Archive for the ‘Holes’ Category

Head – width narrowed

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

The outer edge of the girl’s headdress is an original edge of the block and was being preserved to narrow the width of the pegbox to match that of the keychest. I decided I couldn’t keep that intact any longer due to the shaping I needed to be doing. I was hoping to do this later, so none of the good edges would get dinged up while doing the carving.

I couldn’t run the pegbox side over the router bit and keep it level without leaving a second “foot” opposite the one created by the headdress edge.


Partway through the second of three passes, showing temporary foot

I made about three cuts of increasing depths to reach the right dimensions. I did both sides of the peghead while at each depth. Once the right depth was reached, I needed to remove the temporary foot before the bit was adjusted. This was done by using a “crutch” strip of balsa wood the same thickness as the foot being amputated, to hold the piece level.


My crutch spacer used to remove the temporary foot underneath

All of this was a very delicate operation. I was worried about chipping out a final edge. More of a possibility was gouging by the router bit, if I tried to do too much at one time, making it buck, or if the piece rocked slightly. Removing the temporary feet was also very risky, with the possiblity of the crutch moving or not being exactly the same width as what was being removed.


Results of narrowing after routing off the temporary feet

One side had to be routed a little deeper than the other. This was because the holes drilled for the chanter strings did not turn out exactly in the middle of the block. I shifted the centerline of the piece over to match these holes.

It turned out that one side of the pegbox is 1/32 thinner than the other because of how I hollowed out the inside. This is only slightly noticeable, and only visible from the bottom, anyway. I could probably do something about it, but don’t know if I will bother. The thinner side is about 5/16″ thick.

Overall, the operation was a huge success, and one I am glad to have behind me. I hope to eventually put marquetry inlay in the sides of the pegbox, which will match that in the lid of the keychest.

Figurehead – initial shaping

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Before moving on, I cleaned up the inside some after drilling the peg holes – repairing the chipped out places and re-smoothing the inner surfaces. I hope I am done in here for awhile!


First I undercut the chin to the neck with a miter saw and chisel, and added a paper face to the front as a guide.


Then I sanded off the top and corners using Leonard’s disc sander…


…to create a rough outline of her headcovering.


Doing much more rough-shaping will involve losing my nice silhouettes, which will definitely make it harder to get the proportions right. I will need to ponder the order in which I want to do things from here. I could further shape the top of her cap, or remove the bottom to the outline of her head and neck.

Head – neck notches 2

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Now that the tuning peg holes are drilled, I can go back to getting the head to fit in the notches I made in the neck of the body. The bottom edge of the head needed its final curve to be able to fine tune the notches. Plus, the angle on the two little feet needed changing to make them perpendicular to the angle of the keychest-mounting edge, which is mainly why I wanted to drill first, since the piece would have to sit on those for that operation, and might have dented them.


Chiseling the curves to their rough outlines

[You can see in the above picture where the wood chipped out some on the right-most hole.] After chiseling came the sanding by hand. Leonard lent me a coarse-grained tube from an oscillating sander, and I used a wood dowel wrapped with fine sand paper to complete these curves.


Final smoothing of curves and flattening of feet

The head-shaping that relates to the neck  is completed, but I’m still adjusting the neck to get a good fit. It’s almost there, but the head’s ‘yoke’ still doesn’t quite fit flush against the soundboard. Part of the problem is that the soundboard isn’t completely flat on the neck, so I will work on that.


Upside down view of how the head fits into neck notches

Another thing I need to do before finalizing these head adjustments is sand the bottom of the keychest to match the curve of the soundboard. This will lower the keychest some in relation to the head, which will then require the head to sit lower, too.

I have been worrying throughout the design of this that the head won’t fit in the notches right so that it will not match the vertical end of  the keychest to make a good joint,  but this seems to be working out okay.


Test fit of the body, head and keychest for proper alignment

After this will probably come the final shaping of the top curve of the head where the peg holes are, and narrowing the sides to the width of the keychest.

Head – drilling peg holes

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Before I do too much shaping of the head piece edges, I thought it a good idea to drill the peg holes. I wanted them spaced the same, so I drew long center lines between the first two pairs until they intersected, and made the second two the same angle.


Figuring out even spacing and equal angles for the tuning pegs

This head pattern was then glued onto the side of the head and the angled lines were projected across the top of the head piece. Each pair of pegs has their centerlines 1  3/8″ apart. This will put the inside edges of the pegs 1″ apart, the same distance as the chanter strings. The peg shafts are 3/8″ in diameter.


Hole positions marked; testing jacking method to get holes vertical

When drilling the holes, I will jack up the head end of the piece with a scrap of wood until the angled line is vertical for the drill press.


Drilling the tuning peg holes with a 3/8" bit

It was hard holding the piece still on the wedge while operating the drill. No real problems, however. Slight chipping out on the inside due to the angle of the grain. The drill bit just barely fit into position where the thickest part is to the right.


Completed holes — whew!

The holes will need reaming to create a tapered hole. I am hoping to borrow one of those. The top edge needs final shaping, and the width will be reduced by 1/4″ on each side.

Head – tenon

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

The head piece needed a ‘tenon’ so it would fit inside the recess in the end of the keychest. This gives the joint between these two components extra strength.


Completed tenon from bottom

I did this on my router table using the 3/4″ straight bit. The piece was stood on its end when it went through the router. One side chipped out, as you can see below, due to the direction of rotation of the blade. Thankfully, the width of the head hasn’t been reduced yet, or this would have been disastrous.


Top view of completed tenon

The two sides were done first, then the top, which was needed to allow clearance for the lid. There was a lot clean up of the edges with sanding sticks to get a good fit.


Test fit showing the bottom of the joint


Test fit showing the top of the joint with nut parts added

I’m pleased with the alignment of the chanter string holes in relation to the other components: nut base, nut spacer, and lid.


Test fit of joint showing keychest lid in place

The head will eventually be the same width as the keychest.

Head – chanter string holes

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

I decided to tackle the 3/4″ holes for the chanter strings first. Those strings are 1″ apart. Holes 3/4″ in diameter will be 1/4″ apart, slightly wider than the rosewood spacer between the nuts. These holes should have their bottoms tangent to the top of the nut block, according to my calculations. So that should look good. The tops of these holes should be slightly above the top edge of the keychest, that is, the height with the lid open.


Markings for positions and angle of chanter string holes

I don’t have plans for any of this part, so I’m making it up as I go along! Actually, I see something slightly off, looking at the above picture, which will make the holes turn out a little lower than desired, due to their downward angle.


Re-enacting the head-stand position for drilling the holes

I went to Jerry’s this afternoon and we cut the 3/4″ holes. I wasn’t sure he could even do it because not only was the girl standing on the back slope of her headcovering, the large holes themselves were to be cut on an angle. Though her head-stand was performed on a flat section, it wasn’t very wide, and wouldn’t stand that way by itself, so I braced it with scraps from the bandsaw and held it in this position while Jerry drilled.


Top view of head-stand for drilling angled string holes

What was very fortunate about this position flat position on the back of her head was that it just so happened to align the holes in  a perfectly vertical position. No, I didn’t plan it that way! The depth was set on the drill press so that the holes will reach the main cavity that will be created from the bottom.


Chanter string holes seen from a more normal angle

Despite the slope they were cut on, the holes both ended up the right height. Laterally, the first one came out the right distance from the centerline, but the second hole came out 1/32″ closer. I can probably compensate when I narrow the width of the head, slightly shifting the centerline to be more evenly located between the holes. About 1/4″ needs to come off each side to bring the width down to that of the keychest.