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New "Old" Tools

Deal-
The term is used of fir and pine loosely. White deal is the wood of the Norway Spruce, Red Deal that of the Scotch Pine, Yellow deal that of the yellow pine; but much depends upon local custom, red and yellow deal often being the same wood, Pinus slyvestris.

Hampton and Clifford, Planecraft, 1934


I've been meaning to post some photos of tools that I acquired at meetings of the Rocky Mountain Tool Collectors.




A stick and rebate plane, a small drawknife and a small Stanley plane.






I bought the stick and rebate with the idea of making a copy to use when I make new window sashes, but that may have to wait for several years. Right now I have a router bit that will do the same job, though with much more noise!

The plane was bought with nostalgia, it is a step up from the folded metal modeler's plane that my brother and used when we were kids in the 1970's.

The drawknife was a steal at a price that was much cheaper than anything new from Lee Valley or other modern day vendor. I will "keen it" one of these days!

I wanted to photograph the slick I bought recently, but it is in the other workshop, I'm too lazy to walk out into the wind and cold. My friend, master chair maker, Terry Kelly is making a handle for the slick. I get a handle he gets a nice wooden coffin smoothing plane, a good trade!

The EverClear is for dissolving shellac flakes and use in French polishing! Honestly!

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How to Make a Traditional Froe Mallet

What holds the Holy of the Holies, what did Brahma become? Wood. Why will aspen always tremble? For the nails driven into the cross. What makes the color of wood? The soil it tastes. Cradle, fiddle, coffin, bed: wood is a column of earth made ambitious by light, and made of beauty by the rain.

Kim R. Stafford, Having Everything Right, 1986.

Rive, verb, to split
Shake, noun, a split in a piece wood. (Heart shake, ring shake)
Shake, verb, (Middle English), to split.

I know I should have been in the studio working on my back log of guitars, but the day was so nice and warm with a tall blue canopy, I couldn't stay inside. I decided that I needed to make a proper froe mallet. This style of mallet is traditional to northeastern California, primarily Tehama (where I'm from), Butte, Shasta and Plumas counties where making shingles by hand from sugar pines was an industry. I don't know if it was used in any other region along the Pacific Rim, other parts of the United States or even o…

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Ours is really a simple craft.

James Krenov, The Impractical Cabinetmaker, 1979


So, you want to build a guitar.

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The first thing I recommend doing is to buy or borrow copies of the following books:

Guitar Making: Tradition and Technology, by William Cumpiano and Jonathan Natelson
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The Woodwright's Companion
The Woodwright's Workbench
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The Guitar's Scale Length, Your Hand Size and a Chart

I will cite the case of a marvelous concert player, a Japanese lady who is barely 5 ft. tall and with hands that are real miniatures. She plays a 664 mm 10 string guitar and demanded that I build this guitar with an action 1 mm higher than normal, which she handles with incredible ease. This is serious study!


Jose Ramirez III, Things About the Guitar, 1990




Here is the hand size and scale length that I found on the forum at delcamp.com.

Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 250+ 664mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 230 to 250 656mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 210 to 230 650mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 190 to 210 640mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 170 to 190 630mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of below 170 615mm scale length



Here is my flexible imperial/metric ruler.




Here is my hand properly placed on the flexible imperial/metric ruler.




Today my reach from little finger to thumb is 240mm. I should more or less be playing a…