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difalkner

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Everything posted by difalkner

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. difalkner

    1st Acoustic Guitar Build

    Thanks everyone! Herb, the Padauk is for a highly technical reason - I like Padauk. David
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. difalkner

    Happy Birthday David

    Thanks, Larry! It was a good day, indeed. David
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. difalkner

    Hidden latch for rifle display case

    Build video - David
  19. difalkner

    Hidden latch for rifle display case

    Finally finished the display case. The good thing about a job where they tell you there's no rush is that, well, there's no rush. But I had a break in my normal activity so I pulled the display case out and finished it. David
  20. difalkner

    Window Mounted Fan For Spraying Lacquer

    LOL! My wood stash value with all the exotics exceeds that of the CNC, fwiw. Our insurance agent came over last year because she wanted some work done and she was blown away by all the tools and wood stash. She added a rider to our policy and it's all covered now (didn't cost much, either). It's fun here and I like participating, guys! David
  21. difalkner

    Window Mounted Fan For Spraying Lacquer

    No problem, John. Nobody here has bothered or offended me because I choose not to be offended or bothered. I have found the discussions interesting, occasionally far reaching, and in the end the fan mount is an improvement relative to what I had and will stay as is until it stops working or I blow up NW Louisiana, whichever comes first. I appreciate the fact that I can participate here - thanks for running a great forum! David
  22. difalkner

    Window Mounted Fan For Spraying Lacquer

    That's not near as efficient at removing the fumes quickly. I understand the principle and reasoning but that would cause the vapors to remain even longer and I think that would be worse. Getting rid of the odor quickly so it doesn't waft into the house where Sandy will have to endure it is paramount for me. I like it the way it is and will keep it this way but I am appreciative for the discussions and suggestions. As you were... David
  23. difalkner

    Window Mounted Fan For Spraying Lacquer

    Thanks for your concerns, Stick. David Edit - I added a disclaimer to the description ***Disclaimer*** This is not an explosion proof fan. If you're wanting to build a similar stand for your shop you should probably look into an explosion proof fan or other setups to prevent fire and explosions
  24. difalkner

    Window Mounted Fan For Spraying Lacquer

    Thanks guys, but I have thought this through and have been putting that fan in the window for the last 18 months. I just now decided to mount it so I don't have to jump through hoops to keep the fan on the window sill and to increase air flow. I realize it isn't explosion proof but when I spray it isn't very heavy and with the HVLP gun there's so little overspray and airborne material that it's gone in no time. Now if I was using a cup gun and filling the room with a cloud of vapors that would be a different story but I spray small items and it's over with pretty quickly. There's another window and it's open to bring in fresh air. Yes, the gas can has gas in it like millions of other guys have in their garages for their lawn equipment. I put the mower out on the back porch but if I put the gas can out there the plastic won't last and the gas will likely evaporate. It's a wood shop, no metal work, no open flames anywhere near the gas can that's been there going on 11 years. Is this ideal? Nope. But we don't have the budget or the space to build a dedicated wood shop out back or even a shed to put the lawn equipment and gas can in so this is going to have to do. David
  25. difalkner

    Source For Those Brush Skirts

    Mine is actually a bit too stiff, as well. But I make it work. David

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