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Tagged With: kids in the shop

Chain Reaction

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




This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Atomic Age SurfcasterAs 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 … 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




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




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




This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain DulcimerMy 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 … Continue reading »






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Starting the Kimball Dulcimer

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




This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain DulcimerAfter 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 … Continue reading »






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String it up!

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




This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain DulcimerThis 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 … Continue reading »






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Back to Basics

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




This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain DulcimerIn 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 … 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 entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain DulcimerThis 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 … 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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Beat Boxes: Building Cajones with the Kids, part 1




One of my (sadly now former) co-workers is an amazing drummer. As in professional-studio-musician-in-another-life amazing. I would spend quite a bit of time chatting with him about music and his experience as a working musician. Shortly before his departure he mentioned to me at the Chicago Drum Show was coming to town in my neck of the … Continue reading »






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