Soprano in Tiger Myrtle and Ancient Spruce

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Allen
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Soprano in Tiger Myrtle and Ancient Spruce

Post by Allen » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:37 am

I don't often get asked to build soprano's and after building so many baritones lately I found myself constantly checking dimensions as they are just so tiny in comparison. However the sound that comes out of such a small instrument is astonishing.

This is a standard 13 3/4" scale length and on my body size it works best at 14 frets to the body. The body is a little deeper than I'd usually build it to accomodate the sound port that was requested.

Inlay is Hormigo with sap wood, and bindings are curly Jarrah.
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Allen R. McFarlen
https://www.brguitars.com
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lamanoditrento
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Re: Soprano in Tiger Myrtle and Ancient Spruce

Post by lamanoditrento » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:22 pm

That client did not skimp on the wood! What are your view of sounds ports?
Trent

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Allen
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Re: Soprano in Tiger Myrtle and Ancient Spruce

Post by Allen » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:33 am

Soundports.....you either love them or hate them. I do think that they give a bit more feedback to the player, but don't know if it's at the expense of projection to the audience.

I really feel that they need to have binding on them. Otherwise they look very unfinished. That however greatly complicates adding them.
Allen R. McFarlen
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Mark McLean
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Re: Soprano in Tiger Myrtle and Ancient Spruce

Post by Mark McLean » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:54 am

Allen
When you bind the soundport on such a small instrument you have to pull off a tricky tight bend on those bindings. Any tips on how to do that, especially with a snap-happy bit of figured wood like that jarrah?

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Allen
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Re: Soprano in Tiger Myrtle and Ancient Spruce

Post by Allen » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:57 am

My method isn't going to be one that will be easy for most to do, as I cut the binding from a solid veneer about 2mm thick on my laser, though you could do it the old fashon way with jewelers saw or similar.

Then wrap the purfling around it and glue in place with CA.

After dry then I bend it to fit the curve. Hold it in place and pencil on the outline and then use a dremel with a cutting bit and small drum sander bit to sneek up to the line for the fit. Glue in place when fit is as good as you can get it. Finally another veneer is glued to the inside for a reinforcement.

Some go way overboard on the reinforcement with several layers of thin veneer glued from waist to neck block. I did a few like that and then came to my senses when I decided all the reinforcement was doing was backing up the binding. So my reinforcement is the same shape as the soundport but spans onto the sides by a few millimetres. You can see it a bit bretter on this baritone I just completed.
Inside soundport.jpg
Allen R. McFarlen
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Mark McLean
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Re: Soprano in Tiger Myrtle and Ancient Spruce

Post by Mark McLean » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:38 pm

OK. Interesting, and clever. I have been doing it like the perimeter binding, or a soundhole binding - hand bending a straight strip of timber. But a smaller round or oval shape for a side port becomes a challenge. Your method for cutting a circle out of a solid piece is a good fix - for those that have got one of them tricky CNC gizmos!

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Re: Soprano in Tiger Myrtle and Ancient Spruce

Post by Fisherman » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:07 pm

Inspiring work.... the owner has got to be happy with that!

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Allen
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Re: Soprano in Tiger Myrtle and Ancient Spruce

Post by Allen » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:29 am

Mark McLean wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:38 pm
OK. Interesting, and clever. I have been doing it like the perimeter binding, or a soundhole binding - hand bending a straight strip of timber. But a smaller round or oval shape for a side port becomes a challenge. Your method for cutting a circle out of a solid piece is a good fix - for those that have got one of them tricky CNC gizmos!
I tried it that way using very thin veneer to build up a sutable thickness a few times. Really only works with darker timber and doens't give you the effect of solid timber with curl. Even so with the very small and tight radius on my sound ports it was a real bastard of a job.
Allen R. McFarlen
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