Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gourd banjo, part 2, and Closing the Box

With the neck glued-up and dried, we started doing a bit of preliminary shaping to the heel. Here she is cutting in at an angle to free up the material.


After making the cuts, we knock out the wood with a chisel and mallet. Then we clean up the sides with the chisel by hand and using a plane.


We used the lid of a small jar to mark out about a quarter-circle for the heel, sawed out similar to the method used on the sides of the heel, and here she is cleaning up the profile with a #7-sweep gouge.


Meanwhile, on the fiddle-making bench, after trimming and fitting the heel, I glued the back on this fiddle, closing it up as a box. Tomorrow, on to finishing the button on the back and heel of the neck. In this photo, the bridge (actually a blank) is simply standing in place. I had used it to double-check my neck elevation.


A story on these type of closing clamps was recently put out by the National Music Museum .

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