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Everything posted by difalkner

  1. Almost two years ago I fired up the CNC for the first time and right away decided to cut a sign with several bit changes, varying depths of cut on the letters, generated in one G-code, and no clue how to make bit changes once it took off. But, it was an inexpensive and soft piece of WRC so I let 'er rip. Well, I completely messed it up and kept the piece as a reminder as to what happens when you get in over your head. The other day I decided I would modify the file because I know a WHOLE lot more about Fusion 360 now and thought I'd see if I could cut the sign properly on the other side of the same board. Here's the one from Dec. 2016 - And the one from this week - I haven't decided whether to paint it, stain it, or just leave it alone. If I hang it on the house it will be out of the weather and away from the sun. You have my permission to laugh at my expense - I did! LOL! David
  2. difalkner

    Marriage sign (or plaque)

    This is something I came up with a while back and have made a few but I thought I'd post a few photos of this one. It's a marriage, wedding, or anniversary sign (plaque?) in Walnut with a Maple cross. This can be hung on a wall or set on the easel I also designed. It's got one coat of Nitrocellulose sanding sealer and one coat of gloss. Enjoy! David
  3. difalkner

    Another Stripes Plaque

    Had an order for another stripes plaque in Walnut and Maple. This one is an SFC Stripe, about 12" x 18", finished in Nitrocellulose lacquer. And for a size comparison here it is in front of the guitar I recently built - David
  4. difalkner

    Another Stripes Plaque

    In the summer of 1974 I took the shop tour at CF Martin and got the bug to build. Then in December 1974 I traveled to Wartrace, TN, to visit JW Gallagher & Sons to visit their shop and place an order to have a guitar built for me. Seeing both in the short period of time, huge production facility but still hand made Martin guitars and Gallagher's small shop building about 75 guitars each year, just drove it home for me that I really need/want to build guitars. I had a small shop, about 10x20, in 1985 and a sacrificial guitar with a top that needed replacing, a back that was split, and a fingerboard with issues. So I replaced the top, the back, part of the neck and headstock and then refinished the guitar. It sounded very good and I still play it. But life got in the way and I didn't get to build again. So I started acquiring woods and tools and finally reached the point where it was either 'now or never' - I chose now. I want to build many guitars the first one took a while because I was building templates, fixtures, forms, jigs, etc. for each step. What took me 6 months to do on the first one I accomplished in a week on the second one. I've had to put it aside to work on other things but when I get back on it I expect it to go much quicker. And I have to tell you it is doable, not that difficult, and extremely rewarding! The biggest tool in my shed is patience - I have a ton of it! David
  5. difalkner

    Another Stripes Plaque

    Thanks, John! The guitar is close to the sound I want but I need to work on the intonation. It's close but I want it closer. Once I get that right, if I can ever get time to get back on it, I'll do a video of me playing it unless I can find a real picker. The sound is bright, clear, with a lot of sustain. I can strike a chord and still hear it 20 seconds later. At this point I'm glad it hasn't self destructed by the string tension! David
  6. Yes, another cutting board thread... sorry. This is an all Maple board 12" x 15" x 1 1/4". The top 1/2" is bookmatched with some nice ribbon in a few spots, mostly toward the left side. The reason I'm posting yet another cutting board is that I've never done one like this and that's typically what I post. I don't see any point in showing y'all cutting boards just like the last 10 or 20 I've made so you get to see the new ones and then I won't bother y'all again. Well, unless it's sort of the same with a new and interesting twist. I cut the board, drew the design in CorelDraw X8, and took the CorelDraw artwork to the laser shop I do work for and they cut it for me while I had a cup of coffee and waited the 30 minutes it took to burn the design. This was cut on a 60 watt Epilog and done in one pass. I lightly sanded the whole board with 400 grit when I got back to the shop so the tree and other burn areas would take on a bit more character. Then the standard 2 coats of mineral oil the first day followed by our Beeswax and mineral oil mix the next day. On the bottom are silicone rubber feet attached with stainless steel screws. Anyway, here's the board. David
  7. difalkner

    Laser Etched Cutting Board

    Thanks, Lew! I get mine from a guy on eBay and the reason I use silicone rubber and SS screws is because that's FDA approved. Plain rubber or vinyl and regular screws that are cadmium plated or zinc plated, etc., are not FDA approved. The last time I bought I got a boatload of these so I'd have to find the order and see who I bought from. David Edit: I forgot how easy it is to look up old purchases on eBay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Cutting-Board-SOFT-Bumper-Feet-Small-1-2-Medium-5-8-Large-7-8-XL/222334068775?hash=item33c424a827:m:mebGJbdrp0ieQwgvsyvNVIA:sc:USPSFirstClass!71111!US!-1
  8. difalkner

