Guitar Workshop Tour
Welcome back tone chasers. Folks want to know a little more about our guitar workshop. So lets get into it
This is our modest wood pile. I can spot some Swamp Ash, Thermo Ash, Walnut, Black Limba, Alder, Hard Maple, flame maple, Birdseye Maple, Sapele, Mahogany, Rosewood, Cocobolo, Pau Ferro, and Abrosia Maple. We also use this space to store guitar cases, shipping supplies, sockets, forstner bits, and some finishing supplies.
No guitar workshop is complete without a drill press. Our’s is a Porter Cable 8-Amp floor standing model. It works pretty well when you get it dialed in. It cost about $350 with tax and has all the bells and whistles (it shoots lasers). We keep all our commonly used bits on the wall. We label each bits size and job for a quick reference.
We run alot of board feet through this Dewalt Thickness Planer. It is a beast. The blades are double sided and are easily flipped around and changed. It is 13 inch wide which is perfect for most guitar bodies with the exception of offsets which are 14″ wide. It reduces the thickness of a board by shaving off the top.
Our band saw is a real work horse. It is the Rikon 14″ Model with a 5/8 inch blade. I’m going to go to a thinner blade for tight curves, and a long blade for resawing figured tops. It’s a great saw that tracks well. The fence is solid and straight, and the whole thing is very sturdy. It doesn’t bog down when bookmatching a hard maple top either.
This is our dust collector. A few other people online recommended this cheap harbor freight model with an upgraded filter. The filter is from Wynn Environmental and they were really nice to do business with. The filter wasn’t cheap, but its been in service nearly a year and its still rocking. I just haul it outside to clean it out with compressed air and a soft bristle brush.
This is our dust collector plumbing which provides vac at our assembly table. If you do this don’t forget to ground the system. I have it grounded to the big I-beam. I picked up the Rikon 400 series overhead collector from Woodcraft. It grabs ambient dust out of the workshop air. It has a remote control and runs non stop. We added a shop banner for trade shows.
This is our pickup winder. I found a great article online about how to build it. It has a counter and tachometer wired into the stock motor control board. The wheel on the lathe axel has a little hole in it that lets light bass through it. An optical sensor detects the light going through the hole and counts it as one turn of wire. The motor turns off when it reaches the end of the wind. I guide the wire onto the bobbin by band. My vision gets wonky while doing this because its 10-15 mins of squinting at the bobbin for each pickup.
“You can never have enough clamps”
A guitar workshop needs a lot of clamps to function. We add them as needed for different projects.
This is our kreg router table from highland woodworking. It has a now defunct radius jig sitting on top of it. We use this table to roundover bodies, flush cut to the templates, and so some joinery.
This is our neck shaper jig which cuts the different profiles on the back of the neck. The basic concept came from a few different designs we found online. The original was built for use on a giant overarm router. After a few different iterations we came up with this more portable design which fits our small shop. It took a ton of tweaking to get it right. I am already thinking about v3 being built with linear bearings on steel rods for smoother motion.
Here is a look at some of the parts that we don’t make. We have a lot of potentiometers, caps, knobs, pickup covers, tuners, bridges, and some pickguards that we stock consistently. We make custom pickguards for our guitars that have weird pickup configurations.
Here is where we keep some fretting and nut shaping tools. This is the kind of stuff that is specialized and unfortunately, expensive. We get most of our luthier specific tools from stew mac.
Here are a few jigs that we use for neck construction. The first one on the top holds the neck in place while I sand the fretboard radius. The next one down holds the neck in place for the truss rod holes that are drilled in the heel and headstock depending on the neck type. The bottom two are for cutting both types of skunk stripe curves.
This is our air compressor and retractable hose. We use it for our HVLP spray gun and for cleaning the shop. Before finishing a guitar I clean out all the air filters in the shop, and try to blast the dust into the direction of the collector system.
This is our solvent storage safety cabinet. It is built like a tank. It cost too much money but it is required for fire safety.
Here are some of our templates hanging around with some saws we use to cut our big boards to rough dimensions. At some point we want to add a template station to have them stored more efficiently.
Here is the shop amp and recording rig. I did a demo video with this mic and interface. I need to spend a little more time doing those.
Another guitar workshop necessity. We just got this monster radius arm belt sander in today. It is used to accurately radius a fretboard. Not sure where it will live yet, but it has to be near a 220v outlet.
We can’t forget the guitars. Thats our guitar workshop tour. We will update it when we get our new spray setup built out. Thanks for checking it out! Can you see your new Weybach in the wood pile?