Archive for the ‘Lid’ Category

Keychest hinge notches

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Today I cut the notches for the coiled wire hinges in the keychest and lid. This took quite awhile. I have three hinges. The standard kit came with two. The angled notches were made with an X-acto knife and a sanding stick I made for this operation. I suppose they came out okay. Perhaps they are a little bigger or wider than necessary, but pretty good for a first try.

I also drilled the four holes for each hinge’s wires with a twist drill. The angles of the holes on the inside came out a little inconsistent. No big deal, I guess.


Trimmed coiled wire hinge, beveled notches and sanding stick

Previously I had cut the wires to a uniform length, as per the instructions. I also filed off the sharp ends of the wires, though that is not shown in these pictures. I also shortened the wires from what is shown.


Hinge shown in notch for a test fit, with lower wires in holes

The wires are put into the holes and the extra part is curled into a circle with needle-nose pliers to hold it snug. I will have to watch this on the first one where the chanter selector is, so there is no interference with the rotation. The hinges are not going to be put in now, anyway. That will be very late in the game. But I wanted the notches done before the finish is applied to the parts.


Hinge seen from inside

The other big thing I did, which took about as long as doing the notches, was sand the surface between the keychest and lid so they fit together better. I also sanded the width of the lid so it was the same as the width of the keychest all along the length.

Lid marquetry – sanded

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

I managed to get all the glue goop off. It still needs more sanding, though. Strange how light the whole thing got by sanding. Looks too light, especially the basketweave part, which doesn’t contrast with the light background diamonds much now. I assume it will darken up significantly when the finish is applied.


The final sanding isn’t done, but you can get the idea.


Lid marquetry – inlaid

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Like other inlay recesses I’ve done here, the edge was scored with an X-acto knife, the inner edge beveled with that knife, then Jerry’s little plane was used at various depths to gradually hollow out the recess. You can see in the photo how I used a strip of the veneer to keep the plane level, even when the wood was cut out from under it.


This shallow recess made quite a pile of shavings!

I lightly sanded the back of the marquetry, to rough up the glued side and to level up any thicker spots. Then I made some mahogany sawdust to dye the glue to hide any gaps around the edge. I wanted to used epoxy just in case wood glue would eventually be effected by any perspiration from my forearm constantly sliding back and forth along the lid. I mixed up the rest of my 5-minute epoxy and quickly started spreading it into the recess. It got quite messy as it was on my fingers and getting on the edges of the lid, but that should be no problem when it’s all sanded. The last thing I wanted was for it to start hardening before I had it all spread out and the marquetry inserted.

After rolling it down with my marquetry roller, I clamped it to a flat board, with tin foil and and several layers of paper towel. The tin foil is to keep it from gluing to something else, and the cushioning of the paper towel is to make sure any thinner veneers in the pattern also receive pressure.


Making sure the 145 little pieces of veneer get glued in there tightly

After removing the clamps…


Section of inlaid lid showing epoxy mess

Lid marquetry – frame

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

The frame is done. That wood looks the same color as the lid’s mahogany, except with swirly grain. The long sides are segmented into five pieces to get matching grain, so the frame has twelve pieces. The design has been trimmed out of the scrap veneer to its final size.


Completed marquetry inlay shown with lid

Now I have to cut the recess for it into the lid. Jerry again graciously let me borrow his little planes and inlay tools.

Lid marquetry – background

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Here are the thirty-three background diamonds. Since that wood is real light, the pattern isn’t quite as subtle as I was expecting. Hope it isn’t “too much.”


Pattern completed, awaiting the border

There are 130 pieces in the design. Next is the frame.

Lid marquetry – light shadows

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Here’s the thirty diagonal ‘edges’ with the lighter shadows on the 3D lattice.


Now it actually looks like a lattice

 Next is the ‘bottom’ —those diamonds— which will be the lightest color.

Lid marquetry – dark shadows

Monday, August 8th, 2011

The thirty dark-shadowed ‘edge’ pieces have been put in.


Starting to get a little sense of depth

Next will be the thirty lighter-shadowed ‘edges.’

Lid marquetry – basketweave

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Here are the woods I chose to use for the geometric marquetry design on the lid. Don’t ask me what kind of woods they are. Different burls for a marble effect, like on that Italian floor.


Veneers chosen for the lid design

The two darker ones on the left are for the shadowed ‘vertical’ sides of the 3D gridwork. The lightest one is for the ‘bottom’ of the design, and the one to the right of that is for the ‘top’ basketweave design. The darker reddish-brown on the far right is for an outer border around the design. They look like they would resemble the floor colors, and also go well with the mahogany of the lid.


View of metal cutting guide and completed strips

I needed to cut strips to a consistent width for this, so I made a cutting guide by clamping two metal rulers together, the top one overhanging the bottom by the desired width.


It was quite a math exercise drawing the pattern on the scrap veneer

Next was drawing the pattern on a scrap piece of veneer that the design was to be built into. This was difficult getting all the lines to cross at the proper places. I didn’t draw in the shadow lines, just the ‘top’ shapes. The pattern is drawn on the back, which is the working side, so the top side stays clean without all the smeared glue and ink.


Strips laid on top of the pattern to test the look of the 3D effect

Like some sort of fossilization process, all of this wood with the pattern drawn on it will eventually be replaced with the cut pieces of the pattern. I could have used one of the pattern woods and built everything else into it, but that would have wasted a lot of a much more valuable burl wood than the scrap wood being used.


View of front showing completed basketweave

The ‘top’ basketweave surface was done first. Long strips were put in going one direction. Short strips criss-crossing them were done afterwards going the other direction.

The shadow pieces will be done next, which should give it some contrast and make it pop out more.

Lid design

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Well, the lid of a hurdy-gurdy is ideal for decorating, I think. Time for some more marquetry! I have thought of all sorts of things over the months: more folk dancers, a breton landscape, different gothic cathedral designs, various symbols, and so on. But those all seemed too complicated or I wasn’t completely sold on the idea. Many just didn’t fit well in a narrow rectangle.

The one I kept coming back to was a floor design on a landing of the Golden Staircase in the Doges’ Palace in Venice, Italy. The picture is from a Newsweek book from the series Wonders of Man that I’ve had since 1973. Glad I hung on to it four almost four decades to help solve this design need.


Golden Staircase in the Doges’ Palace, Venice, Italy

Based upon the size, this is probably marble, not a parquetry wood floor, but it also would look great done in wood. I like the trompe l’oeil 3D effect. It is also a pattern that looks good extended horizontally in a narrow vertical space. And it looks equally good vertically, if the instrument is standing up.

I scanned the page and warped the perspective out of the floor until the edges were square again.


Floor section of picture all squared-up using Photoshop

Then I just had to repeat it to fit the lid and computerize it into a pattern. That was the hardest part, getting the angle right and the widths of the pieces to make it repeat correctly, ending at the proper place in the pattern at the sides.


Design created to the proportions needed for the lid using Corel DRAW

Lots of pieces, but at least they’re uniform strips. Yes, the ‘height’ of the 3D pattern is a little short. I may adjust that when cutting the veneer strips. On the ‘top’ pieces I decided to add a basketweave effect, which will require extra cutting. If the ‘bottom’ diamonds were a dark color, it would look like holes were were cut in the lid, but I think the contrast would be too glaring. I want it to be fairly subtle. To give it a little breton flair, I plan to inlay some black-white-black edging around it, as on the front of the keychest, and around the edge of the soundboard.

The next step is picking the veneers to use.

Lid ends

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Because I made my own end pieces for the keychest, and had to heavily sand the side of the keychest for the marquetry, the width of the keychest is 1/32 narrower than the intended 3 inches. So, now the lid is a bit too wide, and needs adjusting to match.

The lid is also too long. This could be partly the way I trimmed the keychest sides, but I have seen other hurdy-gurdies where the lid hangs out over the keychest front towards the wheel. I checked the keychest and wheel cover on the body, and I don’t have room for that overhang on mine.


Lid on keychest before adjusting length, width and front angle

The third thing is the two ends of the lid need to be angled, because the lid sits on the sloped keychest, but the keychest ends are vertical. I am tackling the last two issues first. I have glued sandpaper to the side of the head block, and am going to see how that works to get my vertical edge. When you don’t have all the nice tools, you have to improvise.


Angled head block with different strips of sandpaper for beveling ends

I am taking enough off so that the inside lip on the front of the lid is the same width as the front piece of the keybox. When you open the lid, they will match. I rough-cut this with the miter saw, because it was too much to sand off by hand.


Initial beveling of front end of the lid

The extra length will be taken off the head-end, which will mean the inside lip on that end will be removed entirely. I decided to make it easy on myself and have the head-end flush with the keychest and at the same angle, too. I’ve seen pictures of them done different ways, but I want to simplify shaping the head to fit the keychest.


Pencil marks where I needed to cut the head-end of the lid

It turned out —fortunately— that the length I needed [13"] was just in front of where the lip was on the head-end!


Cutting off head-end of lid at a slight slant from vertical

Then came a lot of sanding — running the lid back and forth along the head block sander, being careful to keep it perpendicular.


Head-end of keychest with trimmed and angled lid

It took some experimenting with different thicknesses of wood strips under one side of the block to put the right bevel on the ends of the lid to match the vertical ends of the keychest.


Wheel-end of keychest showing the lid is slightly too wide

I may do something to modify the straight edge of the front lip.

The width still needs narrowing, but I intend to wait on that until I finish doing any inlaying on the top, which will take a lot of handling, with the chance of bumping an edge.