More German than French.

I have never been comfortable tightly fitting out the trays of my tool chests for a particular set of tools. Even in my giant rolling metal craftsman behemoth the tools have always sort of piled up in the drawers until no more tools fit and the ones on the bottom became inaccessible memories. Part of the…

Samsara, or, one life of many

If it is true that matter can neither be created or destroyed but only redirected as other matter/energy, then perhaps it explains this condition I have that will not allow me to drive by a pile of scrap wood without stopping to assess whether or not that wood can be transformed into something else or…

all trussed up and nowhere to go

After what amounted to an undue amount of fussing about with setting the neck, I used a trick that I saw on a C.F. Martin factory tour to lock everything in. I loosely set the neck in place and slid a piece of sandpaper between the mating surface of the neck and the body (grit…

the sound and the fulcrum

One of the most intimidating elements of luthiery to me has always been the neck. Fitting the neck securely, setting the neck accurately, angling the neck sufficiently… you get the idea. If building the body of the guitar was thinking in four dimensions, fitting the neck is a quantum level beyond that. Or at least…

history vs. mystery

I’ve inherited all of the things I’m ever going to inherit. Most of it is sitting in my garage right now. A few pieces have migrated into the house. Many of them are a complete mystery to me. Like this, for instance: I really have no idea how old it is, where it was made,…

the humble marking knife

After I burned out the motor on my table saw and finally decided to get serious about hand tool woodworking I spent a good deal of time reading about the craft and watching videos online to pick up the finer points of technique. I watched a lot of videos by Paul Sellers at the time because…

the way things look…

I apologize for all the format changes lately. I’ve been trying to find a happy medium between form and function that allows the posts to be easily readable while formatting the pictures in a way that’s helpful and not distracting. I also wanted to make sure I was still highlighting the blogs that I read…

the tales that old tools tell

Some people who restore old tools are interested in the details and minutia of the tools themselves. Others, in the people who used them. I am eternally grateful for the first lot and for all the work they do cataloging this kind of information so that I can reference it as I’m working. The work I…

a funeral and a resurrection story

Things wear out. That’s the course of matter and time and space. Entropy rules the day. Objects are forged and used until they have given their atoms back to the universe and are then reformed into something else. But sometimes, if you are attentive and patient, you can forestall the inevitable and find a second…

the fiddly bits

Last week was a week of catastrophic electronic failure around our house. My laptop went in the shop for one problem and came out with another that proved fatal for the not-so-ultrabook which is now a  brick sitting in my office. I used to do all of my own repair on computers, but after taking one…