Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

The place to chat with your fellow MIMForum members about whatever you want that doesn't relate to instruments, or isn't specific to one instrument family. Pull up a chair, grab a cold one out of the virtual 'fridge, and tell your friends what's on your mind.
Post Reply
User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

We are planning our 2015 gathering for April and are trying to pin down demo ideas. Does anyone who belongs to a local group have any suggestions on demos that were well received or particularly helpful. Or. . . demo ideas that just didn't work out well? Our group is everywhere from accomplished luthiers who sell their instruments to people who have not yet made their first. . . any ideas would be helpful! Even better if you offer to come to St. Louis and do a demo for us <G>

In the past we have had:

Shell inlay demo
Neck carving pin router and hand carving
Radial rosettes
Sound board graduation
Steaming off the dovetail
Plate thicknessing with hand planes
French polish and pumice pore fill (intro)
Bridge removal
Cutting logs on the bandmill (we are fortunate enough to be hosted by Hibdon Hardwoods and they let us watch them cut up a big log)
Executing an arm bevel

This year we have a demo of hot-pipe versus bending machine advantages and limitations of each. We are hoping to have a demo on fret dressing and set up. Also maybe a discussion and demo of various neck joints.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Steven Smith
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:01 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Steven Smith »

A couple of things we've done in Knoxville
-Had the representative from Behlen/Mohawk come in and talk about coatings and other products. He did a demo on drop fills with lacquer burn-in sticks
- We were fortunate to get James Condino to drop by and preview his GAL (I think) presentation on top bracing; his shop is not too far away. It was a great presentation and we learned a lot on that one. Maybe there is someone in your area that could do something like that.
- We're doing a group build of a copy of a '37 D28 that we plan to sell. The proceeds will go to charity.

Otherwise I've taken the liberty of stealing your list for our group :)

User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

Steal away, that is what this thread is all about!

I'm not sure we could pull off a group build, we are pretty spread out geographically (we get folks from the other side of MO, Eastern IL (and sometimes the Chicago area), down into AR. I fear there would just be too much shipping of parts around (we only meet annually) and we would all be better served donating the shipping funds to charity. I have thought about starting a friendly uke making challenge. Everyone would have the whole year to fit it in their build schedule and bring them to the next show. After the champ is crowned, we all donate them to a school's music program.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

User avatar
Pat Foster
Posts: 112
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:37 pm
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Pat Foster »

I demo'ed Chladni pattern generation a few years ago at one of our local group meetings. It was well received.
Sharpening chisels, plane setup, scraper burnishing might go well.

Pat
I like to start slow, then taper off.

User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

Thanks for the input. We did scrappers one year and are working on handplane setup. I would love to see a thorough demo on top voicing with any one of the common strategies. We just haven't gotten anyone to come forward yet. . .
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

David King
Posts: 2688
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by David King »

We had some great French polish demos with Cyndy Burton where you could get to feel, see, smell, taste what a well adjusted muneca is supposed to be like.
Also saw a fantastic presentation on truss rods by Ralph Novak where he brought old Fender and Gibson necks that were sliced lengthwise to expose the rod along with a stack of weird and wonderful truss rods from several centuries.

User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

That truss rod talk sounds cool!
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Paul E Buerk
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:25 pm

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Paul E Buerk »

Another possible topic is planning and drawing, see what others are doing to come up with theirs. Could be anything from design sketching, old-school drafting, to 2D and 3D.

User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

Now that is interesting Paul!

I'm getting some good ideas here; I'm glad I started this thread. One of the things we are trying to do is get the people who come to the even a little more involved. this thread has me thinking about (in addition to providing demos) assigning topics for people to show a quick and dirty example of their methods. Have a few different people show the same task and how they do it and let the inspiration generate form there.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

David King
Posts: 2688
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by David King »

All you really need to do is start an intelligent conversation. The knowledge is all there.

User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

I agree David. There is always lots of side discussions around people's tables. Tons of tips and good exchange of ideas but only for those who happen to be around. Some of the people who are a bit more shy may miss out on that "ah ha" moment. I'm trying to facilitate people coming forward to ask for or volunteer wisdom.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Randy Roberts
Posts: 445
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:11 pm
Location: Omaha, NE (a suburb of Iowa)

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Randy Roberts »

I'm doing a demo/"gateway drug" talk on using vacuum for our local general woodworking group tomorrow night.

