5 Walnut plaques - Router Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default 5 Walnut plaques

I actually need to make 20 of these but will do 5 each week until I get them finished. I simply don't have room to store enough lumber, to clamp them all, and to finish them to do all at the same time. The finished size will be 28" x 17" so they're basically like an end table top. They'll get a Roman Ogee edge treatment and finished in clear gloss Nitrocellulose lacquer.

There will be channels screwed to the front side so engraved name plates can be interchanged. The good part of that is if there's a slight blemish with a knot hole or crack it won't show so I won't have to spend much time fixing those. The bad thing is that this beautiful Walnut will be mostly covered with plastic name plates.

Anyway, this isn't any special technique or job, just gluing up boards and then trimming to size and spraying finish on. But, all 5 are glued up, I'm waiting on my wife to get home, I have supper warming, and there's not a lot I can do right now in the shop so I figured I'd post some photos.

Cut to length and width, still in the rough -
5 Walnut plaques-001-cut-length-width.jpg

Surfaced (I really wish I had an 18" or 20" helical head planer! - this takes a while with a lunchbox planer) -
5 Walnut plaques-002-milled-ready-biscuits.jpg

Gluing -
5 Walnut plaques-003-gluing-boards.jpg

All 5 glued and drying -
5 Walnut plaques-004-glued-plaques.jpg

Enjoy!
David
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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The guitar tops and backs I'm working with are about 16" across so when it was time to buy a drum sander we got the SuperMax 19-38. That way a back or top that was slightly wider than 16" would have no issues in sanding. Now I'm really glad we did that because the boards are 18" right now (I'll trim them to 17" soon).

It definitely uses most of the drum to sand these. Here's one board going through -
5 Walnut plaques-006-just-wide-enough.jpg

And the obligatory 'artsy' shot -
5 Walnut plaques-005-wide-drum-sander.jpg

David
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 05:28 AM
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Those guitar backs are really beautiful. About how thick are they? My daughter lives with a masterful guitarist, and I'm amazed at how thin, yet strong his Les Paul and acoustic guitars are given they're made of such thin material.

I know the surface of sanded material isn't the same as planed wood, do you think there is enough difference to justify a planer rather than sander? I'm thinking of violins where the material is hand planed because of curves on the back and front.

I find instrument making fascinating, but way above my skill level and pay grade.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
Those guitar backs are really beautiful. About how thick are they? My daughter lives with a masterful guitarist, and I'm amazed at how thin, yet strong his Les Paul and acoustic guitars are given they're made of such thin material.

I know the surface of sanded material isn't the same as planed wood, do you think there is enough difference to justify a planer rather than sander? I'm thinking of violins where the material is hand planed because of curves on the back and front.

I find instrument making fascinating, but way above my skill level and pay grade.
Tom, if you just take it one step at a time anyone can build an instrument. When you look at it as a whole it is a bit intimidating but not when you break it down.

I confess to a period a couple of years ago where I stockpiled Cocobolo, Padauk, Indian Rosewood, Bubinga, and many more types of exotic woods for guitar backs and sides. Some are awesome enough to just use as wall art. A finished acoustic guitar back is around 0.100" thick and sides are often around 0.080" thick. Tops are usually around 0.090" to 0.100" thick.

If you have a helical head planer and take light passes you could certainly plane down to within a few thousandths before sanding or scraping but these are about 16" wide so you'd need at least an 18" planer. I have sanded mine to that and usually use a cabinet scraper to finish it off because it cuts the pores rather than rolls them over like sanding and I think it looks cleaner. You have to look pretty close to see the difference and if you don't have them side by side most people can't tell the difference.

The Walnut feather I posted in the 'Found a nugget' thread would look good on a guitar back but I doubt I'll use it for that. For one thing it is 19.75" long and I would want it 20" for the Grand Auditorium size I like to work with. It would work for a 00 size, though. But at its current thickness of 0.210" I would have to either cut it back apart, resaw each half to about 1/8", then glue back together or do a LOT of sanding which would likely be my choice!

Just for grins, here's a few of the sets and billets I have on hand - I need to get busy building guitars!!

Cocobolo -
5 Walnut plaques-cocobolo-set.jpg

Curly Mahogany -
5 Walnut plaques-curly-mahogany-set-2.jpg

Zebrawood -
5 Walnut plaques-zebrawood-set.jpg

Bubinga, Walnut -
5 Walnut plaques-bubinga-walnut-billets.jpg

Walnut stash -
5 Walnut plaques-walnut-stash.jpg

Enjoy!
David
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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These are ready to spray in the morning. This is the back side, front side has a Roman Ogee edge. They need 20 of these and I should have told them I would do 4 at a time instead of 5. I don't have room to spray 5... oh, well - it'll work out.

5 Walnut plaques-007-ready-spray-back-side.jpg

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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One coat of sealer, one coat of gloss. I think they look nice. Might do this again sometime and make some end tables - all these need are aprons and legs! The figure isn't that pronounced in real life, I think it's the lighting and camera that accentuate the look. It's there, just not quite so dominant.

5 Walnut plaques-008-one-coat-gloss.jpg

I'll deliver these tomorrow and then start on the next four or five.

Enjoy!
David
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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I wasn't satisfied with the photo so I took a couple more and these are closer to what they look like in person. The first one is under natural and fluorescent lighting and the second is incandescent. They are somewhere in between the two but not quite as red as the incandescent shows.

5 Walnut plaques-009-different-lighting.jpg

5 Walnut plaques-010-incandescent-lighting.jpg

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