Sinker Redwood

      What final thickness is best for sinker redwood?

      Why can this material not be salvaged any more?

 

 

Bending Machine

      How much does it cost to construct?

 

 

 

Fingerboard Radius Fixture

      Will it radius a fingerboard already attached to the neck?

      How long of a fingerboard will this fixture radius?

      How much does it cost to construct?

      How does it work?

 

 

Fret Polishing Tool

      How does it work?

 

 

Fret Vise

      What was it designed to do?

      How do you get the hemispherical shape on the fret?

 

 

What final thickness is best for sinker redwood?


Often redwood can be left a little thicker than spruce, depending on its stiffness. With our 16 1/4 wide steel string guitars, we have made them as thick as 3mm or .118-.120 inch thick in the past with smaller bodied guitars being a few thousands thinner. The one I am working on now is quite stiff and so I took it down to .105 inch. The best way to decide on the proper thickness is to deflection test each top either by hand or the way we do it is to place a 16 inch long, 6 pound weight in the middle of the joined top that is suspended between two up-side-down aluminum angles the length of the guitar body apart and measure the deflection. Then you can thickness sand until you reach a certain point of deflection with a dial indicator. There is quite a range of stiffness within a certain species of trees and even within the same tree!

 

If you measure each top and record the data, you will be able to determine the optimum thickness for each top, regardless of the species based on deflection and not by some predetermined formula.  On sharp wasted guitars like OMs, its a good idea to reinforce the inside of the waste with a small patch with the grain orientation 90 degrees to the top. This way, the stress of the neck rotation on the body is not focused on one grain line near the waste.

 

Finally, regardless of the type of wood used for the top, make a small dome for strength and to resist splitting when the humidity drops. This is really important for all species and especially redwood.

 

 

Why can this material not be salvaged any more?

 

Don't get me started...This is a passionate issue. Actually, it's not impossible to salvage at all. You just need to file a stream alteration plan, file an environmental impact report and hire a marine biologist to prove that the salmon and other wild life will not be negatively impacted by the operation and there may be a few other legal hoops to jump through. It's just not financially possible. Really, it's a good thing that there are people that are concerned about the situation. There are no simple answers for these kinds of problems.

 

 

How much does the bending machine cost to construct?

 

It should cost just under $100 depending on where you shop. We have sources listed for items you might not find in your hardware store. The high-dollar item is the spring stainless steel sheets at approx. $50. If you want to use a heating blanket instead of the light bulbs as shown on the drawings, it will add to the cost.

 

 

Will it radius a fingerboard already attached to the neck?

 

No. There is equipment that can do that with the use of an edge sander rotated flat, but they are pretty expensive.

 

The advantage of my system is the simplicity and accuracy. Its really only a 3-sided box with a carriage. But I explain how you can further refine the runners so that you can actually cut the proper amount of relief at each fret so that you can achieve great action every time.

 

There is very little fine-tuning to do after glue-up.

 

 

How long of a fingerboard will this fixture radius?

 

The fixture will comfortably shape a 22+ long fingerboard and almost 3 wide the way it is drawn but the tool can be modified to any length and width.

 

How much does it cost to construct?

 

Assuming that you had none of the materials needed in your shop the fixture would cost approximately $35 to build. The router bit is $26.95 + shipping.

 

How does the fingerboard radius jig work work?

 

The fingerboard is double-stick taped in 3 places on a carriage that travels laterally across this 3-sided box. Inside the box at the bottom are 2 guides that have the radius that is to be translated to the FB. By means of small wheels under the carriage, the radius is followed. These radius blocks are easy to make. We provide full size computer generated radius drawings for a variety of radii that can be glued to a block that is trimmed down to the line for close tolerance. Both regular radii and compound radii are possible with very little fine-tuning after glue-up to the neck. The radius is cut into the FB quickly and accurately and the jig is easy to build.

 

 

How does the fret polishing tool work work?

 

This tool is used to remove the file marks left on the frets after leveling and recrowning. There are no wear items on the tool itself, rather, customer supplied abrasives are used. The use of the tool calls for 3 grits of wet-or-dry silicone carbide paper. This should be available at most hardware stores. Then, the frets are ready for a final polish. The final step of polishing is accomplished by another small tool, not included, which takes minutes to make in your shop. Construction and use of both polishing tools is included in the instruction sheet.

 

 

What was it designed to do?

 

The fret vise is designed to hold the fret firmly while treating the end in some way.

 

 

How do you get the hemispherical shape on the fret?

 

It's really fairly easy. The hardest part is hanging on firmly to the fret while you are making that semi-hemispherical shape on the end. That is why I came up with this tool in the first place.

First I measure and cut the fret to length. Then the end is rounded with a file and fine sanded and polished. The whole process only takes a few seconds with a little practice and is fully explained in the instructions. Musicians really love the smooth feel and good looks of this treatment and we can give them a hair more fret length than a simple bevel provides.

 

Luthier's CoolTools | 19590 Shafer Ranch Road | Willits | CA | 95490 (707) 459-0820 | deana@luthierscooltools.com