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What to do with old gunracks...

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:35 pm
by realityguy
I found this old gunrack..probably somebody's old high school project..cost me a whoppin' $4!It's made of some nice Tennessee Red Cedar and had enough clear wood in it for "restorin" it to something more worthwhile..
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It took a bit of cuttin' and slicin' but should be a real boomer for volume and deep tone..a tenor ukulele!I used some quartersawn black oak for the bridge and fretboard...
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I got enough wood out of the gunrack to probably make another soprano..except I'll have to use a different wood for the neck... :cry: ..maybe I'll hunt up some more of the TR cedar..Hmm..I remember seeing an old small bookrack of that cedar recently.. :roll: :DB:
I've always wanted to make one from TRC but it usually has so many knots in it that I'd be afraid they'd fall out of the wood that is a little more than a 1/16" thick...but this rack had a couple clear pieces that worked.It only has the first coat of oil on it..and I'll need about 6-8 more coats before putting the tuners and strings on it...

Re: What to do with old gunracks...

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:26 pm
by Ridgerunner
Beautifully done, Cuz! You are a true craftsman! ;)

Re: What to do with old gunracks...

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:09 pm
by realityguy
I went back to the thrift stores and found that other piece I need for the neck on the second one..for $2... :roll: The neck is laminated together with glue drying...

I got pretty busy building last month...taking a breather with only a couple going now...
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Concert,tenor,skinny travel tenor,8 string "pickman" tenor,tenor..and fixing a fancy-schmancy baritone(underneath)I bought off ebay.....
Just before those..I built an 8 string skinny traveler(gone to Maui)a "pickman" concert prototype,a 1932? The Gibson tenor copy(also restored The Gibson itself),a koa concert,a koa tenor,a tiple,and restored a couple unique baritones(4 and 8 string ones) to "Octave" ukuleles..I also restored a couple old 1910-20 Hawaiian ones(one just went to NY)...I've been busy the last few months.. :shock:

Re: What to do with old gunracks...

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:24 pm
by zelph
It took a bit of cuttin' and slicin' but should be a real boomer for volume and deep tone..a tenor ukulele!I used some quartersawn black oak for the bridge and fretboard...
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The neck on this one is worth a bundle of bucks....soooo nice :D

Re: What to do with old gunracks...

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:33 am
by realityguy
That's what you have to do if you only have 3/4" thick wood..laminate 3 pieces with a couple matching strips of the contrasting wood..There is another method of making necks that use a single 3/4" piece of wood as wide as the neck..cutting the head portion off at 15 degrees and then reversing that portion and gluing it back on at the head angle..however..it leaves a weak spot between the neck and the head and looks like hell to me..usually requires a solid plate of wood on the head under the tuners to cover up the joint and it shows underneath.. :-?
I'm making the second neck/ukulele the same way but maybe a smaller pineapple shape..get the largest body I can out of the wood that I have.

Re: What to do with old gunracks...

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:54 pm
by zelph
Do you hand cut the groves on the fret board?

Re: What to do with old gunracks...

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:40 pm
by realityguy
Okay..the 1-1/2" thick neck blank is run through a bandsaw on one side to get the angle on the head and the portion of the heel..then a "neck form"(shown below) is centered and screwed to the top of the neck where the fretboard ends up and the neck is run upside down against a bearing on a bit to the form..creating the shaped neck blank that needs to then be finished shaping by hand(after gluing on a heel piece extension for the proper depth) on a 4" wide table belt sander..back of the neck rounded,head shaped,finish sanded and slots for sides cut.
The fretboard starts as a square blank .130 thick x about 2" wide(made of various exotic woods) in longer lengths and cut to length to what is needed.The frets are laid out on the square blank according to a Martin or Gibson I have or calculated out according to a "fret calculator" at Stewart MacDonald on the net if it is an odd scale.The frets are then cut with a special miter saw in a special miter box I have set up that cuts only a certain depth.
The fretboard dot holes are then drilled at certain frets..allowing me places to screw the fretboard back to the specific neck form and the fretboard is run through the bearing bit on the router table to its proper size and shape(except the tail).
The fretboard is left on the form for support and the frets cut and hammered into the slots by hand with a little extra hanging out the sides.once the frets are all in,the fret excess is run over the belt sander to trim off the excess,bevel the frets and the edges of the boards.
The fretboard is then removed from the form,the tail shaped to whatever length and shape is desired on the belt sander and bandsaw..then the dots are glued in place..The fretboard is ready to be glued/clamped on the neck.
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I keep a decent amount of precut(width and thickness) exotic species for bridges,fretboards,and neck blanks..along with surface wood and side pieces..usually only need to be cut to length and finished shape..I do large amounts of the boring work at one time(thickness sanding for hours)..saves me a ton of time when I can just grab a piece and cut it to length later..I try not to need to set up a tool for one 5 minute job(other than changing router or drill bits,fences)..then reset the tool for another job,etc..etc.
If I build several at once..I do the same step for all of them(for instance shape necks)...then go on to the next step(make all the fretboards) ..then the next step(fret all the boards)..etc..etc..

Re: What to do with old gunracks...

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:16 am
by zelph
That is so cool to know how things are made. I like working with wood.

Nice how you use the router to shape the square fret board while attached to the tapered neck form. You've got everything down to a science. :D Doing all operations in quantity is how I do stove stuff. Remember the video of how I emptied the bottles of Venom energy drink...in quantity. :lol:

Re: What to do with old gunracks...

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:21 pm
by realityguy
When I started building,I spent months just putting together forms and jigs..just to save time later..try to keep the construction costs down to where there is some profit or wages in building them..Like your stovebuilding.. ;)

Re: What to do with old gunracks...

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:19 pm
by zelph
Reminds me of my wood burning "Woodgaz" stove. I could not make jigs or fixtures for it....all hand work. In the end I gave it up. Not enough wages for the time put in.

The cottage guys outsourcing their wood stoves to the CNC job shops took over the market. I saw the writing on the walls :o :lol: