Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

1416
Banjo Lovers Online


Page:  First Page   1  2  3   4   Next Page   Last Page (4) 

Sep 8, 2021 - 2:00:53 PM
like this

8010 posts since 1/7/2005

I've come to build my rims as block rims with figured 1/16" veneer on  both outside and inside. Like Ken, I don't care for the look of plain block rims, and I believe the combination of block and veneer is as strong as any method. My rims have a finished thickness of 3/4". Whether they sound better or worse than common construction methods, I won't even speculate. But the directions don't require any special jigs or tools.

I first build a block rim, and spin it on a router table against the router bit to make it exactly round. I trim it 1/8" shy of 11" diameter, to allow room for the surface laminations. I use the block rim portion to act as the bending form for the veneers, both inside and outside. I use a very  sharp circular saw blade to cut the veneer strips off of a solid board of fancy maple or walnut. With a sharp blade, I can strip off clean, gluable surfaces smooth enough without requiring further planing or sanding. 

I steam bend the veneers and clamp them around the block form using two cheap standard metal belt camps. I clamp them without glue and let it dry overnight. The next day I spread the mating surfaces with glue, and re-clamp with the belt clamps. A bit of fine finish sanding on both inside and outside surfaces give a ready-to -finish surface. I use many small clamps to clamp the inner ply. 

If anyone is interested in looking into my banjo making process, I posted a rather comprehensive illustrated instruction manual a few years ago that you can still view online ( It is a BIG file, so be prepared for it to take a while to dowload-) -and you can feel free to download the file at no cost. Here is the  URL of the files in booklet form:

http://www.hangoutstorage.com/banjohangout.org/storage/attachments/archived/files/the-crowpdf-82913122016.pdf

Be aware, however that the instructions are for a rather ornate banjo, so there is probably more information than you may need or want. And if you should decide to do everything as noted, it will require a rather large investment of your time. There is a clickable index near the beginning of the manual so you can jump right to the topic you are interested in. The construction methods are my own and may be a bit different than common construction methods, but they work for me and allow one to build a no-compromise instrument without the use of a lathe or other fancy set-ups. Hopefully it will help you over some of the trickier parts of banjo building if used as a reference. 

DD

Edited by - Dan Drabek on 09/08/2021 14:10:24

Sep 9, 2021 - 5:50:05 AM

14037 posts since 6/29/2005

Thanks, Dan.

I was hoping you'd post something. You and I may be a minority of people who are bothered by the laid-up look of block construction.

I think your combination of block and veneer is a great hybrid method—the best of both worlds in many ways, especially if you want to make the core out of something like maple but have the outside match a neck made from some other wood.  With an outer veneer, you can also use some nice figured wood. It makes a strong construction that looks good, too.

I do basically the same thing with laminated rims, using a wood on the outside chosen for looks, and an inner core of some wood chosen for the physical properties.  I used to do the same thing with finger-jointed rims when I was making them.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 09/09/2021 05:51:25

Sep 9, 2021 - 7:35:27 AM

1647 posts since 7/2/2007
Online Now

Ken and Dan, you guys make some magnificent banjos, no doubt about it! I think I've seen some of both of yours with rim caps and maybe different wood for a layer acting as a "tone ring" or residing under a metal tone ring.

I always build in a rim cap on the bottom and almost always on the top too. I probably wouldn't bother with a rim cap on a resonator banjo.

If and/or when you do that, do you do a block style install of those features, or do you have a different approach to that too.

Darker woods for rim cap makes the block joints less visible there, I've even installed shell dots on the cap block joints making them even less visible, adding a feature and interlocking the joints to a degree as well.

Personally I don't mind seeing the blocks in a block rim but understand why it isn't for everyone. I'm kind of utility oriented and like seeing how things are built if well done. I find by the time you get all the hardware on a rim the blocks lose visible traction.

I've had older banjos come through the shop and in the past, decorative veneers on the inside or outside a rim, block or laminated, are not uncommon. Sometimes those veneers show some age damage or delamination over time.

