

Re: Mandolin Information

Tuning is GDAE. I'd separate the string courses by around 1.5mm, and space the courses to fit the neck width. It's high tension and players don't usually bend notes, so you can go closer to the edge than on a guitar. Low action if a bluegrass mandolin (2mm at the 12th or less), probably 2.5mm if a b...
by Chris Reed
Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:21 am
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: How small can you go, and not lose the tone?
Replies: 13
Views: 10580

Re: How small can you go, and not lose the tone?

Parlor guitars at 24.5 inch/622mm work fine, and I'd guess 600mm with heavy strings could work too. The two limiting factors are bass response and usable string diameters. You can put a big box on a small neck to achieve bass, though it looks odd, but at some point the low E string for standard tuni...
by Chris Reed
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Glues and Finishes
Topic: Super Glue joint repair
Replies: 9
Views: 6718

Re: Super Glue joint repair

Heat does soften dried CA, which is only acrylic plastic after all. You can heat and clamp to see if that will close the gap up enough, though of course your softened acrylic in the joint is pretty stiff so it might not squeeze out sufficiently. Heat and a thin blade would remove the binding but lea...
by Chris Reed
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: Glues and Finishes
Topic: Issue with hot hide blue - very "runny."
Replies: 4
Views: 3019

Re: Issue with h.h.g. - very "runny."

Salt is used to slow down the gelling time, so I suppose that might make the glue runnier.

You could always buy a bottle of spring water (not mineral water) from the supermarket and use that to see if it makes a difference.
by Chris Reed
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Ukuleles
Topic: Resonator Ukes
Replies: 6
Views: 6626

Re: Resonator Ukes

Greg Steil wrote:I'm gonna go for as light as I can build it.
Conventional wisdom says the opposite - you don't want the cone to flex while you're playing or it will distort.

This was my skeleton (pear-shaped body), ready for cladding.
2016-01-15 13.50.19.jpg
by Chris Reed
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Ukuleles
Topic: Resonator Ukes
Replies: 6
Views: 6626

Re: Resonator Ukes

Plywood is a common choice. The important thing is to get the sound well and body really solid (and of course, different designs depending on what type of cone you are using).

I've only built one, and it sounds pretty good but weighs enough that I need a strap to play it standing.
by Chris Reed
Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: Reject wood guitar? Prototype?
Replies: 28
Views: 24161

Re: Reject wood guitar? Prototype?

I recycled the body of a 70s Japanese dreadnaught into a pear-shaped tenor guitar with a new top made of yew. That turned out fine.