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Thread: Making the peghead

  1. #1
    Registered User Troy Harris's Avatar
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    Default Making the peghead

    Black-dyed pear over holly veneer.
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  3. #2
    Registered User Troy Harris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Top bound ivoriod/black/white binding. First the inner black/white purfling is installed and then the outer ivoriod.
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  4. #3
    Registered User Troy Harris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Tapering the peghead and gluing the back veneer.
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    Registered User Troy Harris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Drilling for the tuners.
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    I've never understood how your dealing with the angled end of the PH with this method. Are you using extra thick binding?

  8. #6
    Registered User Troy Harris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Yes, the outer ivoroid is extra thick in the areas needed. This photo shows how thick the binding is on the large scroll before shaping the peghead.
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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Thanks for sharing your process and photos Troy. Do you have a source for pear wood that you would share?
    Also, do you dye it yourself?

  11. #8
    Registered User Troy Harris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    A&M Wood Specialty
    http://www.amwoodinc.com

    I bought it as dyed-black pear veneer. I tried dyeing it myself early on and it was a huge mess.
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  13. #9
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Very nice work Troy!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    I've never understood how your dealing with the angled end of the PH with this method. Are you using extra thick binding?
    Some folks (Tom Ellis among them) use thicker binding so the front surface shows same thickness all around the headstockafter the angled cut but generally you always see some of the side so the binding thickness always appears inconsistent on headstock from almost any angle. Old Gibsons didn't do this extra step though their top IBW binding was a bit thicker to start with than typical binding you can get from suppliers today and their side-binding was (typically?) the same material they used for top bound bodies just laid on side (and thus width was no concern) and showing ivory grain on front of headstock.
    Troy, have you tried binding the overlays before gluing it to headstock? I've always done it before gluing to headstock but I'm considering doing it like you on my next mandolin.
    Adrian

  14. #10
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Once I started gluing the binding to the overlay before glued to headstock, I never looked back.

    I like it so much I even tried gluing the binding to the backplate before gluing it to the rim, but that didnt work out quite as well.

  15. #11
    Registered User Troy Harris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Thanks Adrian, I’ve tried various methods, including installing the binding to the veneer before gluing onto the peghead. At one point, I even tried shaping the sides of the veneer to the same finished shape of the sides of the peghead, and then shaping the binding to fit the angles. I attached a couple photos. It’s a clever method but more complicated. Binding the veneer first worked okay, but I didn’t like leveling the bottom of the veneer before gluing to the peghead. I much prefer gluing the veneer to the peghead before the binding. With this method, I have greater control over the binding thickness and height.
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  16. #12
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Harris View Post
    Thanks Adrian, I’ve tried various methods, including installing the binding to the veneer before gluing onto the peghead. At one point, I even tried shaping the sides of the veneer to the same finished shape of the sides of the peghead, and then shaping the binding to fit the angles. I attached a couple photos. It’s a clever method but more complicated. Binding the veneer first worked okay, but I didn’t like leveling the bottom of the veneer before gluing to the peghead. I much prefer gluing the veneer to the peghead before the binding. With this method, I have greater control over the binding thickness and height.
    The levelling of the bottom is the tricky part on side bound headstocks, not so much with top bound. You just scrape the plastic level with wood after gluing. You cannot afford scraping too much from bottom of side-bound veneer before it becomes noticeable, and when the binding compresses and deforms during bending tight curves it is quite a task to estimate where the black line will exactly be once the headstock is trimmed and all scraped flush.
    I never liked any of the angled routing methods and thought that they did it just like they didi fingerboards - certainly binding went on figerboards before it was glued to neck - but the small scroll is very easy to crack during the binding if the plastic is not bent perfectly and you force it a bit (DAMHIKT). Perhaps using layered overlay like they did (basically thin plywood) would prevent this.
    Adrian

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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    I got started by routing the finished peghead going back to the Siminoff book in '79.

  18. #14
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    I got started by routing the finished peghead going back to the Siminoff book in '79.
    I did that on my first mandolin (or did I cut the ledge with knife?). I hated it epecially on ebony. Cutting overlay to size before binding is as easy as it gets. I suppose folks at Gibson cut and shaped several overlays at once held together with pins - that's why we see all the odd positions of inlay when one of inlaid veneers wasn't glued in proper place or the overlay blank was off when pinned together. I would love to be there - after making thousands of mandolins they certainly perfected the effectiveness of their methods.
    Adrian

