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Everything posted by orgmorg

  1. it works just as well in a drill press if you have one
  2. I love it, it is my main finish these days. Really easy to use. I use the flat though, don't have any experience with the higher gloss versions. It is a bit white/bluish, so I tint it with a little Transtint honey amber and vintage dark maple
  3. Walnut is a wonderful wood for necks. It is not as strong as maple, but stronger than mahogany, so that is not really an issue. It is expensive compared to other american hardwoods, but not so much compared to exotics The bulk of the good clear straight grained logs go to veneer manufacture, since that is where the money is for the logger, so it is not as easy to find suitable stock for necks in the lumber market, at least not for production. It does give a notably less bright tone, which I find useful for when I am using hard, dense body woods like beech or oak.
  4. Ya, in that photo, I think O, WA, and N stand for oak, walnut and natural, but refer to the stain, rather than the wood. The N actually looks like ash. The grain in yours looks a lot like hackberry, as evidenced by the zig-zag pattern of the earlywood pores, and its rays are similar in size to what you describe. Hackberry is vary pale, though, almost white, but there are a lot of species in that same genus spread out all over the world, including China and Japan, which may have different coloration, so I have a feeling it may be one of those. In any case, the headplate does look fine with it, and the whole thing is really nicely done, so no worries there, for sure.
  5. That is most definitely not oak. The most obvious giveaway is the lack of visible medullary rays. If it is chestnut, it is a variety I am not familiar with, not american.
  6. I have one of those drill presses, too, but the bearings are worn out, and were discontinued a long time ago. I use it as a fret press now. Also have a Unisaw and 14" bandsaw from the early 40's, both of which I have modified in ways that would horrify most tool geeks. The Unisaw is fantastic. The bandsaw is adequate. Old machines are pretty much a crap shoot, rarely the holy grails that enthusiasts make them out to be. I used to be really into them, but have ended up with about a ton of relatively useless iron.
  7. I use Tusq on guitars with a tremolo and locking tuners
  8. I use Micarta, which is similar to Corian I prefer it to bone because it is much more consistent in density~ no random soft or hard spots Also, I hate the smell and feel of bone dust
  9. I use the Stew Mac ruler, and it gives a reasonable approximation of equal gap. As mentioned, it does not account for a wide range of string gauges. In addition, it assumes a consistent increase in string diameter from one to the next, which is not how it really works. So yeah, not exactly equal, but a good compromise, and feels comfortable enough.
  10. This is the kit I put together for my vacuum press~ http://www.veneersupplies.com/products/Project-EVS-Auto-Cycling-Pump-Vacuum-Press-Kit.html A rebuilt pump is another hundred or so, and fifty for the bag, so it gets a little pricey, but it really works nicely, and so much easier than mucking with a million clamps.
  11. If I get someone who has a good idea, understands that it might not work as envisioned, is open to letting me make it work the way I need to, and is willing to pay what I decide it will cost, then sure, I'm game. I have built some really cool stuff I might otherwise have not thought of this way. But for every one of those customers, there seem to be a dozen that fall far short of that. Then there is the fact that I just don't like dealing with other humans very much. Not much of a business asset, I admit; but it's the way I am. I have plenty of my own ideas that I want to work on right now, and have gotten tired of putting them off. I've gotten pretty good at identifying those "one-in-a-dozen" customers, and am learning how to say no to the others.
  12. I think a lot of builders say this simply to avoid talking about the issue altogether Obviously is it possible to build guitars for a living, but that does not mean that anyone is going to be able to do it. The thing is that "building guitars for a living" is going to mean many different things to many different builders, since everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a "living," just as every builder has a different approach to, and relationship with their craft. But, despite this wide array of circumstances, when the topic of "building for a living" comes up in discussion, most get a pretty homogenised vision of what that looks like, based on a handful of shining examples, so it immediately becomes easier to recite the meme of the starving luthier, and dismiss the goal as unattainable, than to address all the things that are really preventing you from taking that path anyway. This is a totally valid and honest standpoint, and I think a lot of people would rather say it's just not possible, than to admit this to themselves. It is something I have struggled with a lot, myself. I have had some major anxiety issues around this, and have often questioned whether I really wanted to continue. There are so many things to get stressed about with an endeavor like this, and that alone is going to keep a lot of people from getting there. And that's if you are making 3000 profit each one, after all shop expenses, not just the outlay for that instrument. Money management skills are often an issue, but not nearly as devastating as time management problems. There are a lot of different acts to juggle in running a business like this, and usually one person has to do it all, as well as what the rest of their life requires. Again, everybody's situation is going to be different here. For me~ My partner works a full time job which basically covers bills, food, bare minimum living My business provides a nice supplement to that, but probably still doesn't bring us up to official poverty level. We live out in a rural area in the southeast US, so our expenses are pretty low, but our lifestyle is also pretty simple. We could live pretty well on poverty level income. My son is grown up and on his own, but we have a daughter who is 11, so my time has to be balanced between my roles as parent, luthier, housewife, and small business owner. My lack of time management skills messes each of these up in their own turn, and is not much more helpful in keeping them all going simultaneously. Management skills, whether money, time, business, or whatever, are things that most artistic people tend to fall short on, and there is no one way of fixing that, since everyone does it in their own special way. The real key is to be honest with yourself. Evaluate and identify your strength and weaknesses, and own them both. Fix what you can, adapt to what you can't, reinvent yourself if you have to. It can be a brutally painful process, but better than getting called out on it later on, when you have been faking it the whole time.
