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Sizing the blocks

May 16, 2012
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I accomplished my 2012 goal: to bring out my fiddle-making stuff again. Yay! It’s been a year and a half since I last worked on it… So I figured that just getting the stuff out from the corner it’s been “hiding” in would be a big enough accomplishment. (And then I even started working on it again. :) Which wasn’t technically part of the goal, but I figured that would be the easier part.) So… Today I finally shaped the blocks into the right widths to fit in the mold, and the right heights to come close to the final height of the ribs. The upper block is the shortest, and the lower block is the tallest. (I shaped both of them a year and a half ago.) The upper and lower corner blocks range in between. In the following picture, I’ve arranged them as shortest (near) to tallest (far). If you look very closely, you might be able to see the differences.

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Also pictured here are some of the tools I used in the process. Sizing the blocks was interesting… And not always in a fun way. It was really tricky to convince the blocks to be perfectly square. The disk sander I used was somewhat flexible behind the sandpaper, so I always had to touch up my work with a block plane, lying on its side to get a perfect right angle. But it was always a trick to figure out which side of the block to face downward, because few of the sides were reliably flat, to begin with. The verier calipers were again needed to check the final sizes. I was aiming to get the blocks to be 1mm longer in height and width, so that I will only need to do a little sanding in the end. Whew! I’m glad to be done with this particular task. And I’m glad to be working on building my fiddle again! :) Tip: Close your soda bottle lid before you start sanding. ;)

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