Making "Buachaill Mór"

"Buachaill Mór"

 

I'm making a "Buachaill Mór" for Martin Robertson as part of a deal to help further the career of a Scouse Bard. It will have a Caucasian Spruce top and Old Cuban Mahogany back and sides reclaimed from a Georgian drop leaf table.

 

Last updated 1/6/2020.

 

The Cuban Mahogany rosette ring and black/ pear/ black outer purfling are test fitted and glued in using white pva glue.

 


Cunning plans.


Here's the Georgian drop leaf table.


Here's the back and sides set.


The Cuban Mahogany sides are thicknessed.


The bass side will have a "porthole" soundport just up from the waist on the lower bout. The hole is drilled with a 40mm Forstner bit.


The sides are then bent in the Fox-style bender using a heating blanket. The cutaway is bent on the hot pipe.


Here are the bent sides are in the mould.


The Rio Rosewood back plate and porthole insert are glued together using hot hide glue.


The porthole is then drilled out using a 32mm Forstner bit.


The completed porthole is then glued into the bass side using fish glue.


The Mahogany neck block is drilled for the bolt holes. The side of the neck block that joins the cutaway has been shaped to fit the side.


Next the holes for the 6mm carbon fibre flying buttress rods are drilled.


The slot for the fingerboard extension support is cut and the fingerboard support is then fitted and glued in using hot hide glue.


Two Rio Rosewood strips matching the binding are glued to the front and edge of the treble side of the neck block. The neck block is then glued to the cutaway side together with a black/ pear/ black purfling strip in between the side and Old Rio Rosewood strip using fish glue.


The Rio Rosewood end graft is glued to the Mahogany tailblock using hot hide glue.


The treble side is then glued to the tail-block with a black/ pear/ black purfling strip in between the side and end graft using fish glue.


The bass side is then glued to the neck block using fish glue.


The bass side is then glued to the tail-block with a black/ pear/ black purfling strip in between the side and end graft using fish glue.


Here's the rim-set in the mould.


The sides are profiled for the back's curvature and to build in the "wedge" that makes the sides narrower on the bass side. The Mahogany reverse-kerfed linings are then glued in using fish glue.


The sides are profiled for the top's curvature and the linings are glued in using fish glue.


The mahogany side braces are notched into the linings and glued in using hot hide glue.


The 6mm carbon fibre rod flying-buttress braces are then glued in.


Here's the completed rim-set.


The Cuban Mahogany back plates are initially thicknessed, jointed and glued using hot hide glue and the tent method.


The European spruce X braces are profiled to a 10' radius, notched and then glued on one at a time.


Here's the second one being glued.


Then the bottom ladder brace is glued on . . .


. . . followed by the top one.


The Cuban Mahogany X brace cap is glued on using fish glue.


The back braces are then carved and the back is "voiced" - here's the result.


The linings are notched to accept the brace ends and the back is glued to the rim-set using fish glue.


The Caucasian Spruce top plates are initially thicknessed, jointed and glued using hot hide glue and the tent method.


The soundhole is going to be "bound" with Cuban Mahogany. Firstly a Cuban Mahogany soundhole patch is cut to shape and glued on using hot hide glue and a caul.


Then the rosette is routed out.


Here's the result.


Then a rosette channel is cut in the top down to the soundhole patch.


The Cuban Mahogany rosette ring and black/ pear/ black outer purfling are test fitted and glued in using white pva glue.


Next a step is routed in the inner edge of the rosette and then the soundhole is routed out. This gives the look of a totally bound soundhole and the fingerboard edge will finish at the beginning of the step to give a complete Mahogany ring around the inner edge of the soundhole.


Here's the result.


The top is then cut close to the final shape.


The European Spruce A frame braces are glued on using hot hide glue.


The European Spruce upper transverse brace is profiled to a 13' radius and glued on using hot hide glue after notching to span the A frame braces.


The European Spruce X braces are profiled to a 13' radius, notched and then glued on one at a time using hot hide glue.


Here's the second one being glued.


Next the Rio Rosewood bridge-plate is glued on using hot hide glue and a caul in the go-bar deck.


The spruce X brace cap is glued on.


The brace behind the bridge-plate is then glued on.


Then the first tone bar is glued on . . .


. . . followed by the second split brace.


The bass side finger braces are then glued on . . .


. . . followed by the treble side ones.


