Friday, January 26, 2018

Making a 4 string acoustic guitar out of scrap wood and metal

Looking at an old rusty fire extinguisher I had, an idea of a DIY musical instrument came to me. I also had a pine bed I found in the garbage. So I decided to combine wood and metal and a create a unique four string instrument.

First of all I cleaned and emptied the fire extinguisher. I then used the angle grinder to cut out out the section I needed. I also used the angle grinder with a sanding disc, to remove the paint and the rust.

I then cut the bed to boards with a hand saw, I jointed and planed the pieces using my planer-jointer machine.

I then cut the two blocks of the body on the bandsaw. I sanded them on my belt sander. On one block I used the bandsaw to create the female dovetail. I cleaned that up with a sharp chisel.

I then glued the blocks on the body with two part epoxy. I also added a few screws for extra strength. I then prepared and glued two small pieces on the sides. Those provide extra glueing surface for my guitar’s top. I trimmed the excess wood with my block plane. I then jointed my body’s face by sanding it over a flat board with glued sand paper on it.

The top needs to be really thin. To plane such a thin board, I glued the piece on a piece of plywood with a few drops of hot glue and passed it through the thickness planer. I saw that technique in a video made by Nick Ferry.

I glued the two braces under the top. After the glue dried out, I used a chisel to shape them at my likeness. Using a forstner bit I bored the sound hole. I glued the top on the body. To clamp that odd shape, I made a few curved blocks.

Using the bandsaw I cut as much material as I could out of the neck’s male dovetail. I finished the job with a handsaw and a chisel.

The neck is glued with the headstock at an angle. To create that angle I used a tapered block glued on the neck and made a rip cut on the table saw. I used the bandsaw to cut the back of the neck. I glued the headstock with the neck. The piece of the neck I removed on the bandsaw was planned flat and used as the fret board.

On the table saw I used a cross cut sled to create a groove under the fretboard. I did that with several passes. This helps the top to sit under the fretboard.

My instrument’s scale from nut to bridge is 59,5cm. I used an online fret calculator to measure the fret positions. I marked the positions of the frets. I cut thin slots with a miter box. I then used a V file to open up the slots. This increased my glueing surface. I then glued the fretboard on the neck. I also used two wooden pins, to prevent the fretboard from sliding around during the glue up. I used this pins as fret position guides. I trimmed them flush with a flush trim saw after the glue dried.

I shaped the neck using a block plane and a spokeshave. The difficult to reach areas I shaped with a rasp. I moved to a file and finished with sandpaper.

I used nails as frets. I cut the heads with the angle grinder. I secured the fretboard on my vise. I used a spirit level to make sure it was flat to prevent the glue from dripping. I then glued the frets with epoxy. After the epoxy dried I tried to trim the frets flush with the angle grinder. This created a lot of heat and the epoxy melted in few frets and popped them out. So I cleaned the slots again and reglued the frets. This time I had already cut them to size before glue up.

I cut a scrap metal piece with the grinder to act as string holder. I made the holes needed on the drill press while lubricating the drilling process. This helps me keep the drill bit sharper for much longer.

I then made the bridge out of maple and plexiglass. I routed the slot of the bridge using my router table. I shaped the plexiglass of the neck and bridge using a file and sand paper. 

Using a large sanding block I leveled the frets. I polished them with steel wool. I buffed them using my rotary tool with a buffing disc and polishing compound.

I glued the neck on the body.

I installed the keys, the string holders and the string guides.

I added strings, tuned it up and my little DIY guitar was ready for some blues!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

How to make a DIY router table

I made this mini router table for my trim router. It is made out of 9mm birch plywood. It has a movable fence and a place for my dust collection system.

First of all I cut a few strips of plywood on my table saw. For the cross cuts I used my cross cut sled.

I then used my router’s base to mark the positions of the holes I needed. Using a forstner bit I drilled the center hole. I then drilled the screw holes. To prevent the screw heads from not being flush, I used a forstner bit again to create some kind of counter sink.

I then cut the pieces for the body of the table. These are joined with rabbets. I made the rabbets on the table saw. I moved the fence back after every cut, until the pieces fitted snuggly in the rabbets. I then glued and nailed the pieces together, using my air powered nail gun.

Using my circular saw and a guide rail, I cut the back panel. I glued and nailed it in place also.

