Yesterdays work

Besides grinding on some knife blades, here’s some more progress pics of my classical.

Yesterday I “finished the finish”. I used an orbital sander with 400 grit to level the lacquer, then 1000 grit to remove those scratches. I usually go higher, but decided to quit there and see how it looks. It’s not too bad. If this were for a customer, I’d put more time into it, but this is for me, so I’m stopping there.

Then it gets buffed to a mirror shine.

Then the bridge is glued on. The bridge I showed earlier was desert ironwood, but I decided to make one out of rosewood for a couple reasons. One, DI is too heavy for a classical bridge, and two, I made the saddle slot too close to the edge, and I’m afraid it might split there.

I used to use deep c-clamps to glue the bridge one, but now I use a vacuum clamp, which is soooo nice:

The way it works is, you apply glue to the bridge, put it in place (a masking tape border is used to make sure it doesn’t shift around) put the clamp on for 10 minutes, clean up the glue squeeze-out, then put the clamp back on for 20 minutes.


I won’t be able to finish it until Friday, when the tuners arrive.  I’ll post more pics then, and maybe even a sound clip.


Just sold another guitar!

It’s one I had advertised on Craigslist several weeks ago.   It’s the 3rd guitar I built, and the second classical.

I used some locally grown curly maple for the back and sides, and cedar from Menards for the top.

Some pics:










Miscellaneous pics

I just mailed the knife I posted about awhile back, so I thought I’d post some pics of the sheath, and the hamon:





Now here’s a shot of a damascus billet I’ve been working on some this week.  It’s going to be a Turkish Twist pattern.  The way it’s made is you take a billet of about 60 layers, draw it out into a 1/2″ square bar, then cut it into 7 pieces, and twist 4 pieces clockwise, and 3 counter clockwise.  Then forge them square again, and weld them together, with CW touching CCW.  I’ll post pics of the finished knife, if I ever finish it.  I have so many blades that I’ve started and then quit….

Turkish twist is one of the most beautiful patterns, in my opinion, but it’s very time consuming and wasteful of material.



And here’s a pic of the neck for the guitar I’ve been working on, after spraying with lacquer:


And last but not least, a photo of some water vapor.  😉




Yet more guitar pics

Some shots of the bridge.  This one was too heavy (38 grams, where it should be 25) so I removed some more material after these pictures were taken.


Here I’m shaping the underside of the bridge so it fits the dome of the guitar top:





Now some shots after it’s been sprayed with lacquer:






Now it’s time to work on the neck.  I usually use my belt grinder to shape it, but this time I used mostly hand tools to carve it.  The grinder is faster, but the hand tools are much quieter.  😉


First the finger board has to be glued on:






That’s all for now.


More guitar pics

Here I’ve got all the binding on, and as the pictures progress, you can see things start to clean up.  I used a pneumatic orbital sander for the clean up.








Now it’s time to fit the neck.  Neck angle is part of the process that I’ve not gotten right most of the time.  I think it’s pretty good on this one.


On a classical the neck tilts the opposite way that it does on a steel string.  Because of this, the bottom of the fingerboard extension has to be ramped:


Here it’s “dry” assembled. The neck won’t be attached until the finish is finished.  And actually, I’m using a bolt on neck, and won’t be gluing the FB extension, so I’ll be able to easily remove it if need be.



More to come tomorrow.  Thanks for following along, and please, anyone is welcome to comment or ask questions if I’m not making something clear.


New anvil!

I’ve been wanting a nice anvil for several years now, but they are very hard to find, at least around here.  Every now and then I check Craigslist, and recently, saw a Mankel anvil only 15 minutes from here, so I jumped on it.

It was advertised as 125#, but when I picked it up, I knew it was less than that.  Felt like about 100# when I got it off the truck.  By the time I got to the gate, it felt like 300#.  When I got it in the house, I was sure it was a 500 pounder.  😉

I weighed it, and it’s actually 111, which is about what the one I have now weighs.  But this one is a better brand, with better heat treating, so it should perform much better.

