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Everything posted by mattharris75

  1. Yeah, that would be really cool , but I don't know how I'd manufacture that out of titanium. There's another competition mid April, and I've got a whole bunch of small tweaks for the next version of the robot, including using carbon fiber for the chassis plates.
  2. This build is wild, I like it. And I especially love the tweed.
  3. Thanks guys. I still have to put the last coat of Tru Oil on the neck and get that and the back and sides rubbed out before I can mount this, but I decided to go ahead and get the pickguard/finger rest ready to be mounted. I went back and forth several times about how I wanted to attach it over the course of the build, and I've ended upgoing with a very traditional mandolin method. I glued a scrap piece of ebony to the back side. The leading edge of the ebony is actually sanded at several degrees of angle so that the finger rest will slope down slightly away from the strings. I glued a couple of pieces of 16 gauge steel wire into holes in the ebony, and once the neck finish is complete I will drill some corresponding holes into the fretboard extension. I also changed the shape of this thing multiple times since I started the build, and I'm finally happy with how it matches the aesthetics of the body shape.
  4. Looking forward to watching this one progress! Last year I bought a full sized arcade kit with a Raspberry Pi 3b. It was a good learning experience to build and configure everything. I'd like to build one from scratch with a Jamma board one of these days though... It's 'on the list'...
  5. Gus Gus is a control bot. The plow is designed to break horizontal spinners and keep vertical spinners from getting any bite. It's worked quite well through these first few competitions. It's also got a really fast and powerful drivetrain usually used in larger bots, so I'm able to push other bots around, another means of control. So I can break them, pin them against the wall, push them around, and eventually hopefully push them into the 'pit' area, which is a corner of the arena with a 1" wall that you can push other bots into. They have a 10 second countdown to get out of the pit or it's a 'knock out'. I managed 3 knock outs in 5 matches in this past competition.
  6. Thanks guys. Really, really, really hoping that this was the final coat of Tru Oil for the back and sides. I am extremely ready to get this thing finished and move on! I thinned the Tru Oil down even more with naptha than I often do, trying to get really nice flow out and hope it smooths itself. I was about 1/3 oil to 2/3 naptha on this coat. Don't need a thick coat here, just need to get the sheen even everywhere.
  7. Got through my robot combat event and got back to working on the mandola. Sanded the runs out of the back and sides and need to put on a really thinned out coat of Tru Oil and see if that will be enough to call it good. Then I sanded the top and the front of the headstock from 2400 through 12000 micro mesh then polished with 3M Finesse It and Meguires Mirror Glaze. It's not perfect, but I think it looks pretty good. It has a nice shine, but it still manages to look thin, showing just a tiny bit of the grain through. And that's pretty much what I was going for. So, get a thinned coat on the rest of the instrument, wax, attach the pickguard, re-assemble, and call it finished...
  8. Almost un-killable, Scott. We lost in the event final to an articulating saw bot who managed to slip his saw into one of the slots in the top plate and punctured the LiPo battery, releasing the magic smoke and earning us a trip to the sand bucket of shame... Still, 2nd place, I'll take it. Here are a few of the fights, sorry for the video quality: https://youtu.be/7_03xZuVc9U?t=6498 https://youtu.be/7_03xZuVc9U?t=10436 https://youtu.be/7_03xZuVc9U?t=16670
  9. Lots of projects going on around here. In addition to shop and house stuff, a new more sophisticated version of my last combat robot Gus Gus. Got a competition next weekend. Maybe after that I can get back on the mandola, the top is ready to be rubbed out...
  10. Well, my nieces and nephew loved the wands I made for my kids, so Christmas presents complete!
  11. Have I mentioned before that I despise the finishing process? Well, even if I have, it can never be said too much... I took a little break during football season, but have been back at it for a few weeks. I could never get the tuner ferrules out through any other method, so I finally ordered the StewMac tool. Even with it some of them were tricky, but I finally got them out. A little tear out on one of the holes, but no big deal it will be covered by the ferrule. Managed to fill the grain in the headstock with the tried and true 'wet sand with tru oil' method. So, progress on that front. As far as the top goes, all of the ridges and undulating surfaces make this the hardest piece I've ever finished. By far... It's apply thinned finish, see a drag mark some dust or some other flaw, sand and sand some more, and try again. Hoping I'm close, but who the heck knows. Here's where it stands:
  12. What a cool idea! Looks like it was very controllable and smooth. Nice job!
  13. So, this is the 'In Progress and Finished Work' section. Why don't you start a build thread and put all your updates in there. Makes keeping track of things easier for everyone!
