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ergonomic arm contour tutorial, pics

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jordan_frerichs, Mar 21, 2009.


  1. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    First thing to do is to know your goal, to have something to model it after. This site had amazing examples, so i used it http://www.gwbasses.com/gallery/index.shtml
    After that, mark out the rough size in pencil, don't forget depth. As you can see, this variety of arm contour can get pretty deep into the body, so i like to start small, then check it, and re-plan for more depth, until it is to your liking. I had to be careful on planing my location, since the bass was a hollow-body. Hand tools used where a small wood gouge, flush cut saw, chisels, and sandpaper.
     
  2. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    Wait... photobucket isn't letting me upload pics. Will try to fix.
    Anyway, after you have your lines drawn out (forgot to mention, it helps to divide it into sections to help keep it balanced), take the flush cut saw, and cut until it reaches both ends of the pencil layout. Do this in several areas. It helps you find what areas that should go deeper, also serves as reliefs to the chisels and gouges, so they don't have as much risk of digging deep and chipping out.
    After that, i take the wood gouge, and start taking out the wood. After the gouge has left a series of raised areas, i use the chisel to level the surface again, and keep switching off like that. Once you are at the pencil lines, find and eliminate high and low spots, and sand it up. Check its feel to help you find where to go next, and just repeat the steps.
    Once it was in the neighborhood of my liking, i used my new Dremel, with sanding and grinding attachments, and added a curve into it, and cleaned it up. Results look and feel great. Will try to get pics up asap...
     
  3. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Hey Jordan, thanks for putting this up, hopefully the pics work out. You can always use tinypic.com if they don't. Just a piece of constructive criticism for you: not using capital letters at the beginning of each sentence and cramming all the text into a single paragraph makes it difficult to read. I know its cumbersome, but if you split the text into groups and stick to rules of grammar it will be much more readable.

    cheers!
     
  4. +1 for that. It seems to be a trademark of Jordan, but it kinda discourages reading those posts...
     
  5. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    LOL! Didn't realize i had a trademark:smug:. Anyways, if you look now, it is fixed. Thanx for the heads up. (But ya can't make me stop spelling "thanks" like "thanx":ninja::bag:. HAHA. Have a great weekend everyone!)
     
  6. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
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    Ok, here is the first rough cut. Guide is penciled in, and a flush cut saw cut into it only until it met the pencil lines, then the wood was gouged and chiseled away.
     
  7. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
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    A little more work with gouge and chisel....



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    Now it is close to the line, i mark all the lumps and work them out. My tool of choice is a regular sanding block with the sandpaper wrapped around the top, instead of the flat surface.
     
  8. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    One the spots are sanded out, i pencil in the next layer of the contour to cut away, and do the depth cuts with the flush cut saw again.
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    After some repetition, it looked like this. (An important tip when sanding it by hand: go with the curve of the contour, not the curve of the side of the body. Always.)
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  9. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    It is starting to look there, But the inside to it it a bit concave, so i decided to use my new Dremel with a sander attachment, and add the final touches
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