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Gluing the binding
Finally I managed to bind the back of the guitar.
The front's rebate I haven't cut yet, still stuck on making the jig for the trimmer.
For the binding I use tape to tape it down.
I admire those skill people to be able to work so fast with the glue drying so fast.
I use normal PVA white glue for the job.
It took me quite abit of time to get used to working fast.
Anyway what I should have done is to dry fit cut to length without the glue before attempting to cut and glue at the same time.

The rebate wasn't cut too good, so it was difficult to make the binding and BW purfling sit properly in the rebate, especially at the joints area, the butt-joint cutting was badly done.
To secure it in place I use normal tape and some rope.
However at places, the tape came lose and gaps were formed in the binding...
To make thins worse, the rope wasn't long enough to cover all the areas.
So some of the areas weren't tied by the rope and its those areas that have gaps.

However, I've search the OLF for some answers how to fill those gaps.
Basically just put some white PVA glue and sand the surround wood to fill the gaps.
If I use Cyano-acrylate (CA or super) glue I must remember to seal the purfing with shellac as it will stain it.
Since I am using white PVA I will continue to use that for the gap filling.

The way to secure the binding: tape + rope.

Rope abit too short though.

Another view.

As you can see the tape detaching at certain places.

You can see some gaps in the binding.

The but joint at the heel area badly done...


The butt area also not well done...

The butt view of the binding.

Filling the gaps
I read some post on the OLF for some ideas on filling the gap.
It is actually quite simple: apply some glue (PVA) and sand the surrounding area.
I tried it it really works.
The only thing is that the maple bind will be stained by the brown rosewood.
But after some scraping work, the maple is as good as new and the gaps filled.

Gaps filled

Another area


Another one :)

Another 2 more :)

End insert
I also work on the end insert.
By right, the better way, is to do the end insert before gluing the binding.
However, since I have already done one side of the binding, it still not too late to do the end insert.
The other side of the insert will be routed by away.
If you are doing miters, then it's a different story...
As I have no side purfling, there is no need for me to do miters, so I can safely route away the end insert for the top bind routing.

I also redo the butt joint part for the bindings.
I chiselled away the binding for the width of the insert and use a binding leftover for the gap.
This time round I try to get as close fit as possible.
I had to paste the black purfling strip also, as it was chiseling away.
Now it looks abit thicker than the surrounding purfling.
Well not too well done but at least the gap isnt that obvious now.

Cleaning the insert area's side

Cleaning the channel using the 2 cherries curved paring chisel.

Dry fitting of the end insert. Looks good.

Glued insert.

Some scraping to fill the gaps. Forgot to take a picture that is applying the white glue 1st before scraping / sanding.

End part after the patch. The purfling strip looks a bit thicker than surrounding one...

Another view

Heel area
Now 2 problems solved, left with the heel aread.
The gaps are pretty bad due to lousy chiselling of the channel.
I should have gotten the 1 mm chisel to clear the binding channel...
Well the binding does sits properly in the channel causing the wide gap.
Now trying to think of a way to solve it.. stay tuned for the updates..

Big gaps...

Binding doesnt sits well in the lousy chiselled channel.

Remedy will be ???


Binding and Purfling (Cutting)

Binding cutter tool selection
Till now I am always considering what tool to cut the binding rebate.
1) Make a purfling cutter (like gramil) and chisel the rebate.
2) Dremel based cutter
3) My new Maktec Laminate Trimmer cutter

For 1, I will need to make the cutter, which would take some time.
Also I had problem of finding the correct material for the cutter.
I have already got myself a set of good chisel, so it will put the chisel to good use.

For 2, I need to make the router attachment.
Also, if I need to have a fine adjustment ability, I need some thumb screw with a catch.
Finding the correct screws are quite difficult.

For 3, the existing base and attachment are already suited for the job.
However I still need some practise in routing as I have never done any routing before.

Using the trimmer
After some experimentation and trying to do the router attachment for option 2, I gave up making the attachment.
So I chose option 3 and practise the rebate cutting.
The routing experience was pretty fun; but not the cleaning up experience.
The trimmer basically spurt all the wood dust across the room.
I never realised that a trimmer can spurt out so much dust...

