Recent Guitar Building Class

Recent one-on-one Guitar Building ClassIn a recent guitar building class the student, William Kiel, from San Anotnio, TX , walked away with a really nice instrument. Sorry this took so long to post. Things have been a bit hectic here.

The guitar is an Indian rosewood spruce top 650mm scale length classical guitar. The center of the rosette features a book-matched maple burl veneer. The rosettes done in the one-on-one class are simple but elegant. Each rosette is unique. I always give the students suggestions and choices for wood selection.

Read more

Milling Logs For Usable Wood

White Oak Milled LogRecently I had a white oak tree taken down in my yard.  It was my favorite tree and I hated to see it go, but it was dying at the top.  The tree was about 2′ in diameter, and straight as a die.  The bottom 30’was flawless and could have been used as a veneer log.

Once the tree was taken down, I had the bottom 30′ section cut into three pieces, and had them hauled away to the mill. I met up with the sawyer at the mill to oversee the cutting of the logs. I wanted to make sure they were cut just the way I wanted. Once the wood was milled it was taken to a kiln to dry. The wood would then be ready to use in as little as three months. Read more

Lumber from Trees in the Yard

Make Lumber with Little Log Hauling MachineSometimes you can find the best lumber right in your own backyard. Getting the wood milled can be difficult but if you are willing to do the work you can end up with spectacular lumber from trees right in your own yard. But I must warn you it is not easy.

I had to cut down a beautiful white oak that I loved but it will yield lots of really nice wood. Granted white oak is not used on guitars but there are a lot of uses for this magnificent wood. The tree was about 80 feet tall and straight  as an arrow. The bottom 26 feet or so of the tree could be considered a veneer quality log without a branch or defect and perfectly shaped. I had the bottom 24 feet cut into three 8′ sections so I could get some quality lumber. See video below.

Read more

More Guitar Making Video Coming – Shop Redux Complete

After Shop Redux - ready to shoot video

At Last, Floor Space. Its Safe Again.

More guitar making video is on the way. Finally, the shop overhaul is complete. Lots of changes were made to make shooting video easier, create some room, and separate the different aspects of the shop. I also added some new equipment that was desperately needed.  I will talk about the equipment in the next post.

The whole thing took a while. There was so much to do. Wood that was not being used for guitar making were either given away, put in the burn piles or moved to another place. That was tough because I don’t like getting rid of any wood regardless of it size. I will hang on to small pieces of wood with some project in mind that never materializes. I’m sure you know what I mean. So I am sorry for the delay in getting out new video. This took longer than anticipated but we are ready to start shooting again.

Read more

Improving Shop Efficiency – A Total Overhaul

Improve Shop Efficiency - First day of Overhaul

Shop Overhaul Day 1

Improving shop efficiency can turn frustration into enjoyable production with better results. I am in the midst of a total shop overhaul to improve the shop, organize it better, and create more floor space. If you are like me you are constantly striving to make your process more efficient and produce better results by trying to find better ways to do things. Typically as the process changes the shop doesn’t. Eventually things get so annoying that its time for a major shop overhaul. That is exactly where I found myself after the last one-on-one class.

For me there is nothing more annoying than to have to move things constantly while you are working. If you need to move things off the table saw in order to use it, it might be time for a shop overhaul or at the very least a reshuffle. When your work is moving along smoothly you feel better about it, you get better results and you work more efficiently, hence faster. Here are some of the things I considered before ripping apart the shop. Read more