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Pete Howlett
10-16-2009, 10:05 AM
This one is a poor edit so I will fill you in:

When I saw a photo of a Martin employee filing a dovetail joint on a guiatr neck I was horrified. I practiced what I was taught in school and coming from a designer cabinet making background believed that wood should be finished from the plane, chisel and scraper; sandpaper was for denibbing between French polish coats... When I started building instruments I quickly came to learn that you need files in all of their forms to work with the surfaces you have in musical instruments. Here's how (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN_zcXVb7HU) I hand fit a uklectic neck joint, despite it being initially hogged out with routers using a cabinet maker's chisel and a luthier's sanding block...

10-16-2009, 02:48 PM
I understand what you're saying there Pete. I did a design degree in 1979 and got interested in woodworking there. Worked with patternmakers on one job then got into reproduction victorian stuff working with cabinetmakers which was all curves and mouldings. Learnt what edge tools are all about, making planes etc and the whole attitude/philosophy. Thing is they/we used materials on which the hand tools worked ie Honduras Mahogany, Canary, etc and the patternmakers Jelutong, Douglas fir and the like. I like using hand tools so for the moment I'm working with friendly timber. Don't think I could countenance using stuff like Koa or Yew without modern abrasives though.

10-16-2009, 07:17 PM
I think your ears are just fine, Pete. Thanks for the lesson...

10-17-2009, 05:11 AM

much better view of that ear.

In all fairness, I think your artistic need for symmetry here is the root of your insecurity about it. If everything was the same, nothing would be unique.

Matt Clara
10-17-2009, 12:22 PM
Another great video making bending look easy. I know you warned me about that, but I think instructional videos that make one say, hey, I can do that, are the best. Sure, there are some pitfalls ahead, but confidence to try is half the job, right there.