Low end Aria renovation

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
amezcua
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:56 pm

The tape I have been trying out is very tough with it`s fibreglass reinforcements but taking it off is a pain . It leaves strips on the surface and fortunately I am working with varnished surfaces so I can use white spirits to clean the tackiness off .The strips contain the fibreglass. I don`t like the stuff . If I am brave and use hot hide glue that tape will be a massive impedance .Even with just a few temporary tapes it will make it a pain . Almost like magnetism I am being pulled towards the hot hide glue method .
I wonder whether avoiding fitting bindings at the factory was done because the laminations were so fragile to cut into .Maybe the whole thing would have shattered into pieces .

amezcua
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:41 pm

Substituting bog standard masking tape for the reinforced stuff I have no problems .Good to know that . It holds the ebony in place overnight . It`s still not glued yet . Todays trip to the dentist was a waste of time as they had to cancel .So I tried to see how well a 2 mm ebony strip passes heat through to a hide glue layer. It conducts heat very well even as the soldering iron is warming up . I used a short off cut of ebony and held it on my finger with the iron on top .Just a few moments was needed to feel the heat coming through .
I have a solid reason now not to use Titebond number 1 for the binding . I need to coat the binding channel firstly to hold all the bitty surface together. The central wood of the lamination is very hit and miss material .It has no consistent solidity . So if I coated that with Titebond and left it to go hard the next layer of Titebond would be resistant to a further Titebond layer .
Hot Hide Glue can be used to firm up the channel and then take some more glue for the ebony .
*** Reminder. This is all about Reheating previously applied Hot Hide Glue which has been left to set while kept apart .****
I used the shaft of the soldering iron for the heat test . A small copper shape to form a T bar at the tip might make a good binding heater .A curved surface on one side would be used on the internal curves. I could fix it on with a jubilee clip . A gentle rolling action would pass the heat evenly over an inch at a time
Yes copper is the best way . No need for any pressure with the heater .That can be done with a separate home made tool .It would be too hot for my fingers . Something made of a hard wood can be made .
It would be best to heat about one inch of binding near the fretboard end and tape it down tight as a start . Leave that to set overnight and then work round the guitar next day knowing that first inch will not let you down . You might (or I might ) like to pay special attention to the internal curve as it has a tendency to pull away .
Reheating can already be done with some kind of steamer or hairdryer .That involves extra water condensation or moving air. I like the dry soldering iron better . Keep close to the off switch if you sense the tip getting too hot. That`s easier than dealing with a hot glue brush . Already I am imagining the solder "shoe" needing a slight angle to keep the hand clear of the guitar sides .
A smooth copper " cooling shoe" can be used to absorb heat after the glue has melted .
If the soldering iron is a smaller model and the shoe is larger the heat lost could balance out well for this job . No scorching needed .
A big question is when , how or if the tape winding round should be done .Is there a Spanish name for the spider web winding?

amezcua
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:51 pm

Progress on the binding heater .There is a set of pyrography bits which have a good shape to heat the binding. They have shaped heads where the side can be used . That is still too hot though . So further delving gets into wax melting as an art form .See "Heated Tools for encaustic wax paints".There is an Electrical Supply Temperature Controller that will maintain a useful temperature . Wax varies in it`s exact chemicals but a low temperature wax melt is around 60 degrees and can go much higher . So a stable low temperature can be used for reheating the hide glue. The pyrography brass parts fit into the soldering iron . They are very cheap and worth a look . Maybe Maplins have something useable too .

