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...
One of Charlene’s friends from a college years ago has two kids who’ve recently graduated from high school. The elder dived into travelling around Europe and heading off to college on the other coast and generally diving into life. The younger, Daniel, is an Eagle Scout, but post high-school has been casting around trying to figure out what he wants to do. He’s been feeling stuck in a small town up in the Sierra foothills, and we’ve dragged him down to closer to the co...
3 Strings CBG (cigar box guitar) #6: This cigar box guitar is done but I think the journey just began!
Hi there guys, I had another long weekend (revolution day over here) so I managed to finish my first cgb, whee! So, first I did the last polycrylic coat(satin) and wet sanded with 1200 grit, the plan was to do some polish to the finish… but it turns out that, when wet sanding this finish it looks and feels just like the necks in 3 of my factory made guitars – natural matte look, and smooth to the touch- which I love a lot so no polish needed!, and that means a lot less elbow gr...
Hi again, this weekend was slow because all the fingerboard work, let’s see: Slots for the fret line position inlays ready, made by hand with a hacksaw going really slow to avoid any mistakes. It may be a couple a little bit bad, but noting too obvious :) All the maple inlays ready to be glued and trimmed Inlays closeup Fitting each inlay Inlays done! And now side dots, made with flux core solder, drill each hole, fill it with a small length of solder, melt it with a s...
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