Practice Time with the Big Roubo Saw

  I recently started a new position in my Information Security career, which has kept me away from the shop (and from posting) for a while.  I managed to shoe-horn in some workshop time during Memorial Day weekend 2019, and took the Roubo inspired veneer saw (frame saw) for some test cutting.  Just like any…

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Taking My Glue Pot “off the grid” (Part Two)

Although my shop conversion began in 2005, most of the processes I’ve used over the last 30 years involve hand-tools.  Before the power outage in 2008, I always had access to electric power in the shop.  Electricity was always there to tackle a job I was capable of, but  just didn’t feel like doing at…

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Taking My Glue Pot “off the grid” (Part One)

Ever since I began building instruments, I’ve used some form of electric glue pot to prepare granulated hide glue for my instruments.  For the last 30 years, I’ve either used a double boiler (bain marie) and an electric hot plate, or the iconic “Hold Heet” electric glue pot that’s been my workhorse since the early…

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Lumber Rack Archaeology

      Sometimes, reorganizing a lumber rack that’s been neglected for 13 years can be like an archaeological dig. Among the artifacts uncovered from tidying up the hardwood rack this weekend: a side-hatchet in mid-restoration (left); a KHM #C.45 upper rosette practice piece in some soundboard patch wood; and a razor-sharp, circa 1850’s broadaxe. …

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At last, a pair of decent holdfasts!

Holdfasts are probably the second-most-used clamping tool in my luthiery shop. Since I use holdfasts for securing lute-forms, soundboards, birds-mouths, top battens, and almost everything else, I’m almost always about one pair of holdfasts short of the number I really need. For the last 25 years, I’ve used a pair of cast iron holdfasts from…

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