Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas Sale! 15% Off All Classical Guitars in Stock!

Christmas is the time to treat yourself to the guitar you have always wanted!


Please check out my Guitars Currently Available page to see the specs of available guitars and to read what internationally known guitarists are saying about my guitars.

If there is one that you are interested in, please call or email me for more details. It is best if you call me, that way we can discuss the individual guitar, payment and shipping options.

I can ship guitars for approval upon receiving a cashier's or bank check for the total price of the instrument. You will have 48 hours after receiving shipment to decide if you wish to keep the instrument. If the guitar is returned within this 48 hour period, I will refund payment. If the instrument is not returned within 48 hours, it will be considered sold. All costs for shipping and insurance are the responsibility of the customer.

I look forward to hearing from you!



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Framing the New Workshop, Day Five

Wall framing includes assembling of vertical and horizontal members that form outside and inside walls of a structure.

Willis H. Wagner, Modern Carpentry, 1992



Yesterday was Day Five of framing the new workshop.


I replaced the header over the door with a longer header, the door opening was too close to the east wall, I was afraid that you would bump into the wall when you entered the building. The opening was shifted to the west.

Then it was a matter of nailing up sheets of OSB shearing to keep the building from falling down.

I need to buy some 3/8" thick exterior grade plywood to cover the OSB and finish the exterior, but I want to prime and paint it before I put it up. The temperature didn't get above 24 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday, and there was a good breeze which made it feel even colder! Not the warmest day for swinging a hammer or for painting!




It is nice to walk through the door opening instead of squeezing through wall studs!



This shop will have a bank of five upper windows and three big windows, these will be approximately 30"x40", giving me plenty of light to work by. I will make the sashes by hand, I have a feeling I am going to get to know my Stanley No.45 plane very well this winter! I don't want to set up a router and router table to rout the rails, stiles and muntins, too much noise and dust!

I was hoping to fly the rafters today, but there are a few errands to run. The walls need to be "string lined" and straighten, the rafter pattern needs to be temporarily put in place to see if it fits properly so I can cut the other rafters.

Once the "lid" is on, I can pull wire and insulate. There is also the matter of finding a nice propane heater and having a gas line run to the building.

I can't wait to finish this shop!



Sunday, November 27, 2016

My eBay Listing: One Lot of Vintage and Used Woodworking Tools

One Lot of vintage and used tools. Please click here to see the listing.
Marples Chisels with rubber grip handle, 1/4", 1/2", 3/4", 1" wide blades, purchased in 2004.
One Wagner Safe-T-Planer kit w/ original box, planer, instructions and replacement blades. Used once, purchased in 2007.
One hand made carpenter mallet, red oak handle, maple head, made in 2002.
Three unmarked coping saws, two circa 1960's, one from 2005.
One hand made chair devil, Claro walnut body with ebony and scraper blade. Made in 2003.
One Starrett micrometer, circa 1960's with owner's name on it.
One 1/2"wide Veritas Tenon cutter with brass depth setting gauge, purchased c.1999.
One AMT brand spoon gouge used from carving violin tops and backs, with hang hole, c.1999.
One French made pencil dividers, original screw is missing to hold pencil
One Fuller brand Phillips tip screwdriver, 1960's vintage
One Stanley brand slotted screw driver for hand brace, 5/16" wide, c.1950's
One slotted screw driver for hand brace, GP bar over Eye surrounded by a heart mark, with no. 352
One 5/16" fluted reamer for hand brace, Diamond "C" mark
One Victoria brand hoof knife, purchased 1986.

All tools in good to good++ condition. Wagner Safe-T-Planer is near mint.

Please ask questions and I can supply more photos.

My eBay Listing: Vintage Adjustable Sash Plane, S.E. Farrand, Newark, NJ

Vintage adjustable sash plane, S.E. Farrand, maker, Newark, New Jersey. Please click here to see this listing.

An American made adjustable stick and rabbet plane, with, I presume, a beech body. Fair condition. Fully boxed, 1/2 inch wide ogee profile, metal screw adjustment. Plane measures 9 1/2 inches long by 2 inches wide. One original beech wedge, the other appears to be mahogany, both have been modified a bit. I bought this from a local tool dealer who claimed that planes made by S.E. Farrand are desired collectibles, I bought it with the intent of making a copy of it. I have never used it. Please ask questions and I can send additional photos if wanted.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Framing the New Workshop, Day One

When you work primarily with hand tools you don't need a lot of space or infrastructure.

Jim Tolpin, The New Traditional Woodworker, 2010


I am building an new workshop/studio on the exact spot and using the same footprint as the old garage that I dismantled early this month.

Working in the upstairs of our house has been a great joy, but I need to move on to another space and allow my wife and I to enjoy our house as a house again.

