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alanealane

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365 posts in 2610 days

Location: Michigan USA
Website:

I'm Alex, a 26 year old woodworking fanatic who's affectionately called by my family the 'Termite.' I used to work at a private liberal-arts institution in my hometown as an Architectural Drafter/Designer, then worked about 18 months as an automotive Gage designer/builder. I often have to build within a tolerance of 0.01mm to 0.05mm. Now I'm a designer for a company that provides material transfer products for the LPG and NH3 industry.

Another fanaticism I hold dear is that of Jazz Music. I was raised listening to the likes of David Sanborn, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, The Rippingtons, The Crusaders, Ronnie and Hubert Laws, et.al. I have found that my 'favourite flavour to savour' is the smooth, stripped down, upbeat mix of Funk, Soul, Jazz, and Bossa Nova collectively called Acid Jazz. And no one knows how to do it better than those beloved mates in the UK and most of Europe. Groups like Jamiroquai, Incognito, Mr. Gone, Natural High, Paprika Soul, Reel People, and my ALL TIME favs---->Down To The Bone, Shilts, Joey Negro's Sunburst band, and Opolopo really get my brain pumpin' out the endorphines! Über-talented artists like Stu Wade of DTTB, Paul "Shilts" Weimar, and Peter Major AKA "Opolopo" really inspire me to create good music and share its beauty and endless variety with anyone who can appreciate the good groove.

I have 'discovered' a few new artists in the past couple of years that are absolutely wonderful. You've got to check them out:
Bradley Leighton (Flutes)
Althea Rene (Flute)
Lin Rountree (Trumpet)
Dominic Amato (Sax and EWI)
Mike Phillips (Sax)
Cindy Bradley (Trumpet/Flugelhorn)
Four80East (a groove like no other...)
Oli Silk (keys)
...and I know I'm forgetting someone, but that should keep ya busy for a while...
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND CHECKING THESE GROUPS OUT!!!!!!!!

Sorry...I can really rant about my Jazz! But all of this leads to my infatuation with woodworking. I have this odd musical talent to be able to listen to a piece of music, and then go play it on an instrument (this was discovered when my parents found me @ a friend's house playing--not banging on--but PLAYING the piano------at the ripe old age of 3. I'm told that I also used to give Bobby McFerran a run for his money...LOL.)

Later in life, after teaching myself to play an old acoustic guitar, I got this notion (that is so peculiar to teenage boys) to want an electric guitar--a Bass to be exact--Imagine that! So I saved up my money to buy one , but I bought a regular electric guitar instead of a bass. I was glued to those guitar catalogs the way I should have been glued to my schoolwork...and I got this crazy idea...'solidbody electric guitars look easy enough to BUILD, I think I'll make a bass guitar for myself, since they're so expensive.' At that time I had NO woodworking tools or know-how, so my parents suggested that I try something simple first--like birdhouses.

And so I bought my first power tool, an orbital-action jigsaw (still my one-and-only). I got some barn wood from an old broken down barn and a couple of plans from a friend's gardening magazines. I used that jigsaw like mad!! I ripped, crosscut, mitered, scrolled, you-name-it...and I CAME UP WITH SOME BIRDHOUSES THAT I DON'T EVEN THINK THE BIRDS WOULD WANT TO LIVE IN. Anyway, my love for woodworking was born, and I had no idea how far it would go.

My family has a tendency toward being engineering-minded. Both grandfathers were talented. Mom’s dad was an ocean vessel diesel mechanic, small-engine repairman, motorcycle mechanic, and a machinist/welder and why-pay-to-have-it-repaired-when-you-can-fix-it-yourself sort of person. Dad’s dad was a millwright and maintenance man at a foundry for over 40 years. Some uncles on both sides are talented at woodworking, tooling leather, furs, carpentry, masonry, and much more (It’s too bad the two extraordinarily talented uncles are also alcoholic drug addicts…I rarely interact with them…much could have been learned…I picked up most of my skills on my own, with the help of books/TV shows and tons of practice/frustration and of course LumberJocks!).
I used to be scared of woodworking machinery and even passed up the chance to take woodshop in high school. Now I’m quite comfortable using power tools (although I’m still quite scared of spinning blades…which is a motivation to keep all 10 digits on my hands). Once I got a taste of building things with my own hands, I was hooked. I even took some courses in CNC programming and machining after getting my CAD Design degree in college.

