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  1. K

    Cherry

    Several years ago I found a quarter sawn locally milled black cherry board and have made several full cherry (neck, sides, top and back) sopranos. I love the way the wood works, looks, and sounds. And as mentioned above, it’s very nice to bend.
  2. K

    Thickness planer

    For years I would resaw on my bandsaw (1960s vintage Delta with riser block) and then thin the stock with a Safe-T-Planer in my drill press. You’ll find plenty on the Safe-T-Planer in other threads on this forum and videos on line. Now I resaw on the bandsaw and thickness on a 10-20 sander.
  3. K

    Idea for Fluke Tuners

    If you do fill and then drill new holes, I suggest using facegrain plugs instead of endgrain dowels. I’m pretty sure Stew Mac has a video on how to do this. Plug cutters, which you need for this process, are readily available and fairly inexpensive.
  4. K

    Wood for build

    I second the “western red cedar for braces“ comment. I found a perfectly quartersawn board at my local chain store and there was enough wood in that board for several soprano tops and a whole bunch of braces. I like the way they sound and other folks seem to also. I did have to sort through a...
  5. K

    Bending Sides - Steam Box or Bending Iron

    I’ve heated the bending pipe with a propane torch, but I didn’t like having an open flame in the shop. I heated it with a paint stripping gun, but I didn’t like the noise. This rig worked fine for a recent tenor build. An 8” piece of scrap pipe from the local muffler shop, a couple of muffler...
  6. K

    Scarf Joint

    Just thought I'd share these two jigs that I cobbled together for the neck scarf joint. The table saw sled (no...I don't want to stir up the "table saw v. bandsaw" debate. I use them both.) is similar to what others have done. The simple gluing press makes it easy to accurately pull the joint...
  7. K

    Hemlock Soundboard?

    There are many old hemlock bleacher seats available as schools in our area replace their old wooden gym bleachers with newer aluminum ones. Many of the old bleachers are 10 inches wide, 10-12 feet long, and perfectly quarter sawn. Have any of you used hemlock for uke soundboards with good...
  8. K

    Shop Fox Parrot Vise

    My Parrot vise is mounted on a simple "T" that clamps in my bench vise when needed. I made the pivoting inserts shown here: http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/ProductReviews/Tools/ParrotVise/parrotvise.html I've carved uke and banjo necks with this setup. I've never had occaision to turn...
  9. K

    Free to a good home

    Up until now, I have done all of my thickness sanding on a drum sander that I made to fit my older Shopsmith 10er. This sander (shown in the picture) includes a 12 inch drum made from plywood discs, an adjustable table that securely mounts on the ways of the Shopsmith, and a dust hood with a 4"...
  10. K

    Fret work clamping

    It seems like I'm always looking for new/better ways to hold stuff in the shop. This is an adaptation of a friend's set-up for holding instruments when doing fretwork. It clamps in my bench vise and rotates on the column to make it easier to work from both sides of the fretboard. Pictured is a...
  11. K

    Dyeing bone

    Is there a way to dye bone? I love the sound of bone saddles and nuts but my latest build would look best if the saddle and nut were black instead of white. I was searching around the shop for some pieces of ebony when it hit me...I wonder if bone could be dyed.
  12. K

    What wood will absolutely not work as a soundboard?

    I love cherry. This is some perfectly quartersawn cherry that has much more figure than shows up in this picture. It darkens beautifully over time and has a nice rich tone. It's also easy to find in my neck of the woods.
  13. K

    Useful vise

    I recently visited a local gentleman who specializes in fret work. He has built many instruments, but now focuses on refretting and fret dressing for a lot of big-name artists. We spent a couple of hours in his shop going over his process. This vise served all of his instrument holding needs in...
  14. K

    Top, bottom, front, back?

    Maybe its the sunshine outside today or maybe its the heated but passionate and thoughtful posts that have dominated the forum in the past couple of weeks, but I feel that it might be time for a more light hearted, but serious question. Here goes: Most things that have a top also have a bottom...
  15. K

    Another way to drill for bolt-on necks

    I made this fixture to align the holes in the neck for the barrel connector. It's pretty simple but it does the job. I've dedicated these two drill bits to this operation, so the stop collars stay on and there is very little setup involved. Just clamp the squared-up neck blank into the fixture...
  16. K

    Drum sander abrasive loading up

    I recently changed the abrasive on my drum sander after getting a lot of mileage from the 80 grit that had been on for quite some time. Just a few passes with some spruce that was salvaged from an old piano and I have the mess that you see in the pictures below. This is the first spruce that...
  17. K

    Any way around the heating banket?

    I sometimes bend on a hot pipe because I like the feel and smell and connection with the wood as it bends. I built a bender because....well....I just wanted to see if I could build a bender. Both work fine and I'll continue using both. The pipe bender shown is this picture is heated with a paint...
  18. K

    Spring Steel Slats?

    I use aluminum flashing on my bender and it works fine. I can't remember the exact cost, but I think a roll of 15 feet was about $6.00. It is used for both covering the mold and the strap that pulls down over the wood. I'm sure that it is not as strong as stainless, but I've bent six sets of...
  19. K

    Fretboard Precision

    There are several great suggestions and videos on the forum regarding how to cut fret slots. Mine is simple and slower than some, but it has proven accurate and not too difficult to set up and use. The sawblade is an inexpensive flush cut saw that I bought locally. You can see in the pictures...
  20. K

    Number 3

    This is my third build. Cherry Soprano with a cherry neck, cedar linings and bracing, lacewood peghead veneer, GHS strings, bone nut and saddle, and Grover friction tuners. The "in the raw" picture shows #3 along with #2. Number 2 was a prototype, of sorts, because it was the first to go through...