Sunday, April 29, 2007


I have had so much spare time this weekend - I have been so very tempted to move forward.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A confession

Looking back, I don't think I have disclosed my stuff up...

When I cut the headplate for the nut, I made it miles too wide and was left with a gap. I used some black purfling to make a stack that I build up with superglue. The end result is the black line that you see in the above photograph. I don't think it'll be noticeable on the final product.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


So my period of waiting has begun. I am leaving the KTM-9 for about three weeks in order for it to harden. I am thinking that a lot of my finishing problems with the OOO come from me rushing it. I have pencilled in the weekend of May 12-13 before I do any further work on this guitar.

and with all the waiting - the dreaming begins again. What do I do from here. I am 99.9% sure that now is the time I should try a scratch build. I am sure that I have now made enough online friends and contacts that I can source the information and assistance I would need if/when I ran into a hurdle.
The cost of kits will not fall the more I make and I don't think that I can justify spending that amount of cash I have to think of where all these guitars are going to go - or do I hang them on the wall and play them when I can?
Thinking aloud, before I move onto a scratch build, I need to complete or at least address these following points
- Learn to sharpen tools, in particular chisels

- Buy a band saw and consider buying a sanding station

- Order wood and supplies

- Construct a side bending machine

- Construct a mold

- Make a go-bar deck

- Make sanding dishes

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Getting Close now

By this time tomorrow, the LMI dreadnought will have the finish on and I will be counting down a few weeks to let the finish go off. That should give me sometime to clean up the carport - otherwise known and the luthiers workshop.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Finish goes on

Okay, so I finished with the Z-poxy and I have worked out that I am most likely NOT using this product properly. Firstly, using a business card to scrape off the excess, as suggested in the Doolin instructions does not work. The card is not strong enough. I ended up settleing for a very flexible plastic card that I got at my last CPR refresher. It seemed to work well but clearly I didn’t scrape enough of and I had some leveling sanding to be between both coats.

I worked on the theory that if the sanding was producing a white powder, I was not rubbing off the Pau Ferro – Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Any way in some places I was left with a glass type finish, in others it appeared like a really smooth sanding job. In some of the nicks, there is still some shiny Z-poxy showing through. I could chase them all down but….

So this afternoon, I brushed on the first two coats of KTM-9 and the wood has again come to life. It is very pretty and from a foot or two back, it looks great.

My neighbor came wandering across the road today, “I see you’re making a guitar?”. Obviously he has not noticed me in the shed ever spare hour for the last six months – so much for neighbor hood watch. Evidently he is a guitar player – he liked what he saw and showed excitement when I told him about kits but seemed a little confused when I told him this one was a month away from being finished.

I too remember a time when I thought these things could be knocked together in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Let's Try that Again

This morning, I went down to check on the drying results. It was all fine and I grabbed some 400 grit paper in order to do some leveling. On the soundboard I found a groove where it looked like someone had dragged a screwdriver across the wood, leaving an indented line.

I don't know - I imagine the pixies came into the work shop, just to keep me off balance.

I got out a lower numbered sandpaper and rubbed the mark out before starting again with the Z-Epoxy. I think I am using this product correctly I rubbed the back and sides down leaving the shiny spots only where the wood pores were. The surface feels smooth like clean glass.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

At least I am Doing Something

Today, I got down to the shed and I finished my sanding, masked up the fret board and then started on applying the Z-Epoxy. I really don't know if I am getting that stuff on properly. In the instructions, it mentioned weighing the two parts to ensure that there are exactly the same amounts.

The photos I took are no good but the colour of the neck seems to blend in well. It really blends in with the body and the fret board.

Tomorrow I will apply a second coat and then get into the finishing.

That's the plan anyway.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A weekend of music

This is slightly off topic but I've just spent the weekend at the West Coast Blues and Roots Festival. Those of you (both) that actually know me in real life will know that I am a big fan of The Waifs. Yesterday was their first gig (anywhere near me) for over a year, due to a period of maternity leave. I am bias obviously but it was a great show.

Josh Cunningham is my favorite guitarist. He is not the best you’ll ever see but his use of structure and simplicity (at times) along with his command of dynamics and the use of silence caught my ear years ago. The fact that he has two great vocalists/musicians on either side of him obviously makes his job easier.

Those of you that were with me at the start will know that it was Josh's Dubowski that lead me down the path to guitar building.

Also, Josh now scratch builds his own guitars and ukes. Even though I’ve never had the chance to see his work up close, I’d say he is making some good gear, better than me at least.

They tour the states often, and I expect they will be out there later this year, early next. I tipped BillC into catching them at the Lyons Folk Festival, last August. but I don’t know if he did catch their set. Bill? Down Under, they’re doing some shows over the next month and then supporting Keith Urban on his tour. You won’t regret giving them a chance.

In a crossover, the Waifs recently recorded a CD at the Music Maker Foundation. I have just started reading Clapton’s Guitar (thanks Keith) and discovered that the founder Tim Duffy sold his Wayne Henderson OOO for US$100,000.00 (ten + years ago) so he could support needy musicians.

Other good shows I saw on the weekend were Carus and the True Believers, the Pilgram Brothers, The Cat Empire and The Custom Kings. Check them out if you get a chance.

A great weekend, I have one vent. I'm not going to be tolerant to another 7 minute long open tuned dobro solo for a while. Seems everyone is doing it these days with their wahwah, chorus and delay pedals working overtime. Maybe that's just me - the crowd seemed to like it.