I spent three full summers running a lawn care business and building my woodshop. I read the local newspaper ads religiously and jumped on any decent deal. My first major purchase (I'm typing this with a smile when I think of how hard your jaw will hit the floor when I tell you what I paid for my tools) was a Rockwell table saw and an old industrial grinder for $75. I got the floor model Delta 16" VS scroll saw at Lowe's for $55. I'm perpetually borrowing a big heavy 19 amp router from a buddy; it's from Harbor Freight for around $80. Then another one of my friends gave me his dad's old Craftsman cast iron table saw for $0, which I re-fitted with a custom machined 5/8" arbor instead of the 1/2" arbor that was OEM. I bought a used DeWalt 733 planer and a dust collector for $300 total. Another $80 or so, and my clamp rack is COMPLETELY FULL...pipes, bars, springs, and c-style to boot. A year later, I have a decent arsenal of Gross-Stabil and Bessey Parallel clamps---approx $300. A Delta 10" Compound miter saw was new in the box from Lowe's for $120. And more recently, I got a little 4" cast iron jointer from the 1930's for $35 (which I de-rusted and replaced bearings--works like a champ), and a Radial arm saw with brand new blade guard and work table for $120 (the saw was bought used and the guard and table top was FREE from www.radialarmsawrecall.com).

While I was building my woodshop, I was intensely reading a book that is titled, oddly enough, "Make Your Own Electric Guitar", and I was shopping around online for discount guitar parts. CAN'T YOU TELL BY NOW THAT I'M C-H-E-A-P...ahhhem...I mean THRIFTY? My guitar supplies, including hardware and electronics cost less than $120. I got my wood locally--A killer piece of ribbon stripe mahogany from the Menard's home center for about $12, a nice board of Ebony from my hardwood supplier for $50, and 60 board feet of Michigan grown White Ash for less than $1.00 a board foot!

All-in-all I acquired nearly everything I needed to get into woodworking and lutherie for less than $2000!!!!! I've now got a large collection of the finest grade highly-figured domestic and exotic veneer. I'm building a vacuum clamping system for the veneer, which is still not complete as of Nov, 2010.

The bass guitar took me about 6 months to actually build...my schedule was (and still is) pretty tight, so weekends were about all the time I had to be a Termite. Look for the project posting of my first bass guitar (I have pictures taken in the sunlight which are gorgeous. But for now, digital pictures taken indoors will do.) I hope someday to find a better market for my custom instruments, and my music (did I mention I'm a studio musician too?).

Anyway.......
I guess I can sum myself up as a one crazy jazz loving, wood lusting, finger busting, and Bible trusting woodworker, musician, and luthier of a kid who's really is just a silly old fogey at heart. ;-D

—-—-—-UPDATE: Things I forgot to mention.
I’m going to further brag on my good deals on tools and equipment: I bought a 32” swing radial drill press and a little Delta 9” bandsaw from a friend for $175. This WONDERFUL friend also GAVE me about 75 board feet of 50-year-old seasoned cherry lumber—-in fact, it’s SO seasoned, it’s practically weightless compared to new cherry. It works like a dream, and SMELLS FANTASTIC. At least I believed him that it was cherry until I started buying quilted/burl redwood online. Now I'm convinced that the lumber is redwood instead of cherry. The color, texture, weight, and smell is identical to the wood I bought online.

I acquired a 20” 1000+pound industrial three-phase bandsaw from a high school woodshop for…......GUESS.............................FREE!!!!!!!!! I spent a couple hundred on a phase converter, new thermal overloads, and new bearings, but I finally got sick of the three-phase Baldor and got a 3HP single-phase Leeson motor for a steal on eBay. For around $300 of repair, and pain-in-the-rear, I got a bandsaw that would cost today roughly $3000!!! It is a resaw BEAST!
The next planned upgrade for it will be urethane tires (bought but not installed), a Laguna Driftmaster fence, and a Laguna Resaw King carbide tipped blade.