My old one:

The new one.  It’s in almost new condition.


Coming up, more guitar pics.


Edited to add some more pics of the anvil.  I modified my stand.  It used to be just wood, but I added a couple big chunks of steel underneath to add mass.






New/old knife

This one was/is a custom order.   The customer wanted one like this one:


which was the very first knife I sold to the general public about 5 years ago.  Here’s the original sale thread for anyone who cares to see it:

This was in the days before I had a digital camera.  I took the photos with an ancient 35mm camera and had walgreens scan them and put them on a disc….

The above knife is what got peoples attention and started attracting orders.

So anyway, I didn’t have the original knife to take tracings of, so I did my best working from the photos.  I did change the handle shape a little.





There are some other minor changes from the original, hopefully for the better.


Real creative title, eh?

Anyway, I know I said I wasn’t going to post more pictures of the guitar I’m working on, but that’s about all I have to post about right now.  I did get a lot done on a knife today, but I won’t have pictures until it’s done, hopefully tomorrow.

So, guitar pics.

Here’s the sound board with all the braces glued on and carved.   It’s all ready to attach to the sides:

Here it is actually being attached to said sides:

Here’s the back all ready to go:

That was all a few days ago.  Today I routed the binding and purfling channels, and started installing the binding and purfling:

I’m using curly maple for the binding.  The last osage guitar I built, I used ebony, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this will look.

In other news, that blue handled knife I posted awhile back finally sold today, after a few price drops.  Yay!   I hate to drop prices, but I’m glad it’s gone…

Also, here’s another sound clip.   Same song as the last one, but it’s played on a 12 string guitar:

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring, 12 string

Thanks for reading, and listening.

Oh, and anyone, please feel free to leave comments or ask questions.  🙂

Some misc stuff

Well, the big news this week is that it rained!  Real hard, for about 20 minutes, but we’re grateful.

Photographic proof:



Also, got my go-bar deck, which I have mentioned in previous posts, working.



The way it works, in case it’s not obvious, is those rods (which are fiberglass) are bent so they fit inside the deck, and the bottom end is placed on top of a brace which has had glue applied to it’s underside.  This whole contraption takes the place of the cam clamps that I used to use, and which have some downsides.  The rods push straight down, whereas clamps sometimes want to shift the piece you’re gluing, which can be a pain.  Also, I can glue down more braces at once this way.

Anyway, I like it a lot more.  🙂



My dad and I had planned to go biking on the River Greenway, which is a bike/walking/jogging path which follows the three rivers here in Fort Wayne.  I had two bikes, one a mountain bike and one a road bike.  The mountain bike is a lot of work to use on pavement, and the brakes didn’t work on the road bike, so I mixed them together.  I put the wheels/tires from the road bike on the other one.  Now I can lock the brakes on pavement, and can go a lot farther.  I think we biked between 15 and 20 miles today…   I now have 15 speeds where it was 21 before, but it’s still good.



Also made 7 loaves of bread this week, but no pictures.



Rosette finished

Here’s the rest of the in-process pics.  Like I mentioned before, I don’t want to spend a lot of time posting.  So I think what I might do is each guitar I make, I’ll post about one aspect of building.  This time, it’s rosettes.  Next time, I think I’ll feature bracing.

So, without further ado:

First, the main ring is sanded flat:


Now there are two rings (called purflings) that go around the inside and outside of the main one.  These are white and black laminated veneers:


As you can see, it’s straight.  So, I have to bend it.  I used my bending iron, which is heated with a propane torch:



I didn’t get pictures of routing out the channels, or bending, but here’s the purflings in their channels:



Now the purflings are flooded with Crazy glue:



After the glue is hard, the extra is carefully trimmed off with a chisel:



Then it’s all sanded flat:



Now it’s ready for bracing!  The figure of this will really pop when finish is applied.

Although I won’t be posting any more pictures of building this guitar, I will post finished pics when it’s done.  Probably in 6 or 8 weeks.  🙂