Mostly building guitars these days I have to bend guitar sides and I know how difficult it is to get organic materials like wood to bend perfectly and uniformly. I suppose that's why laminated ply rims require so many clamps or elaborate machines to force laminations together during gluing. It would seem, that is inducing some stress into the rim and possibly why we see occasional rim delaminations here on the hangout. I guess that's one reason I like block rims, as I can fit pieces together pretty perfectly without clamping pressure for a low stress construction.

Just about everything in instrument building involves some compromise between stability and looks. All are decisions that must be made in the course of serious instrument building.

Ken, you've mentioned that you think a laminated (ply rim) is stiffer than a block rim. That's something I've always wondered about, did you ever actually test that theory? In my opinion I think 3 ply rims are the strongest and most resistant to catastrophic failure but I think block rims are probably stiffer but I haven't tested that theory either. Both withstanding life in a banjo is time proven.

These are all questions that roll through the minds of builders. Compromises are made for the the desired outcome no matter the technique. Bent rims and block rims or hybrids of the two have been proven successful for many decades that come down to personal preference as much as anything else.

Sep 9, 2021 - 11:35:48 AM
likes this

rmcdow

USA

1035 posts since 11/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie

What does that leave? Perhaps "perpetual argument?'  Or maybe it's just a more complete picture of the merits and faults of the two rim designs.


There are actually more than two rim designs, a couple of which have been brought up in this thread (salad bowls anyone?).  Ken referred earlier on to a way I make rims, which evolved from my entering the banjo universe from the bowl turning universe.  I turn the rims oversize from a green tree trunk section, centered in the center of the tree with the grain running circumferentially around the rim, then freeze dry it to about 6 - 8% moisture.  I then let it cure for a couple of years, during which it sometimes, but not always, shrinks.  The rims have no glue, and the grain is vertical.  I have not yet had one ovalize, develop radial cracks, or break, but I have only drilled one for mounting brackets and made a test banjo from it.  Nothing out of the ordinary happened with it except for my inexperience in aligning the holes.  I hope to finish one of them completely into a presentable banjo this year.  


Sep 9, 2021 - 5:19:42 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14811 posts since 8/30/2006

Thank You Rives, I have one of his one piece rims in elm, he has one of mine in elm. I have no sound to share, yet.

Sep 10, 2021 - 5:14:45 AM

14037 posts since 6/29/2005

I have a rives rim in ash, which (according to Rives' suggestion) I recorded the changes in dimension and weight over a year or two—you can see the dimensions penciled on the top. It's now stabilized and only fluctuates seasonally from the conditions in my shop.  I have been saving it for a special project.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 09/10/2021 05:15:18

Sep 10, 2021 - 6:00:52 AM

9102 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by rmcdow
quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie

What does that leave? Perhaps "perpetual argument?'  Or maybe it's just a more complete picture of the merits and faults of the two rim designs.


There are actually more than two rim designs, a couple of which have been brought up in this thread (salad bowls anyone?).  Ken referred earlier on to a way I make rims, which evolved from my entering the banjo universe from the bowl turning universe.  I turn the rims oversize from a green tree trunk section, centered in the center of the tree with the grain running circumferentially around the rim, then freeze dry it to about 6 - 8% moisture.  I then let it cure for a couple of years, during which it sometimes, but not always, shrinks.  The rims have no glue, and the grain is vertical.  I have not yet had one ovalize, develop radial cracks, or break, but I have only drilled one for mounting brackets and made a test banjo from it.  Nothing out of the ordinary happened with it except for my inexperience in aligning the holes.  I hope to finish one of them completely into a presentable banjo this year.  


I know all about other rim designs (I'd point out that Ken LeVan mentioned the type you show here) and no one has mentioned the metal, Bakelite, or composite formations that have also been used.

I made reference to "two" rims,because that's been the actual discussion; the O.P. asked only about the advantages/disadvantages of either block rims or laminated rims.

