Scrap wood

When building a guitar or any project for that matter I set aside each piece of scrap wood until the project is done. I also gather up the sanding material dust to use as a filler should the need arise. (As seen below )

One reason this topic came to mind was after I made a mistake with my table saw and cut to deep damaging the first fret position of my guitar neck. I at first panicked that I just wrecked what would have been a really cool guitar neck. Then once I calmed down and got to thinking I realized that I had saved the original piece that I had cut from the head stock and that the grain would be a match to splice into the damaged fret.

Above is a couple pictures of the splice I had to install. It wasn’t an exact match but close enough given the circumstance.

After a bunch of sanding and fret leveling the gouged fret surface looks not to bad and is completely serviceable. If I hadn’t kept the scrap wood from this particular build I would have had to toss the neck and start over.




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Cutting Fret Slots

Just thought I would pass on this tip on cutting fret slots.

The above picture shows what happens when you pull your fret saw up and out of your cut. The teeth will grab the edge of the top of the slot and chip out some material. This leads to extra work having to fill these chipped out areas before you can start your fretting job.

Most guitar fret boards are made with hard wood species such as ebony. These are very hard to cut and prone to chipping out. Because of these characteristics I make sure I use a super sharp fretting saw with an attached depth guide. I also highly recommend you use a mite box to make each cut. I use regular sawing motion to cut the fret slot, but when it is to the correct depth I slide the saw out of the freshly cut slot and call it done. I never simply lift the saw out of the freshly cut slot. If you do it will result in the first picture above with little chip out spots where the teeth of the saw grabbed material on its way out.

If you approach cutting fret slots in this way you will get nice clean cuts and you fretting experience will be much more enjoyable.


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Parts Organizers

Just thought I would share what I use as parts organizers.

They are fishing tackle organizers with removable dividers. I bought these at Bass Pro, but I am sure any sporting goods store will carry similar cases.

I find them extremely handy to assess my parts inventory at a single glance and stock up on parts that I feel I will soon be running short on. My garage can get quite dusty if I am cutting guitar necks or sanding and these cases keep all the parts clean and dust free as well. They also stack very well and make for easy storage.

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Something most builders forget to keep in stock is tuners with an assortment of shaft lengths.

I was caught in this situation on my last build and it brought things to a halt pretty quickly. I was not in a position to wait and place an order for different tuners so I had to change my original planned head stock design.

This unplanned modification lead to other problems and it made me wish that I had long shaft tuners in stock as a general rule. It wasn’t something I gave much thought about in the past because all my head stock designs were the same thickness. As I have branched out to more free style custom designs, the need to have a wider variety of parts on hand is becoming more important. I just thought I would pass this on as food for thought, so that your next parts order might include items of different dimensions that you might not otherwise think to include.

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Ashton CBG #2

I decided to use some more exotic wood for the Ashton CBG build.

I had picked up some Zebra wood that had some awesome grain structure and figured it wood make some killer cigar box guitar necks.

I will post more pics when I have finished fretting it and have installed the tuners.

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Ashton CBG

Here is some photo’s from my latest cigar box guitar build the Ashton CBG.

I like these cigar boxes because they have a nice finish and the thickness and quality of wood is stellar, which makes for an awesome sounding guitar. The thickness of the sides makes for a very durable instrument as can be seen in the picture below.

Stay tuned for more pictures of the Ashton CBG build, I have some interesting wood choices for the neck and it should turn out to be an awesome looking guitar.



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Drill Bit Gauge

I should have included a drill bit gauge in the last post.

It is in my opinion a drill bit gauge is another must have piece of equipment that makes your life so much easier. I am always reaching for mine to size up bolts and miscellaneous other pieces of hardware besides just drill bits. In fact it might be a good idea to pick up several and hang one on your drill press, throw one in your drill index and another on your work bench.

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Drill Index

I was making a couple custom amps this last weekend and realized how much I rely on my drill index.

It is like the one pictured above and has both metric and imperial sizes. I find this to be most helpful when using recycled / repurposed parts. It is my secret weapon for final fit and finishing on most projects. I don’t think I have run across a bolt or screw or dowel pin that I did not have the correct size.

So do yourself a favour and make a good quality drill index a must have piece of equipment for your shop.


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Why Infinity Jars

Why should I use Infinity Jars?

As promised I thought everyone would be interested in some of the science behind what Infinity Jars are all about, here is what they have to say.

“Infinity Jars are the premium solution for ANY of your storage needs. Our signature Ultraviolet Glass line is made of quality deep purple glass and are sanitized and treated with a dual coating process. The unique pigment filters out harmful natural light that accelerates decay, allowing UV-A and Infrared through, which preserves the bio-energy and potency of your goods.”

Here is one of the tests they did which really has me interested in their products.

I will be trying this with my latest fresh BBQ rub to see how things turn out and will keep everyone posted. But at this stage I am very impressed with the quality of the glass and the seal inside the lids are of good quality as well. Anyone making custom lotions and salves could take their packaging and presentation up to the next level with these jars. Yes this will mean you will need to charge a little bit more, but if you educate the customer about the benefits of these jars it might turn into an added selling feature. I would then offer an incentive to customers that bring back the jar to have refilled, which could very well help increase your repeat customer business.

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Infinity Jars

I was excited a couple weeks ago when a representative from Infinity Jars contacted me and inquired about working together to provide our customers and subscribers the highest quality glass storage containers on the market.

This peaked my interest as I store a wide range of very expensive rare herbs that need a shelf stable environment. Proper storage of these very sensitive herbs helps keep them fresh and locks in potency that is so important with medicinal herbs.

So I was pretty excited when my parcel came the other day. I was very impressed with how well they were packaged and the little extra’s like labels and special cleaning cloth that they had included. Upon closer inspection the Infinity Jars do have that sense and feel of high quality glass. They remind me of a darker version of a high grade blue apothecary glass container.

I can’t wait to put some of my fresh herbs in them and see how they perform. I will also be testing them with some of my medicinal ointments to see how long they will extend the shelf life of that product as well.

My next post will give you a better idea of what Infinity Jars are all about and what makes them different from the rest

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