Build thread: baritone scale kiku

tonyturley

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I used my cheapo benchtop CNC mill to cut the split saddle bridge for the kiku. It took many trial runs and numerous pieces of scrap wood before I was satisfied with the size of the bridge enough to cut on the one good piece of bridge wood I currently have on hand. The split saddle idea came from discussing intonation of an instrument with double re-entrant strings with Jay Lichty.

kiku bridge.jpg
 

tonyturley

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Cutting the pockets for the floral inlay on the fretboard. Now I'm really done for the day.

DSCF4263.jpgDSCF4264.jpg
 

tonyturley

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After several days of CNC work on parts for the kiku, I was back in the shop early this morning bending the second side and working on the neck layout.

kiku side 2.jpgkiku layout.jpg
 

tonyturley

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The past few workshop sessions have been devoted to a lot of small but necessary steps in the kiku build process. Today was the first major step - joining the sides to the heel and tail blocks.

kiku blocks glued.jpg
 

tonyturley

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The reverse linings have been installed in the top side and sanded flush. I've also been working on the fretboard inlay. Small but satisfying progress.

kiku top linings.jpg
 

tonyturley

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Tapering the underside of the upper bought. Once that is completed, I'll use stiff card stock to make a pattern for the side sound port reinforcing patch. After the patch is in place, I'll glue in the bottom reverse linings, then install the sound port spalted Sycamore trim ring. Slow but steady progress.

tapering.jpg
 

sequoia

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I'm reminded of a person who posted here about making a soundhole. It was a beautifully done reinforced soundhole complete with decorative purfling. Unfortunately, when he got done he realized that it was on the wrong side! He put it on the down side and not the upside! Bummer man.
 

tonyturley

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I'm reminded of a person who posted here about making a soundhole. It was a beautifully done reinforced soundhole complete with decorative purfling. Unfortunately, when he got done he realized that it was on the wrong side! He put it on the down side and not the upside! Bummer man.
That's why if you look on the left of the above image, you'll see a little circle scribed inside the instrument, reminding me "sound hole goes here!".

My final image for today. All of the tapering is complete, the linings have been installed and sanded flush, and the cross-grain reinforcing patch for the side sound port has been installed. Next up is installing the spalted Sycamore oval trim ring. Unfortunately, the one shown in the image is not the proper size, so I need to make a new one tomorrow. I'm also not up to doing purfling on a side sound port yet.

kiku linings.jpg
 

tonyturley

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The CNC spalted Sycamore sound port ring is glued in place and sanded flush. The inner lip will be rounded slightly when I do final sanding. Next task: bracing the top and back. The final two images are on the next page.

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sequoia

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Nice job!... How did it feel when you made that first cut into your side? Well I guess I'm committed now...
 

tonyturley

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Nice job!... How did it feel when you made that first cut into your side? Well I guess I'm committed now...

LOL. Yeah, pretty much. There are certain steps in a build that always feel like a point of no return, and cutting a side sound port is one of them.
 

tonyturley

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I took a few days off from building the kiku to work on some other projects, but now I'm back to the braces and tone bars.

kiku tone bars.jpg
 

tonyturley

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The kiku top and back are attached, the binding channels cut, and the body sanded with 120 grit. I'll eventually sand to 320 grit. Next is installing the spalted Sycamore bindings.

kiku back glued.jpgkiku top glued.jpgkiku channels.jpg
 

tonyturley

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Bindings are in place, leveled with the soundboard and sanded. I was reminded again how things can go awry in instrument building. Spalted Sycamore is the most unforgiving wood I've ever tried to bend. It cracked so easily, and I tried it both wet and dry. I had my LMII bending iron on max by the time I was done. The stuff doesn't scrape very well, either. I'm wondering if the fungus that caused the spalting changed the characteristics of the wood. I've worked a little with plain Sycamore, and it seemed to work a lot nicer. Anyway, that's all for today. Tomorrow the bindings get leveled flush with the sides.

kiku bindings leveled.jpg
 

tonyturley

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I didn't like the way the bindings looked when I was finished, so I routed them out and made a new set from un-spalted Sycamore. No cracks or splits, and they bent very easily. I have them taped in place to hold their shape as they dry. Spalted Sycamore looks nice in the rosette, sound port, and headplate. Don't know if I'll ever try to use it for bindings again.
 

tonyturley

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Cutting the rear binding channels on a tapered body is always tense. Although I've done this on half a dozen instruments now and "think" I have it down pretty good, in the back of my mind is the knowledge that a goof here can ruin the project.

kiku back channels.jpg
 

tonyturley

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Waiting for the glue to cure on the replacement top bindings. The rear bindings are mostly scraped flush. Good place to stop for the weekend.

kiku bindings update.jpg