  14. Side bending is cake compared to some of the stuff you've done, Scott! I'd love to see your take on a carved acoustic instrument of some sort, get going!
  15. Thanks Scott! That's correct as far as the procedure I've used in the past, on either porous wood or over stain/dye. In this particular build, because it is acoustic, and based on reading and talking with folks, I decided to use shellac as the layer between the wood and Tru Oil instead of Z-Poxy.
  16. Not a huge update here. I've been working exclusively on finishing the top. The back and sides seemed to have plenty of build after 5 coats. I've applied 5 additional coats to the top at this point. Three of them thinned with naptha, and all applied with 600 grit sandpaper and then burnished with a soft cloth after about 1 1/2 hours of drying time. It's getting quite smooth. This finish is going to be really thin, and it's getting close to where it needs to be on the top. There are a few problem areas, and hopefully a couple more applications of Tru Oil will take care of those. I've also slightly re-shaped the pickguard. I need to re-polish it, and I'll probably wait to post a picture until I get it mounted on the mandola.
  17. The finishing is coming along well. I've mentioned before that I really want this instrument to have a vintage look, so I want to keep the finish warm, thin, and with a satin or semi-gloss look. So in pursuit of that after the initial build coats I've been using thinned Tru Oil and applying it with 600 grit sandpaper, and once it is partially dry I burnish it with some synthetic steel wool. It's getting there, I'm working slowly and doing my best to keep the finish thin, with a bit of the character of the grain coming through. My big issue right now is these tuner bushings... I'd like to be able to remove them to complete the finishing of the headstock. It's got a decent enough finish on there right now, but it's not exactly what I want... The tuner bushings are counterbored, so there's no easy way to push them out from the back. StewMac has a $70 tool with an expanding pin that will do the trick, but I find it physically painful to spend that kind of money on a one trick pony tool. So if anyone has any bright ideas, I'd love to hear them!
  18. Thanks! Yeah, we're both old timers. 2007 was when I started here as well. Lots of folks have come and gone since then...
  19. Thanks guys. Update on finishing. This is after the 4th coat of Tru Oil. Lots of fine sanding has things starting to feel pretty smooth, and I'm starting to get a little build and shine. I reckon I'm 1/3 of the way there give or take, but in my experience it's just done when it's done, I'll keep oiling and sanding until it looks right.
  20. The finishing process has begun! I finished re-sanding and tweaking, and now this is with two coats of orange shellac and a coat of Tru Oil. So far so good...
  21. A bunch more non-instrument related projects that have taken up my time this year. Here are a handful. The big one was a master bathroom renovation. New plumbing fixtures, new light fixtures, new mirrors, painted cabinets and walls, etc, etc. But the big thing was the new vanity cabinet I built with custom gothic mullion inlays. There's also a matching cabinet in the water closet room over the toilet. It's rare when a project actually turns out pretty much exactly as you expect it to, but this one did. You can see in the reflection of the left mirror the towel rack I made as well. It's made of a piece of the figured walnut out of the big stash I managed to score for free a few years ago. A simple project, but man that walnut is 'purdy'! Also, my kids started getting into Harry Potter so hey, it's time to learn a little bit about lathes and turn a few wands for them! Walnut and walnut + figured maple (more free wood from a cabinet maker buddy of mine). And finally, we had a robot combat competition here in town last month, so I decided to throw together a bot in just a few weeks time. Mostly with stuff I had on hand. This one is an 'antweight' (1 pound) named 'Gus Gus'. I finished 3rd in the competition, and if not for catching my plow on the chewed up floor I probably would have won the whole thing. Had a blast competing too! That's grade 5 titanium that's all bent up like that. It's impressive the amount of power that some of these little guys have!
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