Spent a cold rainy day yesterday working on a new sanding drum for my Shopsmith. Messy and laborious, but it will greatly expand my sanding capacity. It will let me go from a 9" x 1" drum to a 14.5" x 4" drum. I also started work on a go-bar deck.
Gradually getting shop set up and back to luthery after a few busy years leading to retirement and moving. This is the hand winder for pickups fashioned from a Hardy Perfect fly fishing reel. Not sure if there are still fly fishers here, but I only drilled a third extra spool that was badly scratched, so I still use the reel with the other two.
If you think that is clever, then my system was pure genius... with NO MACHINES involved.
I went like this.
Step 1. Mount empty pickup spool onto holder stand.
Step 2. Start winding, around and around and around and around … eventually hit 10x counter, then around and around, then .. SNAP!!
Step 4. Start again... around and around and around … for x number of turns, then … SNAP!!
Back to Step 3, then Step 2.
You can probably see a pattern developing here.
My system had some fatal flaws (I was ham-fisted), but luckily, one of my boys found a local guy who did custom winds at reasonable cost. That put a merciful end to my 'hand crafted' pickup winding career.
I think that the truth is that most of us can't match that sort of output.
I plod along making one instrument at a time and as a sideline, casually dabble in electronics (piezo systems, currently). I have the parts for two builds awaiting assembly, but lack the incentive and motivation to progress with either … hopefully, they will be completed sometime this year .
Amateurs have the luxury of finding their own level of comfort, professionals do not. Beau is a seasoned professional, with whom few can compete... his photo shows more building than I have done in years.
Two more Titch the Clown Ukuleles on their way to new owners. One is a flat ended concert pineapple with a tree of life sound hole and the initials of the owner burned into the headstock from a scan of her writing. The second is another turtle uke.
I am currently building two cigar box ukes, a tenor based on a large Avo box, and another fully DIY tenor with a Red Oak trapezoidal body and Sitka spruce top. Here's a pic of the Avo box before I glued it shut. I added typical tenor uke braces, tone bars, bridge plate, and tail & heel blocks. I made a real effort to keep the inside work as clean as possible. I'm just fussy about stuff like that. The glue is curing on the lid right now, and later this afternoon I'll start fitting the neck, which is an Amazon cheapie I picked up a year or so ago. The DIY trapezoidal model is not quite so far along, but I hope to have both completed soon. I have some other wood I've been preparing for yet another cigar box type instrument. Don't know why, but I've been taken by the off-beat instruments some of you have been building, and decided to give that a go for a while.