Monday, July 27, 2015

Vintage Chisels

[The] offset chisel allows paring nearly flat on the work without the fingers getting in the way, and gives better visibility when making vertical cuts.

Aldren A. Watson, Hand Tools, Their Ways and Workings, 1982



Someone asked me the other day if I liked the chisels that are sold by Luthiers Mercantile Inc, click here for the website, and I replied that I do, I own three of them now and I may buy more. Maybe.


A 10mm LMI chisel with a new hickory handle




These are still my favorite chisels, vintage ones that I have picked up at flea markets over the years.

The chisels (my one inch wide Samson chisel is not in this picture) are Keen Cutter, Union Hardware, Stiletto, Stanley, and um, I can't remember the other brand. That doesn't matter, these chisels work for me.

Nothing fancy, they hold an edge and if they get dull after a while I take a break and sharpen them.

A violin maker once tried to get me to buy his set of Berg chisels, he extolled their virtues for 10 minutes and when he took a breath, I asked him why he was selling them.

"I don't need them anymore, I have other ones that suit me better," was his answer.

I didn't buy them, a set of straight chisels doesn't excite me.



One thing that I enjoy about these chisels is that they all have an offset, which makes sense to me because when you hold a chisel the line from wrist to radius and ulna is not straight.

A person should buy the tools they like and can afford to help make woodworking fun, enjoyable and challenging!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Mile Stone and Sapele Guitar Bindings

The purfling consists of simple rosewood fillets...

Luca Waldner, describing a guitar made by Antonio Torres




On July 4, 2015, my blog received its 250,001 hit!

Thank you to all of you who visit or have visited my blog!

I am very grateful for that!

Also on the 4th, other than being the 17th anniversary of me marrying my beautiful wife, I had some time to start glueing the black/purflings to the sapele binding that will go the latest guitar.


This is a western red cedar/Indian rosewood guitar that I am constructing for the 2016 Guitar Foundation of America Convention that will be held in Denver, Colorado. I have posted about this guitar elsewhere in my blog.

I bought a sapele back and side set from LMII about fifteen years ago to make a guitar, but never got around to making it because I never really like any wood that looks like mahogany. I don't get a kick from mahogany.

I had wanted to make a soprano ukulele from this sapele set, I got the top and back cut out, but lost interest. Then this guitar came along and screamed that it needed a sapele insert in its back and I obliged.

Now, most of that sapele set is gone and I can move on to other more gorgeous and exciting wood.

Remodeling My Current Workshop/Studio

It is a small shop, cluttered with pieces of wood, guitars of many types and in various stages of disrepair and repair, and photographs of Sabicas, the Romeros and other friends decorate the wall.

Gerald J. Bakus, A Comprehensive Reference to the Classical and Flamenco Guitar, 1977



Today, I started pulling down the old wall paneling in my studio.

I plan on replacing it with tongue and groove paneling made from aspen.

The original paneling was made to look like pine, but the owners previous to use had painted it white which made the paneling even more ugly.



Here is a before photo. My life is one big clutter.




Here is what the wall looked like at 5pm this afternoon.

The room behind the exposed studs is our bathroom, which is the next project to be done in the house.

My wife and I want to house to be ours and to reflect the tastes of the original owners, Colonel Reginald Barnsley and his wife, Jeanette. The rest of the house is paneled with pine and the faux pine paneling sheets.

And I am going to put amber shellac on the aspen to make it match the pine.

Once I finish the paneling I am having a plumber install plumbing for a washing machine and have an electrician wire in a 220v outlet for a dryer. I am tired of driving to the laundromat in Estes Park to do our laundry.

I plan on converting the current woodshed/storage shed into a studio this fall and winter. It will give me a whooping 280 square feet of room to do my work.

I'm really excited about that.

Ebony Classical Guitar Bindings, New Neck for a Lacote Style Guitar

  There is still one guitar in the shop for repair, with the other repairs out the door I have some extra time to catch up on other work, li...