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Showing posts from May, 2012

Other Uses for A Spokeshave Blade

I grew up in a Montana town I thought had no consequence and I wanted out. I could winter okay-it was all I had ever felt, the gray northwestern skies-but I had had enough of family and boxing groceries. I went on my own outside circle, never appreciating the nature of circles and how they bring you back.

Kurt Markus, After Barbed Wire: Cowboys of Our Time, 1985



After the varnish stripper sat its required hour on guitar #3 I needed something to scrape the gunk off, this spoke shave blade was handy in the top of the tool box. It worked well

I brought it into my studio and found out that if I sharpen the bevel on a 1200 grit stone, the slight burr that is left on the back side of the blade turns it into a wonderful scraper.

Hock Tools should pay me for this advertisement!


Here's a YouTube of the great cellist Jacqueline du Pre.



Suggestions for Finishing Your First Guitar or What Finish Not to Use the First Time

The whole thing began when I made my first instrument on the kitchen table.

Jose Romanillos, Luthier


Guitarmaking by Cumpiano and Natelson and Making Master Guitars by Courtnall are must haves for a first time guitar maker. The other titles are good reading!


Most how-to-make-your-own-guitar books recommend that you use lacquer to finish your guitar. A good choice, lacquer is a durable and wonderful finish, but even as John Bogdanovich points out in his book, Classical Guitar Making, applying lacquer is not easy, not to mention you should invest in a good quality HVLP spray gun outfitter and purchase the proper Personal Protection Equipment to protect you from the lacquer's toxicity to spray lacquer. (Okay, woodworking geeks, you can jump in at any time to tell me how wonderful spraying lacquer is!) .

You can buy aerosol cans of lacquer from Stew-Mac and other luthier supply houses to finish your guitar. I hear good things about going that route, it just reminds me too much of when…

Repairing a Fretboard, Spruce/Walnut Classical Guitar

The is guitar is a chattel with a soul often in part owning its owner and tantalizing him with his lack of perfection.

Carl Sandburg





Snow overnight and into this morning, a wet snow which this part of the country needs, the forest is so parched and dry I expect it to combust on its own. It's warming up right now, snow is falling from the limbs, highs back in the 60's by mid week.



Remember this shot from a post earlier this year? I installed frets that were wider and taller than I wanted and I discovered I did a so-so job on leveling the fret board.





I spent the morning filling in all the chips and divots with Hot Stuff brand cyanoacrylate glue and ebony wood dust. Stew-Mac came to the rescue with tips from their Trade Secrets on fixing chips on a fingerboard and some teflon to create a dam to keep the glue from going into the fret slot. I sure made a mess!




Here is the repair after paring away the glue pile with a chisel and sanding the fret board.




Frets are installed, I just ne…