Archive for the 'Guitar 903 – Walnut OM' Category

Guitar 903 – Box trimming, neck shaping

December 11, 2010

Devin is putting the finishing touches on shaping the neck.  The heel and neck to transition still need working, and the headstock is in need of thinning to accept the newly arrived tuning machines.


The box plates have been installed, and after removing from the go-bar clamp, the excess scarf was removed with a router.



Devin’s pretty happy with the results.  He took some time to scrape the back with a cabinet scraper.  After removing minor burn streaks left by the drum thicknesser, new colors and flame were revealed.


This is one really nice piece of walnut.

We experimented with the Wagner Safe-T-Planer, a drill press inserted planer that some luthier’s have claimed success with.  We were able to take 1/8″ thick stock and plane it down to around .090″, the desired thickness for binding.  We were able to get 4 reasonable binding strips out of the band saw, and are crossing our fingers that this will bend up nicely without cracking.

The issue is with the wood.  We are using purple heart, which I haven’t seen used before, and my suspicion is that it doesn’t bend well.  We may have to rethink the binding after it comes out of the bending machine.

Guitar 903 – Ready for Box Build

December 4, 2010

The back is braced.


Devin is working on his first top bracing.


Guitar 903 – Top bracing, back joining

November 11, 2010

Devin, my apprentice, has been working on Guitar 903.  This guitar started out months ago, and got only as far as bent sides and preliminary neck shaping.  Devin has taken the reins and has been working on bracing the top.


We’ve taken the walnut I procured last year in the Berkshires and thickness sanded and joined.  Next step, back bracing.


Guitar 903 – The Resurrection

October 28, 2010

Guitar 903 started out a an Ovankol OM.  A tragic side bending accident put a damper on the progress of this guitar.  Since putting away a drawer full of the components originally collected for this guitar, I have taken a billet of walnut from the Berkshires and had it resawn.  I now have 4 bookmatched walnut plates, walnut sides in a mold, and my apprentice is taking responsibility for finishing the guitar.


His first task was to install a rosette in a pre-joined spruce top.


Some problems were encountered, but recovery and rehabilitation were successful, and the rosette is ready for installation of the Paua Abalam.  Devin comes every Monday and Friday, and there are only a few items remaining to be procured to have the full inventory to finish the guitar.

Back in the shop

October 20, 2009

Yes, it’s been three weeks since I laid hands on any guitar work.  The primary distraction  has been the building of a new spray booth.  I constructed an enclosed booth in the garage with an exhaust fan, lighting, electricity, and units to hang guitar components for spraying and drying.  The majority of the work is done, it just needs a few wrap-ups from the punch list.  I will complete those wrap-ups just prior to my next need for spraying guitars 905 and 906.

I have a considerable backlog of work.  The following list is to help me prioritize.

1.  Guitar 905:  Back is attached to sides, next step is to finish brace shaping and sanding for the top, then installing the top.

2.  Guitar 906:  Box is assembled, next step is to bend binding, route, then install binding.

3.  Guitar 903:  This guitar still has no identity, yet I’m leaning toward a dreadnought, just because.  After I adjust the drum sander, I can thickness sand the sides then bend.  I need to identify and prepare a top.  The Ovankol back is joined and ready for thickness sanding.

4.  Oliver Classical Guitar Repair:  Thank God my brother in law is understanding.  Starting this repair is hard to think about.

5.  Oliver A  Mandolin Repair:  I’ll begin tackling this repair ASAP.  I know what needs to be done, it just needs to be done.

6.  Tepp A  Mandolin Repair:  Much progress made, much to go.  It will be a good companion to the Oliver A Mandolin repair.

7.  Tepp Ukulele:  Modest repair can be done now that I have my RARE Earth magnets.

8.  New Repair Job:  Expecting a guitar to come into the shop Wednesday to improve intonation, probably through a bridge saddle replacement.

Stand by, the Dude Abides.

Guitar 903 – Neck work

May 8, 2009

I acquired a mahogany board for the neck.  Spent several days building the stack heel and the angled headstock.  Routed out channels for the truss rod and graphite reinforcement and then shaped the headstock and neck taper.



Guitar 903 – Ovangkol OM

April 11, 2009

Thursday evenings I am visiting Rob Girdis in his shop for some master oversight.  He suggested I start a new guitar and work through the process with him for advice, alternate ways of working, etc.  I have a very nice Sitka spruce top, and Ovangkol back and sides so arrived with these and my bench plane to join then thickness.

What we really did on Thursday was prep my bench plane.  Although it is new, it needed a bit of setup to really be and effective tool.  We took it apart, adjusted the frog, reversed the upside down cutting blade, sharpened, and then trued the base.  Aside from having a properly sharpened blade, truing the base made all the difference in making this tool work for me.

We jointed the top with the plane, then joined.  Rob’s jig is quite different than mine, and he has a railroad rail for weighing down the joined plates.

Off to home to work in my own shop and try the plane on the back, then join in my jig.


Lookee.  That’s what a true and sharp plane can produce.  Curly fries!


Note there is no backstrip.  Rob suggested joining then routing out a shallow channel for the backstrip, gluing in and trimming back down to the back surface.  He suggests this is a stronger joint.

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