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The solera

I managed to make quite a bit of time to do the guitar.
Since I am working on the guitar I thought I might as well make the solera instead of assembling free form.
So I embark on the solera making.

Before I started work on the solera making, I managed to persuade my mum to let up room for my guitar making.
So we clear the room and manage to source an old table for the work.
No more backaches for me (so I have hoped till today still suffering from backache)

Here's the full arsenal I have acquired (minus the power tools)

I drew a 15' arc using 15' string and a pencil.
What best to get a 15' arc.
I wanted a 25' arc but 15' is near the limit of my mum's living room diagonal.
In the end only manage to get a 15' arc.
I will be using this arc to plane the back braces.

With the table I managed to free up 2 hand to use the Stanley #4 smooth plane.
Well planing was a breeze except that when I overexert strength the plane will knock into the wall.
Think I need to get some plaster for the wall...

Well I try to saw a side mold using the coping saw but gave up because the side mold wood plate was too soft.
It wouldn't stand against the spring back of the sides.

While making the solera (work board) I manage to pick up my chiseling skills abit.
I did not have an entire piece of wood so my solera had to be joined.
One of the half's slots was drilled and chiselled while the other half I discovered a way to do it better and faster too: that is using Tenon saw.
The tenon saw (saw with back rib reinforcement) was plain easy to use.
The saw line was straight too.
Sorry no pictures for this part, as I was too engrossed in the work.

In the end here's the solera layout.

Dust was a problem especially since I got a bad cough now.
Got a baby to take care and so I got myself a 3M mask.
It is very effective no wonder people use it during SARS period.
Strangely it's rather comfortable to wear.

So I wanted to finished up the side support stopper.
But the stupid B&D RTX rotary tool heated up too hot (until I smell the burning plastic)
So I could not continue.

The end product - the Solera (minus some side stoppers)

I made a trip down to Kelantan Lane once again wanting to get some screws for making brace clamps.
However as I explored the place I manage to find some Aluminium bars, which is essential in my cam clamp making.
So I purchase enough Al bars to make about 30 cam clamps.
Now just need to source for the wood and time to make the cam clamps.

I also bought a Al pipe and make a heat pipe bender.
For the heat source I use the heat blower; I can also use a propane torch also.

Although my side comes pre-bent, the spring back is pretty bad.
So I need to touch up on the curves before I assemble the guitar.
I tried my hands in the heat pipe bending method.
It wasn't easy though I read quite a bit about heat pipe bending on the OLF and other forums, the experience wasn't really descripable...
I nearly crack one of the waist...

Actually my next immediate task should be bracing the top board.
But before that I need 2 things:
- Clamps: either the cam clamps or the go-bar
- Dehumidifier

I went surfing the internet for local suppliers of dehumidifier.
It seems that this machine wasn't readily available.
Nonetheless I manage to secure a purchase at SGD 500; heavy investment on my part...
Here's the Amcor dehumidifier which I bought: it is able to remove about 15 litres or moisture each day, enough for the room which I am currently making in.

Solera Dome and Struts Glueing
For a acoustic guitar (folk guitar) top, the entire top is domed to some radius 15' or 20'.
For that purpose the x-brace is often shaped to that particular radius and the whole top is glued using a MDF radius dish.
For a classical guitar, only the lower bout is radiused.
The struts of the classical guitar does not required to be shaped to the same radius of the lower bout.
Instead they are pressed into the dome and the shaped is held by the glue.
This technique is often used by the great luthier Antonio de Torres.
Doming allows a thin top (1mm thickness) to acquire sufficient strength to support the tension forces acting on the top

I worked on the solera trying to create the dome in the lower bout but unfortunately the pine solera wasnt really flat.
In order to repair the solera an create a consistent dome I added another layer of MDF on top of the pine solera.
I work on the previous dome i created with the MDF, trying to smoothen the curvature to a 15' radius.
Also I create a 15' radius template using acrylic sheet, using for reference on the dome curvature.

The 15' curvature smoothened.

The new workboard with the MDF layer.