View Full Version : 21st Century Artisan

Pete Howlett
08-06-2018, 10:54 AM
About 10 years ago someone, and I cannot for the life me remember who was posting here their adventures using CNC to create solid body ukulele. To tell the truth I was dead envious because I was still using a pin router to do this and CNC moving forward all looked easy peasy.

I have had a year of expensive mistakes and very frustrating moments where my ignorance has cost me dearly. I wrecked my machine twice at a repair bill cost in excess of $2000. At this point I need to explain the question you are now asking yourself...."How can he afford this?" Well the money I used to buy and maintain this machine was originally from a benefactor who was subsidising my apprentices. I had to let them go because my craftsman had to leave - the story of everyone I know who has had an apprentice or craftsmen working for them. SO I spent this wage 'cache' on my CNC machine....

So after a year of expensive mistakes and frustrating moments I am beginning to understand better how to make this technology work for a 21st century artisan like myself. Over time, I have gained confidence in using this technology and discovered a whole world of fun creating jigs and tools for repeatability and accuracy. I now know what tolerances to use for a 'line-free' inlay in rosewood/brown woods and the joy of not having to glue another binding onto a fingerboard only to find the glue has wicked up the fret slot!

However the test of any machine is its ability to repeat operations. Here is the result of one such triumph over adversity.. The commentary if you link from the video to my FaceBook post explains what I did.