Saturday, 31 January 2015

Making Luthier Spool clamps!

Not everything in a luthiers toolbox is cheap to buy, making your own spool clamps is something very economical.

Ingredients to make 20 spool clamps:

One IKEA chopping board, (Legitim). white polyethylene     8mm thick.    24x34cm 80p in UK 

Hole saw. 38mm from poundland  £1

M6 coach bolts. 4" or 100mm for lyres, kanteles, dulcimers, mandolins, ukes.   
(Longer bolts are needed for guitars etc)
20 of these
25 or  30mm washers 40 of these 
Wing or butterfly nuts.    X 20

I was able to purchase all the metal hardware from my local wilkinson for £2,99 in their self service pick and mix bags 

Total cost for 20 clamps  £4.79! 

(I can't take credit for this,  I read about using chopping boards and hole saws in a mandolin making book by Graham Macdonald but this was the first time I got round to trying it)

Use the hole saw in a bench drill to cut out the clamps from the chopping board.    
Inset the bolt with a washer and slide on another clamp piece and washer.
Screw on the butterfly nut

Done.  :-)

They work really well despite the top and bott being loose.  The texture of the chopping board also helps.  

Stick Dulcimer body Mold update 2015

This is a very simple modification.  Using a router you can cut a rebate of 3mm deep by 5mm wide into one layer of the mdf Mold to receive the top when gluing up.   The key thing is to attach the linings and flatten the top ribs first of course.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Diatonic Bowed Psaltery fitted with viola strings in the bass

I have now removed the plain steel bass strings and used Pyramid brand Viola Strings in D For a better sound and response, see here:

I have simply removed the plain steel strings on the bass side and replaced them with viola strings. Plans for all my instruments available here: Http://

Instruments and parts here:

 I used Pyramid Viola D strings medium tension for this change.

See my original video here:

 And do check out my new Bowed Psaltery pages here:

 Filmed on iphone 5 not edited at all, uploaded using Youtube app




Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Musical Instrument Making plans all on Disc once again

I have spent the last week making changes to my website shop pages and transferring plans back into DVD_ROMS, CD-ROMS and data discs as my interim solution to the EU VAT Changes that affect small business and big alike, I Didn't know before about the changes, had no time to respond.   Any Instrument plan I was going to release this year will at least initially be provided this way.  Hopefully a new Digital Shop will be available again later in the year.   Now back to working wood at least!