Spanish solera question

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Craig Bumgarner
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Location: Drayden, Maryland

Spanish solera question

Post by Craig Bumgarner »

I've been thinking about making a solera. I saw this picture and wondered what is going on with the side support posts:
solera.jpg
What do the keyhole shaped bits of MDF do on the top? Is the bolt hole drilled off center so it can act like a cam and the extention off the round part is a lever? The white portion looks to be plastic pipe, but then it would seem the pipe would be hard to center on the MDF parts. If the MDF part is a cam, then it has to be set up closer to the guitar sides than the pipe to work and that means the pipe is not in contact with the sides. If does not look like this though, it looks like the pipe and the MDF part are aligned. Maybe what I think are pipes is solid rod drilled out for the bolt. But then why the MDF part in the first place. Any ideas?

BTW, I think the steel shaft in the middle is used with a sanding block that pivots on the shaft to level the sides. Interesting idea, but would not work on my guitars which have a lot of arch in the tops. The edges of the sides are not straight or level.

Alan Carruth
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Alan Carruth »

That's a pretty fancy solera. You do need some sort of setup to hold the sides in against the top as you glue in the tentellones; those are probably toggles of some sort but without further details it's hard to say. There are lots of variations to the basic idea, each of which is clearly 'superior', at least in the mind of the person using it. I've been using pegs and wedges.

Craig Bumgarner
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Craig Bumgarner »

Your comment about linings gave me an idea. Maybe the flats at the back of the keystone part makes a landing for clamps during head and tail block installs.

And your right of course, the ideal post is tall enough so it can backup the sides during lining installs. But short enough that it does not get in the way of working the top edge. Then there is the back edge, which on my guitars is not parallel to the top edge. It gets complicated quick doesn't it.

Bill Raymond
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Bill Raymond »

Perhaps the "keystone" part is simply a grip. I can see the advantage to having a grip of some sort to prevent the device from spinning and position the device whilst tightening the nut.

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Waddy Thomson
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Waddy Thomson »

I believe the keyhole shaped dogs are for tying the binding or the back down with elastic or whatever one might use.

Craig Bumgarner
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Craig Bumgarner »

Ahhh, that makes sense, thanks!

Bill Raymond
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Bill Raymond »

Yes, that makes the most sense.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

I made a jig that had the "adjustable posts in slots" similar to the one shown but found it didn't put the posts where I wanted them all the time (it wasn't near as nice as the one shown). I finally settled on using wooden "Ls" that I would just screw in to an unslotted solera at the spots I thought I needed them. The screws allowed me to reposition them quickly for different shapes and the "L" shape allowed me to use clamps to hold the sides in place. It is relatively cheap and simple to make and comparatively crude to what is shown, but works well for me and stores compactly when not in use.

Bill Raymond
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Bill Raymond »

The guitars I've made using a solera needed only a piece of wood across the soundhole to hold the top in place, narrow upright strips screwed on at the waist and a flat block at the butt; the solera was the same shape as the guitar. Screws partially driven into the periphery of the solera were used to stretch rubber bands for clamping the bindings in place.

Mike Spector
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Mike Spector »

I guess you know that that is a photo of the "Kenneth Michaels Ultimate Guitar Jig" from the Kenneth Michaels website. It adjusts to fit just about any shape of guitar and the post in the middle is for a sanding bar which is flat on one side and radiused on the other to sand the contour into the top or bottom..

Mike Spector
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Mike Spector »

... top or bottom on the sides. Anyway it's not hard to make one if you have a band saw for cutting the pvc pipe and a router to cut the slots. Only problem is that with every different shape you will have to build a different bending insert for your Fox style bender or else bend by hand over a hot pipe.

Craig Bumgarner
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Craig Bumgarner »

Mike, no I didn't know that was Kenneth Michael's design. I got the picture from a student at the Whetstone School of Lutherie in Brattleboro, VT, they apparently use them there. The Whetstone version looks slightly different, but same idea.

To me the hand bending and solera go together. If I build a bending mold, I'd build a body mold too.

Mike Spector
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Mike Spector »

pic of the mold and base. I used a piece of pipe and flange to support the bar. The sanding bar rests around a piece of some kind of plastic stuff I found on side of road. I use the base with my body molds also and replace the bar with sanding dishes, which is not the point of the Kenneth Michaels deal.
dang--I rotated the pic twice but it still comes out upside down when I preview it.
Attachments
Mold.JPG

Dennis Duross
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Dennis Duross »

And you mount everything to the ceiling? Brilliant space-saving idea!

Mike Spector
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Mike Spector »

Right, mounted to the ceiling with hinges that let it "fold" down into vertical position and all the saw dust gathers into one point

Stephen M. Faulk
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Stephen M. Faulk »

Planes have been invented! Hand planes!

J/k

Gilbert Fredrickson
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Re: Spanish solera question

Post by Gilbert Fredrickson »

Really nice.

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