Sep 10, 2021 - 8:35:19 AM

1647 posts since 7/2/2007
Online Now

Nice looking rims Rives. I think everyone who's built banjos has thought about trying something like that. In vertical grain rims, I don't think the issue is so much staying round. As in your case the rim is made completely of pure tangential cut wood. However, one concern would be that tangential grain boards are faced with the greatest shrink swell deviation with RH changes of any cut of lumber. So I would expect a rim constructed that way to change in circumference by a measurable amount, thus changing diameter as well.

In furniture, we always expected wood to move in real world settings on average 1 to 2% across the grain. I did a bunch of testing of cross grain movement in Michigan winter low RH and high RH with hard maple, flat and quartersawn and they fell in that range. The maple was air dried for about 10 years and stored in shop for that period. I set the pieces on a shelf in a plastic pail with a wet sponge in the bottom and a piece of plywood over the top - about 10 days in each RH environment and measured with veneer calipers. Shop RH was running 25-30%. I measured every couple days till they stabilized in the respective RH.

Have you subjected your rims to RH swings of say 25-85% humidity for a week or two and checked circumference? That would be typical of many regions of the US. My winter shop RH is typically 25-30% making it an easy test for me.

It would be interesting to know how your freeze drying affects long term stability. You could do it with just a scrap piece of your wood and calculate rim movement mathematically.

Sep 10, 2021 - 6:10:52 PM

rmcdow

USA

1035 posts since 11/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by RBuddy

Nice looking rims Rives. I think everyone who's built banjos has thought about trying something like that. In vertical grain rims, I don't think the issue is so much staying round. As in your case the rim is made completely of pure tangential cut wood. However, one concern would be that tangential grain boards are faced with the greatest shrink swell deviation with RH changes of any cut of lumber. So I would expect a rim constructed that way to change in circumference by a measurable amount, thus changing diameter as well.

In furniture, we always expected wood to move in real world settings on average 1 to 2% across the grain. I did a bunch of testing of cross grain movement in Michigan winter low RH and high RH with hard maple, flat and quartersawn and they fell in that range. The maple was air dried for about 10 years and stored in shop for that period. I set the pieces on a shelf in a plastic pail with a wet sponge in the bottom and a piece of plywood over the top - about 10 days in each RH environment and measured with veneer calipers. Shop RH was running 25-30%. I measured every couple days till they stabilized in the respective RH.

Have you subjected your rims to RH swings of say 25-85% humidity for a week or two and checked circumference? That would be typical of many regions of the US. My winter shop RH is typically 25-30% making it an easy test for me.

It would be interesting to know how your freeze drying affects long term stability. You could do it with just a scrap piece of your wood and calculate rim movement mathematically.


I turned most of the rims I have in 2015.  Freeze drying is not exactly an accurate description of what I did, although the process I used is form of freeze drying.  I turned all the rims from wood that was freshly felled trees.  After turning the rims to about 11.5" to 12.5" in diameter, about 1.25" to 1.5" thick, and 3" - 3.5" high, I put them in a freeze dryer, lowered the temperature to about -31 degrees C, and brought the vacuum to about 10 torr.  I left the dryer there for two to four hours, giving the wood a chance to reach the temperature in the chamber.  As the heat came out of the wood through the moisture sublimating and evaporating, the moisture would condense on the inside walls of the freeze dryer.  After two to four hours, I'd turn off the freezer compressor and the vacuum pump and let air back into the chamber.  I'd take out the rims and immediately bag them in small garbage bags, keeping as much air out of the bag as possible.  I'd then let them sit until the next day and repeat the process, weighing each rim in between each sequence.  I'd do this from 10 -15 times until the weight stabilized.  The difference between this and what is technically freeze drying is that I am not adding heat to the wood while it is inside the chamber.  I let the rims come back to room temperature and that heat is removed through moisture evaporation and sublimation in the next round.  This is a less energy intensive way of freeze drying, which normally takes about 10 times the energy for direct sublimation of ice than evaporation of water.  

I would take a piece of the same wood, weigh it, and dry it in an oven until it was completely dry.  This gave me the water content of the rims, so I could see if I got the rims below 10% moisture.  Mostly I got them below 6%.