    Command Chief Stripes Plaque

    I had a request to make a plaque for a Command Chief and this is what we came up with, an unsteamed Walnut and Maple plaque. It's pretty large, actually, so I included a shot of it by the guitar I just finished. The plaque is about 12" x 21" and the Maple inlays are about 1/8" thick. The finish is Nitrocellulose lacquer. David
  9. difalkner

    Command Chief Stripes Plaque

    Actually took an order today to do another, albeit slightly different this time. SFC Stripe? I wasn't in the military so no idea what any of these mean but I have the artwork and will get started. David
  10. difalkner

    Command Chief Stripes Plaque

    To me it's just another tool in the shop. I use it when it makes sense for time, accuracy, or repeatability. A few weeks ago I cut 30 plaque bases (posted it here, as well) and someone locally commented that I should have cut the entire piece on the CNC but all I cut was the slot for the acrylic plaque. My reasoning was simple - it took all of 10 minutes to cut the 25° taper on the front of the base for all 30 pieces. It would have taken a whole lot longer on the CNC and I would have had a lot more wasted material. But I'm ok with the CNC hybrid moniker - it's still just another tool in the shop. David
  11. difalkner

    Command Chief Stripes Plaque

    Thanks, Guys! Gene, I started to put it there but I also used the planer, jointer, tablesaw, drum sander, spindle sander, chisels, and Dremel. It's not just a CNC piece that I drew and cut in an hour. Lots and lots of hand work to get it to that point. But that just tells me that the CNC guy isn't very good... these pieces should just 'fit' right out of the CNC. David
  12. difalkner

    1st Acoustic Guitar Build

    Ok, I've mentioned this many times and it's finally to a point where I can post photos. Over the last 30 years or so I have replaced tops, backs, done fret jobs, inlay, glued braces and lining, refinished, made bridges, saddles, and nuts, replaced tuners, and all kinds of repairs, etc. but this is the first guitar I've built from scratch. I cut all the wood for this including resawing the back/sides/top, cutting the binding and bracing from lumber or billets, etc. Along the way I've designed and built my own modular cantilever side bending fixture that will accommodate sizes from Jumbo down to 0, possibly smaller like a Ukulele. I'll post photos of the side bending fixture later and also built all the forms, fixtures, templates, and jigs for the build. I started the build a couple of years ago just working an hour in the evening, sometimes two, and some on weekends, but I put it aside and didn't touch it for about 8 months. I'll tell you ahead of time that it sounds good, is bright, has great sustain, and plays very easily with good action. But it may be a while before I make a video of it being played. Back and sides - Honduras Mahogany Top and bracing - Sitka Spruce Neck - African Mahogany with Maple and Honduras Mahogany center pieces Headstock, rosette, arm bevel, heel cap, and tail wedge - Walnut burl Headstock inlay - Zebrawood Fingerboard, bridge - East Indian Rosewood Binding, purfling - Zebrawood and Maple Sound port lining - Macassar Ebony Solid lining - Honduras Mahogany Side braces - Honduras Mahogany Finish - Shellac (French polish), measured just over 1 mil at the bridge The neck is bolted on and I devised a way for it to be completely removable. It can go from tuned to pitch to neck off in about 5 minutes. In the week that the guitar has been tuned to pitch it is holding its tuning as good as my other guitars. The intonation still needs some minor tweaking but I'll play it a while before working on it again. Assuming I like it enough to play in church I'll install a K&K Pure Mini pickup. If I decide to just play it at home and with friends I'll save the pickup for a future guitar. In the meantime, here are a few photos of the build and some of the finished guitar. Back bracing with Padauk glue strip - Top bracing - Gluing the back in place - Finished guitar. I didn't want a super high gloss finish but rather decided to do an old world vintage patina. Nothing against the super high gloss finishes but I have 5 guitars with high gloss finish and wanted this one to be different. Now that I've done it this way I like it even better than I thought I would. So feel free to comment, ask questions, critique. I have about 1,500 photos of the build and good documentation but these few photos tell the story just fine, I think, so I'll spare you the copious extras. Enjoy! David
  13. difalkner

    1st Acoustic Guitar Build

    Thanks everyone! Herb, the Padauk is for a highly technical reason - I like Padauk. David
  14. difalkner

    1st Acoustic Guitar Build

    I've seen that when I post but haven't used it before. Tags, hmmmm… Acoustic guitar, French polish, bending wood, inlay - that sort of thing? Add 'em if you're able, fine with me. David
  15. difalkner

    1st Acoustic Guitar Build

    That must be visible only to mods. Do I make up the tags or are there some from which to choose? David
  16. difalkner

    1st Acoustic Guitar Build

    Thanks everyone! It is definitely fun to build these and I'm looking forward to the next one. I'll be happy to add some tags, Gene. Where do I do that? David
  17. difalkner

