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Disaster! Cracked Top

I was thicknessing the top for my friend's 10-string guitar and I wanted to measure the thickness of the top So I went to fetch the thickness gauge on the rack.
Unfortunately, I had glued the guitar #3 top to the heel block and left it hanging loosely on the rack by the C-heel block.
I accidentally knock if over and it dropped hitting my old solera which was placed below.

Oh shit!
I pick it up and examine it after realising what had happened.
The top crack at 3 location 1 at the waist and 2 at the upper bout.
The UTB was also dislodged.
And so I began my repair.

I glue in all the seams with hide glue and glue in 3 spruce patches at the end of the crack to stop it from propagating.
After the glue dried I use chisel to par the patch down.
I sand the other side with 150 grit and then 1000 grit
Looks nearly invisible at the waist.
The upper bout was more serious but it's barely visible.
Look like I can continue to use this top.

Waist crack

Upper bout cracked at 2 places

UTB dislodged

Glue at the waist

Open the seam and apply some hide glue there.

Glue back the UTB and upper bout region

Finally glue in the patch

Parred down the patch

Looks like a hump

The other patch done.

Sanded the upper bout still show some visible crack.

Waist region was nearly invisible.


Rework on the intonation on my #1

My #1's intonation is not good.
I always wanted to redo it but haven't found the time and effort to do it.
The main reason is because I place the bridge at exactly 650mm spot.
By right the slot need to be at 652mm to adjust for the intonation.
So the 12th frets were always too sharp and it's hard to get the open string in tune.
So I decide to do something about it.

One consideration was to take out the bridge and reposition the bridge.
That would be a major operation and 2nd is to redo the slot.
At that time my skill wasn't that precise and the slot wasn't entirely straight.
So I decide to redo the slot instead.

I refile the slot to make it more square.
Then I dimension a piece of IRW and glued it in using hide glue.
When the glue is dried, I make a rough jig for the B&D RTX rotary tool to sit on.
And clamp 2 Aluminium bar as a rail for the RTX.
After double and triple check I route the new slot in 3 -4 passes.
The end result is a new straight slot at 652mm.

I reuse the same saddle and check the intonation.
The E Bass was dead on, probably about 653mm I refile the edge forward a bit, it was all the way t to the back initially.
The rest is slight sharp but not too noticeable.
All and all a well done :)

While waiting for the glue to dry I redid the headstock.
I cut the string slot from curve ramp to become square ramp as per my other guitars.
Also I chisel the Torres 3 lopes for the headstock.
Now what's left will be to do the pore filling and then French Polish.

Square up the slot.

Glue a piece of IRW into the existing slot with hide glue.

Wait for the glue to dry.

Plane the the excess IRW

Leveled flush and slightly gleaming.

The roughly made (but works) jig: just a base for the RTX to ride on. The Al bars act as the rail guide.

Checking the points of routing.

Start routing in 3-4 passes. Going deeper at each pass

Slot done.

With the original saddle. I file the leading edge forward abit.

Saw the straight ramp. 2 cuts at each side.

Chisel the waste away. The line act as a guide to know where to start.

Slot ramp done.

Headstock Torres 3 lop shape done. Need to sand it smooth though. I chisel while the string is on :) Lazy to remove them.


Review of IBC plane iron chipbreaker set for Stanley Record plane #4 / #5

I recently bought the IBC plane iron / chipbreaker set for Stanley #4 / #5 (2" width) after reading all the good review about it.
Previously I had bought plane iron upgrade for my block plane and the performance of the block plane greatly increase.
So I took the plunge and got the expensive plane iron upgrade.

I knew I had to open the mouth due to the extreme thickness of the iron and chipbreaker.
It's about 5mm thick each.
The iron was not as sharp out of the box as they had claimed but that is to be expected.
It didn't took long to sharpen the iron though.
The chipbreaker was sharp too :) I had a nasty cut on my index finger while sharpening them.

Anyway, I opened the plane iron mouth at the body and adjust the frog back.
I screwed the chipbreaker to plane iron leaving about 1mm between them.
Then I place in the iron assembly in the frog.
At a certain point, I couldn't adjust forward the iron it was stuck somehow...
I check and I thought I had problem with the frog but that wasn't the cause of the problem.
It was the screw hole in the chipbreaker was knocking against the holding screw for the plane iron at the frog.
The IBC did not make the hole large enough...
That was a design flaw!!!