What I found doing this was that the diameter of the rims did not change at all in this drying process.  I understand wood enough to know that this is not normal, and understand freeze drying enough to know that this is normal for freeze dried organics.  I wanted to see what the wood would do in various environments, so sent a few of them to some people I knew through the hangout and other ways, Ken and Larry were two of the people I sent ash rims to.  I took two ash rims to Chuck Ogsbury.  Those rims I gave to Chuck were 11" in diameter.  Two years later, when visiting Chuck, I asked him how those rims were doing; we took them off the shelf and measured the diameter, they were both about 10 5/8" in diameter.  Evidently the wood, although it does not shrink during the drying, the lignins do adjust over time, releasing the tension that was induced in the drying.

The rim I sent to Ken was not turned to finished dimensions like Chuck's were, and I am interested to see how it is affected in his climate.

I moved from CA to NC three years ago, and my shop is in the basement of my house, which has swings of humidity from 40% to 90%.  I have been involved in renovating the house since I arrived, and am just starting to have time to get back to the banjos I started working on in CA.  I'll start taking some measurements of those rims, and see how they are responding to the changes in humidity.  They have been in that unregulated space for three years now, so have stabilized to whatever they are during those humidity swings.  I have a dehumidifier in my shop, but it is not always running, and especially when it rains here, the relative humidity there gets to 90%.  I can weigh them in the next couple of days and report back as to what the moisture content is now.  

I understand what you are referring to when you write about the across the grain changes, and have seen that myself in wood working projects I've been involved in.  One reason I have left the rims so long without making banjos from them is what I saw happen to the rims in Boulder.  It is really dry there, and the effect on the rims was dramatic.  I'd like to see the rim diameter stabilize as much as feasible before building a banjo, and see if I can figure out a way to fit a tension ring and head that won't just fail in some way due to humidity changes.  So far, a rim I turned out of California red root (Lilac, Ceanothus) is the only one I have found that is dimensionally stable throughout all the moisture content changes.  It is turned from a root ball rather than trunk wood, and the wood is much like a burl wood, which after drying is almost like fired pottery.  That banjo is all going to be made from one single tree. I made the neck from the trunk of the tree.  

I look forward to being able to continue with the projects I started 6 years ago, and also have some ideas for new woods to try here.  One is making a rim from paulownia.  I have a tree section cut now, about 60% moisture content, and am interested to see what a super light weight banjo would sound like.  The wood is twice the density of balsam and half the strength of pine, known as the titanium of woods.  It should make an interesting banjo, not sure about the sound though.

Sep 10, 2021 - 6:32:51 PM

8010 posts since 1/7/2005

Rives, If I were to make a rim from a vertical grain log (especially a green log ) I would consider submerging the wood in Pentacryl, which is a green wood stabilizer. Of course, if you are a bowl turner, you are no doubt already familiar with the stuff.

DD

Sep 10, 2021 - 7:28:30 PM

1568 posts since 1/13/2006

Of my five personal "player" banjos, two have block rims, one with 9/16" hard maple, one turned thin to slightly under 1/2" from Oregon Myrtle, two with bent 9/16" two ply maple rims, and the last with a maple block rim with veneer very similar to what Dan Dranbek describes. My favorite and best sounding banjo is the thin block rim Oregon Myrtle rim banjo, go figure...., I think the neck and load of graphite inside of it on that one is a big part of it as well. I was a little worried about its stability, but it's been carried all over the country, been to fishing camps, and generally abused and still behaves very well and holds its tuning better than any of them. Chris Coole seems to like it a lot and I've told him its his when the time comes. All are well between ten-fifteen years old (and several 20+ yrs) and have been carted all around in different temps, humidity, etc. I am still generally undecided on which I prefer, and have the parts for approximately 30 banjos laid out for future builds, with 3/4 being ply rims, and the rest block construction. One is a 1/2" hard maple 12" deep stave rim that I can hardly wait to get a banjo built for, as I think it is going to sound terrific, the rim has been totally assembled and finished for at least ten years. It's an interesting question, I'm not going to throw any of them off a two story window to test, and time will tell in the end I guess.

