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Renaissance guitar

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Koendb
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I've been pretty quiet on the forum the last couple of months because I had so much things going on , that I barely had the time keeping up reading through all the new replies and topics.
Last summer, I started to do some sports and started to run  on an almost daily basis, wake up earlier, eat more healthy ( well , ok, I dropped drinking regular coke and eat more vegetables ).
I also enrolled in a 3 1/2 year lute building course here in Belgium (3 year building, 6 months instrument repair)  - Centrum voor muziekinstrumentenbouw.
For me , this was a more realistic goal then to commute to Scotland.
The focus lies really on building very close to the plan, and attention to details. I am learning so much about accuracy, sharpening and old methods.
Anyway, .. The instrument we are building during the first year is a renaissance guitar, which is a little , very lightweight instrument.

Starting off with making the template/mold

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Sanding the cherry sides to thickness ( 1.3 mm )

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Marking out the maple neck, after we set the reference side, which will become the top face of the neck.
For this we had to handplane, use scrapers and a high precision straight edge to make sure we had an absolute flat and smooth surface.
We also needed to do the same for the other 3

sides, and make sure they where square to eachother.

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Rough cut the neck on the bandsaw, then carve with a carving knife.
Refining the thickness and straightening the back of the neck

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Shaping the neck by creating facets. We had to copy the exact shape of the top and end of the neck, which was indicated on the plan.
drawing lines to meet up the facets enables to find the correct locations where the lines should start. simply connecting those lines gives us the correct lines over the length of the neck.

With a chisel, we sliced the exact facets at the beginning and end of the neck, on both sides.
With a spokeshave and a scraper, we just removed the wood in between those two chiseled out areas.
At all times we needed to make sure we kept a straight cut across the neck to ensure straightness ( double checked with straight edge ).
We also shaped the heel block with a blockplane and a marking gauge.
The final shape of the heel is carved with a carving knife and a scraper. Aside from a little bit of touch up, we havent been using any sandpaper at all at this point. The planes and scrapers give a better result then sandpaper ever will. ( But you really need them sharp and well setup! )

The headstock was originally made separately and wedged in with the neck. Since this requires quite some skill to do properly, we are simplifying this, by making a false joint.
Squared with a pairing chisel first, making sure all lines stay crisp and clean, then using sanding blocks to round over the triangle, conforming to the neck shape.

Finally, the headstock shape is created, first, by sawing a vertical line in the lowest points of the curves with a small , fine sawblade.
Then, using a very sharp chisel, bevel down, we cut from the highest point to the lowest point. Slicing away a thin shaving over and over again, until we reach the lines.

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Preparing and leveling the sides top edge, bending the sides into shape. Finally leveling with a sanding board, very gently as these sides are so thin, they can easily crack.

These sides are only 1.3mm thick and they will not have kerfed linings, but the back and sides will be glued directly, with only that 1,3mm of gluing surface.

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Attaching the neck to the body. First we need to prepare the heelblock, cut away the waste with a handsaw and already rough shape the curve of the body into the heel. The shaping is done, using a holding jig , and a spindle sander.

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Koendb
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Then we finetune the shape of the heel, by pressing the neck against the body, with a strip of sanding paper between, pulling the sandpaper back and forth over the body shape.

 Then the neck is glued with hide glue , which needs to be applied hot.

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Next, we plane the spruce top to very specific dimensions in different areas on the soundboard, ranging from 1.5mm to 2.1

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I seem to have forgotten to take pictures of the process of planing the cherry back to its final thickness, but the thickness is about 1.8 mm.

After rough cutting the shape and making the 3 back braces, we fit the back braces , using a go bar deck.

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 Once glued, we shape the braces to a specific height and shape.

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Glue up of the back, using hide glue again.

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Starting to cut out the rosette decorative element..

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 Thats all for now .. to be continued.

 


   
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Bpower
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@koendb very cool koen. 🙂


   
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Russ
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Excellent @koendb. That's a great job rounding over the neck without the use of any sandpaper. Looking forward to seeing the rosette completed. You already look like you've got very good hand tool skills but a course like that is certainly going to help develop them even further. Enjoy the ride.

