of the most useful tools in my shop is the bandsaw. I have a
Jet 18-inch with a 10-inch throat used for resawing lumber for
sides, tops and backs. I use a Laguna Tools one-inch composite
blade with tooth inserts and no set. Ths blade is expensive but
allows me to get 7 pieces from a 4/4 board with a smooth finish
that can be cleaned up with a sander. I also have a Craftsman
12-inch that I use for everything else
|| This is my
Performax drum sander used to thickness backs, tops and sides.
I use 120-grit paper to avoid deep scratches. This machine creates
a great deal of sawdust and must be connected to a dust collector.
A shop vacuum will not do the job. I clean the drum periodically
with a rubber cleaner bar.
is my shop-made disc sander used to "true-up" the assembled
sides (the hoop) to fit the spherical radius of the top and back
once the kerfing has been glued on. The center of the disc has
a threaded shaft with a nut that can be adjusted to provide a
25-foot radius for backs and 30-foot radius for tops.
|| Here is my
shop-made sanding table which is connected to the dust collector
in the garage. I use this for sanding the body, routing binding
channels, etc. It catched most of the dust but I think it will
work better if I move the dust collector hook-up from the back
of the base to the bottom.
is a vacuum holding jig for scraping binding and sanding sides
on the guitar body. It is just a piece of polycarbonite with
a vacuum line connected to the center through a gage and shutoff.
The black stuff is closed-cell automotive weatherstripping in
two rings around the vacuum hole. I added the two vertical strips
to better support the thin back wood. This thing supplies a tremendous
amount of force on the body. I could lift the entire workbench
by lifting the attached body under vacuum. This is powered by
a small vacuum pump used to dry automotive air conditioner systems
that I got at a pawn shop attached to a small air tank used as
|| This is my
side bender. It is just a piece of 14-gage sheet steel bent in
the center to a 3-inch radius. There is a back plate welded to
the bender to provide a 90 degree reference for bending. The
heat is supplied by a silicone heater blanket glued to the inside
using high temp automotive silicone RTV sealer. Some designs
use a lighting rheostat to control the temperature. This one
holds 400 degrees by plugging it in directly to the 110 volt
house circuit. Simple.
|| This is my shop-made buffer. It is just 3 Sears 8-inch
linen buffing pads mounted on a mandrel driven by an old yard-sale
motor that turns at 1750 RPM. The wheel sticks out beyond the
workbench to give me room to work. You want to avoid presenting
the wheel with any edge, (including a soundhole edge), or anywhere
above the center of the mandrel. The rule for any power tool
is: If you stop pushing, it stops working/cutting/sanding.
I decided to buy a milling machine from Harbor Freight to cut precise saddle slots and head blocks. I am working on a way to cut inlays such as the rectangles Martin uses on the D-45 fretboard
||Shop-Made Tools & Jigs