First mosiac - pics and a question

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Matthew Masail
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First mosiac - pics and a question

Post by Matthew Masail » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:32 pm

So I made my first attempt at a mosiac today.

1. Cutting the strips off the log was easy enough. Thicknessing I tried a few methods, in the end my trusty HNT gordon spokeshave has the perfect specs for this, it cut effortlessly and was much quicker then scraping them.
2. for gluing them up I can think of many arrangements but before I go and try em all I thought I'd ask your advice here - how do you keep alignment of the strips while gluing up? for now I tried rope as a first attempt, it seems decent but for sure not perfect, will see once it dries.
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Last edited by Matthew Masail on Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Matthew Masail
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Re: First mosiac - pics and a question

Post by Matthew Masail » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:37 pm

double

TomBeltran
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Re: First mosiac - pics and a question

Post by TomBeltran » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:09 pm

Hi Matthew - There are many ways to thickness veneers, and your method looks fine. Depending upon the size and pattern of the tiles you plan on making (I'm assuming your making rosette titles), you might need to make a scraper jig if you find that the pieces don't completely line up. Any errors, even small ones, are cumulative. While I use linen thread to assemble my bindings, I use jointed blocks of high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW) and printer's quoins to glue up the tiles. It is like a miniature tool to glue top and back panels. By keeping all the dimensions as close as possible, and all gluing pressure even as possible, there is a much better chance that the patterns will match.

The Fleta scraper is something I've been considering as my next tool project. American Lutherie, number 128, has a picture of the scraper on the front cover, but no mention of it in the article. I was more interested in and wondered what that contraption was, then the statue. But, it wasn't until I got a copy of the Fleta Documentary "I am a Guitar" on the Arts on Film" website, that it became clear. The scraper part swings except when the wood is being pulled away from the scraper body. Something like that might speed up the scraping process.

Matthew Masail
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Re: First mosiac - pics and a question

Post by Matthew Masail » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:23 pm

Hi Tom,
Yes I am making rosette tiles. this is my first guitar. the spokeshave did a perfect job thicknessing very evenly, though I understand the overall need for the type of control granted by something like the Fleta jig for fine tuning - Thank you for explaining it!

I am not clear about the set up you use, I imagine the printer's quoins are used as clamps and the UHMW and non stick cauls, but what is keeping the strips in alignment? perhaps I don't understand what the quoins really do.

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geoff-bristol
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Re: First mosiac - pics and a question

Post by geoff-bristol » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:41 pm

Its way easier to plane flat pieces about 25mm wide - thickness them and glue those together. Once dry - slice a cut off the striped side and plane that flat. You then have a sheet of the rquired pattern. ie if you want a straight check - B/W/B/W etc - just glue up 1mm stips of B and W. If its particular pattern - you may need various different blocks.

I am about to make a small pattern for a 6 x 11 mm tile - b&w - comprising 1mm squares.
It needs 6 different strips - 5 of which are used twice ( ie they can reverse ) and one is unique. Once the six pattern blocks are made - one slice from each then gets laid against another - to form a new finished block pattern - the end of which with be the tile ( like letters in a stick of rock ) For 1mm b& w - I use planed lime strip to 1mm - 25mm wide - and 2 layers black veneer as the layers I glue.

Maybe I will get some pics while doing it - its a bit confusing to envisage - and every time I make some I have to re think it all - despite notes to tell me what needs making up.

Alan Carruth
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Re: First mosiac - pics and a question

Post by Alan Carruth » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:03 pm

I tried a couple of different methods of clamping the layers when gluing up the tiles, and finally opted for the simple solution: don't clamp. What has worked well for me is to lay up the log in exactly the same way as I lay up the individual layers.

I cut strips of veneer about 2 mm wide, using standard .5 mm veneer stock that is either commercially made or produced at home. Strips are glued up by hand, using hot hide glue, to produce each layer of the log. Stack up the strips in the correct order and flatten the stack out. Hold one and and fan the stack. Brush on hot hide glue, and fold the fan carefully together. Quickly hold the end you just glued, and fan out the other end so that yuo can apply glue to that. Flatten everything out as well as you can, squeezing out excess glue while it's still warm. Arrange the strips so that the stack is as flat and straight as you can get it, a lay it down flat on a piece of plastic. When you have glued up the next stack, flit over the previous one, which should have gelled. Do this all the way up the line, flipping all the stacks each time to allow both faces to dry out. Check them from time to time as they dry. If a stack starts to bow over to one side or the other you can warm it up to straighten it out. This, of course, results in layers that are roughly 2mm thick. Scrape/plane/sand off one surface level, and then take the stacks down to .5mm thick. I then glue those up to make the log in exactly the same way as the stacks for the individual layers. The beauty of this is that once the hide glue gels it holds things together, and tends to draw them into a straight line as it shrinks. So long as the layers are all straight, and are the same width, it's not at all difficult to get the log to go together a square as you need it. I've done tiles up to 15x17 in .3mm veneer this way. You can use thin hide glue for this, which gives a little more working time.

