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Woodworking

Raffle Ready

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Double Dragon

Once the finish was sufficiently cured, I spent an afternoon sanding and buffing it out. This part I generally dread as I’m always anxious about sanding through the finish. No matter how slowly I go, when you’re wet sanding, the finish usually looks fine until after you remove the sandpaper and dry it off. Only … Continue reading »

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Dragon’s breath

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Double Dragon

Once the guitar was out of the clamps with the neck permanently secured, it was time for finishing it up. The neck joint was flushed with scrapers and sandpaper, and the entire guitar was given a good sanding down to 220. I’d already applied some finish to the inside of the sound hole and so … Continue reading »

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Carving the Dragon’s Neck

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Double Dragon

The CNC cut a 3-degree angled neck pocket on its final pass. The bottom of the pocket came out great. Unfortunately I screwed up the top edge, which came out rough. Thankfully this wasn’t a huge issue – I pulled out my neck pocket routing jig and manually cleaned up the top. CNCs are great … Continue reading »

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Starting Work on the “Double Dragon”

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Double Dragon

Getting Started After a summer-long hiatus, it was time to get back into the shop for the next guitar project. I needed to build the next charity guitar for our 4th annual guitar raffle to benefit Make-a-Wish. The first of these was a copy of a Gibson SG Junior in 2014. Last year’s guitar was … Continue reading »

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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 »

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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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