I sanded the back flush with the top using my random orbit sander. I glued and nailed the two side top pieces. The inner top piece is movable so I can mount the router in place. I achieved that by keeping it in place using two 8mm dowels. With the top in it’s place I drilled the hole for the router bit using a forstner bit again.

I cut the pieces for the fence of the table. I also used solid wood blocks for the fence’s support and guide rails. I rounded over the stock for the blocks with my spokeshave. I cut four blocks on my table saw using a stop block on my cross cut sled. I also made an insert for my dust collection system. I glued and nailed all the pieces of the fence together. I also used a block plane to plane the guide rails to size after the glue dried.

At this point my homemade router table was ready. I mounted on the router and secured the fence and the table itself using clamps.

I made a couple of test cuts and it worked really nicely! I hope you enjoyed the video and found it useful! 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Making a 100K thank you sign out of spruce

Recently I reached 100.000 subscribers in my youtube channel. So I made this spruce sign to thank them all for your support!

First of all I cut a spruce board to size using a hand saw.

I then hammered two nails in the sides of the board. I then connected the two nails with a rubber band. This mechanism helped me establish my vanishing points and guides. That’s because the main element of my design would be typography with extreme perspective. 

I then drew my design by hand. I used several visuals referring to projects I’ve done over the years.

I then nailed the sign on my bench top to prevent it from moving, while routing. I added a V bit on my router and carved on the lines I drew earlier, digging about 1,5mm.

I then sprayed the sign with black paint. After the paint dried out I sanded the excess paint with my random orbit sander. I begun at 50grit, moved to 80 and then 120. Now the paint stayed only inside the carved area!

I used my bandsaw to create a “broken wood” effect by removing material from the sides of the sign.

I then rounded over the edges with a block plane and the spokeshave. I also used a carving gouge to round over a few really difficult to reach spots.

I masked the front of the sign with blue tape. I painted the back and the sides black. This raised the grain of the wood. So I light sanded with 220grit and then applied another coat of paint. I also used my heat gun to speed the drying process up.

I painted a few elements of my design with water based wood stains. These come in powder form. You just mix them with water.

I finished the piece with a few coats of clear varnish while lightly sanding between coats.

I added a hanging wire in the back and my sign was ready.

I hope you like it. I really want to thank all my subscribers for the support!


Friday, January 5, 2018

How to make a DIY painter's rolling cart

I made this art supplies cart out of 9mm plywood. It is really helpful to have all your painting tools and paints in one portable spot.

First of all I used my circular saw and a guide rail to cut a sheet of plywood to more manageable pieces.

The bottom part of the cart will receive plastic bottles full of basic color paints. Using a circle cutting jig on my router I cut circles to receive the bottles. I completed the circles with three passes.

I then cut the sides of the bottom part. I glued all the parts of the bottom together using my air powered nail gun.

Using similar methods I made the top part of the cart. This time I also used the hole saw to make smaller holes. Those will receive small containers. In those containers I can prepare the colors I need in larger quantities while I paint.

I then glued and nailed the sides of the cart on the top and bottom pieces. I reinforced the sides using screws. To install the screws nicely, I predrilled pilot holes and counter sinked them.

I then cut the back panel on the table saw. For the cross cut, I used my cross cut sled. I nailed and glued it in place.

I then cut the side supports for the shelves. I glued and nailed everything in place.

I cut the pieces of the drawer. I also cut a groove on their bottom in order to receive the drawer’s bottom panel. To open the drawer I used a forstner bit to create a semi circular opening. I glued nailed and screwed the drawer pieces together.

I then cut four rectangular pieces on the table saw, using my cross cut sled and a stop block. I glued them on the bottom of the cart and then screwed the wheels in place.

I added two pieces on the sides. Those will provide more support for the handles. Using a caliper I measured the distances for the handles. I also used the caliper to transfer the distance on the sides of the cart. I drilled the holes needed. I used a forstner bit to drill out material from the inner side of the holes. This way the screw heads won’t interfere with the drawers.

I then screwed the handles in place. 

I then used some wood filler to cover up any gaps I had. After the filler dried out I sanded everything flush. I begun with a really aggressive 50 grit sanding disc, moved to 80 and stopped at 120. I did that with my random orbit sander. Using a disc I hand sanded all the edges.

I blew the dust off the cart with my air gun.

My cabinet was now ready. I needed a portable cart for my art supplies. This way I can easily store or use all my painting stuff when I have to do so!

I hope you like it and find it useful!