Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cigar Box Guitar

I had alot of fun making the ukulele, but really fun is building a simple blues guitar from a cigar box. I really enjoyed going to the second hand antique place here and scrounging around for a nice wood cigar box and miscellaneous bits for the instrument.  I followed some good-old-boy free plans from  This is a great site with lots of information on how to build and play theses distinctly American instruments that were common from before the turn of the century into the '40's.  With tuners, strings, some radio shack electronics to make it electric and the box I spend just $30.  I used some mahogany from the garage stockpile for the neck and small parts.  Now I've got a quirky little three stringed guitar that is really fun to play and sounds damn good.  Check it out.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Here are a few pictures of the completed mini-simms.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011


I made this nearly three years ago and it has been sitting in the garage collecting dust and getting dinged up.  I finally decided to get it finished.  This was pretty much the last of the old cedar siding that I made several surfboards from.  I handplaned it down to a nice 3/32".  I chose a simple instrument design to avoid making bending jigs.  Maybe on the next one.  I bought some parts in Indian rosewood and it contrasts nicely with the old cedar. I can't wait to hear how it sounds!



So now there is fitting, sanding, finishing, installing the tuning pegs and of course stringing.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hand Plane for the Surfdetective

A new and improved handplane for a friend.....fuller nose and nicer lines.  Enjoy it Eric!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Antique Bed

 The frame is still missing a few details, but that will be for another time. 
 This was the only walnut burl veneer left.  It's not in great shape, but its mostly all there.

Just finished the bed and I'm pleased with how it turned out.  It's reglued and reinforced so it should be good for another 50 years of use.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Antique Bed Restoration

A friend asked if I could reglue an old wood bed frame he had.  Old like circa 1850's...?  Sure, sounds fun. This is a cool old bed of mahogany, oak and burled walnut veneer.  Most of the veneer was toast so it was removed to expose the quarter sawn oak underneath.  The head board was in two pieces and needed regluing.  Well, the mortises were so full of old glue and previous repair attempts glue that they had to be chiseled out to full depth.  One of the side frames was cracked, and many of the pieces had just fallen apart.

Back of the reassembled head board.
Glued and pin nailed doublers so it does not come apart again any time soon. 

Side rail with loose bits


Backer for the cracked apron piece.

Starting to look good!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yeah, I'm a Copy Cat...

There is a reason they are popular...they work and are super fun even in 2-foot crap and the strap doesn't even have to be centered!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Dirt Stuff

The desert job is finished for now, but there may be more in the future.  Here are a few pictures for the heck of it.

 That is one big ass trench, about 750 feet long, 15 feet deep and 40 feet wide.  One of three trenches.
 Some of the depositional features that made us put on our thinking caps.  
 Gravel infilled erosion channels or animal burrows??
 Lovely, cooling clouds
Goodbye trench.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Now For Something Completely Different...

I'm one week into a three week gig evaluating fault trenches in 29 Palms for active faulting.  The pros: its pure geology and it pays well; the cons: it's freaking hot and the days are really long.  But really, what else do you do out there beside work and sleep? But I'm happy to be doing something different and interesting.  This is the first of three trenches.  All told there will be close to 1000 feet of trench that we'll get to know intimately.  Here are some pictures:
 These are extra big trenches, about 15 feet deep
 The field office under the blue canopy!

The yellow is some cool fracturing, but no active faults here!

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Tools

 This is the very cool hands-free sanding device.  Not available on TV. 
And the new work stand in the al-fresco glassing station.  Bugs get high for free. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

More Mini - Simmons

 The fins roughed out

 I found some mahogany for the nose and tail blocks in the yard. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And Lid Goes On....

 All planed and ready for the top...

 All clamped up.   This is a hectic 20 minutes!
Some progress photos

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Some More Progress on the Mini Simms

 From the nose...
 From the tail...
Just some pictures of the rail strips getting installed.  No, the big 2x4 is not part of the's just holding the frame in place while the rails go on.  I'm using Sandeply for the ribs on this board.  They are very light, so I expect a significant weight savings without sacrificing strength.  And since they are really light, I don't have to drill huge lightening holes either!  So far so good!