Regarding the loose bit, I emailed the Makita company, they responded pretty fast.
They said I need to get the 6mm collet cone instead which cost about 2 to 3 dollars.
Anyway, I bypass the problem; I got 1/4" bit instead.

Anyway, while I collected the trimming bit at Kelantan lane / Jalan Besar area, I got some more 1/4" router bit instead.
I also got some hardware to make the 2nd option easier.
I will need the option 2 if I were to do some inlay and bridge drilling / routing.

Cutting the binding rebate
After some practise, I cut the rebate.
To minimise tear out, I cut in the direction from the widest bout (upper and lower) to the waist and butt aread.

Routing direction to minimise tearout

Routing the rebate.

Dry fitting of the binding.

Another view

Close up view of the rebate at the waist area. As you can see I did not cut the rebate very deep, so the rose wood side is still visible.
If I decide to add in a purfling, then I will need to increase the rebate thickness.

After routing the room was filled with rosewood dust.

Purfling scheme consideration

I have not decided to add in a purfling or not.
The back strip was without any purfling lines, so in order to have some consistency I think will not add any purfling to the back binding.
As the binding and the purfling are of different colours:
Binding: white (maple)
Back: Rosewood (brown),
if I wants to add a purfling it has to be even number and of alternate colours i.e. BW purfling or BWBW purfling.

For the front the top is white (spruce) and the binding is also white (maple), so I need an odd number of purfling: B or BWB.
I have purchased a herringbone purfling, which might just be suitable.
If I decide to use this herringbone purfling, I can also ornate the bridge's tieblock and the headplate with the same herringbone purfling.

Here is a picture of the herringbone purfling.
to be added.

Cutting the butt insert rebate
Initially, I wanted to make a jig/guitar holder for holding the guitar while I work on the but region.
However after much consideration, I decide to just use the F-clamp and some spare wood.

Here is the clamping assembly.
First, I clamp some spare MDF to the table using the smaller F-clamps.
Then using the big F-clamp, I clamp the guitar to the spare wood.
The corksheet was used to prevent scratches to the guitar top.

Then using the Japanese Luthier Saw (douzuki saw) I started to saw the but insert rebate.
After a few rounds of sawing, the douzuki saw was too flexible.
I switch to use the Gent's saw instead.
The douzuki saw was good for other purposes and with little wastage.
Each's saw has it's purpose and suitable application.
The Gent's saw was having thicker blade and thus able to keep the line straight.
Douzuki saw was good if the cutting was done at a slight angle.
However for sawing the line, its almost held parallel to the surface, so it's hard to keep the sawing going in a straight line.
The metal rod was used as guide in the initial stage of sawing.

The sawing is done.
Now to chisel away the wood in between the saw lines.

At first I use the Marples chisel but later switch to the broader Diefenbacher chisel.
Coincidentally, the width of the butt insert was the width of the chisel.
During the chiselling, I managed to find a use for the 2 Cherries bent chisel :)
The front part of the insert was block by some wood and I was clearing the middle part of the insert.
The bent chisel will avoid the front part of the wood waste and work directly on the
inner portion.

The channel almost cleared.

Unfortunately I slipped and chiselled away some of the wanted portions...
Here is a view of my mistake.
Still pondering how to salvage the situation.
The easiest way is to widen the channel, but I am afraid that will weaken the end block joint as the side to the endblock glueing surface is reduced.
Alternatively, I can cut a curve portion at the mistake part making some sort of design.

A close up view of the blunder...

The end channel.

Binding rebate
I decide to include the BW purfling for the back and thus widen the binding rebate.
Now the kerfed lining blocks can be seen.
However I have cut the rebate too deep and the binding's height is now below the back.
2 mistakes in a one day.
One way of remeding is to add a side purfling to increase the height.

Another view.

Foot region.
The channel was first sawn and then cut using 5mm chisel, it is still to wide for chiselling.
I might need to get the 2mm chisel from LMI next time.

