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Showing posts from December, 2007

California Laurel Guitar

It's a cold and windy today here in Northern California, there's snow on the ground and it would be impossible for me to warm up my shop so I am using the kitchen table as a work bench. This is the top for the experimental Lacote guitar, it is redwood that is from a salvaged board off a redwood water tank that we once had here on the property. The top is made out of four pieces, the board was only 5 inches wide, the edges of the lower bout are where the narrowest pieces are. This redwood is fairly hard and has a great tap tone. After I glued on the bracing the tap tone became even louder! Remember that this is a small guitar, smaller than the Martin "parlor" guitars. This is the style of bracing that many luthiers used in the 18-19th centuries, it's called  "ladder bracing" and many players today are under the delusion that this is an inferior style of bracing compared to the "X" bracing of Martin and the fan bracing of Spanish classical guita…

Bubinga Tonewood

I bought a board of bubinga, aka African Rosewood, at a local hardwood supplier this summer and I finally got around to resawing some of it. I started out using a rip saw with 5 1/2 TPI (teeth per inch) but I quickly changed over to a saw with 6 TPI. That saw cut better, but resawing bubinga by hand is pretty much like sawing through a firebrick. I am sure that most of you have discovered that most kiln dried wood one buys at a lumber yard tends to want to do weird things when you open it up. It usually cups badly on me and affects the accuracy of subsequent cuts, especially since I rip by hand. I have gotten around some of this problem by ripping out the pieces all at once. A sharp saw helps, too.



I mentioned that resawing bubinga by hand is like sawing through a firebrick, it took me a total of four hours to rip out two backs from this piece of wood. It is cheaper for me to do this than to send it off to a custom resaw buisness which charges $60 an hour, plus shipping. If I pay mysel…

My Workbench

Just a word about my workbench.

I built this bench in 1995 when I started to get serious about my woodworking. I was using the bench my grandfather made, 2 slabs of Douglas fir, with a leg vise, attached to the posts of his workshop with large drawers beneath the top. I can't tell you how many toys I made on this bench when I was a kid, using the tools that he had owned and were just laying around the shop abandoned. In 1995 I saw an episode of The Woodwright's Shop where Roy Underhill built a bench with folding legs. His bench was based on one from The Handyman's Book, by Paul Hasluck, which used a regular metal vise. Roy dispensed with the metal vise, instead he added an apron front (borrowed from Nicholson's English bench) with a holding crochet (borrowed from Roubo's French bench) so that one could use holdfasts to clamp wood. Roy used a bench dog with metal teeth for the top of the bench, I don't-I have a bench stop made from a board attached to the end of…