Well, I think that’s everything…....for now. :-)

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

Latest Activity | view all »

started topic BIG BOX full of Maple Burl-Buckeye-Claro Walnut-Curly Koa-Redwood-Amboyna & MORE 11-28-2013 05:18 PM
replied on OPINIONS PLEASE: WOOD STABILIZING PRODUCTS AND TECHNIQUES 11-19-2013 10:42 PM
added project Arts & Crafts Coffee Table from Redwood and Curly Cherry 11-18-2013 09:48 PM
started topic OPINIONS PLEASE: WOOD STABILIZING PRODUCTS AND TECHNIQUES 11-18-2013 05:04 AM
replied on Huge Redwood burl for sale in CA on eBay (no relation to me) 11-17-2013 06:27 AM
started topic Huge Redwood burl for sale in CA on eBay (no relation to me) 11-14-2013 05:36 AM
commented on Acoustic Guitar #5: Some initial assembly. Head and tail blocks 10-01-2012 10:03 PM
commented on Selling Your Art Work? 08-27-2012 05:17 PM
replied on Please help ID this wood 07-18-2012 02:50 AM
replied on Tool sale 04-23-2012 11:59 PM
commented on Stevie Wonder Plays the Z-Stik 01-24-2012 07:08 PM
replied on How cruel people can be............ 01-11-2012 04:53 PM
commented on At last - cutting boards from Yorkshire! 01-09-2012 08:27 PM
replied on Question? 10-27-2011 12:00 AM
replied on Question? 10-26-2011 04:06 PM

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Grab widget

12 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34901 posts in 3120 days


#1 posted 10-01-2007 09:43 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks. Glad to have you a board.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Max's profile

Max

55978 posts in 2993 days


#2 posted 10-01-2007 11:44 PM

Glad to see that you have made Lumberjocks a part of your Woodworking experience… Welcome…

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12300 posts in 2817 days


#3 posted 10-02-2007 03:15 AM

Welcome to LumberJocks. Enjoy the community.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View PanamaJack's profile

PanamaJack

4473 posts in 2797 days


#4 posted 10-02-2007 04:53 AM

We would like to welcome you to the one and only LumberJocks. If you should need any woodworking question answered, don’t hesitate to ask. Somebody’s gonna have a good answer for you.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View Greg Mitchell's profile

Greg Mitchell

1381 posts in 2789 days


#5 posted 10-03-2007 01:00 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- Greg Mitchell--Lowell, AR--gdamitchell@sbcglobal.net

View CapnRon's profile

CapnRon

27 posts in 2749 days


#6 posted 10-06-2007 07:28 PM

Welcome to LJ, Michiganders need more representives. Glad to see ya here, where in MI?

-- ~Capn Ron, workin wood is a way of life...

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3030 days


#7 posted 10-08-2007 04:37 PM

Welcome to our woodworking community. Please, show us your work.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View GaryCN's profile

GaryCN

278 posts in 2654 days


#8 posted 09-29-2008 06:53 AM

Welcome to LJ from another Michigan Member,
I’m in Livonia, a old guy over 50 but will,
check out those Jazz artists at iTunes or Amazon.
Amazon has only a few mp3 songs by Down to the Bone
Brooklyn Heights, I just downloaded it. & 10 Years of Groove Album
any other suggestions.

Gary

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

View GaryCN's profile

GaryCN

278 posts in 2654 days


#9 posted 09-29-2008 08:20 AM

I just listened to most of the 10 Years of Groove
Electra Glide is up there, new jazz but good.
I would have probably never come in contact with
this band since WDET abandoned it’s music programming
and I’m forced to listen to commercial radio.
Thank god Apple & Steve Jobs created the iPod.
no more commercials.
Bill Gates & Jerry Seinfeld go away.
I’ll pay a few bucks to be commercial free.

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

View Bureaucrat's profile

Bureaucrat

18329 posts in 2372 days


#10 posted 09-26-2009 05:00 AM

Congratulations on your upcoming 2 year anniversary being a Lumber Jock. Thanks for your posts and participation.

-- Gary

View Bureaucrat's profile

Bureaucrat

18329 posts in 2372 days


#11 posted 09-25-2010 01:56 AM

Well, another year has rolled by. It must have been a really fun year because it seems like yesterday when I congratulated you on being a LJ for 2 years. Congratulations on your 3rd anniversary at Lumber Jocks. Thanks for helping make LJ a great place to visit and happy anniversary!

-- Gary

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2542 posts in 2462 days


#12 posted 11-08-2010 10:28 PM

Man you have all these great tool gloats…esp the bandsaw :-) But no shop photo yet. Love to see it in action!~

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

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