Saturday, June 18, 2016
My friend Gary Hicks trying out one of Mike Mahar's guitars. Guitars by Terry Moore and Alan Carruth behind him.
This past week I had two demos, the first with the Guild Of New Hampshire Woodworkers Granite State Luthiers group, at the Portsmouth, NH Woodcraft store, and the second with Littleton Common Makers at the Littleton, MA Littleton Third Thursday summer evening event.
At Woodcraft this past Saturday, Terry Moore demonstrated guitar neck carving, Jeb Hooker demonstrated bracing glue-ups with a go-bar deck, Alan Carruth demonstrated rosette-making, and Mike Mahar demonstrated bending. Mark Sedutto and Adam Bahrami joined in to play instruments.
There were other demonstrations as well. Jim Forbes and Eric Swindell took turns on the lathe, and Craig Brown demonstrated scrollsaw work.
I completely forgot to take pictures, but fortunately my wife was there with our friend guitarist Gary Hicks, so she got a few phone pictures. Unfortunately, we didn't get shots of Terry's great neck holding jig or Jeb's amazing go-bar deck. You can see a similar commercial deck here.
Closeup of Alan Carruth's beautiful inlaid arch-top guitar.
Another interesting thing Jeb had was a not-yet-finished guitar with an adjustable neck, for adjusting the action, the string height off the neck. This compensates for changes in temperature, humidity, and playing style without affecting the tuning.
He's in the process of receiving a patent for this design, which should issue any day now. You can see the patent application here.
Gary playing Jeb Hooker's adjustable neck guitar.
I was demonstrating sharpening, so I had one Roy Underhill portable workbench setup with three sharpening systems, two types of waterstones and one of diamond plates, and another bench with my folding leather sharpening kit with India stones, all configured for the two stones and a strop method, along with a piece of marble floor tile and sandpaper for back preparation.
I also had a saw vise, scraper sharpening using Terry's method, and my version of Yoav Liberman's custom sandpaper slips for gouges. He dealt with the concave side of the tool, my addition was to do the opposite shape on the other edge of the slip for the convex side.
This works well for in-cannel scribing gouges as well as regular out-cannel carving gouges, and proved to be a popular topic among the carvers and violin-makers who stopped by.
Mark Sedutto, left, talking with me about saw sharpening.
In Littleton on Thurday evening, Faisal Mohammed and I setup a booth for Littleton Common Makers, his makerspace in the old mill building. This is where I now teach private classes and run my Wednesday night free classes for veterans.
Freddy Roman, whose shop is in the same mill building, stopped by to say hello. He really liked my sharpening process, so I gave him a demo.
At the LCM booth, Faisal examines the image on his laptop from a digital microscope, getting a closeup of part of his robot.
Faisal and other LCM members work on electronics and robotics, using high-tech 3D printers and laser cutters. With my Moxon vise and holdfasts for hand tool woodworking, we span some 500 years of technology!
My workbenches, with my new Japanese toolboxes standing on end as portable tool cabinets.
I've been madly working on getting these Japanese toolboxes built and fitted out so that I'll have four of them ready for the Lie-Nielsen Open House in July.
Closeup of the toolboxes. You can see the loops of leather thong I use to pull the tills forward.
They make a great modular system for transporting and using tools. Closed up, they stack on a dolly, and each individual box can be lifted in and out of my van and carried up and down stairs without breaking my back. Standing on end, with the end of the loose fitted till pulled forward to a slope, they make an instant tool cabinet for display and storage while working.
My original concept was to stand them up two-over-two. Four is enough to carry a pretty complete workshop except for full-size handsaws, the two shown here, plus one for chisels, measuring, and marking, etc., and one for bench appliances.
However, I discovered that I needed a lower slope angle in order to keep the shoulder and moulding planes from tipping out. Setting the front edge of the boxes on a strip of 3/4" wood did the trick.
This turned out to fit very well in the tool well of one of the benches, which has room for three boxes. I'll just put the fourth box with the bench appliances under the bench.
Fitting these out is an exercise in puzzle-making. I also ended up needing a spacer in the second box for the till to rest on, so that the moulding planes would clear the front cleat.
Not the Studley tool cabinet by any means, but a practical poor-man's approximation.