The braces are carved and the top "voiced". Then the top is signed and dated.


Here's the "voiced" top.


The Cuban Mahogany back strips are glued on using hot hide glue.


The linings are notched to accept the brace ends and the top is glued to the rim-set using fish glue.


The Rio Rosewood bindings are taped together with the side and top/back purflings. and are then bent to shape in the Fox-style bender.


Then it's out with "The Scutter" to cut the binding channels. The channels are first cut on the top the width of the linings and the depth of the linings plus side purflings. Some scrap pieces of the side purfling are stuck onto the top at the end graft with double-sided tape. The router rides on these to cut the rest of the binding channel. The channels are tidied up with a chisel and the side purflings can be mitred.


Then the back binding channels were cut using the same process.


Next the router is set to cut the top purfling channels and these are routed out. Then the long task of making sure that the bindings and purflings fit in the channels and the channels adjusted accordingly with test fit after test fit until they do.


Next the router is set to cut the back purflings and these are routed out.


The back purflings are then glued in using fish glue.


The top purflings were then glued in using fish glue.


The top bindings were then glued in using fish glue.


Followed by the back bindings.


Here's the box after the bindings have been scraped and sanded flush and the hole for the neck extension cut.


The Mahogany neck blank has been thicknessed and now the scarfe joint for the peghead is cut on the bandsaw. The headstock pieces are trued and then glued using hot hide glue and this clamping jig.


The pieces of the Mahogany staked heel are then glued together using hot hide glue.


The next job is to route the truss rod slot . . .


. . . and the slots for the carbon fibre bars.


The two-way truss rod and carbon fibre bars are checked for fit and are then glued in together with a mahogany cap over the truss rod using fish glue.


A piece of mahogany is glued onto the headstock to complete the surface for the angled nut and sanded flush with the headstock face. The Rio Rosewood headstock veneer has the nut edge sanded at an angle to match the headstock to neck-shaft angle and then it's glued on using fish glue.


The Rio Rosewood back-strap for the headstock was bent on the hot-pipe and glued on using fish glue.


The tuner holes are then marked and drilled.


The headstock is then initially shaped.


Then the after cutting a rebate slot where the threaded inserts will go the stacked heel was glued on to the neck using hot hide glue.


The neck is cut to fit the top fingerboard extension slot and the heel sanded to fit the body with the neck in correct alignment and angle in relation to the top. Then the positions for the threaded inserts are marked, the holes drilled and the inserts fitted.


Here's the neck bolted to the body for the first time.


The fretboard is laminated - a Rio Rosewood surface glued onto a Mahogany backing piece. The two pieces are glued using fish glue and clamped together.


Next the fretboard is thicknessed, the fret positions marked out and the fret slots cut in this jig.


Then the sound-hole end of the fretboard is cut to match the soundhole (after allowing for binding) using my circle cutter jig.


Here's the result.


The fretboard is then tapered. A piece of the Rio Rosewood binding with b/pear/b/ purfling is bent on the hot pipe to follow the soundhole curve and is then glued to the fretboard.


The Rio Rosewood bindings with b/pear/b purflings are then glued on using fish glue.


The positions of the inlaid side/front markers are marked on the fretboard and routed with a 1.6mm bit using this jig.


The Caucasian Spruce markers are then glued in and the fretboard levelled. Here's the result.


The fingerboard is then glued to the neck using fish glue.


The Rio Rosewood heel cap together with b/pear/b veneers is then glued on using hot hide glue.


The neck is then carved.


The fingerboard is radiused.


Then the frets are pressed in.


Here's the fretted neck tested for fit on the body.


The Rio Rosewood bridge blank is sanded on the top to match the top's curvature.


The saddle slots are then routed using this jig.


Here's the result.


The rear of the bridge is ramped and the bridge-pin holes drilled.


The bridge-pin holes are then counter-sunk.


The rest of the bridge is shaped.


The bridge is carefully positioned on the top and the outer two bridge-pin holes are drilled through.


The bridge is held on with two bridge pins through these holes.


The back and sides are then pore filled using egg white - 240 grit sandpaper is dipped into the egg white and sanded on the back and sides to make a wood slurry that is pushed into the pores. The egg white acts as a binding agent and the pores are effectively filled by the same wood dust.


Then the pre-catalysed lacquer coats are sprayed on. Here’s a front view . . .


. . . and here’s a back view.


The neck is also sprayed.