Anyway as a workaround, I set the chipbreaker back leaving more gap between the iron edge, about 4-5mm gap.
Now the iron manage to protrude the mouth.
I test on pine wood and it cuts great leaving a very smooth surface.

I email Rob Cosman about it and he replied promptly.
He said it's was probably due to the different placement of the frog screw in my pre-war Stanley #5 Jack.
He had pass along my email to IBC.
Anyway he added that he didn't quite believe in the chipbreaker...
Well if he didn't believe int he chipbreaker then why bother to make one then?
Well I don't expect them to reply any further.
So much for a customer service.

I checked my other plane iron by Lee Valley which I use for my Stanley #4.
The chipbreaker was oval in shape and had big allowance for movement.
A check online with Hock chipbreaker also reveals an oval shape.
So why cant they just make an oval shape?
Anyway I use my file and open up the screw hole in the chipbreaker
Now I can set the chipbreaker near the iron edge and still be able to move the iron forward.
I works even better now!

The IBC chipbreaker stuck at the screw! Unable to adjust more forward. The iron didnt even protrude the mouth!

Close up

Lee Valley plane iron. Tee chipbreaker has a oval shape and there are ample allowance for movement.

The closeup clearly shows ample allowance for plane iron movement.

Openning up the screw hole in the chipbreaker

Now can set the chipbreaker close to the iron cutting edge.

Close mouth

Ample allowance for adjustment.

Cuts great! This is a good product but need to rework it to make it work.

The plane surface is very smooth and has a slight gleam to it. (Just like my Japanese kanna). Very good plane iron to have (minus the design flaw that is)


Preparing for Assembly

Well the sides are bent, and next to come is assembly.
First I had to saw the sides to side to fit into the 2 halves of the side mold in the solera.
The rear part was easy I just mark out and saw.
The front part I had to bend the sides a bit and mark and then saw it.

After the 2 are cut to size, I began to shape the front drop to fit the solera.
I had traced the line previously, but I just saw and plane until it fits the solera.

Following that, I use the sliding bevel to mark the angle in the heel block and transfer to the side to saw the triangle shape in the front.
I also measure the distance from the center line based on the heel block.
I fit in the top and heel block to test the fit of the assembly.
I also cut some over-sized dentellones and try to see the fitting.

The end block was one half from my previous build.
I never like thick end blocks so my end block I always saw into 2 halves of about 15mm thick.
I just fit the end block to shape for the slight curvature.
Now once I cut enough dentellones I am all set to assmeble the guitar.

While at it I also think how to install the side braces.
This build I will include a side brace at the lower bout that is possible to attach some weights to the sides.
This is from the Trevor Gore book where heavy sides will impose a big impedance to the top and thus prevent the top vibrations from losing to the sides.
This will have a louder volume impact.
Well I will trying this one out for this build to see / listen for myself.
One thing I am still undecided is to use brace of what grain orientation.
I wanted to use the grain direction parallel to the sides (as per end block) this is so that it act as a giant dentellones too.
I was thinking of doing 2 similar for the LTB and UTB support.

Saw the excess end from the sides

Mark the center line for the neck end of the sides

Both sides trimmed to length.

Trim the upper bout part to fit the "dropped top" area

After that follow up with plane to make the sides fit the dropped top profile in the upper bout.

Using the sliding bevel to mark the angle in the neck slot.

Transfer the angle to the sides at the neck end. Must be careful of orientation. The offset is measure from the center of the neck.

Trim the sides.

With the heel block. The sides fitted well. I haven't trim the wedge as yet...

End block done also.

Using dentellones for the 1st time. I'll shorten the height a bit to match the height of the UTB and LTB (about 17mm).

Profile the heel block to be more curvy than rectangular block

I continue to plane more Spanish Cedro to size for the dentellones.
I use the original 2 as a reference rail to plane the rest of the blank to the correct size.
I use my small douzuki to saw the blank; it's very accurate

Sawing the blank to size using the douzuki saw. It's very handy and accurate.

Planing the blanks to size using the original 2 as a rail. When it reach the same thickness as the 2 reference rail, the planing stops automatically. Simple but effective concept.

Some blanks prepared but still a long way to go to cover the entire guitar perimeter.

The dentellones blanks are all about the same size height, I did using using the 2 reference rail method.
Next I use the miter box to cut them to the same size.
I place them dry in the box to test run.
Now all set to assemble.

Cutting more blank.

Plane a curve into the blank

Cutting them into dentellones using miter box.

Dry assemble