Bending Progress

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Eric Knapp
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Bending Progress

Post by Eric Knapp »

Hello,

I made good progress on bending the binding for my first guitar. It's glued on and there are very few noticeable gaps when looking at it from the top. There are some small gaps on the side that I'm filling and that's going to be ok. Not as good as from the top but it is progress. For my first time doing binding and purfling I'm going to call this a success. I cut the channels by hand using some homemade gramils.

I scraped and sanded the top and added a quick coat of 1# shellac. The top is Western Red Cedar from a leftover piece of siding.
top-done - 1.jpeg

Some closeups of some good sections.
top-done - 2.jpeg

The binding is rosewood and the purfling is maple veneer and a black-dyed veneer.
top-done - 3.jpeg

I was able to finally bend the binding by starting over. Here's the rosewood board that I cut along the grain line. I'm an long-time woodworker and was fixated on everything being straight. It dawned on me that since I would be bending the binding strips they didn't need to be straight to begin with. The board is perfectly quarter-sawn and by follow the grain lines the strips have virtually no runout. They ended up being very flexible and bent easily. The other thing I did, based on everyone's advise, was to lower the heat of my bending iron. It was hot enough to easily scorch the wood so it must have been way too hot.
rosewood-cut - 1.jpeg

Here's one last shot of my first rosette. I had no idea what I was doing so I just improvised. After adding the shellac it glowed nicely and I thought I'd take a gratuitous shot.
top-done - 4.jpeg

Thanks for all the help on this. I'm slowly getting better and already planning the next guitar. Heh, I can see how this can be quite addictive, in a very positive way.

-Eric

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Bryan Bear
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Re: Bending Progress

Post by Bryan Bear »

Great job, it looks really nice. Kudos on cutting the channels by hand. That is no small task, especially on a first guitar.

You will see any gaps way more readily than anyone else will. I find it is much harder to eliminate gaps on the back than on the top. Since the body tapers on the back you have to get the binding to bend in both directions at once. If you do the style of taper that is mostly north of the waist it can be even more challenging. The more guitars you make, the better handle you will get on getting them clamped in tight.

It is an interesting discovery when you learn that you are going to be bending the wood anyway isn't it. I bet I would be a terrible furniture maker <G>.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

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Eric Knapp
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Re: Bending Progress

Post by Eric Knapp »

Bryan Bear wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:26 pm
Great job, it looks really nice. Kudos on cutting the channels by hand. That is no small task, especially on a first guitar.

Thanks! Here are the gramils I made. I make a lot of little tools and these were very fun to make.
four-gramils - 1.jpeg
Bryan Bear wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:26 pm
You will see any gaps way more readily than anyone else will. I find it is much harder to eliminate gaps on the back than on the top. Since the body tapers on the back you have to get the binding to bend in both directions at once. If you do the style of taper that is mostly north of the waist it can be even more challenging. The more guitars you make, the better handle you will get on getting them clamped in tight.
I got better with each section I did. I can see that it will take a few more, or many, guitars before I am satisfied but I like the progress.
Bryan Bear wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:26 pm
It is an interesting discovery when you learn that you are going to be bending the wood anyway isn't it. I bet I would be a terrible furniture maker <G>.
Ha! However, you might make great chairs. That's one group of woodworkers that bend wood a lot.

-Eric

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Bryan Bear
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Re: Bending Progress

Post by Bryan Bear »

Those gramils are beautiful! I love nice looking, functional hand made tools. Making these have been on my list for a long time and I never get around to it. Did you make the blades or buy them somewhere?
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

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Karl Wicklund
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Re: Bending Progress

Post by Karl Wicklund »

I like the larger segments in the rosette. It’s reminiscent of wide stained glass.
Kaptain Karl

Mike Conner
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Re: Bending Progress

Post by Mike Conner »

Really nice work, Eric. Cool that you went for "character" using the repurposed WRC rather than regular old spruce, and the rosette looks complimentary to the front plate.

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Eric Knapp
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Re: Bending Progress

Post by Eric Knapp »

Bryan Bear wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:49 pm
Those gramils are beautiful! I love nice looking, functional hand made tools. Making these have been on my list for a long time and I never get around to it. Did you make the blades or buy them somewhere?
Thanks! Those blades are jigsaw blades that I grind to shape. I looked for a source of small blades for a long time. I saw a tip somewhere about using jigsaw blades. They are cheap and the hardened ones are plenty hard for cutters. Having a good grinder makes it possible. I grind the teeth off, then grind them to 0.20", and form a point. Then I sharpen the tip on my stones.

The shafts are mild steel. Two of the bodies are ebony, one is cocobolo, and the fourth is probably bubinga.

-Eric

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Eric Knapp
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Re: Bending Progress

Post by Eric Knapp »

Karl Wicklund wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:20 pm
I like the larger segments in the rosette. It’s reminiscent of wide stained glass.
Thanks, Karl. I have a lot of walnut crotch figure pieces and I was happy to find one with some curves.

-Eric

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Eric Knapp
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Re: Bending Progress

Post by Eric Knapp »

Mike Conner wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:26 pm
Really nice work, Eric. Cool that you went for "character" using the repurposed WRC rather than regular old spruce, and the rosette looks complimentary to the front plate.
Thanks, Mike. I think I am more interested in using reclaimed and found wood for my future guitars. I have enough of the WRC for another guitar and maybe a ukulele. I also have some old redwood siding that is quarter-sawn and came off a neighbor's house. I have enough of that for 5 tops. Then I have a bunch of spruce, too. I'm set for tops for as long as I have eyes and hands. I intend to keep building and I hope I can.

-Eric

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