Sunday, May 29, 2011

Les Paul Inlay

I just finished the inlay work on the Les Paul neck.  Here are photos of the neck and guitar before (with the plastic dot markers) and after the mother of pearl inlay.

The jig (featured in an earlier post) worked really well.  There were a couple of details that will assist anyone trying to do inlay on a fingerboard that has frets mounted on it.

1)  It was hard to hold the Mother of Pearl (MOP) and scribe lines as described earlier.  I changed technique and made small pieces of card stock that filled the space from fret to fret and across the width of the neck.  I then scribed center lines and used double sided tape to hold the MOP in the center.  I cut out the MOP with an X-Acto knife and the held the card stock on the fretboard with double sided tape.  This worked really well as a means of marking the perimeter of the routes.

2)  Holding the MOP in place while the slow dry epoxy set was also a technical issue that needed to be resolved.  Because the frets sit high enough to block attempts to clamp directly on the MOP, I used small 1/4 inch long segments of 1/4 inch doweling as stand-offs for the clamps.  These short dowels were placed near the outer edges of the MOP and did a good job of holding it in place.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mother of Pearl Inlay

 I decided to redo the fret markers on the Les Paul that I built a little over a year ago.  I purchased a set of mother of pearl (MOP) Les Paul markers from Stewart Mac and I am in the process of installing them.  A Dremel tool router is used with downward cutting bits.  The MOP blank is placed on the curved fret board and a fine knife is used to scribe around the perimeter of the MOP blank.  The blank is then removed and a light coat of talc is applied so that the scribe shows up in white.  The depth of the cut is the thickness of the MOP plus the height of the frets minus a little for dressing the MOP.  I built this Jig for making perfectly straight cuts for the straight top and bottoms of the MOP.  The neck is bolted to the jig and sits perfectly centered and level with the two metal rails.  The shuttle slides down these rails and has a set of lock screws to hold it in place.  The base of the router sits along this shuttle and allows a straight cut.  The rest of the profile is done by hand.  Here are photos of the jig and the first fret inlay.

One down eight to go...

Friday, May 20, 2011

HMS Triton Frigate Cross Section Build Log - Conclusion

Here are the final photos of the completed model, I hope that you enjoyed following along with the steps of its construction.  This model received a Gold Award at the Midwest Model Ships and Boats Competition.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Folding wooden book stand

This is this year's birthday present for my wife.  She likes to do her Bible study at the table and I've noticed that she tends to prop up her Bible when she is studying so I designed and built this for her birthday.   Because is fold up it can be taken with her wherever she goes.

The stand is made of maple and the wooden hinges were made with individual pieces since I don't have a drill with the length to make a single pass for drilling the hole for the brass hinge pins.  The finish is shellac that has been buffed with 0000 steel wool for a fine matte finish.

HMS Triton Frigate Cross Section Build Log - Part 2

 Once the frames were complete and held together by the hull timbers, the hull was removed from the building jig and the floor members were installed.  The curved pieces are knees and added stability around areas where the masts went through the ship and were connected to the keel.  A large number of precision joints were needed to hold all of these floor members together.  This is how they were done.
 First a rabbet was cut into the piece to be fitted and this was then cut to length and a square was used to make sure that everything laid true.  Lines were scribed to show where the corresponding relief joint needed to be cut.

 An X-Acto knife was used to score the joint.
 A fine chisel was used to cut the joint.
 And the joint was cleaned up.
This is what the finished product looked like.  Now repeat this many times till finished!

HMS Triton Frigate Cross Section Build Log - Part 6

Next the hull on the completed side was coppered to the waterline.  This was used on ships to prevent fouling and preserve the hull.
 Thin strips of self-adhesive copper were trimmed to size and a miniature T-square was made from brass.
 A ponce wheel simulated the nail heads for the strips.
 The T-square allowed perfectly straight scores that indicated the ends of the individual copper plates.
 The ponce wheel simulated the final rows of nails.
Each completed strip was then placed on the hull for a convincing result.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

HMS Triton Frigate Cross Section Build Log - Part 5

Brass Brackets were made for the gangway.  The brass was silver soldered and blackened as per the earlier blog on blackening brass
 Rope was made from flax thread and the guns, brackets and gun tackles were installed.
 Here is a close-up of one of the guns with its various rope-work.
 Here is the completed gangway with stairs

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

HMS Triton Frigate Cross Section Build Log - Part 4

 The upper deck flooring members were installed just as they were on the lower deck.
 These are the cannons that were turned out of brass stock on a drill press, for more information please see the post on this blog that details how this was done.
 Holly planks were installed just as on the lower deck.
 The external hull was planked up on one side and left skeletal on the other so that you can better see the structural members
 Entry way steps were added to the tumblehome of the hull.
 Here are the cannon in their carriages
Lastly gratings were made for the hatchway and a frame placed around the stairway opening.

Monday, May 16, 2011

HMS Triton Frigate Cross Section Build Log - Part 3

 This is what the hull looked like once all of the lower deck flooring was in place.

 Next I turned supports for the upper deck.  I did this by making a dead center for the drill press and bored a small hole in the bottom of the piece to be turned.  This hole accepted the small brad on the dead center to stabilize the bottom of the piece.

 Files were used to shape the supports.
 Holly was used as the decking.  Small strips of black construction paper were used to simulate the caulking used to make the joints water proof.
 Small holes were bored to simulate the treenails that would have been used to secure the deck to the flooring.  I planked half of the deck so that you can see the exposed frame work on half of the hull.
 The supports that we turned earlier were installed with the beams for the top level of decking.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

HMS Triton Frigate Cross Section Build Log - Part 1

 This is a log of the building of a 1:48 scale cross section of the British Frigate Triton from 1771.  The highlights of this model's construction will be outlined in this series of posts.  The plans for this model were originally posted on the ModelShipWorld forum.  The model is made of cherry, holly, brass and sheet copper.
 The first step was to build an assembly jig so that the individual frames of the hull can be precisely aligned.
 The frames are made up from individual timbers, just like the full sized ship.  These members form two layers (double frame) that together make for a very strong structure.  This is a photo of the cut out members of one frame.
 This is what the frame looked like when glued together.
Here is the completed frame along with the keel section and false keel. The keel has indexing pegs on its upper surface to make for a stronger joint with the frames.  The little white dots on the frame are treenails (pronounced "trunnels")  They are little wooden pegs that hold the members of the keel together.