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Building something like a bass viol #1: Roughing out the neck

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 08-23-2020 01:46 AM 563 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Building something like a bass viol series Part 2: The pegbox »

A co-worker asked if I could build something like a bass viol for him. I told him that it sounded like a long process, but I did not say ‘no.”

Below is what a bass viol can look like. Mine whon’t quite look like it, but it should act like it. I will be making every piece of this aside from the strings.

For me, the neck starts out as a glueup of four oak boards. Oak is what I got and oak is what I’m using.

Onje end of this has to remain too thick to fit in both my bandsaw and my scroll saw, so I used my handheld circular saw to roughly cut the taper down the lenth of the glueup.

I drilled 3 large holes in the blank to act as relief cuts. Because of the dimensions I will do it all by hand using a saw, chisels and rasps.

And here you can see I have it roughly roughed out.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!



7 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8795 posts in 1865 days


#1 posted 08-23-2020 02:08 AM

Interesting. With a job like that I might bust out a spokeshave after the saw, and before the rasps.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3353 posts in 3474 days


#2 posted 08-23-2020 10:09 AM

In the words of Jerry Lee Lewis: there’s a whole lotta shapen going on …..
As an alternative process next time, perhaps a pattern could be used to cut out the profile in the separate boards on the bandsaw, then laminate and attack it with files, rasps, spokeshave, sandpaper, etc.
Oak is typically pretty porous, will you use grain filler to get that smooth shiny black neck?
Looking good so far.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5417 posts in 3272 days


#3 posted 08-23-2020 10:57 AM

Very interesting!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3471 days


#4 posted 08-23-2020 11:39 AM



Interesting. With a job like that I might bust out a spokeshave after the saw, and before the rasps.

- Dave Polaschek

DAve, I tried using my spokeshave. There just isn’t enough of a run between the pegbox and the root of the neck to make it worthwhile. Maybe a small draw knife would work, I dunno.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3471 days


#5 posted 08-23-2020 11:42 AM



(snip)
perhaps a pattern could be used to cut out the profile in the separate boards on the bandsaw, then laminate and attack it with files, rasps, spokeshave, sandpaper, etc.
(snip)
- Oldtool

Now THAT’s an idea that could work for me. I could easily glue up two half-wide necks, cut most of the debris out on my scroll saw and glue the two ‘halves’ together. I’ll try to remember that for the next on as it will at least halve my work!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3471 days


#6 posted 08-23-2020 11:44 AM



(snip)
Oak is typically pretty porous, will you use grain filler to get that smooth shiny black neck?
Looking good so far.

- Oldtool

The actual fingerboard I am making from mohogany. I’ve had good luck with it so far in other projects.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8795 posts in 1865 days


#7 posted 08-23-2020 12:44 PM

Ahh well. The smallest drawknife i have is pretty handy too. I think it came from woodcraft, and I used it quite a bit before my shop was done. Now it’s in one of the piles of tools waiting for a home. I think all my shaves and drawknives will get a rack on the door of my plane till, but I still have to figure out the details and then actually get it built. Just a couple dozen more bookcases to finish first…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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