The original garage was built in 1964, (I was born in 1962!) by some very capable carpenters, as I discovered when I took the building down, but it had no real foundation and no look outs on the eave elevations which was causing the roof to sag.



After searching on the Internet, I found some wonderful plans for a shed building which I have adapted to build my own space. Those of you who have been following my blog know that I was a framing/finishing carpenter for many years, it is nice to frame again, but at my own speed without nail guns and air compressors filling the air with 21st century noise.

The floor joists are 2x6's on top of ground contact rated 8x8's.



The original footprint was 14'x 20', more than ample size for me, my hand tools and guitars



One thing I learned from an old time carpenter is to layout the roof rafters on the flooring deck, do all the work on the floor and not in the air. This afternoon I realized that I had failed to account for the shear thickness on the walls, I will have to add 7/16th's of an inch to each end of the the other rafters before I fly them.


I am working by myself, this wall was framed in two sections, one was 12' long and the other 8'. Much easier to lift a short wall than a long wall. This wall is 7'6" tall, the south elevation will have a 10'4" tall wall with lots of windows. I was hoping to frame that wall tomorrow, 11/22/16, but the forecast is for snow and I ran out of 8d nails today, which are used to attach the OSB shear to the framing. The tall wall I will have to build in three different sections, again, I am working by myself and I don't own any wall jacks.

Stay tuned, more pictures of the framing process!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Conifer Species

The trees of the West are a benign presence, mighty and healing...

Donald Culross Peattie, A Natural History of Western Trees, 1953

The postage stamp that I live on has only seven species of conifer trees and one species barely grows big enough to be called a tree. The Continental Divide is about seven miles as the crow flies from our meadow, we don't get the howling winds that you find when you live closer to the Divide, but the winds do limit the height of trees and since this is the east side of the Rocky Mountains we live in a rain shadow. Not much moisture makes it to the ground.


Twice a day, I walk our dogs across our neighbor's property to Forest Service land and we squeeze through a narrow gulch to reach the upper slopes. In this gulch there is enough moisture to allow white fir and Engelmann spruce to grow. The tall tree in this photo is an Engelmann spruce, one of five that live in this gulch.


Ponderosa pine live on the very fringes of the gulch, the scientific name for the variety that inhabit this part of the Rockies is pinus ponderosa, scopulorum, which means "among the rocks". I understand that some of the old timers in this region called these pines "rock pines".


Ravens have a nest on this rock and magpies, too, usually raise their young in this part of the gulch.


The snag in this photo is a dead Douglas fir, an older gent said to me "35 years ago the spruce bud worm came in and killed most of the Douglas fir around here. That was after the pine beetle came through."



Big winds, with gusts up to 120mph, often visit us in December and January and these pines are victims from such a storm last January. We often get big wind storms in November, but so far this month it's just been "breezy"!

What are the conifer species in my backyard?

Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, limber pine, white fir, lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce and Rocky Mountain juniper.

Trees are life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The New Tool Shed

All sheds take longer to build than you may think.

David and Jean Stiles, Sheds, 2006




The new tool shed is finished - siding, roofing, windows and doors. It is 10'x12' in size, just barely big enough to hold what it needs to hold.

With the exception of the sub flooring, roof rafters and metal roofing, all material used to build this shed was recycled from the old workshop that I dismantled.



It's a shed because I didn't want to spend the time making a "standard" roof and I had a limited budget for materials. No lookouts on the "gable" sides, no soffit, no fascia boards, just a simple building to store tools and some lumber.



The sashes are made out of redwood, and yes, I know I didn't clean my fingerprints from the glass! It's an outbuilding, not Independence Hall, it doesn't have to be perfect. The wind and the snow this winter will clean the glass!



I made three shelves from 2x10 construction grade white fir boards and a workbench from 2x12 construction grade Douglas fir boards. Today or tomorrow I will start making some basic drawers for the workbench so I can store all the little tools, pliers, air hose fittings, etc., that will live in the shed.

This is also a good time for me to sort through many of the tools I acquired when I was a framing and finish carpenter, there are some tools in the tool boxes that I haven't used since 2005 when I walked away from the construction trade.


The lumber for the new workshop arrived yesterday. I am very excited to get started on framing "the old workshop", it will be the same size as the original, 14'x20'. It will be a shed with a 2/12 roof, fully insulated with a propane heater to keep the winter chill off of me and the tone woods.

I would start framing today, but the weather forecast is calling for 3-6 inches of snow tomorrow. I don't have to frame in bad weather anymore! Friday will find me in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, talking to Colin McAllister's classical guitar students about classical guitar construction.

The wind is quite noisy today, mostly just a nice Continental Divide zephyr. Those of us who love living in the Colorado Rocky Mountains hardly ever refer to the wind as wind unless it is gusting to over sixty miles an hour.

Now, turn off your computer and get into your workshop!