Wednesday, September 09, 2015

How can that be?

I thought about getting back into it. I have moved into a new house and have a now have somewhere to use as a workshop again. My enthusiasum was smashed a little when I checked in at Stewmac and found out that the cost of a kit has increased significantly over the years. In 2006 (was it really that long ago) I bought a Triple O bolt on mahogany kit for AU$487. They now cost AU$693.

I guess there are economists out there that can explain  42% increase over the decade.

I went looking online to see if other items have increased in that value also.

Cost of things (U.S. Averages):
Gallon of Whole Milk~ $3.12 (Bureau of Labor Statistics
Dozen Eggs~ $1.30 (Bureau of Labor Statistics
Loaf of white bread~ $1.62 (Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Postage Stamp~ 39 cents (Wikipedia)
New Car Price~ $28,739 (U.S. Dept. of Energy
Gallon of Gas~ $2.88 (U.S. Energy Information Administration
Movie Ticket~ $6.55 (National Association of Theatre Owners)
Price of new house~ $246,500 (
Cost of things in 2015 (U.S. Averages):
Gallon of Milk~ $3.75 (Bureau of Labor Statistics
Dozen Eggs(Large, Grade A)~ $2.11 (Bureau of Labor Statistics
Loaf of bread~ $1,48 (Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Postage Stamp~ 49 cents 
New Car Price~ $ 32,495 (Kelley Blue Book
Regular Unleaded Gallon of Gas~ $2.11 (Bureau of Labor Statistics
Movie Ticket~ $8.30 (
Median sales price of new house~ $294,300 (
So basically second to eggs - guitars have gone boom!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

15 Posts in 2008

Not really a great achievement, pretty poor effort in fact.

I could blame moving to a new role in work, the girls, that I am learning Indonesian and trying to get fit - but all those things shouldn't have stopped me from find one or two hours a week... I used to find a couple hours a day.

Anyway, I gave up on joining the plates and bending the sides. Tim from Australian Tonewoods is going to bail me out again and take care of some of those moves. Now that is cheating according to the plan for this build - 100% scratch - but I was really having no fun... I have the greatest respect for those people that can make musical instruments without precision power tools... How did they do it before sandpaper?

So I can't promise a sudden surge in my performance but summer is about to subside here in Perth and I've been thinking more and more about guitars again - so there may be some action soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I am still here

Firstly thanks to those of you that have commented below, offering support. I have not thrown in the towel. I have infact been in the Eastern States for the last week or so with work. EVERYTHING is calling for my attention at the moment and unfortunately the pieces of wood in the shed are not being heard at the moment.

Still, when I get back to the shed I will have a fresh outlook.

Thanks again.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I give up

I have lost count of the amount of hours I have now spent trying to sand the edges of the plates, trying to get them to line up. Frustrating to say the very least. I can not work out where I have gone wrong... This is no fun.

Time taken :
Tools used :
AU$'s spent :

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Getting there... slowly

I think I am getting closer. I just needed to put a little elbow grease in apparently.

Firstly, here is my set up. On the Triton work table I lay out an MDF work board and to that I clamp a piece of plywood to raise my plates slightly. I also used the clamps to also make a surround/frame of sorts around the plate - to hold the plate still so I can push against it.

Then I laid a think piece of MDF over my plate and weighing it down with a couple of bricks. Simply, only the edge of the soundboard/back plate is protruding so I can sand away with the straight edge.

So I am getting close, as you can see below. On the other side of my plates is my bright spotlights, you can see where the light is just coming through at the top.

After an hour or so, I worked out that for each sanding session I did before checking the joint, I was not getting much sawdust. Frustration lead to anger which lead to furious rubbing, lots more dust and the slow closure of the gap.

Time taken : 2 hours
Tools used : as below
AU$'s spent : Nil

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Joining the Plates

I have made a start on joining the two halves of my soundboard and back together. I know that everyone says "take your time", but this is getting ridiculous. I thought it would go together a lot easier than this.

I am using the plane and shooting board method and I think I am getting the right results - sort of. One minute the ends are too high and then the middle is high. I don't understand how it can change considering the straight edge can not sand the ends without doing the middle section as well and vice versa. I will endeavour with this system and post some photos tomorrow.

I defy anyone to be able to physically hold two 3 x 600 x 300 plates together and then hold them up to the light to ensure there are no gaps. I have been using painters tape to act like a second and third pair of hands.

Time taken : 3 hours
Tools used : spirit levels (straight edged shooting boards), sand paper, clamps, hand planes, pencils, rulers.
AU$'s spent : 1200mm spirit level $30.00, painters tape $10.00, sand papers $15.00, Contact adhesive and super glue $8.00, Methylated spirits $3.50

Photos of Wood

Well, I thought I should show you the wood I am about to destroy... I mean, turn in a fine musical instrument. When ordering my kit from Australian Tonewoods, I told Tim that I was more interested in learning the steps and rather than having the best pieces of wood in his shop, I wanted to keep the costs down where I could. Having said that even though it may not be the most eye pleasing pieces you have ever seen, I think they are nowhere near boring and they will make a great looking guitar.

I like the effect of having the really light grain running down the centre of the soundboard. Tim advised me to straighten the grain up a little when making the joint to increase the strength.

Alternatively, I could have the grain constant across almost the whole soundboard. That might make the center joint a little less visable from afar.

Here is the back in its naked beauty. I think it is nicely divided into sections

and the sides, with a little spirits to highlight.

the close up of the figure in the Tasmainan Blackwood

Time taken : 5 minutes
Tools used : Camera and gravity
AU$'s spent : Nil

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What have I done?

It occurred to me tonight that I better change the minor heading at the top of my page. I am really doubting my skills and I wouldn't want someone surfing in and thinking that kit guitar building was this hard.

I went down to see Tim from Australian Tonewoods tonight to collect my soundboard, back, sides, fretboard and neck wood. I had asked Tim to service these parts in sanding to width and making the scarpe joint cut on the neck wood. Even still, I am faced with a neck that looks like four blocks of wood and other bits of wood that really don't look like a guitar to me.

Tim has been great. He is clearly running out of clean space on his work bench, having used it to sketch out a dozen diagrams to illustrate what he is showing me.

I am really starting to worry.... It took me ten hours to make dishes... that is one tenth of the time that it took me to make the OOO. What have I gotten myself in for?

It's late - I will post some wood photos tomorrow night.

Time taken :
Tools used :
AU$'s spent :