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It’s a Duesy, Two

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Duesy II

When starting the build for the Double Dragon I had already decided to build a second. One for the raffle and one for me. At the time I wasn’t certain which would be which. I was down to one Maple burl cap on hand, so one of them would have to feature a “plain” top. I … Continue reading »

Categories: Guitar Building, Luthiery, Uncategorized, Woodworking | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raffle Update – $14,000 for Make-a-Wish!

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Double Dragon

A New Home As planned, the “Double Dragon” was raffled off at intermission on the House of Blues Chicago mainstage. Make-a-Wish Illinois representative Wande Olude helped draw the winning tickets. This year we sold $7,010 in tickets, which was matched by our coprorate parent Alliance Data Systems, bringing the this year’s donation to $14,020. Special … Continue reading »

Categories: Guitar Building, Luthiery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Retirement Gift for a Friend, Co-worker, and Bandmate

I have the best job ever. In my job at Conversant not only do I get to work with some of the brightest folks in ad tech and software engineering, I also get to help organize the company band and emcee a gig at the Chicago House of Blues at the end of each year. … Continue reading »

Categories: Guitar Building, Luthiery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

My New (Not-So-)Secret Identity

Building guitars is becoming a bit of an obsession. Funnily enough I know two other guys in my software engineering group who are also luthiers – perhaps it’s contagious? In order to support this habit without going broke I’ve decided I need to begin offering my guitars for sale. And for that, I’d need an … Continue reading »

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Starting the Kimball Dulcimer

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain Dulcimer

After finishing up the “Back to Basics” dulcimer, I took a few shop days to prepare for the next build. This time was spent building a couple keys jigs/fixtures that I was lacking. Something I knew I wanted for the next build (and future guitar builds) was some spool clamps. If you’re not familiar, spool clamps are essentially … Continue reading »

Categories: Guitar Building, Jigs & Tools, Uncategorized, Woodworking | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Canjos and Dulcimers and Bears – Oh My!

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain Dulcimer

This most recent Spring Break week, we decided to take our “new” popup camper out for our maiden voyage on a week-long trip to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The original motivator, besides finding a relatively warm place to camp in March, was to ride one of the alpine coasters running in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area. The … Continue reading »

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Beat Boxes: Building Cajones with the Kids, part 2

Painting and Finishing This weekend we painted and finished our cajones. Sean’s was constructed from furniture-grade mahogany veneer plywood, so this one would be finished with a natural finish. The girls wanted flowers, butterflies, and ladybugs. Nathan had his heart set on a monster. Since I’m entirely unable to draw any of these things well, … Continue reading »

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Fuzzy Walls

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Rock 'n Roll Basement

I spent a good deal of time contemplating the wall covering below the chair rail. I didn’t see traditional wainscoting here…it called for something different. I turned again to my collection of inspirational images I’d assembled from the web. The recurring theme here was rectangles. My favorite image of the lot was a wall panel built of … Continue reading »

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Setting the stage

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Rock 'n Roll Basement

The Stage The main focal point for the music area is the stage. With only 7′ of height to work with under the drop ceiling, it would need to be a fairly small step up. 2×3’s would fit the bill here, topped with 5/8″ OSB. I added additional support under the area where the drum set … Continue reading »

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The Headboard and Footboard Part I, Making Xs

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series X-Men Bunk Bed

Laying out the Ends Typically I find a detailed SketchUp drawing to be sufficient for my builds. For this project, however, I felt the need to do a full-size drawing to lay the components out on. After drafting an end on a 4×8 sheet of MDF,  I started ripping down another MDF sheet to 6″ … Continue reading »

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