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Power Tools

Body Work

Now that I have the templates constructed, it's ime to get to work on the axes themselves.  The strat-style guitar will get an alder 2 piece body painted a solid color.  For the Tele-style guitar, I'm going to go another route and use up some stock I have on hand.  the main body will be walnut, from a 6/4 board I've had for about 20 years, with a flamed maple cap.  The flame maple is nothing spectacular in and of itself, but it should look nice enough with a sunburst finish applied to it.

Here you can see the maple cap after its sawn - there's a good deal of heartwood, but I've found that's not always such a bad thing.  Finished change the color of wood so much, and I've also found that I like the challenge of working with the natural appearance of woods.

Of course, I'd rather have the AAAAA rated stuff....  but what the hey, I had this on hand.

A Pair of 'Casters

Scratch Built Electric Guitars Project

I've not had a lot of time for woodworking for the last few years, at least until just recently, thanks to the economy...  Now that I do, I found that the thrill of it had gotten a bit tarnished.  It all seemed a bit mundane to me - nothing seemed like much fun - so the tools languished while I pondered what I could do to re-inspire myself. 

In the meantime, I turned to another hobby of mine, guitars (and playing them - I'm not that good, but it's something I enjoy).  For most of the last 20 years I've played an acoustic guitar - the guitar-world's version of a hand tool.  Even that seemed a bit stale to me, and it was obvious I needed to shake things up a bit.

Last summer, my wonderful wife gave me an anniversary present of a Gretsch 5120 ElectroMatic and a Vox VT30.  My old Fender (a 1996 50th Anniversary MIM Tex Mex - the forerunner of the Jimmie Vaughan signature guitar) also benefitted from replacing that old scratchy junk amp I had before, and I found that each one was now speaking to me like never before.  They've both been calling me for a while now - so, it's time to go electric, I reckon. 

Make Your Own Totes? An Interesting New Veritas Router Bit


Click to enlarge


The Veritas Variable Round-over Bit

Do you make your own totes or tool handles?  It is one of the most time and labor intensive parts of toolmaking.  I find when making a saw, it probably took as much time to form the handle as it did to make the entire rest of the saw.

Today I see that Veritas, the manufacturing arm of Lee Valley, has come out with a new router bit the likes I haven't encountered before - a variable width round-over router bit.  Made specifically for handles, it promises to speed the process greatly...

Lee Valley has also come out with several templates of theirs and classic Stanley plane totes, free for download.

The instructions for the router bit are available here.

Kudos to Veritas.  This is the kind of forward thinking and customer oriented design we've come to expect from Lee Valley and Veritas.  They are constantly innovating and coming out with tools and products geared towards the hand tool user - and though this technically doesn't count as a hand tool itself, I think I can let that slide by this time.

Foley Retoother

Some older iron... Stationary Tools


I grew up in a shop - almost literally. I can't tell you how many hours of my childhood and adolescence were spent running any one of a variety of woodworking (and other) tools in pursuit of some grandiose plans of utterly blowing away all with my unquestionably masterful and artful talents. Most often, they were utter failures, but every once in a while I would surprise myself. Anyway, none of the tools were what you would call "high end" - though almost all were "sufficient". Dad never spent a great deal of money on tools - but who could, with seven kids?

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