Side Track: My Gutmeier Guitar
This section is not part of my guitar building but rather pictures from my existing guitar.
I have a '98 Western Red Cedar Top/Indian Rosewood guitar made by the Baltimore luthier Ross Gutmeier.
It has an incredible sound clear singing trebles, deep bass and great projection.
I happened to change strings and took the pictures of the internals of the guitar.

The guitar's bracing patterns was based on the famous luthier Ignacio Fleta (Barcelonia).
It had 9 fan struts with a full slanting treble harmonic bar.
The top bout was padded reinforcement pad; the guitar was very heavily built.
The body and neck was built separately and joined using the dovetail method.
Ignacio Fleta was a making violin family instruments before building guitar which explains why he had chosen to go for this type of neck/body joint instead of the traditional one piece Spanish foot joint.

Here are the photos:

Th 9 fan struts with enclosing struts at the tail end.
In addition there is a slanting treble harmonic bar at the sound hole region.
The guitar is certainly built heavily.

The bulky neck block for the dovetail joint.
According to some OLFers Gutmeier is known to epoxied the neck to the body using plain butt joint instead of dovetail.

At one side of the slanted treble harmonic bar.
You can see the tiny brace pockey simiar to what I did with my braces.

The other side of the treble bar.
You can see the bridge pad almost span across the entire top region.

Here u see the back struts.
Fleta had 4 back strut but there are only 3 on my gutmeier


Closing the box

Acquiring more tools
Before this session, I manage to tour the Kelantan Lane once again.
Guess what I managed to find this time?
Marples (Irwin) chisel for SGD 9!
Well though now Marples chisel are no longer manufactured in England, (Now made in China as with many other products), they still use the Sheffield steel.
The chisel is coated with a layer to protect it from rust.
Note that this layer will clogged the sanding stone when sharpening the chisel.

I also bought a carbide sharpening stone for SGD 6.
However, I noticed that the same stone selling for SGD 2.25 at HomeFix...
So not all things in Kelantan lane are cheap.

Another tool was a wooden palm plane by MuJingFang (tw).
It reputated to have very hard blade.

Also I bought a Bahco 1" gouge from HomeFix.
It turned out that it wasn't that useful as I thought it is...
The cutting was really that good; the smaller Japanese gouge for wood carving was easier to handle.
Wasted SGD40...

Finally I ordered from more tools from Amazon.
This time round I ordered via VPostUSA instead of Amazon delivering directly to me.
This is because some of the tools cannot be shipped outside US directly.
The VPost service is quite lousy; they mixed up the processing resulting in one undelivered packaged and had to go for next round (higher cost as they charged another round of base charges) and they take very long to reply to my queries.
I had wanted them to waive the base charge but knowing their service standard, I must say it'll probably take eons before they give a no reply...
So in the end I just order some more chisel to make the next round more cost effective.

I bought a Stanley spokeshave, Takumi douzuki saw (pull saw), Grizzly 1 cm thickness dial gauge.
These are mainly in preparation for my next build.

Here is the picture of the new tools.

Preparing the caul
The caul was half done previously.
This time round I tried to use the Bahco gouge but it didn't work out either.
In the end I tried the Marples chisel and (Wow!) they are real sharp.
They cut the MDF like butter.
I managed to clean up the channels for the brace.

Cleaning up the channels

All cleaned up

Fitted caul

Harmonic brace kerfed lining extension
After seeing David LaPlante's post in the OLF about a replica of a Torres' guitar, I decide to follow suit with these:
A kerfed lining extension above the harmonic brace.
Well it look more authentic.

Tiny kerfed lining extension above the harmonic brace.

Sound port
Finally after weeks of design I settled on this design for the sound port.
It was kind of inspired by the Chinese Eight Trigram (Pak Kua).
But if you look carefully there is an S in the centre, representing Sen. :)

I first drilled small hole all around the design using my B&D RTX.
Then I use fret saw to cut through the holes.
Fitting the fret saw through the hole can be a tricky task, to generate enough tension for the blades.
Finally after sawing I use files to file the excess portion to size.

