Turning the Rim and Resonator

The bands are bevelled on the ends to make a lap joint that is glued and clamped. The following layers are sized, beveled, and glued over the first layer, gluing the lap joint and between the two layers. 3 layers are used for the rim and 2 layers for the larger diameter resonators. Once dry, the clamping bands are removed. The resonator bands are sanded flat and the grain on the bottom boards are matched and glued in place. While the resonator is drying, the rim can be turned down to final size on the lathe. Different styles are machined to different dimensions. Tone ring, flanges, and inlaid wood bandings and rim caps all determine the cuts to be made. Once turned, the layout for the neck lag holes, tailpiece, coordinating rods and shoes are marked and drilled the appropriate sizes. The rim is now ready to final sand and finish. The resonator now takes its turn in the lathe by working on the inside dimensions first. A contour is cut into the bottom to be matched on the outside later. The flange recess is cut in to the top now. We now flip it around and re-center it in the lathe. The outside is turned to size and outside of the bottom is contoured. A special set of callipers was made to measure the thickness of the bottom while still in the lathe. A little tap on the center of the resonator and she starts to “talk”. As it gets thinner, it loses the dead “Thud” sound and starts to rise in pitch and ring. Ready for binding cuts and concentric rings if ordered. It’s now ready for final sanding and the finish.

The next step...Slotting the Fingerboard.