Sep 10, 2021 - 8:19:20 PM

rmcdow

USA

1035 posts since 11/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

Rives, If I were to make a rim from a vertical grain log (especially a green log ) I would consider submerging the wood in Pentacryl, which is a green wood stabilizer. Of course, if you are a bowl turner, you are no doubt already familiar with the stuff.

DD


Yes, I have heard of Pentacryl, but have never used it.  I understand that pretty much any finish can be applied to it, which is amazing given what it is made of.  I think it would be a lot simpler process than what I do to make the rims, but have so many rims already made, and have a process that works right now that it would be another project to take on for me to try it.  The most interesting part about it is that it may be the thing that gives a vertical grain rim that would be dimensionally stable during humidity changes.  A friend of mine used propylene glycol at one time, which has a similar affect on wood.  I remember it being a bit of a project, and it takes a lot of it to submerge the wood.  

Edited by - rmcdow on 09/10/2021 20:19:58

Sep 10, 2021 - 8:19:39 PM

1647 posts since 7/2/2007
Online Now

Rives

Thanks much for the detailed response. I always read your posts and always interesting stuff. I've been wondering how your rim projects were progressing. Thanks for relaying what you've found so far.

Some of your posts got me to chuck a lilac stump into my lathe to try and learn a bit about turning irregular objects. Needless to say, I envy the skills of a good bowl turner!

Much of the fun in instrument making is in experimenting with ideas and making them work.

Good thread about rims and what's involved.

Edited by - RBuddy on 09/10/2021 20:20:31

Sep 10, 2021 - 8:47:08 PM

8010 posts since 1/7/2005

Nice collection of players you have there Glenn. I know you're a clawhammer guy but your famous son is more bluegrass oriented. I assume he's played all of your selected banjos and am curious whether his pick of the group is the same as yours.
I tend to like bright sounding banjos for both bluegrass and frailing, but I know claw hammerers who prefer something less ringy and more percussive. Do you ever play with a resonator?
I've never seen an Oregon Myrtle banjo, but where I live the trees grow wild. But it's rarely harvested except for firewood. On our coast it goes by the name of California Bay Laurel. But it's the same species. I use the leaves for cooking.
If anyone decides to do the drop test with their rim, I think it's important to have each rim contestant hit the ground on the same place on the rim. That would be easy to do by adding a tail fin, or a length of cloth like a tail on a kite. If you care to send me one of your banjos, I can do the test if you want to cover the postage. :->

DD

Edited by - Dan Drabek on 09/10/2021 20:50:39

Sep 10, 2021 - 10:21:01 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14811 posts since 8/30/2006

Correction
I have the same Ash rim, vertical grain
Mine has been seasoned in my shop for a few years now
No change in dimension or appearance of cracks has occurred
It has a very musical tap tone quality

Sep 10, 2021 - 10:27:25 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14811 posts since 8/30/2006

Sidebar: Bayberry candles are from the East coast, but the Myrtle is the West coast equivalent from the same Genus
I have never seen anyone harvest Myrtle berries. They would need crushing, simmering and skimming by the ton. I've rendered a few pounds, it's beautiful wax
The tree is ideal for music
I would consider myself privileged

Edited by - Helix on 09/10/2021 22:38:57

Sep 11, 2021 - 5:57:42 AM

1647 posts since 7/2/2007
Online Now

I've seen Oregon Myrtle being used as a tonewood in acoustic guitars with some regularity. And seen some beautiful guitars made from it. Should be a great banjo wood too.

Sep 11, 2021 - 9:38:01 AM

14037 posts since 6/29/2005

Apropos of Glenn's post about his favorite players, I have a number of them, which are players and benchmarks, these include a 1927 Granada and a 1962 Vega Pete Seeger.

This discussion seems to be drifting into yet another a rim thing. To be completely honest about it, I don't think these banjos sound the way they do because of the rims, but this thread is about Pot Construction, so I'll comment on pots.

