Saturday, 13 June 2015

Renaissance Lute, chapter 3 - The shell

December 2011 - February 2012

While moving away from the parents' house (with a workshop in the basement, garage, &c.) into a city flat, I had to rethink my way of working, more quietly and using less space. Fortunately Roy Underhill &Al. crossed my path on the web and taught me the power of unpowered tools. So now, I can happily work with a baby sleeping in the next room.

Here's an example of space management, taking advantage of the third dimension, and multiple-usage devices. I stack up workbenches. The planing desk sits on top of the saw bench (which serves as a simple bench as well) that stands on the table.

The spacers, thin fillets of contrasting wood between the ribs are cut by hand out of solid maple, planed to the correct thickness.

My planing desk is made out of a thick slab of particle panel wood, so that it's not likely to move when humidity changes, and remains flat. The plane is a Lie Nielsen 62 simply inserted upside down into the slot.

Rosewood bends easlily and regularly. Here the nearly finished rib lays on sanding paper, which is used to remove the planing marks.

Assembling the shell, glueing the ribs and fillets takes ages, when you only have a couple of hours per week at hand… Here's the 'traditionnal' sellotape method. No doubt it was used by the early lute makers.

Here's a rib marked for sawing.

My hot-glue setup. Hide glue, of course. I'm using a little travel iron placed upside down to heat the water in the metal cup, whose temperature is monitored by a cook's digital thermometer, and the glue is melting in an espresso cup. I'm only preparing very little quantities of glue at a time, as I can't manage to find time to work every day.

Finally, after over a month, the shell is assembled. That's a significant step in the build :-D !

Read next post : Cleanup

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