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Tagged With: kids in the shop

Lap Steel in a Day

Summer fun list We have an annual tradition in our house of making a “summer fun list.” Towards the end of the school year, we all sit down and take turns coming up with activities we’d like to do during summer vacation. The list usually includes stuff like “Picnic” or “Christmas in July” or “Sundae … Continue reading »

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Chain Reaction

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Atomic Age Surfcaster

As this is the “Atomic Age” Surfcaster, it seems fitting to inlay an atom on the 12th fret. I’m naming the fretboard inlay design “Chain Reaction.” The basic idea is this is the chain reaction leading to the “nuclear burst” finish applied to the body and headstock. I wanted to do something colorful and beyond … Continue reading »

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Assembling the Box, Part I – Soundboard and Sides

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

The head and tail blocks The head block was assembled as a 5-piece glue-up with three ‘core’ pieces stacked vertically and a top and bottom glued horizontally cross-grain. This is done to promote stability and strength in both dimensions while providing a side-grain surface for both the sides and the top and bottom. The top of the … 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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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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String it up!

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain Dulcimer

This past weekend as planned my helper and I spent a couple more hours finishing up our new “Back to Basics” dulcimer. Annalise was excited about finishing this up – as was I – so shortly after breakfast we retreated to the shop to get back to work. The Tuners and Tail The tuners were … 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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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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