(1) My favorite one to pick up and play has a 3-ply laminated rim with cherry on the outside and beech on the inside and a carbon fiber tone ring—this one sounds the best to me.

(2) is a lightweight aluminum one with a finger-jointed cherry rim and an aluminum channel type tone ring, which is easy to play and has a very crisp poppy sound.

(3) has a red maple finger jointed rim and a brass channel type tone ring—this is probably the loudest one.

(4) and (5) are the Granada (3-ply laminated red maple and bronze tone ring) and the Seeger PS-5—7 ply laminated sugar maple and Tu-Ba-Phone with the thin "bracket band" that's more of a trim strip and bolted-through shoes.

The PS5 is comparatively underwhelming, but I have another old Tubaphone early 60s Vega pot that I converted—7 ply maple rim, full thickness bracket band and that one sounds very good— practically identical to the Granada, which was confirmed on blind tests.

I have only one banjo with a block rim currently, and no plans to make any, but have made them in the past, going back 35 years, and the banjos with them sound comparable to similar ones with laminated and finger-jointed rims.

It's very difficult to make comparisons when so many elements of the banjos are different—valid comparative studies require single variables and blind testing.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 09/11/2021 09:38:57

Sep 12, 2021 - 6:40:21 PM

jfb

USA

2449 posts since 9/30/2004

There is an additional type of rim construction called “ jelly roll”, first done
by Dave Kennedy (sic) up near Athens
West Va, and later refined by friend Bill Porter’s improved machine. I had (past tense) the equipment for many years, but didn’t put it to use. It’s similar to the multi ply, but uses one long piece of material bent around an offset spiral to arrive at the desired thickness.
Take care

Sep 13, 2021 - 2:01:02 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14811 posts since 8/30/2006

I've heard of the elusive jelly roll rim.

Show us an example.

Sep 13, 2021 - 4:26:06 AM

John Yerxa

Australia

28 posts since 9/13/2021

Hello Hangers, greetings from South Australia

Old banjo player, new to the hangout (although have stalked it a little lately). I came across this topic at a good time, wanting to build a banjo from scratch. I've been intimidated by the gear needed to steam and laminate, so descriptions of the block shells, and espcially Dan's book, have been enlightening and inspiring. I have some nice Victorian Blackwood, including a lovely quarter sawn chunk for the neck that has been acclimating to my shop. I'm thinking of doing a test layup of the octagon pieces with some scrap Tasmanian oak I have before I cut into the nice wood. My home shop is pretty basic, but have access to a community shed that has all the neccessaries.

Here are some of my (probably many) questions.

1. Dan starts with a tone ring. I don't have one yet, and wonder how it would work to just shape the edge of the rim, or if there was a way to add a simple brass rod/tubing ring recessed into the shell? Alternatively, anyone know a good source for tonerings? (I'm onto StewMac, any thoughts on theirs?)

2. Related question, without a tone ring, what would you use as a guide for rounding the shell on the router table? I could probably make something out of plywood, but feels like sort of a chicken and egg problem to me.

3. Hardware. I kind of like the idea of plain brass, unplated. Anyone have thoughts/experience with this? Sources?

I'm a clawhammer player, was active in the 70's before getting sidetracked by a career, now retired and playing every day. Photo is my 2 Stewart Special Thoroughrobreds, a 10 1/2 inch G I've had for 35+ years, and a 10 inch A scale I got recently and have been working on.

Thanks in advance.

Sep 13, 2021 - 5:04:23 AM

14037 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by jfb

There is an additional type of rim construction called “ jelly roll”, first done
by Dave Kennedy (sic) up near Athens
West Va, and later refined by friend Bill Porter’s improved machine. I had (past tense) the equipment for many years, but didn’t put it to use. It’s similar to the multi ply, but uses one long piece of material bent around an offset spiral to arrive at the desired thickness.
Take care


There is a picture of Bill Porter's Jelly roll machine on his site—quite an operation, but it worked.

