Thursday, October 29, 2015

A New Tool Rack

A tool rack gives every tool a place to call home without enclosing it inside a box.

Sandor Nagyszalanczy, Setting Up Shop, 2000




A couple of years ago I needed a tool rack in my shop, it was hard to make the time to build what I really wanted, so I cast around on the internet and found this design (click here) which I adapted. It went together quickly and I used it for several years even though I didn't like the design, the tools kept tipping over in the open rails.



You can see the aforementioned tool rack just above the right hand side of the work bench. As I said, it worked.




On a recent Saturday I made the time to disassemble the old rack and built what I really wanted from the remains!

I laid out all the tools I use on a daily basis onto the old rail board, figured two inch spacing between each tool and then went at the board with a brace and bit.

Every tool has it place and I don't have to worry about one falling through an open rail.

It's nice to have a little bit of order in my new studio, the floor is strewn with tools waiting for a cabinet with drawers.

One of these days I will build such a creature.







Saturday, October 24, 2015

Lufkin No. 386 Four Fold One Foot Ruler

Here is where it all begins. It is a fine thing to be able to plane square and saw straight but these skills are lost on work that is measured and laid out incorrectly.

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


I try not to collect hand tools anymore, my tool chests are full to over flowing with wonderful antique tools that I don't necessarily need anymore, but I do have a soft spot for four fold one foot rulers.



I picked up this nice Lufkin ruler in Leadville, Colorado, on my birthday, my wife and I were on our way to Crested Butte and Kebler Pass for a short vacation.

This ruler was at the Western Hardware Antique Mall, in a case along with a gorgeous Stanley No. 1 plane ($1175) and a few other nice Stanley and Winchester tools. I picked it up so I can use it to measure the thumb to pinky length of potential customers to establish what string length will be best for them.




This unmarked one foot four fold ruler belonged to my maternal grandfather, Rufus Wilson (1880-1952), my mother told me that he always had it in the small pocket of the bib of his bib overalls. I am very grateful that she passed it along to me.




Three rulers.

A one foot two fold Stanley on the left and the four folds on the right.

How fun!

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Pepperwood Antonio Torres Style Guitar, SE 117: Re-sawing Back and Sides

...like the classic Laurel or Bay..., it[Umbellularia californica] has a spicily aromatic and evergreen leaf. Hence the name of Green Baytree, Spicetree and Pepperwood.


Donald Culross Peattie, A Natural History of Western Trees, 1950

Just north of Manton, California, on the back way into Shingletown, there is a series of springs that flow out of the volcanic mudflow ridge which are surrounded by pepperwood trees. This grove was a classic grove of the west slope of the Sierra Nevada, no under growth, gray to tan trunks whose bark gave out the same peppery smell of the leaves. It was a good place to stop when I would help my uncle gather cattle because of the luxurious shade. Here we would loosen the cinches on our saddles, lift saddle and saddle blanket off the back of the horse to air out his back some. After we and the horses had a drink of water, we'd cinch up, swing into the saddle and I'd grab some leaves off the tree and crush them under my nose as we rode off. The smell invoked pictures I had seen of Tuscany, it reminded me of great classical music, great paintings, and that I would dance all night with a gorgeous brunette cow girl who could ride a horse better than me.

I love California laurel.


Re-sawing California Laurel with a Disston rip saw

About 10 years ago, a guy I worked with gave me a board of California laurel, it was kind of a junky specimen, flat sawn and every thing, he thought he was going to dupe me, but I made over the board like it was kingwood. His face fell over my apparent joy.




Here's this wood opened up. Not bad, other than some bird pecks and flame it is a very plain piece of wood.






A little bit of Naptha brings out some of the color.




Seventeen years ago, I salvaged a nice 2x6 stud from a hotel remodel that I was working on thinking that it was a piece of quarter sawn Douglas fir only to find out that it red fir (abies magnifica) once I opened up the board.

Since it wasn't wide enough to make a full size guitar, I four pieced a top together and then I decided to add an all wood rosette to it. I was still fairly new to guitar making then and I screwed up the rosette. So I shelved the top.

That top has always been in the back of my mind because I often wonder what a guitar made from it would sound like. Today, I decided that the top needs to be paired with California laurel, laurel is a fairly hard wood, according to the United States Forest Service data sheets, laurel is a might bit hard than black walnut.

Laurel makes a great sounding guitar. Look else where in this blog to see a posting on a laurel guitar that I made.




This photo gives you an idea how small this guitar is compared to a standard size classical guitar outline.


Just the tiniest bit of bear claw in this top.

Once made I will offer this guitar as one of my Conservatory guitars. It will have a Port Orford cedar neck, flamenco tuning pegs, royal ebony finger board and a rosewood bridge. The price will be $1800-$2000.

A Basic Tool Kit for Making a Classical Guitar - Another Look

I was looking at a blog post of mine from eight years ago, Basic Hand Tool Kit for Making a Classical Guitar, Revised and saw that I have m...