New project

Good looking bender Ken. BTW, Light bulbs (or heating lamps) work OK on easy to bend woods like mahogany. But for more demanding woods, koa for instance, heat blankets are far superior as they heat the wood instead of the mold.
Up till now Chuck I've found Koa bends easier than Mahogany ...But I understand that the curly Koa stuff is not so forgiving ... I find enclosing the wetted sides in an aluminium foil envelope pressure cooks the wood without leaving any scorching marks but it does leave some tanning stains ...that's another problem I need to sort out, one day :)
 
With CNC machining you can turn out a lot of stuff to very accurate dimensions, So up to now beside the Solara and Bender, we have also made a jig for trimming side lengths, another for gluing End Blocks and this one for fitting Kerfed Linings and sanding on the Radius Dish.

 
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We are now working on designs for cutting out the tops and backs with CNC .. holding down seemed to be a problem and double sided tape could cause more problems with splitting when removing the plates from the spoiler board ... so Mike came up with this method using Neodymium (rare earth) magnets embedded in the jig and it worked fine.... with double magnets on top clamping It can hold plates firmly up to 6mm thick with no problems .


this Magnetic Jig just clamps down on the CNC work board... Here is a back piece after machining... c/w indexing holes.
The magnets are easily removed afterwards by just sliding them sideways off the board.
 
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Mikes been ill with flu but he is now recovered and back at work ...The full set of CNC made jigs and templates for this project are now almost completed and production will start soon (just waiting for a few more hardware bits to arrive) I made this short video of them ... most of them are self explanatory ..if you need more info on what any of them are for just let me know and I'll try and explain their function.
 
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Brilliant! I look forward to seeing the finished instruments
 
After a few distractions the project is now going ahead again ... as with most new ideas you get teething problems ...All has gone well up to the stage where the sound board is finally glued to the sides in the mould , it turned out that the CNC fit is just a little too tight and the sound board edges fouled up on the mould rebate preventing a good glue joint ( It needs about 0.5mm clearance all round ) So I've had to remove the poorly glued top and I'll adjust the mould or the top plate, and I'll give it another go tomorrow. :) .
 
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After a few distractions the project is now going ahead again ... as with most new ideas you get teething problems ...All has gone well up to the stage where the sound board is finally glued to the sides in the mould , it turned out that the CNC fit is just a little too tight and the sound board edges fouled up on the mould rebate preventing a good glue joint ( It needs about 0.5mm clearance all round ) So I've had to remove the poorly glued top and I'll adjust the mould or the top plate, and I'll give it another go tomorrow. :) .
Lovely! Does the new process save time primarily and/or help with consistency?
 
Lovely! Does the new process save time primarily and/or help with consistency?
I'm hoping that when all the bugs are ironed out of the process , It will be almost idiot proof ... the latest problem has just emerged with the neck being slightly too long (needs CNC program adjusting to fix it) This is the latest effort showing the error.IMG_6511.jpeg
 
I think it just shows that while some think using CNC and other technology available today is some kind of cheat, it still takes a tremendous amount of skill, knowledge and planning. I am looking forward to seeing and hearing the end result when it all works out!
 
After what seems like ages the first one off the line for sale is now completed ...if I'd have known at first that it would have taken all this trouble to produce I probably wouldn't have bothered. But Mike has finally come up with the goods and it's an excellent player... Cuban Mahogany with Ebony trimmings... So let's see how it goes on the market place .:) 🫰
IMG_6523.jpeg
 
It looks great! Do you feel that the efforts you put into creating all the jigs and fixtures and perfecting the CNC process will serve you well? Are you expecting to build more? Or just have a more streamlined process?
 
It looks great! Do you feel that the efforts you put into creating all the jigs and fixtures and perfecting the CNC process will serve you well? Are you expecting to build more? Or just have a more streamlined process?
Yes there are 2 more in the pipeline at the moment ... looks like I'll have to order more materials.
 
Love the elongated headstock feature, providing more room before your hand contacts tuners on low chords like E7. The new headstock shape reminds me of the early 20s/30s Martin shape, with no points sticking out to slam your knuckles.

Pics below: newer design headstock on left, traditional Timms headstock on right
 

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Love the elongated headstock feature, providing more room before your hand contacts tuners on low chords like E7. The new headstock shape reminds me of the early 20s/30s Martin shape, with no points sticking out to slam your knuckles.

Pics below: newer design headstock on left, traditional Timms headstock on right
 
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