Fitting the fret saw blade

Filed to shape

Another view

Looking through the port

Shaving the brace, top patch
Well after having good experience with the Marples chisel, I decide to try it on the braces.
One of the brace was having a notch in it due to a blunt chisel.
The Marples cut through like hot knife through melted butter.
As I remove more and more, I realise the profile of the brace was changed.
So I decided to carry on more and make it into triangular profile instead.
The for outer 2 braces due to space constraint I decide leave it as it is.
Well I wished that the chisel were a abit shorter in this case :)

Triangular profile

Another view

Also I added another patch of spruce to reinforce the top part of the sound board.
It is said that this will improve the treble response.
Fleta had the entire upper bout coverd with hard maple.
Aguado? extended the neck beneath the top board for the entire length of the finger board.
Hauser reinforced with another traverse strut.
I never had a strut and so I reinforce with a pad instead.

Top reinforcement pad

After that I held the caul in place using tape.
Now the guitar is all set for back assembly.

Holding the caul in place

Another view

Closing the box, Back assembly
I am clamping the back using just F-clamps.
I have 4 big ones and 10 small ones: this should be just sufficient for the assembly.
Originally I thought of reinforcing further using strings, but noting that the back overhang is pretty long and strings might cause the back to uplift from the lining (with the edge as the fulcrum point)
The wooden blocks which I bought at Daiso was very useful.
I used them on several occassions.
In the end I found a better solution using those wooden blocks are caul.
They served to protect the back and apply a more even pressure.

As I use yellow glue (PVA) for the assembly I had to work fast.
The four main clamps were used for the heel, tail and 2 waist section.
The rest of the clamps were spaced out in between those 4 big clamps.

Applying the glue.

Various views of clamping the back.

The closed box
The next few days I remove the clamps.
So far so good the assembly.
I tap the top for the tap tone and it sounded with a bassy thud in the bridge region.
Then I realised there is a caul underneath the bridge region so it wont give an accurate tap tone.
So the next step? purfling and finger board headplate and french polish and finally setup.

Front view

Back view

Side view

Oblique back view

Another back view

Another end view the back curve can be seen.

The sound port. The middle portion is supposed to look like an 'S', but my good music pal commented that it didn't look like one. Seems like I need to remove more material in the middle part to make it looked more like one.

Looking through the sound port

You can see the strut pattern here.

The back struts

The caul in place.

Tools shopping spree
Well I think I was bitten by the tools shopping bug.
I went shopping for tools again: both online and Kelantan Lane.
Due to the mess-up by VPost, who failed to deliver one of my package and they are going to charge me the last (lost) package another base charge, I decide to make use of the opportunity to buy some more tools.
This time time I order a chisel set from Diefenbacher Tools instead.
Well their packaging is just nice: the correct sized box for the tools.
One caution about the free shipping for Amazon, they tend to use overly size boxes.
This might be ok for continental US shipping since it is free, but when it comes to VPost shipper, which goes by weight, the shipping charges is expensive.
This is the lesson which I learnt.

Anyway I tried out the Diefenbacher chisel, they were great!
They much better than the disappoint 2 Cherries paring chisel which I got from Amazon.
If I had know better, I would have gotten the paring chisel from Diefenbacher too.

I managed to tour my favourite hunt, Kelantan lane and this time round managed to acquire a Maktec (Makita) Laminate Trimmer(SGD 78) and 1.5" Marples Blue chip chisel (SGD17).
Maktec is the Makita's subsisdary in China which manufactures the trimmer.
Though it is stated that it accepts 6mm bit or 1/2" bit (6.35mm), in actualy fact, the 6mm bits are just too loose.
If I on the power, I'll probably be facing some shuriken(手裏剣) (Ninja darts) flying from the trimmer.
The 1/4" bit which comes with the trimmer fits exactly without any problem.
Now I am all set to cut the binding rebate.

The tools acquired recently (includes those from previous batch of shipping)

The Maktec laminate trimmer - comes with an edge guide, so I need not build one.

Another view