Shop notes

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BeeTL, Aug 13, 2011.


  1. BeeTL

    BeeTL Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Disclosures:
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    Going forward, here is where I'll blog about projects, power tools, bacon, bunnies, and other occurrences in the shop.

    First, may I introduce Roxy, the shop bunny:

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    Jay Jillard likes this.
  2. knucklehead G

    knucklehead G

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Phoenix / Kansas City
    Subscribed. Roxy and Safety Cat should party some time.
     
  3. Papa Dangerous

    Papa Dangerous

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    bacon and bunnies.. mmmmm
     
  4. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Southwest Michigan
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Sounds like food network :p
     
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  6. GypsyMan

    GypsyMan

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    Subscribed, This thread shows promise!
     
  7. BeeTL

    BeeTL Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Disclosures:
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    Thanks guys!

    So, it seem like I’ve spent the last three summers “getting ready to get ready”, but it seems to be time well spent.

    This summer I’ve focused on building up tools and inventory and getting organized.

    Since I haven’t seen too much on the topic and I think I have a little different approach, I thought I’d share how I’ve built my workbenches and storage shelves.

    I’m a one-man show and I HATE moving heavy stuff around, so I decided everything heavy or awkward in the shop will be on wheels.

    I’m not 100% there yet, but I’m getting close.

    For my benches and shelves I start with ½” or thicker ply cut into 2’ x 4’ pieces.

    Next, I notch the corners of the lower shelves out like this:

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    I then frame the shelves out with 1” x 3” pine for rigidity:

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    …and add a center stringer for shelves that will carry very heavy loads:

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    Then I lay the shelves out on 2” x 4” support rails:

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    …make sure they’re square and tack them up with 2” finishing brads:

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    After that I glue and nail 2” x 4” shim blocks to the support legs and screw the 1” x 3” frames to the blocks.

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    Next I add locking casters to the base:

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    …stand ‘em up and paint ‘em black:

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    The finished product, in a variety of forms:

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  8. octaedro7

    octaedro7

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Leidschendam, Netherlands
    I'm precisely starting to build my workshop so guess what...

    Subbed!!!
     
  9. jmorbita

    jmorbita

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    buenos aires, argentina
    nice! subscribed!
     
  10. Down & Outman

    Down & Outman

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    LaGrange, Georgia
    Like how you set all of your power tools on shelves below the workbench. Looking at the clutter in my shop, been using the under the bench are for extra junk.
     
  11. BeeTL

    BeeTL Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Disclosures:
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    Thanks!

    I've spent a fair bit of time arranging things so I can complete each step of a build quickly and with as little mess as possible.

    Today I got back to guitar work. I have quite a few guitars I’d like to finish in 2011, and this will be the beginning of the push to get that done.

    I had a few necks to reshape…I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s Trademarks.

    My templates are already made, so I trace the outline in pencil on the back of the stock necks and head to the scroll saw:

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    Cut as close to the line as possible to minimize the potential for tear-out at the router:

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    The less mess you make, the less you need to clean up, so I use a shop-vac and auto switch to suck the dust away from all cutting and sanding tools:

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    A Skil Xbench insert adapted to my sanding station:

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  12. BeeTL

    BeeTL Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Disclosures:
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    Finished with the rough cut, so on to the router with a ½” template bit. By the way, I’ve never seen anyone use a dowel instead of double sided tape for templates, so I’m pretty pleased with that little trick:

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    Finished with that, and over to the spindle sander to smooth things out and fix up the back contours:

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    After final hand work at the sanding station:

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    Setting up to mount the bridge:

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    The first two ChromaSonic basses mocked up:

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  13. knucklehead G

    knucklehead G

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Phoenix / Kansas City
    Maybe its just the angle of the photo, but it looks like the E is just barely going to go over that bridge pickup.. Any completed ones that show them strung up?
     
  14. BeeTL

    BeeTL Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Disclosures:
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    It's the angle, and the pickup isn't actually attached.

    Those are Fralin split singles, essentially a P pickup under an HB cover.

    The outer poles are towards the upper right and lower left corners, so the rotation actually optimizes the string location over the pole.

    It's the bass version of the Twangmaster:

    [​IMG]

    By the way, your avatar scares me. :(
     
  15. knucklehead G

    knucklehead G

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Phoenix / Kansas City
    That makes a bit more sense with the pickup.

    You don't like Sweet Tooth?
     
  16. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Epic bass time! :D
     
  17. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 EBMM Nut Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
  18. BeeTL

    BeeTL Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Disclosures:
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    I'll have to look him up...:help:
    :D
    Maybe later today...:D

    Up until now I have considered myself to be a “finisher” exclusively.

    I have only done a little bit of woodworking, soldering and setup, and I consider my skills in each of these areas to be “workmanlike”…not bad, respectable in fact, but not great.

    My goal over the next 12 months is to gain proficiency in these areas.

    It’s not rocket science by any means, but it requires a great deal of attention and SKILL to be able to get things done QUICKLY.

    Since I don’t have a great attention span, I need to be both good AND quick to enjoy this kind of work.

    Today I’m building templates to build my first body from scratch.

    The donor bass is a short scale Yammy with a whammy…a fun little project.

    Step one is to get my new (to me) bandsaw set up.

    I got the new poly-u tires and 1/8” blade installed, and I’m ready to go:

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    Next, I trace the outline of the donor body on to some ¾” MDF:


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    Cut it out on the bandsaw:

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    …and sand it smooth on the spindle sander:

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    Next I need to measure out the pickup, neck and whammy cavity:

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    ...transfer the measurements onto an MDF blank and use a straightedge to project the outside edges of the neck out through the body:

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    …and locate the bits and pieces appropriately relative to the centerline and neck lines:

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    Then I cut it all out on the jigsaw:

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    Everything fits perfectly:

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    Did I ever mention that I have a 15” x 8/4” x 6’ hunk of sapele sitting in the shop?

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  19. BeeTL

    BeeTL Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Disclosures:
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    OK, time to make a body from the templates. First, I’ll cut off a hunk of sapele:

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    Then trace the outline of the template on to the blank:

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    Cut it out on the bandsaw, close to the line, nice and clean:

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    Next, I attach the template to the blank and head over to the router table. I use ¾” flush trim bit with a 2” cutting edge. This is the scary part…that bit can do some damage very quickly:

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  20. BeeTL

    BeeTL Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Disclosures:
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    Over to the sander to smooth out the edges and back to the router table to round off the back edge:

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    Next, I get ready to rout out the neck, pickup and tremolo cavities. I mark out the location and then hog out the bulk of the wood with a forstner bit:

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    Set the depth, and go to it:

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    I forgot to snap pics cleaning up the pockets with the router, so here it is mocked up…everything fits:

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Josh Pelican

    Josh Pelican

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Location:
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
    Everything is on wheels. I like.
     

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