Sep 13, 2021 - 5:38:47 AM
likes this

14037 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by John Yerxa

Hello Hangers, greetings from South Australia

Old banjo player, new to the hangout (although have stalked it a little lately). I came across this topic at a good time, wanting to build a banjo from scratch. I've been intimidated by the gear needed to steam and laminate, so descriptions of the block shells, and espcially Dan's book, have been enlightening and inspiring. I have some nice Victorian Blackwood, including a lovely quarter sawn chunk for the neck that has been acclimating to my shop. I'm thinking of doing a test layup of the octagon pieces with some scrap Tasmanian oak I have before I cut into the nice wood. My home shop is pretty basic, but have access to a community shed that has all the neccessaries.

It sounds as if you have some very good wood to use, and the community shed probably has useful tools!

Here are some of my (probably many) questions.

1. Dan starts with a tone ring. I don't have one yet, and wonder how it would work to just shape the edge of the rim, or if there was a way to add a simple brass rod/tubing ring recessed into the shell? Alternatively, anyone know a good source for tonerings? (I'm onto StewMac, any thoughts on theirs?)

I think any tone ring that Stewmac sells would be good, but if you are going to use it as a router guide, as Dan does, you need one that's perfectly round, preferably cast—I think a rolled brass one wouldn't work.

2. Related question, without a tone ring, what would you use as a guide for rounding the shell on the router table? I could probably make something out of plywood, but feels like sort of a chicken and egg problem to me.

I am assuming that your community shop doesn't have a wood lathe. If you have a bandsaw, drill press disk, sander and spindle sander (which could be a sanding spindle on the drill press), you can make a pretty accurate glue up—you have to make a template and cut the pieces on the bandsaw, and trim them with a disk sander, rather than cutting angles on strips with a chop-saw:

You'd need to make a plywood inside guide-form to line the pieces up, and glue the sections with a web clamp.

You could use a Saf-T-Planer on the drill press to dress the tiers, or do it with the disk sander.  In the pictures below, I have splined the sections, mostly for looks, and you don't have to do that—just ignore the splines in the picture

This makes a pretty good rim that you can trim on the outside with the disk sander, and on the inside with a spindle sander or sanding spindle on the drill press.  The key is accurate cutting out of the parts.

3. Hardware. I kind of like the idea of plain brass, unplated. Anyone have thoughts/experience with this? Sources?

Bill Rickard makes tone rings that aren't plated, and one of his would work—I think the spun ones, would be round enough to guide a router. You'd first have to have a pretty accurately roughed out rim as shown above.

Once the rim is cleaned up you can use a router to make a rabbet (rebate) or other recess for a tone ring to fit


I'm a clawhammer player, was active in the 70's before getting sidetracked by a career, now retired and playing every day. Photo is my 2 Stewart Special Thoroughrobreds, a 10 1/2 inch G I've had for 35+ years, and a 10 inch A scale I got recently and have been working on.

Thanks in advance.


Good luck, and congratulations on your retirement!

Sep 13, 2021 - 7:09:10 AM

John Yerxa

Australia

28 posts since 9/13/2021

Ken

Thanks for the reply, very helpful, and nice to see some alternatative techniques.

We do have a lathe at the shed (actually 2), but I have no skill on it and not sure how I would attach a roughed in rim, need another jig?

You obviously have more confidence in bandsaw technique than I do (and the bandage on your finger gives me pause!). I'm attracted to Dan's octagon method, but haven't tried it yet.

I was not aware of the saf t planer, will look into that, and thanks for the Rickard connection.

Now I'm intrigued by the idea of using alternate contrasting stock for the layup.

Love your splines, how do you cut the channels (?table saw?)

Sep 13, 2021 - 9:28:27 AM

rmcdow

USA

1035 posts since 11/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by John Yerxa

Ken
You obviously have more confidence in bandsaw technique than I do (and the bandage on your finger gives me pause!). I'm attracted to Dan's octagon method, but haven't tried it yet.
 

The bandage, I believe, was to illustrate the need to have a supply of cheesecloth and blue painter's tape in the shop. 

Page:  First Page   1  2  3   4   Next Page   Last Page (4) 

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.375