"Free Form" Building Vs. The Mold.

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Bryan Bear
Posts: 1240
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: "Free Form" Building Vs. The Mold.

Post by Bryan Bear »

Those pillar molds probably work very well. The only reason I have shied away from making one is that I like to sand the top and back dome into the rim with it in the mold. I suppose I could do one side and then flip it over in the mold but I still feel like it would be a little too bulky. Perhaps others will chime in on them.

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

Jason Rodgers
Posts: 1554
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: "Free Form" Building Vs. The Mold.

Post by Jason Rodgers »

The situation where the adjustable pillar mold seems best suited is harp instruments. Otherwise, I think it's used solera style for "normal" instruments.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Tyko Runesson
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: "Free Form" Building Vs. The Mold.

Post by Tyko Runesson »

I think that what you name "adjustable dovel mold" is what I always used. The dovel is running in some slices and I am totally free to very fast change the mold to whatever shape I want to build. I do a template of the outershape of the instrument. Normally I just need the half of the outershape but with asymetrical instruments I have to do the whole shape. Then I adjust my adjustable dovel mold to the right schape and free bend the sides on the hot pipe.
The reason for me to do it that way is that I like to work with as simple tool as possible and I also want to be able to build whatever shape the customer wishes to have without any big extra work. I like my basic way to build to be as flexible as posible.
I have been working on my method all the time I have been building and I am still doing some changes to make it even smother. In my opinion it is not at all better with "heavy" molds and bending molds, just different. I also don´t like to do new posible "one time use" stuff that should find some place to be stored to collect dust. I have enough to collect dust anyway in my life....try to get rid of such thing.
About to fit the sides to the radius of the top and the back: Before I did that with a radiusstick but now I started to doing it with a radius disc. Both works good. Just to flip the rims in the adjustable mold. No problem, just to find the right way.

Robert Eason
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:06 pm

Re: "Free Form" Building Vs. The Mold.

Post by Robert Eason »

Great ideas here and have moved my brain into another dimension as I have a small shop (23 x 16) but most of it is taken up by 400 bf of sapele, 300 bf of Osage, 160 bf of A Maho, and a 4'W x 8'L x 8'H storage rack for various other exotic lumber. Throw in table saw, planer, radial arm saw and other power tools and benches and it's tight to move in so space is at a premium. Thanks a lot for the ideas!

Chris Reed
Posts: 157
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:26 pm

Re: "Free Form" Building Vs. The Mold.

Post by Chris Reed »

I build ukes free form, and simply draw the body shape on the underside of the top, screw the top down to my building board, and then glue blocks (CA usually) round the outline:


These blocks are cut from a length of moulding which has a machined 90 degree corner, so that helps to keep the sides vertical.

Not sure how this would scale up to guitar sizes, but it's only a 5 minute job to glue the blocks down, somuch quicker than an adjustable dowel mould.

Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1477
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: "Free Form" Building Vs. The Mold.

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

A modification to the dowel mold idea I have used is to make "L" blocks and screw them around the body outline drawn on a piece of plywood . They can be setup for different shapes relatively quickly, and the "L" pieces can be stored in a small box when not in use. The jig can be made from scraps of plywood and a few screws, so low cost is an added benefit.

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