Making "Ceithre"

"Ceithre"

 

I'm delighted to be making a "Ceithre" - a Venezuelan Cuatro - for my good friend Leo Roberts with Lawson's Cypress top and Mahogany back, sides and neck.

 

Last updated 17/11/2017.

 

The back sides and neck came from an old chest that belonged to Leo's father-in-law Gordon.

The top comes from a tree that grew in my front garden.

Here are the billets from the tree.

Here are the plans.

And here are most of the parts.

I'm going to fit an Etimoe "porthole" soundport in the bass side just before the waist. First job is to cut a 35mm diameter hole in the side using a Forstner bit.

Here's the result.

A Mahogany blank fills this hole whilst the side is bent. An identical sized Etimoe blank was cut at the same time to form this part of the "porthole".

The two parts of the Etimoe "porthole" are glued together using hot hide glue.

The inner porthole is then routed out.

The sides are then bent one at a time in the Fox-style bender using a heating blanket. The wood is given a very light spritzing of water, wrapped in brown paper and then put in the "sandwich" of slat, wood in paper, slat, blanket, slat.

Here are the sides trimmed and in the solera.

The "porthole" is then glued into the bass side hole using hot hide glue.

The scarfe joint is cut on the Mahogany neck blank and glued up using hot hide glue in this jig.

The pieces for the stacked heel are then glued up using hot hide glue.

The Lawson's Cypress top plates are initially thicknessed, jointed and glued using hot hide glue and the tent method.

The Mahogany back plates are initially thicknessed, jointed and glued using hot hide glue and the tent method.

This stacked heel is shaped and glued to the neck with hot hide glue to form the Spanish heel.

The top is then thicknessed and the rosette channel is routed out using the circle cutting jig.

Here's the result - a smiley face!

The rosette is carefully fitted and glued in using pva glue - it consists of inner and outer rings of bwb purfling around a central rope purfling ring.

The Etimoe golpeador is glued on to the top using hot hide glue in the go-bar deck, positioned in place with two 6mm drill bits.

The Lawson's Cypress soundhole re-enforcement is glued on in the go-bar deck using hot hide glue.

The soundhole is then routed out using the circle cutter jig.

Here's the result.

The channels for the two carbon fibre truss rods are routed in the neck.

These are then glued in using fish glue.

The Etimoe headstock veneer is glued onto the top of the headstock using fish glue.

The Etimoe veneer is bent to the shape of the volute and glued on the rear of the headstock using fish glue.

The tuner holes are drilled.

The rebated holes for the tuner inserts are then reamed.

The neck is cut close to the final width and the side slots are then cut. The sides will be held in place by two wedges.

The top of the "headblock" is rebated to the depth of the top and slots cut to take the outer two fan braces.

The Lawson's Cypress A Frame braces are glued on the top in the go-bar deck using hot hide glue.

Here's how the top fits to the neck.

Initial carving of the neck is now done as it will be easier than with the neck attached. Fine tuning will come when the fingerboard is attached.

The sides and neck are joined in the Solera by glueing in the wedges with fish glue.

Then the Etimoe ebony end graft is glued to the lime tailblock using hot hide glue.

The sides are then glued to the tail-block with bwb purfling strips in between the sides and end graft using fish glue.

The transverse braces are profiled to a 13' radius, notched to fit over the A Frame braces and then glued on the top using hot hide glue.

Then the inner two fan braces are glued on.

The top two Lawson’s Cypress ladder braces are profiled to a 13’ radius and then glued on the back using hot hide glue.

Then the bottom ladder brace is glued on.