amezcua
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:44 pm

A soldering iron control box and iron from Germany with a clear temperature dial can be used for melting wax at 50/60 degrees up to much hotter around 300 degrees. It has glowing reports about it`s efficiency in contrast with much cheaper pyrography irons. At about £60 the German iron can be used for reheating the hide glue . Just find your ideal temperature .
I wanted to check the glue temperature yesterday and it was not too difficult following the advice to make a cup of tea. Use boling water on the teabag and wait for 6 minutes before drinking. Comparing the cup and gluepot temperature by hand was easy . Today the little meat thermometer came in the post and my glue pot settled at 62 degrees C. So my small adjustment was pretty accurate. The thermometer cost less than £3 .
The green cast iron gluepot was from Barlow Whitney. It had a metal inner pot that I took out as it would always make a dry glue rim on the metal . I made an aluminium top and fitted a china mug with a narrow taper shape into that . On top is a plastic lid to keep vapour inside and an ungainly handle to lift the lid with the back of my hand. Holding a glue brush I needed some other way to lift the lid. The printed instructions tell you to increase the heat by turning the screw anti clockwise .
The most awkward thing about hot glue is getting the glue / water mixture just right so it trickles off the brush and does not just drip .Dripping means there is too much water .

amezcua
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:58 pm

Well I tried the reheating method with a soldering iron . Overall impressions . I don`t like having a soldering iron so close to the guitar. The intention was to seal the first inch and leave it till next day but I just went all down the left side to see how it worked. It`s an awkward way to fit bindings . The top i/3rd did not pull in close enough . The lower 2/3rds fitted very nicely .The basic idea was to coat both surfaces and let the glue dry . I did that . But when the glue is liquid it will flow on the shaped ebony and give an uneven glue layer. With a vertical and horizontal part on both pieces the process is too unmanageable . I held each one inch section tight and then taped them down .It was not possible to tie it all with cotton twill tape . But this is reversible. No marks were made on the varnish.
I have to reverse my thoughts about Titebond 1. It was not necessary to seal the wood first . I could have glued it all straight away . So I learned that .
I have never used cotton twill tape to bind a guitar . The bit I would hesitate on at the start . The angle at the top does not help .I saw a clamp system used on a ukelele and that looked far more secure .Curved sections to cover each part would be far quicker . I would use a flexible buffer of silicone sealant to put on pressure without damage. The binding needs to be held in and down at the same time.
Working with ebony the pre-shaping started to return to straight when hot glue was added .There was a bit of twist that developed too . That needed some control .
I will take off the first attempt and think about some home made clamps. I have a wood screw set to create clamps.

amezcua
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:29 pm

I removed the top section again by heating the ebony and using some hot water It is still in one piece and needs the rest to be removed. The section that developed a twist did not fit straight and shows an angle although it was firmly glued .
The big mistake was to coat the surfaces with glue and leave then to dry . That ruined the shape of the carefully cut channel by inserting the glue which dried any shape it felt like . The glue needs to be wet or even soft gelled but not hard and dry . The twisted section really needs a clamp to make it behave . Maybe spare clamps for random emergencies .
Big mistake 2 was to get cotton twill tape to see if I could use that . I tried it as a practise and found the cotton would slide out of place too easily . That followed reading about one maker with elastic +cotton tape and he said he would prefer it without the elastic . I`m learning the hard way .
The best system I have seen is a Dutch maker using a board with dowels poking out and simple elastic loops .Plus sticky tape for the outer curves . That was using Titebond or similar and the whole balancing act looked very simple .
I really liked the clean firm feel of the ebony binding.It has a cold touch similar to the cold bone nut I fitted . Next question is will the Titebond attach to a previous hide glue surface. A separate exercise to test that . But it`s still in control .It will happen .

amezcua
Posts: 261
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Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:22 am

The Dutch maker I mentioned is Ad van Kuijk. I wanted to give him credit for his videos .Also he sets a good example by wearing magnifiers .That will always help to get a good result .

