Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby David King » Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:28 am

Steve,
I have a $10 set and I keep some .001" tape handy to wrap them with when they seem a shade too loose. They are pretty dang hard. I wish I could afford the space for a letter and number drill set.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:50 am

Ooh, Great idea on the tape! What kind of tape yields that spec?

It's amazing that even in 1/64th increments, you'll encounter those "in-between" holes!

I'm working on filling a No. 1 to No. 60 index. I have all from 41 to 60, but spotty 1-40.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:29 am

Ed - thanks for that added pics - that box is really covered in funk!
Steve - transfer punches are very useful but i really don't find myself using my set much at all, but that is really due to what i build i guess.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:44 am

I guess I should qualify my endorsement, Chuck. I build furniture, do some electrical/electronic screwing around, and always have some kind of home improvement project. I'm making all kinds of stuff all the time, so I probably find many more opportunities to use them than someone that pretty much sticks to lutherie.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:29 pm

yea acoustic guitars are held together with glue. my headstock templates have small holes so tuner holes are marked with a scribe.
BUT i worked as a machinist in the distant past and know the awesome power of the transfer punch.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Eric Baack » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:57 am

To add to my earlier post. Solidworks (3d CAD software) has been extremely useful for me. I've generated CAM for guitars with it, designed my CNC, designed several tools that were 3d printed, and made several drill templates in 1:1 scale so I could transfer from paper to wood or metal.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:28 pm

Eric Baack wrote:To add to my earlier post. Solidworks (3d CAD software) has been extremely useful for me. I've generated CAM for guitars with it, designed my CNC, designed several tools that were 3d printed, and made several drill templates in 1:1 scale so I could transfer from paper to wood or metal.


I'm addicted to Sketchup. As soon as I conceive of something to build - a guitar, a jig, a lamp, a bed, an armoire, a deck, an entire shop - I reach for Sketchup. My only complaint is their stupid pricing model. The free version (and I'm not talking about the crappy web-based version, but the last desktop release from 2017) lacks some extremely useful drawing tools that I'd be willing to pay for, but the "Pro" version is like $800 and includes a ton of "presentation" tools that are great for corporate designers, architects etc., but completely useless for the craftsman. I'd be willing to pay a couple hundred bucks for the version I use now in exchange for some of the more advanced drawing (and export) capabilities, but without the fancy presentation stuff.

I've even used Sketchup together with a very inexpensive ($20) piece of software to produce highly accurate 1:1 drawings and templates.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Eric Baack » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:09 am

Steve Sawyer wrote:
Eric Baack wrote:To add to my earlier post. Solidworks (3d CAD software) has been extremely useful for me. I've generated CAM for guitars with it, designed my CNC, designed several tools that were 3d printed, and made several drill templates in 1:1 scale so I could transfer from paper to wood or metal.


I'm addicted to Sketchup. As soon as I conceive of something to build - a guitar, a jig, a lamp, a bed, an armoire, a deck, an entire shop - I reach for Sketchup. My only complaint is their stupid pricing model. The free version (and I'm not talking about the crappy web-based version, but the last desktop release from 2017) lacks some extremely useful drawing tools that I'd be willing to pay for, but the "Pro" version is like $800 and includes a ton of "presentation" tools that are great for corporate designers, architects etc., but completely useless for the craftsman. I'd be willing to pay a couple hundred bucks for the version I use now in exchange for some of the more advanced drawing (and export) capabilities, but without the fancy presentation stuff.

I've even used Sketchup together with a very inexpensive ($20) piece of software to produce highly accurate 1:1 drawings and templates.