🙂🎶🎸🙏 

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Robin
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@koendb 

The headstock was originally made separately and wedged in with the neck. Since this requires quite some skill to do properly,

I suspect that you already have the skills to do it "properly". It must be so satisfying building that mostly by hand. I was a little surprised that they've let you use a bandsaw though 🙂 


   
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swepri
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@koendb Wow! That involves a lot of patience and skill. And learning, which always is fun. 👍 


   
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tv1
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That's incredible @koendb!

Very similar to what I've been doing with the CNC machine really, except that it's just about the complete opposite method.

In awe of the hand-tool skills to be able to work the material to that level of accuracy.  Fractions of a mm?  Wow.

 

As for having to do things like this in Belgium because Ayr is too far to commute - whereabouts in Belgium?  Probably easier for me to get to Belgium than Ayr too

😆

Keep the pics coming - that's going to be a wonderful 3year journey ...

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Koendb
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Posted by: @robin

It must be so satisfying building that mostly by hand

Yes it is @Robin! And once you start to get it right , you feel like the king of the world for the rest of the day.
Together with that, I also developed a very profound and severe case of GAS for sharp tools and sharpening systems 🤣 🤣 😊 
Now I feel bad if a blade is not buffed to a mirror shine and I cannot shave myself with it. 😜 🤭 😉 😉 

Posted by: @robin

I was a little surprised that they've let you use a bandsaw though

Yeah just for rough cut work though. We also use a pillar drill, spindle and disk sander. It is not a question you cant use them, but the main purpose is to be able to master hand tools primarily.  I assume we also will be using the bandsaw for resawing if or when that should come up in the course.

 


   
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Koendb
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Posted by: @tv101

As for having to do things like this in Belgium because Ayr is too far to commute - whereabouts in Belgium?  Probably easier for me to get to Belgium than Ayr too

Haha , yeah maybe 🙂 though, I am willing to bet you will not like to do that commute every week 😀
The CMB is located in Puurs, roughly in the middle of Belgium


   
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Koendb
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Last week I finished the carving of the rosette, well the major part of it. Next up is gluing parchment and cutting the refined details for the rosette in the parchment. But that is for in a few weeks.

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Robin
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@koendb 

Last week I finished the carving of the rosette,

That is absolutely stunning, you must have tremendous patience and steady hands.


   
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Boo
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@koendb Stunning work mate. 🙌

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


   
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Posted by: @koendb

Last week I finished the carving of the rosette

-- attachment is not available --

That looks great!

 


   
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tv1
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Posted by: @koendb

-- attachment is not available --

 

Wow Koen.  Wow!

 

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Russ
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Beautiful craftsmanship @koendb.

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🗝️ "Life's what you make it"🗝️


   
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Koendb
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Last week, I worked on the rosette some more. I glued parchment on the back, using fish glue and cut out the details with a punch and a scalpel knife.

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Then this week, I cut the soundhole in the soundboard, glued in the rosette, glued in the 2 braces using a gobar deck.

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And finally, I removed some of the sides material at the back of the guitar for the end graft.
First carved the lines with a scalpelknife down to the tail block, then with a small chisel, pairing the waste away in between the lines.

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Next week , I 'll be making the end graft. I hope to use a piece of ebony I have laying around, but we will see if that works out, because it would also mean that I want to do the bridge and fretboard in ebony. Not sure if the teacher agrees ( or the ebony 🤣 )


   
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Rocknroller912
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@koendb 

Good to see hand tools being used

This post was modified 1 year ago by Rocknroller912

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


   
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tv1
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Proper, proper skills.

👍

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Koendb
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this week I worked a bit on the back of the bridge (pear wood ) 

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and also carved the top braces. Still need to round them a bit.

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Russ
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Really nice work @koendb

🎸🙂🎶🙏

🗝️ "Life's what you make it"🗝️


   
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