Were you a Woodworker first?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Jim Ball, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. Jim Ball

    Jim Ball New Member

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    How many members were woodworkers before they turned their skills toward building guitars and how many learned their woodworking skills along with their Lutherie skills?

    I'm one of the former, having started with furniture making way back in high school, shifting to model aircraft in my twenties, then not touching a woodworking tool (but longing) for a long time. I got back into woodworking a few years ago, building native American style flutes, and recently moving to stringed instruments.
     
  2. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    First time I touched woodworking tools was for my first bass build.
     
  3. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    I took wood shop in middle school, but I actually got much more from taking auto body in high school. That's where I did my first guitar refinishes back in 1998 and 99. I didn't know much of anything back then, but it definitely opened up a whole new world for me.
     
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  4. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    I took shop class in middle school, but skipped it during high school in favor of design and drafting classes. My pops was a jack-of-all-trades, so we always had a full shop access growing up. I saw a "How to build an electric guitar" article in Popular Mechanics and begged dad to build one with me. I think he was intimidated by the precision required to make a guitar, because it never happened. After I moved out I started trying to build a guitar only to abort them along the way.

    Long story short, I did have some woodworking experience, but nothing I'd call true EXPERIENCE. I've learned more in this year than I ever knew before.
     
  5. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Nope. I hated woodworking in school and didn't anything until the first build. :D
     
  6. evolved_insanity

    evolved_insanity Active Member

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    I started hanging around my grandfather's shop around 10 years old and starting actually using machines on my own about a year and a bit later. I haven't stopped since. Built a bar and 4 bar stools for my first paid job at 13 out of that shop. 33 yrs old now and lots of experience but very green at guitar building still. Lots to learn but I am thankful for the prior skills I had with tools already.
     
  7. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    first time woodworking is when i made a body for a warmoth neck. that was my first time and the one which set everything off. I did everything the wrong way, with the wrong tools and the wrong advice. Afterwards everything slowly became easier and now i've got a handle on the limited tools i have and am still learning and improving. This hobby has done wonders for my stress levels as I try to get a residency somewhere that'll take me. otherwise i'd probably be suffering from serious depression lol.
     
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  8. Jim Ball

    Jim Ball New Member

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    Woodworking is not always stress relieving! I'm sitting here now because I'm getting very frustrated trying to find the sweet spot to drill the hole in the cam levers for my shop made cam clamps! I'm going to have to remake a few cams, and I haven't found it yet! :mad:
     
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  9. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Woodshop class in junior high. Drafting as well. When I was in college in my early 20's I needed my acoustic guitar repaired. I took it to the closest local luthier. I walked into his shop and it was a magical experience. I offered to work for free part time while still in school. Summer break arrived and I never returned to school. That was 20 years ago....
     
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  10. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Ahh! You are a brave man. I have not had good success with trying to make cam clamps. There are some tools you can make, and others that need to be purchased. I put the cam clamp in the list of tools to buy...others include: fret tang nipper, diamond crowning file, nut slot files, ect.
    Good luck.
     
  11. Jim Ball

    Jim Ball New Member

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    I got it figured out! It required redesigning the cam lever to give it a true "cam-over" action.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Very Nice! That's from the Brian Forbes book. I just got that book in the mail last week and have only thumbed through it.
    I like the idea of using nails, I tried the rolled steel pins (can't remember what they're called) and they were a headache....
    Maybe I'll give it another shot now that I have some good instructions.
    Thanks for posting this Jim, you're an inspiration.
     
  13. Jim Ball

    Jim Ball New Member

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    I'd recommend making the upper piece a quarter inch wider - 1-1/2" instead of the 1-1/4" Forbes specifies, leaving the slot the same distance from the jaw. I think the upper flexes a little too much.
     
  14. TKOjams

    TKOjams Well-Known Member

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    I built a deck once....lol
     
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  15. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    Cam clamps always make me think of dinosaurs.
     
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  16. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    First real woodworking was my first build.
     
  17. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    :rofl:That is funny Adam. They are old and finicky, but I can't live without them. Especially with repair work.
     
  18. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    I just mean the way they look :lol: They're extremely useful. The cam looks like a spiny thing on the head of a dinosaur, and when it moves the mouth moves menacingly.
     
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  19. Blackie

    Blackie New Member

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    .. I started out as a kid building tree houses stealing wood and nails from nearby construction sites .. I lived in the city .. used a brick for a hammer .. about 11 then ..

    .. when I got older I could borrow some power tools from my dad .. so I kind of progressed more as a carpenter and did make guitar bodies for bolt on necks ..

    .. cut an explorer looking body out of door .. this is when I learned that the bridge needs to actually go in a certain place .. not where it just looks the coolest .. ha ha .. bit of a tuning problem there ..

    .. I went on to become a carpenter and work in home building and renovation and have only done a few guitars for fun .. and no fret board type of skilled things .. did make a neck thru SG out of mahogany bed rails once .. using the fret board from a G-400 ..

    .. I look in here to see how actual luthiers go about things and see all the cool guitars .. and talented folks ..
    .. and all the special tools as well ..
     
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  20. robanomoly

    robanomoly Active Member

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    As a kid I was always building something (plastic models, tree forts/houses, bike ramps). I took a year of wood shop in high school and loved it, but then moved on to drafting (CAD). Many, many years later, my first wood working project was a violin (under the instruction of a luthier). It turned out amazing which then gave me the confidence to do more wood working. First it was house renovation related things (cabinetry, trim work, doors, clocks) then it was electric guitars, followed by acoustic guitars.
     

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