Sunday, February 27, 2011


Jan. 31, 2009

Current mood:nostalgic

So while I have been out on the road I have not had a chance to do any woodworking.  Now that I am searching for a local job I am getting back into it.  While on the road I a couple of projects unfinished. 

I have been working on the electric cello project for some time.  Due to being on the road, I have not done any work on it in half a year.  I have a good portion of the work done, I just need to buy a few specialty tools to complete it.  Namely, I need a 20 inch drill bit that will cut 3/4 of an inch wide, so I can install my endpin.  I have the hole started, but it's insanely hard to drill through that much maple.  I'd rather go through concrete because at least concrete is easier to cut through. 

I'm still not sure about how to get the dovetail joint cut so that the neck will fit into the body.  It's one of those things you have to get right, or else the whole project shot to hell.  I believe I am going to have to make a jig, and then tie the body down so it stands straight up.  That way I can get my router into position to make the dovetail joint. 

I've done pretty well on the neck.  I need to get the part where the fretboard attaches a little more even.  The fretboard doesn't quite fit nice and flat like it's supposed to.  I also need the fretboard a little straighter on top.  I just need to run parts of it across the planner, and then round it off with my files.  It's pretty close already, but I'm afraid I have a few dead spots in it.  Since the fretboard is made of black and white ebony it is insanely hard to cut, sand, or work with period.  I changed the tuners I was planning on using on the headstock.  I liked the original ones for their shape, but they weren't practical in how I would install them.  So the new ones may not look as nice, but at least they are much easier to install, and maintain. 

I have also been planning on making a violin for a former teacher of mine.  Due to time contraints and lack of special tools, I will have to buy a kit or a "violin in the white."  That means a violin that is basically finished, you just have to apply a finish and set it up with whatever parts you would like to add on.

I have a book that is about archtop guitars.  It was about a special project that involved many builders, both large and small.  There was only two rules concerning the project, 1. the guitar must be an archtop guitar, 2. the guitar must be blue.  Other than that anything and everything was fair game.  The project came about because of a famous blue archtop.  Anyway, after reading that book, I wanted my violin to be a "blue violin." 

Truthfully, this is kind of an apology project.  I treated her very badly, and feel ashamed about it.  She was my orchestra teacher in 7th and 8th grade.  I realize that kids at that age are very immature, but I did a lot of things that I shouldn't have.  So maybe she will enjoy this violin.  She actually has two children now, so maybe one of them will get some use out of it. 

My latest project was something simple.  I made some oval shaped art frames.  I made these for a certain lady friend of mine (who shall remain nameless, which she would want.)  Instead of her painting on canvas, she can paint on wood.  And good wood this is.  They are made of maple, oval shaped, about nine inches long, 5 inches wide and one inch thick.  Like some old time portraits are made in an oval shape, so are these, and she had the idea to paint something like a portrait on them.  Of course, whatever she feels like painting is fine by me.  I draw stick figures, so anything she does is amazing to me.

I also have another project for her in the works.  However, it shall remain secret, at least until Valentine's Day when I shall give them to her.  Of course, I might be spoiling the surprise, in that, she kind of reads this blog.  But, even though she probably knows what I'm doing, she will still be appreciative of what I am doing.  I will write about it after I give it to her.  The post will probably be called "Woodworking, Part 2."

I also have a project in the works for some friends of mine.  However, like the last project I mentioned, I can't write about it since some of them read this blog.  However, once I have finished my projects I will post pictures of them under the pictures section. 

I have another project I plan on starting sometime or another.  It's yet another guitar project.  Like Jack White of the White Stripes, I like some of the more inexpensive old time guitars.  I have a Sears Silvertone electric that is shaped like a Les Paul.  It is a bit longer, and has a flat top, but it is a single cutaway.  It is in extremely bad shape.  The electronics don't work, and it most likely couldn't stand having strings on it.  It's made of cheap materials, and that's kind of the beauty of it.  It's actually hollow inside of the body to save on costs.  The body is not even made of wood, it's made of masonite or something like it.

Anyway, the idea behind this guitar is good and sound.  The designers did well.  I figure I could make a copy of this guitar, but with actual wood.  Not only that but good wood to boot.  I could also put great electronics and pickups on it.  The design is actually pretty simple so it wouldn't be near as difficult to build as my neck-through hollowbody.  Although, I have never made a guitar neck from scratch.  That would be where most of the work would be.  The body is a very simple design, and wouldn't take near the time to build that the neck would.

On a funny note, a lot of the woodworkers I've met complain that the young people these days don't like woodworking.  However, most woodworkers I've met get into the hobby in their 50's or near retirement age.  So I find it funny that they complain about young people even though they didn't get into it until an old age themselves.  I came into a lot of woodworking due to my learning about guitar repair and building.  So I am the exception to the old woodworkers.

So that's what's been running through my head lately.  I think everyone should have a hobby.  It doesn't have to be woodworking.  Just something you like.

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