    Happy Birthday David

    Thanks, Larry! It was a good day, indeed. David
  18. difalkner

    Happy Birthday David

    Thanks, guys! It's been a good day - I've been out in the shop ever since Sandy left for work. David
  19. difalkner

    High Gloss Sanding Tip

    That's the slurry from wet sanding. It's basically shellac 'dust' but since water is used for a lubricant it creates a slurry that helps fill the pores. So I don't completely remove it, just sort of wipe across the grain and that helps with the next coat of shellac. No sir, no brush. French polishing uses a pad to apply the shellac. You can see the pads in the jar to the left on the last photo. I put them in there so they don't get hard and I can use them again. David
  20. difalkner

    High Gloss Sanding Tip

    This project represents several firsts for me - 1) First acoustic guitar from scratch. I've replaced tops, backs, bridges, saddles, nuts, done inlay, repairs, etc. but this is the first one from scratch - resawed the wood, bent the sides, etc. 2) First time to do a French polish from the start and not just a repair. 3) First time I've made this many mistakes in a project and kept going, trying to figure out how to successfully fix what I've done and trusting it's still going to work out ok. So here's the sanding tip I learned a long time ago and I have no idea if it's something I read, something I figured out, or even if it's common knowledge - It takes twice as long sanding with the next grit as you spent sanding the previous grit. What do I mean by that? If you're sanding a finish, or even bare wood, with say 220 grit and you move to 320 grit, then if you sanded for 5 minutes with 220 then it's going to take 10 minutes of sanding with 320 to remove all of the 220 grit scratches. Right now I'm wet sanding the guitar that has a very thin film of shellac and when I wet sand with 320 it takes no more than a minute to do the back twice. When I switch to 400 I sand for about 2 minutes although I don't time it. Basically I sand the back twice, wipe the slurry off, blow it dry to see if I have even coverage of sanding, and then switch to 400 and do the same thing. Only now with 400 I do the back about 4 times. When I switch to 500 I'll do it 8-10 times. When I get to 600 I'll be doing it at least 15 times. By the time I get to the 1200/1500/2000 I'll probably keep going until it looks right and then switch to Micromesh. I haven't made it past 500 yet because I keep seeing where I'm getting too close to burning through to the Mahogany so I've had to stop and shellac again several times. So when I get to the finer grits it's necessary to judge how much finish is left so I don't go through on the polishing later. Anyway, it's a sanding tip I've passed along to lots of folks so while I'm waiting on shellac to dry it seemed like a good time to post this (only takes a few minutes to dry before I can sand again). Wet sanding Fresh shellac David
  21. difalkner

    High Gloss Sanding Tip

    Shellac is the only finish that I'll be using. I may use lacquer on the neck for the next guitar because the shellac will wear quickly. But I've designed a completely bolt on neck and if I want then I can lacquer it later. David
  22. difalkner

    Fusion 360 Adaptive Clearing

    I have used 2D and 3D Adaptive Clearing in Fusion 360 before but I've never used it correctly. The concept behind the toolpath profile is easy to understand but hard to commit to doing, at least it was for me. Each time I've used it with a 1/4" spiral bit, for instance, I've used a max stepdown of 0.20". So if I had a pocket that was 0.375" deep it took two passes to reach the bottom. And with the way the Adaptive Clearing toolpath works it is slower than other profile choices so it takes a while to clear a path. Well, today I decided to use it the way it was designed and that's to cut the full depth of the pocket in one pass. I had a very large Maple trivet to cut, 15" square, and doing it my 'old' way the toolpath projected time was 56 minutes. I changed the stepdown depth to allow for cutting in one pass and I cut the entire toolpath profile in about 20 minutes. And the shavings are large and clean - no burning or dust, just large chips like they're supposed to be. So here's what I cut - You can see the chips here - Full path completed - After 20 minutes of full depth cutting I touched the bit and spindle as soon as it stopped - it was cool to the touch. Trivet with mineral oil - David
  23. This window mounted fan support is a long overdue shop upgrade project. Every time I spray lacquer I had to rig the fan to stay in the window (it fell once and bent the blades). And it didn't work very well, either. As much air came in the window as the fan blew out. Also, every bug that got near the window got sucked in by the vortex on the periphery of the fan. This is much, much better! Enjoy! David
  24. I'm building a rifle display case and decided I would incorporate a hidden latch for the door. So I cut the feet, latch, holes, and pocket for the latch on the CNC. Sort of a different project, more just doing a little engineered machining with the most appropriate tool in our shop for that purpose. So here's a short video of cutting the pocket on the edge of the bottom board - Enjoy! David
  25. difalkner

    Hidden latch for rifle display case

    Build video - David

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