Just getting started carving the top. Showing off my main gouges for this task...a 35 mm #7 for rapid wood removal, and a 40mm #5 for smoothing.
Been working alot, but not posting alot. The ribs are complete except for some trimming of the blocks and linings, and the back is complete and braced. I've already trimmed the excess wood from outside the outline of the back, but did not photograph it again. I prefer to install purfling after the body is assembled, so that will come later.
C bouts are in place. Since this is my first double bass build, this was something of a challenge. The books i am using suggesr bending thicknesses from 2.3 mm to 3 mm. I went with around 2.9 mm on the first attenpt, which resulted in some bad cracking at rhe corners. Since i had an extra piece of wood, i tried again, with a thickness of 2.5 mm tapering to around 2.1 mm at the corners. I ended up with a minor repairable split at one corner. For the second bout, i thinned to 2mm at the corners up to 2.3 mm toward the center. This resulred in a good bend. One observation is that the hardness and stiffness of the quartersawn sycamore i am using varied considerably across the width of the ribs, wirh all splitting occurring at the harder, stiffer, lighter colored edge.
initial thicknessing of ribs done with a homemade drum sander. Then worked to final thickness with this setup. Alternating lengthwise passes with toothed scraper plane and cross grain passes with fine set low angle block plane. Time consuming, but not terribly unpleasant on the relatively soft sycamore.
Homemade bending iron. 4 inch aluminum pipe, and an electric grill lighter. I have a fader switch on it to control heat level. one observation is that the 4 inch pipe is fine for most work, and even for the c bouts of this bass, but for future basses with violin like corners instead of the gamba corners of this one, a narrower diameter pipe will be needed.
corner blocks trimmed and in place on mold. Moving on to head and tailblocks. Progress has been slow due to other projects.