J. Bertholdo
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Location: Porto - Portugal

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by J. Bertholdo » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:03 am

Is there any photo to show?

cheers
Lut, Guitar and Violin maker

www.jorgebertholdo.com
www.jorgebertholdo.com/blog/
www.facebook.com/jorgebertholdoviolins

amezcua
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:00 pm

No photos so far . Basically it looks just the same as any other Aria guitar . Having cut an accurate channel around the top there is still a remnant of the painted on black edging .That will be gone when the binding is scraped down .
Verdict on the reheating method is a big No . It`s not the way to do the job. When I was cleaning the glue off the ebony strip I held the ebony in the steam coming from the kettle. That melts the glue fast but I found that the steam is very good for bending the ebony too. Much more effective than using the side bender .Get the steam on both sides and after a while you feel it becoming flexible .It stays in that shape longer too . Wait till it cools down before letting it go .
After reading about the tuning of tops I tapped on the bridge to see what note it gave . Round about F# which is what they recommended . So it has one important good point .

amezcua
Posts: 261
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Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:13 pm

I tried the steam from the kettle method today .The ebony was brought into an almost perfect fit without needing to hold it in place. So trying the same on the opposite side with a new strip of ebony should have been straightforward .Well it quickly snapped into pieces. The breaks were an odd shape. Only about 1/4 inch long. The break itself , looking through a magnifier , shows a step ,then a slanted break and then another step . Not like a piece of pine that breaks along the grain . You can see how brittle it is .
Checking the internet for more ebony I came across a new ebony substitute that bends without breaking .Called Rocklite and planes and sands like real ebony .Well it contains real ebony anyway .

amezcua
Posts: 261
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Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:51 pm

Third strip of ebony now. I had tried the steam first . Overnight It had a chance to rest (?) and then I used the heat bender .
Just brushing with cold water and doing an inch at a time or where the curve wanted to be further down . Not a hitch on this one. So if any new luthier gets breakages , just blame the wood. This third strip was very obliging and did not mind the bend going back the other way sometimes .Now it`s just parked against the side with masking tape . A strip of bendy ebony is safer when held down .I wonder if luthiers learn to keep their sleeves rolled up when messing around with binding .

amezcua
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:11 am

The new Rocklite ebony substitute arrrived and I am very impressed.It looks the same as ebony .It bends very easily with a little wetting with cold water. There is no uncertainty . Bending corrections are made with no fuss. There seemed to be a slighly fishy smell with the heating but nothing too bad . Sliding the Rocklite against a small area of the heater works more controllably . You don`t need large stretches to be heated .Just keep sliding to and fro with a small contact . It`s easier to overbend with Rocklite. It stays in shape too .Not continually springing back and fighting you .Rocklite. Lovely stuff . No hint of breaking or splitting .

amezcua
Posts: 261
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Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:52 pm

I have sent for a bag of chunky elastic bands . That seems a good way for a novice to get it all in place. Even efficient video demos let you think of more efficient ways . Loose elastic bands in a box leaves you open to many delays as the bands try to tangle themselves up .How about having each one attached at one end before it all begins ?

amezcua
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:21 pm

Opening the bag of elastic bands I found they were shorter than I expected .The 8 inch measurement described seems to refer to the length of elastic and not the width of the loop unstretched . So I had to test my theory that "only two loops can be joined together." Well happily that`s not true . You can join as many as you like . That`s progress .

amezcua
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Low end Aria renovation

Post by amezcua » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:32 pm

More progress even though caused by delays . I have recently mastered the art of laying a floor with large Travertine tiles and I am most of the way through laying a solid oak floor with interlocking edges. Not as easy as it sounded to me as every groove needed planing to make them fit. So a wee bit tiring at the end of the day but enjoying using handsaws rather than a bandsaw . . Meanwhile back at the guitar ----the ebony and Rocklite ebonar bindings have been stuck to the sides of the guitar with masking tape. So we can draw some new information from that . The real ebony ,which was carefully heated and bent to shape ,still wants to be a tree rather than a guitar and is fighting back to release itself. On the other hand the Rocklite is as good as gold and shows no sign of rebellion . So if you have any interruptions half way through the binding job Rocklite " is your only man ". A genuine team player that wants to do it`s best The only annoyance is getting used to B&Q ( UK hardware store ,mes amis ) shutting near me . It does help to have a shop selling basic stuff like plywood nearby . I need that to attach the elastic .

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