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Woodworking

Hands-on with the Shaper Origin!

When I was first searching for a CNC to add to my shop, I ran across an odd tool called the Shaper Origin. The tool was in essence a self-correcting router that works like a hand-held CNC machine. I spent some time watching the videos on their site and reading through the blog. It was … Continue reading »

Categories: Jigs & Tools, Woodworking | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

My First CNC Guitar: a Sapele Telecaster

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Sapele Tele

With the CNC up and running it was time to try it out on my first guitar. I’d already decided the next would be a Telecaster thinline out of Sapele with a Maple cap. A “Sapele Tele.” I found a PDF online of a classic Telecaster body. This was opened in CorelDraw! where I was … Continue reading »

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First Impressions: Stepcraft-2/600 CNC

It started innocently enough. The woman who was doing engraving work on my guitars was suddenly out of business. When I started searching the web for alternatives, I was presented with dozens of results for engraving machines and very few for services. This got me thinking that I could maybe just do it myself — buy … Continue reading »

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Make-A-Wish Charvel Surfcaster: Starting the Build

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Make-A-Wish Surfcaster

In 2014 I had the idea that I could build an electric guitar (my first) and raffle it off for charity through my company’s holiday party band, the LCA. This resulted in the LCA SG Jr. guitar which raised over $2,100 for Make-A-Wish Illinois. Last year this was repeated with a Lospennato-inspired “Radio star” clone, … Continue reading »

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Picking Up Where I Left Off…

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Building an Acoustic Guitar

In early 2012, I started my first acoustic guitar build and for several reasons wound up putting it aside. Over 4 years, a couple electric guitars and mountain dulcimers under my belt, I finally felt ready to return to this project. Back to Prep Work… The first two tasks were to build a bending form … Continue reading »

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Finishing “Coco Bear” the Appalacian Dulcimer

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

My biggest concern in finishing the dulcimer was sealing the Cocobolo. I’d read that the oils in the wood along with it’s natural density made finishing difficult. Again turning to online forums, people typically recommended sealing the oils in first under a couple coats of shellac before applying your finish of choice. Though I own … Continue reading »

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Glue Up and Carving the Scroll

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain Dulcimer

Joining the back and sides went smoothly. The concern I had here, and in general with gluing Cocobolo, is the oily nature of the wood. I’d read numerous articles and blog posts discussing difficulties with getting the glue to adhere. I followed the advice of several commenters in first sanding/planning the edges to be joined … 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 »

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Back to Basics

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain Dulcimer

In the first post of this series, the kids and I built “canjos” following our visit to the Great Smoky Mountains. Besides being a fun “shop time” activity with the kids, this was a prelude to – and preparation for – building our own mountain dulcimer. I admit I was tempted to purchase a finished dulcimer from … Continue reading »

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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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