Matthew Masail
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Re: First mosiac - pics and a question

Post by Matthew Masail » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:13 pm

Alan Carruth wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:03 pm
I tried a couple of different methods of clamping the layers when gluing up the tiles, and finally opted for the simple solution: don't clamp. What has worked well for me is to lay up the log in exactly the same way as I lay up the individual layers.

I cut strips of veneer about 2 mm wide, using standard .5 mm veneer stock that is either commercially made or produced at home. Strips are glued up by hand, using hot hide glue, to produce each layer of the log. Stack up the strips in the correct order and flatten the stack out. Hold one and and fan the stack. Brush on hot hide glue, and fold the fan carefully together. Quickly hold the end you just glued, and fan out the other end so that yuo can apply glue to that. Flatten everything out as well as you can, squeezing out excess glue while it's still warm. Arrange the strips so that the stack is as flat and straight as you can get it, a lay it down flat on a piece of plastic. When you have glued up the next stack, flit over the previous one, which should have gelled. Do this all the way up the line, flipping all the stacks each time to allow both faces to dry out. Check them from time to time as they dry. If a stack starts to bow over to one side or the other you can warm it up to straighten it out. This, of course, results in layers that are roughly 2mm thick. Scrape/plane/sand off one surface level, and then take the stacks down to .5mm thick. I then glue those up to make the log in exactly the same way as the stacks for the individual layers. The beauty of this is that once the hide glue gels it holds things together, and tends to draw them into a straight line as it shrinks. So long as the layers are all straight, and are the same width, it's not at all difficult to get the log to go together a square as you need it. I've done tiles up to 15x17 in .3mm veneer this way. You can use thin hide glue for this, which gives a little more working time.
I was just wondering how HHG's properties might make this more simple, and was thinking about the old timers and how they might have done it, then I opened the page and saw this - many thanks! I will try that next for sure. so far aside from the panel centers which I did with Titebond the whole of the neck I've done with hide glue, thing is I'm still figuring out a comfortable set up for using it. I bought a glue pot, but there is more to it than that of course.

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James Lister
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Re: First mosiac - pics and a question

Post by James Lister » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:36 am

The first 3 pages of this thread go into some detail and show jigs/tools I use for making up rosette mosaics. I think you need jigs to keep alignment when you have a large number of rows/columns (10 or more - the rosette in the above link is more than 20 x 20), but Alan's method works fine for smaller mosaics.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

TomBeltran
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Re: First mosiac - pics and a question

Post by TomBeltran » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:45 pm

Matthew Masail wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:23 pm

Hi Tom,
Yes I am making rosette tiles. this is my first guitar. the spokeshave did a perfect job thicknessing very evenly, though I understand the overall need for the type of control granted by something like the Fleta jig for fine tuning - Thank you for explaining it!

I am not clear about the set up you use, I imagine the printer's quoins are used as clamps and the UHMW and non stick cauls, but what is keeping the strips in alignment? perhaps I don't understand what the quoins really do.
Hi Matthew - The UHMW plastic is the caul - I use it in 3/8" thicknesses or so, which I get at a plastics store. The quoins come in various styles and sizes (see picture). And like you suggest, they are used as clamps here and in their original use in typesetting. On the extreme outsides are a piece of wood clamped to the bench, inside that (on each side) are the quoins, and then the UHMW. In between these two (wood, quoin & UHMW) assemblies, is the tile. I first hold the block of columns (which is the tile, but about 7" long), together with my fingers. Everything gets pretty slippery, so you can move it around pretty easily. The down side is it is very easy to get it uneven in thickness and out of square. Also, I tried HHG, which I use for almost everything else, but for my tile process, it was too hot on my fingers! Once the assembly is set-up, I hold it with my fingers and make sure everything is square and in-place. Then, I slowly tighten the quoins - not much because I don't want to squish wood. Check, and then add a top piece held very lightly with clamps.

For small titles, like the very outer ring of a rosette, I don't use cauls. And, for assembling each column that will be part of a tile, it depends on whether I am assembling a long and wide glue-up that will then be sliced into many columns, or a one-off, where I first cut the long thin pieces and glue them into a single column. In the latter case, I just use two steel rulers between which are a glued-up flat bundle of sticks, which I hold until the column is dry enough to set aside and do the next one. But in a big tile, I follow the process above.
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Matthew Masail
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Location: Israel

Re: First mosiac - pics and a question

Post by Matthew Masail » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:13 am

James Lister wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:36 am
The first 3 pages of this thread go into some detail and show jigs/tools I use for making up rosette mosaics. I think you need jigs to keep alignment when you have a large number of rows/columns (10 or more - the rosette in the above link is more than 20 x 20), but Alan's method works fine for smaller mosaics.

James
Amazing work James! Very helpful and definitely something to aspire to !

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