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Thread: An inelegant solution

  1. #1
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    Default An inelegant solution

    I know many others have done similar things in the past, but I was motivated by James Condino's (thank you James) article in the recent GAL magazine to try to put together same sort of test rig to try out tops before committing to gluing them permanently in place on an instrument. What I came up with is FAR less elegant than James's test rig, but it works far better than I expected.


    I glued solid external linings onto an old octave I had used for some previous experimentation. I made a top from eastern redcedar over-sized enough to cover the external linings. Although it was not my original intention, I ended up using PVC clamps to secure the top in place. I first saw this type of clamp here on the Cafe & have been using them for linings for quite a while now; they work great. I included pics of the tool I made for installing the clamps. I was doubtful that htis application of the clamps would be successful enough to be useful, but it was so easy I decided to give it a try. The result far exceeded my expectations.

    I can switch tops in just a few minutes with this rig. I am anxious to find out how the top on a finished instrument compares to the tone on the test rig. I welcome questions & comments.

    Earl Tyler
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  3. #2
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    Canberra, Australia
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    Default Re: An inelegant solution

    On the contrary, elegant and simple. I do like your spreader tool as well.

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  5. #3
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    Jan 2005
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    St Paul, Minn
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    Default Re: An inelegant solution

    Earl (and Graham),

    I spent 30 years (and two days) as a mechanical designer. I battled with many, many engineers (and other designers) that could make things "complex and wonderful". Elegant and simple is the true goal. Always be looking towards simplifying.........it is almost always there if you look hard. And then keep looking.........never be satisfied.

    I hate "good enough".....is another way of saying "lazy". Keeping in mind that I am a lazy SOB but with a bit of experience. And focus.

    And then you wind up with "elegant and simple". Pretty much every time.


    Yes. A rant.

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