Off Grid Guitar Building

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
romanticguitars
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:56 pm
Location: New Mexico

Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by romanticguitars » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:36 am

Been awhile since I posted but have been really busy... too many repairs and restorations! Which is not a bad thing, but I recently was given a Wayne Henderson guitar to repair... one from the late 90's and it scared me to death... the thing is valued at about 30K... I don't even like keeping guitars like that in my shop for very long! Don't know about you … I have my new shop set up and am building with ONLY north American woods. I have started a copy of Jimmy D'Aquisto's "classical"... of course being an archtop builder you can surmise that it won't be your conventional Torres copy... I've chosen white oak for the sides and back, western red cedar for the neck, spruce top, cherry binding, New Mexico (where I live) pistachio for finger board and bridge...


Along with this I have my new shop set up and am happily completely off the grid including our solar well pump. My fear was I couldn't power enough of my tools and provide electricity to the rest of the building (about 3000 sq feet) but indeed the system I installed works perfectly for routers, table saws, band saws, drill press whatever. I also found a design for a thickness sander that I modified for guitar building and made the entire thing for less than two hundred dollars... thinned the oak sides to 1.8mm in a breeze! (1/4 hp motor running off my solar bank) So came time to bend sides and to conserve I mounted aluminum pipe to the woodstove I installed to get the chill out and using charcoal and juniper logs get the pipe up to 400 degrees... problem solved. So as I progressed through all this I found I prefered to do everything I could by hand so sold off most of the power tools and invested in professional grade hand tools... I will use the thickness sander anf belt sander... can't be without those!!! I love not having a single utility bill!

Now I can get back to building a few classicals I always wanted to build... if anyone is interested in making any of these changes, I can share the information ... thanks
"Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart." Segovia

printer2
Posts: 558
Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 9:20 pm
Location: Winnipeg

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by printer2 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:34 am

I made a drum sander with a 1/3 hp motor, Takes a while at times but one of my few tools I would rather not be without.
Fred

khs
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:20 am
Location: SEOUL, KOREA

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by khs » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:19 am

Dear Romanticguitar.
I appreciate your way of doing luthiery. It is thought there would be nothing go wrong with nontropical woods. Your chosen material and mode of thinking will bring you guitars as good as (or even better than) the ones made with traditional tropical woods. As for me, I also ordered and prepared nine sets of curly maple and cherry B/S. So my next guitar will be made with cherry B/S and spruce top. Anyway would you post and let us see your drum sander? Thanks.

ernandez R
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:06 pm

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by ernandez R » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:58 am

khs wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:19 am
Dear Romanticguitar.
I appreciate your way of doing luthiery. It is thought there would be nothing go wrong with nontropical woods. Your chosen material and mode of thinking will bring you guitars as good as (or even better than) the ones made with traditional tropical woods. As for me, I also ordered and prepared nine sets of curly maple and cherry B/S. So my next guitar will be made with cherry B/S and spruce top. Anyway would you post and let us see your drum sander? Thanks.

I think I have seen printer's drum sander but not enough details to tell exactly how it worked.

I too wouldn't mind seeing both!

I have a couple sets of matching back and side wood of Birch I dread the thought of thicknessing and the Boss says no $1k drum sander.

HR
I hate sanding wood or anything else for that matter I just happen to be good at it...

romanticguitars
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:56 pm
Location: New Mexico

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by romanticguitars » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:29 am

Thanks for the input and compliments! Here area few photos. These photos are of the prototype I built and a few things have changed on my second one. I used a different straight standing leg assembly and a 28 inch drum, as opposed to this one which is 19 inches. Notice this was initially designed to used off the shelf sand paper held in place with a hardwood wedge. I switched that to velcro system from Grizzly so you can change grits much more easily and the velcro provide a nice cushion. I don't have photos of the upgraded one because I mentioned it to a cabinet maker in Santa Fe and he bought it from me immediately. Oh well, so I'm making another but a bit smaller for guitar work... I've started one with a 12 inch long (3 inch diameter) smaller unit so it can be used on the bench top. Then stored away. I'm making the drums on my old PowerKraft wood lathe, The bushings in the lathe are 5/8 diameter, the same size as shaft I'm using, so can be any length up to about 30 inches. Routing two pieces of hardwood, inserting the rod, drilled for 5 finishing nails to keep the shaft from every moving the gluing the two halves together using T-88 aircraft epoxy. 24 hours then inset it on the shaft in my lathe and turn it to a bout 3 inches. Works great, VERY solid. I used 100 grit for the sides and back since I'll be fine finish sanding them anyway. The motor is a 1/4 horse with turning about 1500 RPM... I tried a 1 horse turning 3200 RPM and the sander started to take off... learn by doing! You'll notice the shaft is sticking out kinda far on one end that's because I will mount a small drum on the outside for sanding small stuff. Note too the step pulley which is nice for gearing it up or down... The table has two door hinges on one end and a screw wheel so it's easy to adjust from about two inches to basically zero. Easy to get your sides down to 1mm on this... anyway thanks and be happy to answer any questions. :bye:
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"Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart." Segovia

khs
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:20 am
Location: SEOUL, KOREA

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by khs » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:29 am

dear Romanticguitars
The sanding drum is impressive. "Easy to get your sides down to 1mm!" By and by I feel inclined to make one like that with a more compact version. In my experience, thicknessing thin strips is always challenging and time consuming. How do you manage the dust problem? And would you let me know the top surface material?
Thanks for sharing. :merci:

romanticguitars
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:56 pm
Location: New Mexico

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by romanticguitars » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:22 am

Thank you for your compliment! Not see in the photo, I I drilled a hole in the top of the cover to attach a vacuum hose... and put sides on the cover which is held in place by small screws. The table material is 3/4 inch particle board (composite) topped with a sheets of a formica laminate type counter top material. Most of the material I had laying around in my shop. Also you can add a "sled" to push the wood through the drum area.

