Tailgraft, binding, and plug cutters!

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The tailgraft is in, the box is bound, and I made some nifty ivoroid position markers. So, you’ll notice that I have a thing for ivoroid, the grained celluloid so favored by the fretted instrument makers of the (first) golden age of American Lutherie. I’ve loved the look of ivoroid fret markers, but haven’t been able to purchase them. So, I made some.

For the 1/4″ markers on the face of the fretboard, I was able to use a commercial plug cutter to cut some out of ivoroid sheet stock. For the petite side markers, I took the example of Frank Ford at FRETS.com and fabricated a plug cutter out of brass tube stock. It made some nice 3/32″ plugs when chucked into the drill press. Sweet!

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Class Projects

Now that week two of Tools Class is over, I’ll recap some of what we’ve accomplished thus far.

1. Lectures, demonstration, safety test, and projects on jointer, planer, table saw, band saw, disc/belt sander, and drill press.

2.  Block planes tuned, Chisels lapped, ground, and honed.  Much practice accurately using a machinist square and ruler.

3.  First hand tool project:  Make a square mahogany block.  First, one face *perfectly flat.  Next, each consecutive face made square to the previous, and *perfectly flat.  Lastly, we chiseled a 3/32″x1/2″x3 1/2″ ledge into one face of the block.  The result:  Lots of practice, some frustration, and a handy stop for belt sanding nuts and saddles!

the completed ledge

everything is checked for flat, and checked for square

4.  Lap Joint project:  after prepping some soft maple, we cut a 15-degree angle, then planed it smooth in order to make a lap joint for a neck mockup.  We’ll continue to work on this piece, including a headstock overly, frets, and finish.  But for now, it’s just a simple joint.

We use the block plane to make a flat, square lap joint

the glue up

5.   We’ve begun about four other projects by prepping stock on the jointer, planer, table saw, and sander.  Whew!

Now, a much deserved weekend!  I decided to bake a pie for Laura’s birthday, and drive down to Gays Mills, WI for a square dance and tunes after.  Yes!

the shell

YUM