I made a small vacuum station out of a refrigerator compressor and kitchen cabinet as a housing/ table, and am taking it to demonstrate possibilities to them.
If any of your members use vacuum, they might be a good talk. I find myself feeling more like a performing magician when ever I use the vacuum, it's just so visual.

The biggest problem I seem to have when I've given talks to our group ( French polishing, hot hide glue, how a guitar functions, dreaming up jigs to solve problems, etc.) is getting them past thinking building guitars is some mystical thing, and getting them to see some of the things we do would be handy things for the projects they are doing.

And I can't seem to convince them every project should have binding and purfling around all edges.

User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

"And I can't seem to convince them every project should have binding and purfling around all edges."
but of course it should!

Your post is definitely interesting to me. One of the LONG TERM goals we kicked around was to have our group make an effort to introduce more people to the craft. We talked about doing demos at a large local woodworking show. Obviously the demos would be much different since the audience wouldn't already be interested in new methods for tasks they don't even know about. I proposed that we would focus on the things that seem so mysterious to people who haven't yet considered instrument making. Things like, bending sides (after all it is much different than steam bending chair backs), what the inside of a guitar looks like (unattached braced tops and possibly assembled boxes sawn in half) and how/why the frets can be placed properly by mere mortals. And naturally, getting people used to the idea that instrument didn't always come out our factories.

I also think many woodworkers would be aghast to realize that we use a glue line down super thin (very low glue surface area) panels with no biscuits or anything, then go on to stress the joint with high tension. Not to mention using 15 in wide panels fixed on all edges. How about gluing cross grain to only one side of a panel. . . I think I just gave Norm a heart-attack.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Randy Roberts
Posts: 445
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:11 pm
Location: Omaha, NE (a suburb of Iowa)

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Randy Roberts »

That would make a good list... 20 things you never do in normal wood working that we do with the instruments.

It does cut the other way.
I built a rocking chair with an excellent old wood worker last year, and when he pulled out an old folding ruler and a lumber pencil to measure and mark cutting the pieces out I had to go change my underwear.

User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

Ha! That would have made me cringe too.

I have often said that there is a dirty little secret about instrument making. Everyone assumes that every aspect of it requires machinist precision. But, beyond fret placement, there are very few absolouy critical demands for precision (depending on building style). if one is not doing production work, one can get by with a lot of fitting and make up differences in other places. Even locating the saddle is still subject to final adjustments of intonation based on listening rather than measuring. The, for lack of a better term, organic shape of the bodies can hide a surprising degree of asymmetry (as lng as it fits in the case. . .). Most bracing schemes can work with minor revelations from the plan too. Neck angle and bridge height can be adjusted during construction. Sure we can't get awa with folding rulers and framing pencils but it is not as complicated as people assume. This plays into the amazement people have when they find out there are people out there making instruments by hand.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

User avatar
Bob Gramann
Posts: 976
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Contact:

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bob Gramann »

Bryan,

Shhhh! There are some trade secrets you just shouldn't give away.

User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

Don't worry Bob, it's just us makers talking here. I mean, it's not like just anyone can come along and rea. . . Oh rats! Sorry everybody!
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

One of the other organizers of our event just arranged for a representative from the Missouri Department of Conservation to come give a talk about pests, fungi and other things that are threatening our trees and what is or can be done to slow the destruction of the trees we love. This will include new ways of treating things like the ash borer and a bout a new disease threatening Black Walnut (which I didn't know about and hope is not too serious [stay tuned]).

I mention this because I wouldn't have thought to ask for this talk and I'm glad Joe did!
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Randy Roberts
Posts: 445
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:11 pm
Location: Omaha, NE (a suburb of Iowa)

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Randy Roberts »

Bryan,
Please get back to us about the Black Walnut disease.

User avatar
Bryan Bear
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Local builders groups -- demo suggestions please

Post by Bryan Bear »

Will do. The talk is not until April. I'll see if she will let us record it. The. I'll try to put it up somewhere for all of us to watch. Failing that, I'll take good notes and report back here.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Post Reply