Tuesday, February 10, 2009
cascadia archtop- molds
I have been up to my ankles in dust recently. I have been making pattern molds for my new archtop designs. I just picked up this home made pantograph carver (duplicator) off another luthier who wasn't using it anymore. As you can see in the photo the router fits in the left cradle and the guide rides on the right.
I carved a pattern in MDF that matches the arch I want for the top by hand. Scraped and final sanded it, then sealed it with 5min. epoxy. In the photo I am transferring the top arch to the back mold, though I will do the top bit by hand as the cutaway is on the opposite side for the back & the lines need to be different. Now with my patterns complete I can rough carve my tops & backs in a fraction of the time and always be starting from a consistent shape as I refine with hand tools & scrapers. Its been a while since I have had to make all new molds & I forgot what a mess MDF makes when you machine it. As a result I finally hung a door separating the back of my shop from the front & made an overhead air filter. I picked up all the supplies for both projects at the re-build it center. A local re-usable building materials depot. The air filter works great. Cut way down on the airborn dust.
I am waiting for a wood shipment this week. I have purchased some incredible figured maple & german spruce. I plan on building three archtops in this first run. One Mahogany / Cedar, one Quilted maple / Sitka & one Eastern maple / German spruce. I am working on a double cutaway design I am pretty excited about. More on that later.
It has been fun to explore other blogs & look around a bit at all the interesting things people are doing with their lives. Certainly is inspirational and these hard working artists, craftspeople & musicians help to remind me to keep following my passion.