  19. #15
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Adrian, after I wil the lotto, I think you might have a visitor! I’d really enjoy an evening of slivovits (sp?) and chatting differences in how “they” did it and how the construction methods have changed. If I win, there just might a small “entourage” from close by making a little visit.
    You don’t have to worry, I have never won anything more than the “V-Pick” thing in my life but, letting my wife tell her job to have a nice day and a cool trip with some friends would be delightful. I’d need to make a side trip to Hungary and who knows where else, of course! I’d need to see Ivan in the UK and another electronic buddy in Aberdeen before I came home.
    Ain’t dreaming Grand?
    Timothy F. Lewis
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  21. #16
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    Adrian, after I wil the lotto, I think you might have a visitor! I’d really enjoy an evening of slivovits (sp?) and chatting differences in how “they” did it and how the construction methods have changed. If I win, there just might a small “entourage” from close by making a little visit.
    You don’t have to worry, I have never won anything more than the “V-Pick” thing in my life but, letting my wife tell her job to have a nice day and a cool trip with some friends would be delightful. I’d need to make a side trip to Hungary and who knows where else, of course! I’d need to see Ivan in the UK and another electronic buddy in Aberdeen before I came home.
    Ain’t dreaming Grand?
    Hey Tim, slivovica (reads something like "sleev-o-vits-ah" here) is always in the refrigerator in case of guests coming by (of course homemade of hand-picked plums @54% from parents of my wife - you would probably call it moonshine in the US but the distillation was done at official distillery, I remember my grandfather used to do it all at home, but these days it is simpler to let pro's do the job for a fee). I would probably disapoint you by not drinking with you (I don't drink alcohol at all) but the more would be left for you :-). I admit I'm a black sheep of family (my parents come from wine center of the country and both grandfathers had wine cellars with large barrels presses etc.)
    Just let me know when you win and will be around! :-)

    Back to topic: I just didi bind fretboard with IBW side binding. Went OK just holding it with hand against flat board with waxed paper. A drop of CA to the binding between each two frets and some pressure with fingers. We've got it simpler with modern glues. I think they used board with nails and wedges to hold the binding while the glue dried....
    Adrian

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  23. #17
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Here I am again... I did the binding on side-bound headstock in the original style (except still not sure whether the old guys did it before gluing to neck or after). I don't use ebonized veneer but rather plain pear sandwich (maple underneath to biiuld up thickness) and use black dye generously at the edges before gluing so I won't have streaks from glue when I will dye it later. I also use black shellac on the face of headstock for more authentic look.
    Notice the grain of ivoroid is on the face of the headstock instead of side - it's just standard triple binding cut in half so the grain faces front of headstock. Pieces are bent and fitted to the overlay, especially the smallest bend needs some filing of the outside to elliptical shape to match the headstock, the angled areas remain thicker for later shaping of headstock. All joints are butted like on originals.
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  24. #18
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Troy - That's the first work i've seen of yours, & to call it ''immaculate'',would be a bit of an understatement !!. That's seriously fine craftsmanship there.

    A question - how do you get the edges so perfectly clean & at 90 deg. to the top/bottom surfaces ?. I ask because i've often thought of trying to add some Ivory edge binding to my now 'not used' Lebeda scratchplate. Without any binding,it's a tad less than annonymous. Did you use a drum sander etc. ?.

    Tim
    - Get hold of what we call ''Polish Spirit''. I'm not sure that we can still buy it in the UK,but it's approx. 80% proof,although the stuff that they drink in Poland can be a bit higher - it'll melt your teeth !. Ref. :- Polmos Spirytus Rektyfikowany,a Polish spirit that has a 95 per cent alcohol content.,
    Ivan
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    Last edited by Ivan Kelsall; Jan-21-2018 at 5:49am.
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
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  25. #19
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Some (maybe all) of the early Gibson mandolins had a round circle piece of wood inserted into the peghead base wood, with the grain running cross wise instead of up and own, don`t anyone do that any more....I think it was suppose to support the scroll to keep it from breaking off which didn`t seem to work in a lot of cases...

    This is all very interesting to me even though I don`t do any building, I do like to know what all goes into building a mandolin though just for a better understanding of them...

    Willie

  26. #20
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    From Willie - "...it was suppose to support the scroll to keep it from breaking off ..". It was,but despite the glue being used,i think that the very fact that the 'parent' wood had been cut to allow the insert weakened it anyway,
    Ivan
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  27. #21
    Registered User Troy Harris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Great work Adrian. Thank you Ivan. I use a spindle sander, a hand operated disc sander, and sanding sticks made from stainless steel tubing of varying diameter that I cut to shape. I have also used a router table with a flush trim cutter, but I prefer the spindle sander. The disc sander is made by Alberti Design.
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  29. #22
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making the peghead

    Hi Troy - Many thanks for the info. I've been trying to figure out a way of mounting my Dremel Moto-tool vertically, & using one of the small sanding 'drums' to sand a 90 deg.edge on my pickguard. I used to have a workshop at one time, & rigging something up would have been easy,but doing it in one's bedroom isn't much of an option.

    I just had a good look at your website, & your workmanship is as meticulous as i've ever seen !!. Credit where it's due,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

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