Building a Telehawk

PG 8


Now that we've fitted the top we can start the full layout and glueup of the body. First thing we need to do is ensure our outline still lines up with the body. Trace the body outline and cavities onto the back plates and set them aside. Then trace the chamber outline onto the top and then draw the desired "f-hole" shape. I'm using a modified "cat's-eye" as shown.

Now drill holes inside the line and cut out the remainder. The best tool is probably a scroll saw, I used a hand held jig saw for this one.

Now simply glue the top to the body. Use enough glue. If they move around a lot you can let the glue set up just a bit before putting the pieces together.

I use clamping bourds to get even pressure across the top. These are simply longish boards (these are about 1.5x1.5"s) with a slight "V" to them; when clamped at the ends the v maintains pressure in the center. If they were not "v'd" the boards would flex and the center would lift. First clamp the top dowmn into place with little pressure and get everything lined up (enough pressure it doesn't slip, but you can still move it around a bit). Next I pull the sides in with bar clamps to get the center seam tight but not using much pressure.I then tighten the top clamping boards fully and add additional clamps as needed. I want to see even squeeze-out along the perimiter. I probably used too much glue this time so I have a little more mess to clean up.

This is the result after 12 hrs dry time. If you do end up with small gaps you can sand with fine paper letting it collect in the gaps, and apply a coat of sanding sealer. You don't have to worry about a fine finish as you're going to sand it all off later. (the sealer will likely not take stain the same as the rest, so be aware...)

Now we proceed to the back. Remember we traced the cavities onto the back plates earlier. If we didn't we would have trouble with this next part. I draw a line about 3/8" larger than the control cavity, this will be the back cover and 3/8" gives plenty of room for instlling the screws to secure it later. Next, using the finest drill bit I drill a hole in the sharpest corner of the outline and then cut out the cover with the scrollsaw and very fine blade. My coping and my jewlers saws won't reach all the way around, and my jig saw blades are too big. If you don't have a scroll saw you can cutout the back along the cavity line and use a plastic cover.

This picture shows the cover cutout, it's that fine...

Now just glue the back on like we did the top. After everything sets rough trim the caps close to the body sides in order to minimize sanding. (I used a bandsaw.

Next thing to do is sand the edges smooth. I used a spindle sander. Of course it could be done with rasps and sanding blocks or various power sanders. Either way you still have to use blocks and paper to get into the corners near the neck. Here's the results.

Notice how tight the glue seams are.



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