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Sunday, July 17, 2011


I thought that I'd have a go at making a stringer today (the thin strips of pale wood between each of the ribs). I expected to find these quite tricky to make, but the process was surprisingly simple!

First I used a hacksaw to cut a groove in the top of my bending iron (actually the extension piece). The slot was deeper at the edges than the middle to make it curved at the bottom. I then cut some 3.5mm strips from a sheet of sycamore veneer (0.6mm thick) and dragged these through the slot once the bending iron was hot. As long as I worked with short movements, holding onto the strip as close to the iron as possible, it was straightforward to shape curves with different radii. Two of these practice bits are also shown in the photo. A light coating of moisture (applied with finger and thumb) speeded up the bending a bit.

When I make the stringers 'for real' I will probably prepare a set of strips and bend them as I need them.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Neck and ribs

It's always a big moment when the label gets glued in. I have counted back and decided that this cittern is instrument number eight, so I've added this as a serial number - this is probably a bit pretentious. The belly is already made, the braces are trimmed and I'm ready to glue it on.

Meanwhile, I have taken a piece of walnut and started to prepae the ribs for the bowlback. I cut 4.5mm slices with my bandsaw (with a fresh blade fitted) and then reduced them to a thickness of 2.7mm with my drum sander. Out of the 24 bits, a few are sapwood and very plain, but the rest have a nice dark colour and some attractive grain.