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Thread: I Have a Wedge of Ted Davis Red Spruce - Help

  1. #1

    Default I Have a Wedge of Ted Davis Red Spruce - Help

    Hi,

    I have built 3 acoustic guitars from scratch, all decent in my eyes. Built 1 F5 mandolin, barely fair, but a great learning experience. I work slow on projects. Back in July of 2005, I bought a red spruce wedge/billet for a mandolin top from Ted Davis. I had called him on the phone to place the order......very nice conversation. I still have that wedge and the hand-written sales reciept dated 7-15-05 signed by Ted. It's a beautiful piece. On the hand-written reciept, it says "billet cut 10-91". So math tells me the "billet" is 27 years old from the day it was split...plus however old the tree was...

    Anyhooo...........I am sort of pondering how to properly process this piece into a workable F5 mandolin top. I have a 20" bandsaw. So, I suppose I am supposed to handplane the wide edge flat, stand it up, and run it through the bandsaw, midways, to get a book-matched set....?? This piece of wood scares me.

    Please tell me not to do it and just save it. Or, get me going in the right order.

    Thanks,

    curtis

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Farmington, MN
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    Default Re: I Have a Wedge of Ted Davis Red Spruce - Help

    Hi Curtis,

    I understand your trepidation to cut into this wood. I assume you have a pie shaped billet? How you described cutting it is exactly how I do it. Get it flat on the bottom of the wedge. Draw a perpendicular 90 degree line up the center, (both ends) Also, scribe a line across the top of the wedge for center that connects your 2 perpendicular lines at the top. You're going to follow that line when you cut. I use a thin blade in the bandsaw and go slow. Verify you are cutting 90 degrees to your drawn line with a short test cut into the end. Proceed slowly and follow your top line right down the center. You are then going to have to flatten the bottom of the pieces with a hand plane or jointer and then joint the glue surface end of the wedge. Make sure you have enough height at the ends for the binding. Usually 3/16"

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Sep 2002
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    DeKalb, IL
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    Default Re: I Have a Wedge of Ted Davis Red Spruce - Help

    That is probably going to be a killer piece of wood based on my experience with wood from Ted. Can you post a picture? With dimensions. If you're really nervous about it, you might consider sending it to someone with resawing experience. If you're going to bandsaw it, you should use a blade made for that, like a WoodMizer.

  4. #4
    Dave Sheets
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Buffalo NY Area
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    Default Re: I Have a Wedge of Ted Davis Red Spruce - Help

    I've done just one or two resawings of violin backs, but to toss my two cents in here:
    -get a resawing blade
    -practice the cut on some junk pine or something
    -paying somebody who is real good at it might be worth the money if the wood is that good, particularly if step 2 above doesn't go well...
    -Dave
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

  5. #5

    Default Re: I Have a Wedge of Ted Davis Red Spruce - Help

    Thanks all. I think I will take a stab at it. I'm waiting on a Hock blade for my jack plane.

  6. #6
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    Bend, OR
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    Default Re: I Have a Wedge of Ted Davis Red Spruce - Help

    I personally would tilt the table so that you can use a rip fence, aligning the blade with the line that you have drawn on the end of the wedge. That way you can hold the wedge tightly against the fence, limiting the number of things that can go wrong.

  7. #7

    Default Re: I Have a Wedge of Ted Davis Red Spruce - Help

    Curtis: Where are you located?

    I've cut a lot of that October 1991 Tree from Ted (and John and John!); that has been the main tree I have used for the past ten years.

    A 20" bandsaw is plenty to resaw it. Practice on some scrap boards of equal dimensions first. Once that goes well, move on to the nice board. DON'T set up the saw and practice on some irrelevant, lame half sized board and then ask why it didn't work on the primary one...

    If you are uncomfortable with the actual cut, you can visit here or ship it and I can cut it for you; takes about five minutes. Most would agree I have a big saw that will handle it fine; I cut a lot of wood for other folks up to double bass size.

    j.
    www.condino.com

    facebook at condino string instruments
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