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Friday, January 4, 2013

How to Stipple Wood

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Albert Einstein, scientist, mathematician



This morning I spent several hours grinding and filing on a spike (large nail) with the idea that in the end, I would have several wood stippling tools, also known as background punches.

The peg heads on the guitars made by Hernandez y Aguado have carving channels on them that are stippled, and since I am making a very close copy of such of a guitar I need to figure out how to do the stippling.





Since I no longer have my leather carving tools and those stipple tools (available at brownells.com) cost about $27, excluding tax,




I thought that I would make my own. They work, but not the way I wanted them to, and I found out that it is really hard to stipple bubinga! That is what I was practicing on.


Off to the computer and the world of the Internet and after a little research I found this article. Reid Cofffield's article was very helpful, I went out to the shop and quickly ground some 16 penny box nails I have. I need to find some stouter 16 penny commons or bigger and try them. You can see the how the stippling looks on the bubinga which is what the Indian rosewood is resting on.




In this photo you can see the points I ground and the results of stippling on a piece of Indian rosewood. This solution was far simpler than the other punches. Now, I need to practice some more and try other shaped nails for the work.


Here's a YouTube of Anders Miolin on his 13 string guitar made by Ermanno Chiavi





4 comments:

Theodore Scott said...

For anyone looking for other options, I use the Henry Tayler punches at: http://thebestthings.com/newtools/henry_taylor_punches.htm

But I plan to make my own soon too.

Chuck said...

I have made a number of punches for different applications by grinding hardened masonry nails to the shape desired. Just don't get them hot enough to anneal the point!

Rob said...

Hi Wilson,
I like this technique a lot - it adds a really interesting texture to the wood. Thanks for the link to that article. Great to discover something else to do with the humble hammer and nail.
Cheers, Rob

Wilson Burnham said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! I first thought about using the masonry nails but didn't have any in my tool bags! There is one other source for the punches that I will post as soon as I can find it!