Hello. It has been a while since I last had a project build on this site, but I think my next build will make up for the silence. I am currently planning and ordering hardware for an electric banjo. A few months back I started playing the banjo and have really been enjoying it. I have also wanted to make a musical instrument for some time now. After jamming with some folks on my banjo playing along to pop, rock and folk music I thought an electric banjo might make a nice fit. So I began...
See how the fretboard is slotted using the miterbox built in episode 29.
Follow along as I build a tenor guitar. In this video see how the neck and heel profiles are shaped.
I have not made an instrument for a while, and some would say I have not built one this time either… My son has done a video demontrating the tuning, setup and playing of a strumstick. Squaring up the strumstick blanks On another WW Forum a while ago there was a post about building a Dulcitar or sometimes called strumstick. I said it would be cool to make a few of these for some fun. Not too much work, but a chance to hone the luthier skills for a change. I read the plans ...
Daniel came back for another visit and said “yeah, it sounds really off at the 12th fret”. With visions of “oh, crap, we have to mill off that fret and move it” we started playing with things, and discovered that the bridge was in the wrong place. The bridge had individually adjustable string positions, so we moved them, and got a sound that was okay, but the bridge was also really too high. So I chucked it up in the milling machine, milled it down a bit, then t...
Daniel wanted to get back to his friends pretty badly, so last night we got the electronics installed (with some pain), and broke a string stringing it up, and there’s a lot of tweaking left to be done, but it was playable: Need to lower the bridge, file the edges of the frets a little better, verify that we’ve got the electronics properly installed because the volume knob was doing less than we expected, and spend some time tuning, tweaking the bridge head position and ...
Daniel’s missing his friends and wants to head home, so while I’m trying to get him to slow down and take his time on the finishing, I’m aware that he wants to ditch us and head for the hills. The finish is still a bit soft, and if it were up to me we’d spend another week adding a layer, sanding it off, adding a layer, and so forth, but we’re not there. So last night we installed the frets, the nuts for the bridge hardware, and the tuning machines. Ho...
...takes 90% of the time. The remaining 10% of the project takes an additional 90% of the time. So it feels like we’re closing in, but finishing and hardware installation are still going to take a little while. Sunday morning Daniel was off partying with friends in San Francisco. I went out to the shop and did a bunch of shaping, and then Charlene and I went over to Tall Toad Music and, with the help of the very friendly staff there, dug through the basement ‘til we found ...
On the router table, cleaned up the face of the peghead and finished the rest of the truss rod routing, and drilled the hole through the neck for the electronics (totally stoked, I drilled the diagonal by hand and managed to hit with my ¼” pilot hole dead on, then worked up to ½” total). Then with a deep breath and a few carefully placed Dominos, glued the sucker up. Daniel is way stoked.
This project has a huge mix of frustration and reward because I’m trying to be a facilitator and enable Daniel to build the guitar. It’s way too ambitious a project to simply be a teacher for, to walk him through the steps of every tool set-up and every element of design (especially when I’m learning much of this myself), and yet it’s not my guitar. So I try to encourage him to set up and do a design or a cut by himself, and then take a deep breath and accept the outco...
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