Check out Fusion 360. It's free for educational and startups. Has CAM built in with full 3d profiling
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:02 pm

Eric Baack wrote:Check out Fusion 360. It's free for educational and startups. Has CAM built in with full 3d profiling


Solidworks has a similar program, but I'm not a student or startup. Just found out that Sketchup has also switched to a subscription model <Grrr...>. They have student licensing for $55 per year, but like all educational pricing plans for software that I've seen you have to provide documentation of your student status. As often as I use it, even though I hate subscription pricing, I'd be happy to pay $55 per year for their pro version, but again, they seem to ignore the individual artist/craftsman.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:05 pm

By the way, Eric - who do you use for 3d printing, or do you do that yourself? I was going to have some pieces printed in aluminum by a company that can work from Sketchup files, but my son is a machinist, and offered to do them.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Eric Baack » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:40 pm

We send stuff out to ProtoLabs and Xometry. For some things we print on an ultimaker in the office
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:10 pm

Eric Baack wrote:We send stuff out to ProtoLabs and Xometry. For some things we print on an ultimaker in the office


Thanks. I was going to use Shapeways. I'll make note of those two for future reference.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Matthew Lau » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:59 pm

I'm glad that this thread is still going on.

I plan to get back to building instruments after I move soon.

FWIW, my favorite tool is my hammer.
It's a hand-forged hammer from the "god of hammers" in Japan.

My friend got it for me.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby James Niehaus » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:46 pm

Hey Matt, you got a picture of the "god of hammers"? lol... I love those Japanese hand-forged models.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:26 am

While waiting for some neck stock for my current build to acclimate and stabilize, I have been working on another small project. The current operation has me using three different hand saws. Reminds me what an absolute joy a decent hand saw is to use.
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Ed Minch » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:49 am

Steve

No pictures, it didn't happen

Ed
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:20 pm

Ed Minch wrote:No pictures, it didn't happen


Ok. Nothing for musical instruments, but...I will say that the Veritas depth-of-cut stop you see on that carcase saw is the bees knees for getting fret slots to the proper depth, and fits just fine on my fretting saw.

Hand Saws 1.jpg


Also, the Veritas shooting board (can you tell I really like the Veritas products?) visible at this end of the workbench is really nice too!! Someone was showing how they made a herring-bone binding for a Tele body awhile back, and I was thinking this would be perfect for doing that.

Hand Saws 2.jpg
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Ed Minch » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:52 pm

Steve
I had my eye on that Veritas shooting board mechanism thingy. Looks interesting. Did you make the bench?. It looks very well done. I used the same Veritas twin screw vice but I mounted it on the end, fullwidth on my 28" bench. I use it for windsor chair seats, and for guitars

First shot is the bench 15 years ago when I first built it. It is made of Southern Yellow Pine with a 3-1/2" top (1/3 of a 2X12). I found a Record 52-1/2 new in the box for $50.

Second shot is a guitar in the vice. I made some 1/4" ply jaws lined with toweling and with small 3/4 X 3/4" uprights at either end and it flexes around the body just right

Third shot is the Moxon I built. The jaws taper enough that it will hold a neck or a fretboard up a little higher. I made it with a leg out the lft side that clamps in the face vice so I don't need and clamping on it.

Ed
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:55 pm

Ed - yes, i built the bench, but you got the fancy vise with the "chain drive". I have a tail vise just like your Record. It's an Indian-made knockoff but has worked just fine. On the face vise, I mounted the screws off-center so I have a long "shoulder" on the end closest to the center of the bench. Sometimes I wish I had that gear-drive, other times I'm glad that I can skew the vise a bit.

The chop on both vises are faced with thick vegetable tanned leather which not only protects delicate items, it grips like crazy.

I considered building a deadman as you did, but decided to keep the space clear for drawers. Instead I bored dog holes on the fronts of the apron and legs to accommodate holdfasts to provide support for long stock when needed.

There might be a Moxon in my future...

You did a really nice job on that bench!

Mine is hard maple. Got a deal on a bunch of rough-sawn billets that were commissioned for a bowling alley that never got built. It's only about 1 3/4" thick, but it has always done the job. Took about six of those billets to glue up for the legs though...
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Matthew Lau » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:18 pm

Glad this post is still alive.

I want to get back to building, but have too much stuff to do/take care of at my office...urk
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