  13. I had a hard time deciding between PsikoT and Pan Kara. I ended up going with the latter, mostly because if I could play well enough to deserve either one, that would be the one I would gravitate towards. Awesome work all around though!
  14. The Hawk Well, this looks like it is shaping up to be quite a month, so I will go ahead and add my latest, as it is also one of the coolest I have done so far. This was a custom commission for one of my favorite customers, who asked for a mutation of the classic Gibson Firebird, giving me free rein to do as I please with the details, which partly accounts for his favored status. The body is composed of a salvaged poplar center block, with wings made from spalted sycamore, capped with salvaged elm barnwood. I kept the curves of the original Firebird body shape, but mixed them up, placing both long points on the top, and scaling them all appropriately. This not only gives better upper fret access, but places the front strap button further toward the center of the guitar for better balance. The original Gibson design was by Ray Dietrich, who was an automobile designer by trade, and evidently not a guitarist. The neck is red maple, with a persimmon fretboard and tortoise celluloid binding. The central feature here is a hood emblem from an early ’60′s Studebaker Hawk, a tip of the hat to the automotive roots of the design, from the same era as the Firebird. The art deco styling of this piece was partly the inspiration for the brass, aluminum and copper pickguard/grille and center overlay. The pickups are my own homespun versions of the Firebird mini-humbuckers, with alnico 5 bar magnets in the coils, and aluminum housings I designed, and had fabricated by eMachineShop. Tuners are Sperzel locking. More pictures~ Back Headstock Back of headstock Pickguard detail
  15. Actually, I didn't know about DAG until you posted here that you had started selling there. (so it's yer own damn fault ) I kinda live under a rock. This is the only forum I read or post on, and even that not so much. It looked like a pretty cool gig, so I sent him an email. He called me back about an hour later wondering why he hadn't heard of me. I explained to him about the rock. But ya, it was a pretty good (and much needed) ego boost. Cliff is a great guy, but he operates on a scale that is a bit overwhelming to me. I am still trying to find my stride as a builder, and that involves working around chronic depression and anxiety, as well as general scatterbrainedness. Cliff has been very accommodating of my foibles, though. He is a people person in the best sense of that term, and understands crazy artist types pretty well.
  16. Yep, I have run into this same thing. This is why I like going through dealers. This way I can tell the dealer what a load of crap I think the customer's idea is, and let them earn their commission by explaining it nicely to the customer. I am thinking of eliminating it all together though, with exceptions for repeat customers who have proved to be worth dealing with. I have enough anxiety as it is without dealing with custom work.
  17. I generally use wood glue too, except when I need a longer working time. Then I go for the epoxy.
  18. Interesting how they can machine that joint so precisely, but still get the ferrules all jacked up.
  19. I have done stuff like this a lot. I would recount some of it here, but I seem to have blocked most of it out. Suffice to say, when you use the term "rage repair," I know exactly what you mean. I have had to train myself to put stuff down and walk away for a while. It helps to have a bunch of projects going at the same time, let my ADD take care of my OCD.
  20. The way you are doing it now, using your regular chain, yes. For the chainsaw mill, you file your teeth specially for milling, perpendicular to the bar, no angle. Works great in the chainsaw mill, but you can't use chain filed like that for regular cutting.
  21. Savage salvage.. Sometimes with the grey weathered barnwood like this, I leave it completely unfinished. It is a very cool look. Not sure what I will do with this one yet. I would love to see one of those. Crappy holes really... And as you can imagine, the edges of the board were not much better, so more epoxy, this time tinted brown.. And sanded down. You can see in this last pic where glue oozed out through the wormholes in the top while in the vacuum press. This was another reason for filling the holes on the gluing surface. A little always finds its way through however.
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