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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here in SB, I’m an amateur woodworker/ telescope maker/ luthier. I’ve made a few projects like end table and mission style footstool or a small clock. Then I joined an astronomy club and learned how to build my own scope, including grinding my own mirror. Lastly, I just finished my first classical guitar ( a really fun project).

The router has been one of the tools that I feel is a mainstay in creating all of these projects but not the only one. There are many as I know you are aware. I’ve kind of been good with building with my hands. This may be due to my some 50+ years as a dental technician or a couple of years at sea, working with materials at hand, that gave me much opportunity to grow as a young man!

These hobbies along with sports and music I feel has rounded me into enjoying a rather pleasant, simple life.

I currently have a few routers I use. Probably the most used is my Porter Cable 690, both fixed and plunge bases. Then, I have a Makita older 3700B laminate trimmer. Next, I traded a tool for tool and obtained a 3 1/4 HP Porter Cable router and nice looking router table, even though I haven’t used it. This is because I have no workshop and no garage. In fact, all my work has been done on a single piece of 3/4” plywood suspended on two Stanley saw horses! Even so, I’m proud of what I do.

Here is one:
Musical instrument Guitar String instrument String instrument Musical instrument accessory
Musical instrument String instrument String instrument Guitar Plucked string instruments

it’s been nice already talking with a couple of you.I’m looking right now to get a smaller trimmer with a plunge base to do that smaller work like routing channels for a carbon fiber rod or channels for “ letting in” binding on a future guitar.

Nice to greet you all!
Tim C
 

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Wow, making instruments is exacting work. How was the sound? I am fascinated by violins and other stringed instruments with curved tops and back. I have an old one that I keep thinking I should refurbish. Perhaps you know of a place where I can buy parts? Glad you decided to join in. I can say that we would all love to see pictures of your projects as you're doing them. Only a few here are luthiers. I like using hand planes and I've often run across miniature planes for use in shaping curved instrument back. And btw, welcome. Hope you'll be active here, and we'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Hi,
Yes,, I was really shocked that my first instrument made ANY sound😉. It is not as robust as others I have here made by pros. But, the intonation was very good and for the most part I’m extremely satisfied. It’s loud enough. I will be making a couple of modifications. The edges need a more 1/8” round over ( but not with a router). I’ll scrape those and sand lightly. The neck is too beefy. I was reluctant to reduce the thickness because I routed a channel and epoxied a carbon fiber bar in it. The last thing I want is to go through the wood into the routed channel for the bar. But, reducing the shape toward the outside will make it more “ user friendly” and comfortable . I think a good laminate trimmer would work on these guitars for some of the work. One in particular is the cutting of a channel on the outside edges of the body of these guitars for binding. I did it all by hand first time. It worked great but it was long and hard. I’ll be asking for help here for sure.
I’ve seen jigs that use the trimmer to go around the guitars . They’re more than I want to spend. I’ll need something to hold the laminate trimmer as it travels around the body of the guitars. Adding another layer of difficulty is the fact that the upper and lower plates of the guitars are domed! Here’s what I did with a gramil and chisel.

Brown Wood Hardwood Wood stain Tints and shades
Musical instrument Wood Barrel Hardwood Flooring

I use a few supply houses here like Luthiers Mercantile or Stewart McDonald. Allied Lutherie is another. These all have supplies and parts. For Violins, I did get a mini plane from someone down in the South, but I can’t remember exactly. He had great prices!
I also refinished a Martin guitar my mom bought me when I was in 4th grade. Now, that may not be the best thing to do as it is considered a vintage instrument. It’s like ruining the worth of an antique by trying to fix it. But, I think it went through a lot of abuse when I was young so, I felt I owed it to myself to make it right.
Natural material Wood Liver Hardwood Wood stain
Natural material Wood Plant Artifact Tree

This is before. The guitar got sat on in Pasadena when I went down with a good friend ( who just passed this December) to visit his girlfriend. There were some performers who played in a nightclub there that I played with. I went into another room and I think they were smoking dope or something and sat on my guitar. I never did find out but I was so pissed I left.
I visited a guy here in SB who I found is a renown guitar repairman. His name is Jim Lombard. Really a fascinating guy. What I thought was 15 minutes was 1 1/2 hours listening to him!!!He told me it was fixed fairly well ( by someone, not me). So, I decided to take the satin finish off and French polish it ( back and sides). By the way, Jim looked up the guitar. It is a 1959 Martin
0-15. Turned out well I think.

Musical instrument Furniture Guitar Table Wood
Wood Wood stain Flooring Floor Hardwood

Some folks at Lombard’s shop thought t looked pretty good. Sound wise it was as good as ever!
if you do refinish the violin, make sure you are all right with the possibility of reducing the worth if it’s a relic! But, if you do, check out some of the luthiers doing the finish work on these. Especially look for the hand scraper work! Some videos are mind blowing!
Good luck and have fun!

By the way, I just purchased the Makita laminate trimmer with a few bases. I actually felt that one in hand yesterday and decided to get that one. Others I considered were the DeWalt and Bosch Colt. I know I would like those too! The DeWalt I held yesterday ( if it was the 611) was just a tad heavier than I liked. I couldn’t find the Bosch. Reading some of the posts here, I was really close on getting that one. I have a few Bosch tools . I love them. I also have DeWalt. I love those too. If money were no object and I had a large shop, I bet there’d be a couple of those in it also. To be honest, I don’t have a perfect reason for getting the Makita. I just did, I guess because I have an older model (3700B).

Tim
 

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G'day @Tim C , welcome to the forum.
 

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Wow, nice response, lots of detail. The violin is not particularly valuable, and it's pretty beat up. I do love to use scrapers. Far better finish than sandpaper. I suspect that's why some of the older violins look and sound pretty good. Finish is something I'll research if I do give it a go.
 
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