Thanks!
"Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart." Segovia

ernandez R
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:06 pm

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by ernandez R » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:04 am

romanticguitars wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:22 am
Thank you for your compliment! Not see in the photo, I I drilled a hole in the top of the cover to attach a vacuum hose... and put sides on the cover which is held in place by small screws. The table material is 3/4 inch particle board (composite) topped with a sheets of a formica laminate type counter top material. Most of the material I had laying around in my shop. Also you can add a "sled" to push the wood through the drum area.

Thanks!
Romantic,
Thanx for sharing the photos.

Do you just push the wood through with your hands?

How much to you sand in a pass?

I recall reading, you know somewhere on the Internet, that it's best to push the wood through at a 30deg angle. Wondering if you have experience the same?

I just happen to be in the big city for a week and will be gathering up parts etc. kind of excited because prepping my side, top and back wood for thicknes is my bottle neck and the commercial drum sander I have my eye on is $1k...

Thanx again,

HR
I hate sanding wood or anything else for that matter I just happen to be good at it...

romanticguitars
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:56 pm
Location: New Mexico

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by romanticguitars » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:24 pm

Hello HR, the way I do it is place the side (or whatever I'm sanding) between the drum and the table, crank the table up to where the side is slightly tight, then back it off a little, pull the side out and give and crank the table about a 1/4 turn, perfect for taking off a 32 or so... but for me it is just by feel and I take several passes and measure each time to get the thickness I want.. in this case as in the photos that is white oak and I want the sides just under 2mm, between 1.5 and is what I shoot for. So if you start out with sides about 4mm figure about 8 passes or so but it depends on the wood etc... you get a feel for it pretty fast. The table has a very slight angle. I push the wood through and it's a fairly gently process. I built this sander for about 150 dollars and it took 2 days because I was waiting for glue to dry. I based this on plans I found in a 1950's Popular Science magazine. I did a lot of research and like those plans best, and modified them somewhat. As to the drum, you don't need a lathe to turn the wood. After you get the shaft in place through the wood block you can mount it on your sander base and use a block of wood for the guide and turn it right there to the circumference you want. Add sand paper, done. The pillow bearings (bushings) and pulleys I bought on Amazon, the belt from Napa, the motor from a local guy who has a room full of motors he buys at auctions... the motor I got is new and paid 45 dollars for it... the wood from your favorite lumber yard... the 5/8 shaft from the hardware store. The cool thing about this design is you can make it any size you want, you make a three foot drum if you wanted one... and it wouldn't cost much more.

Here's a photo of the one I based mine on... there are many home made designs out there but I wanted simple and cheap... another advantage to this design is you can easily remove the drum assembly and use the table to mount a small drill press, scroll saw etc... Hope this helps!
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"Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart." Segovia

RJVB
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:29 am

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by RJVB » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:44 am

Your solar panel installation must be big and exposed enough to act as a "roadsign" on Google Earth? ;)

Love the photos of home-made tools but please do post pictures of your instruments too (esp. if you build an archtop for classical?)
Gretsch G9240 "Alligator" wood-body resonator converted to non-metal strings
Bolink baroque violin, Nadegini modern violin (both F.S.)

ernandez R
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:06 pm

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by ernandez R » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:28 pm

Picked up a shaft, two pillow blocks, pullys, etc... stay tuned ;)

Oh, how did you use the Velcro paper on your drum?

Rocket
I hate sanding wood or anything else for that matter I just happen to be good at it...

romanticguitars
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:56 pm
Location: New Mexico

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by romanticguitars » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:43 pm

Great! Love to see your progress! The solution for the best drum covering I found a Grizzly tools item number H 5037 Hook and Loop conversion kit. The Velcro has a VERY tough sticky side you peel off the velcro is attached but be sure to fit it THEN peel the paper off... then attach various grids... makes it easy to change...

Robert
"Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart." Segovia

ernandez R
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:06 pm

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by ernandez R » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:02 pm

Found an old dusty motor collecting dust in one of our old sheds, says Delta and looks to be from the 1940s. Rewiered with a new card and ops checked her 👍 . Says 1750 RPM on the data plate.

Roughed out the roller and glued the shaft... nothing special, just a few minutes on the table saw. I did drill two dawel holes to keep it all aligned during the glue up.

HR
image.jpeg
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I hate sanding wood or anything else for that matter I just happen to be good at it...

ernandez R
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:06 pm

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by ernandez R » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:16 am

Waiting for the sandpaper...

Kept it simple. Less then $100 except for the $60 adjustable belt. It was worth it :)

HR


image.jpeg
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I hate sanding wood or anything else for that matter I just happen to be good at it...

romanticguitars
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:56 pm
Location: New Mexico

Re: Off Grid Guitar Building

Post by romanticguitars » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:46 am

!!! Bravo!!
"Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart." Segovia

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