Can someone explain to me

Why I should have less rights than this city councilman?

Why should I be banned from carrying a gun into [imaginary gun-free zone] while he isn’t? What “training” has he had that overrides my right to self defense?

posted by Robb Allen @ 1/29/2015 5:30:51 PM | Feedback (3)
The pieces are coming together

Well, they’re not together yet, but they will be.

Parts of a beautiful whole

There's something amazing about seeing artwork you've done cut into pieces that will be inlaid into your custom guitar. What's really cool is that I recognize each shape as something I did in Illustrator, but rather than .25pt thick paths, they're actual, physical objects.

If you’re on the bookface thing, don’t forget to check out the group for the build.

posted by Robb Allen @ 1/28/2015 10:21:25 PM | Feedback (0)
I’m not saying I thought about sharpening the spoons

But I’m not saying I didn’t either.

Got a SpyderCo Sharpmaker over the weekend. Spent an ungodly amount of time sharpening everything I could get my hands on. Our kitchen knives were unbelievable dull so it took quite a bit of work to get them back into shape, but holy moly are they sharp now. I actually cut my thumb while drying the santoku, and it managed to do that through the dishtowel. Very, very fine cut too!

I sharpened my Leatherman to razor-level. It shaves paper into tiny threads. My chisel was dull, so I evened that up and now it’ll take off mm thin strips. Scissors? They all make perfect cuts now with no tearing and I even sharpened my vegetable peeler with amazing results.

Those spoons do look a little dull though.

posted by Robb Allen @ 1/27/2015 12:14:25 PM | Feedback (6)
Warning–Contains an inchoate thought that doesn’t represent my actual opinion

On the Twitter machine this weekend, I saw some idjit getting retweeted about how under a free market, young children were forced into labor and that the state was the only thing stopping child labor.

Then it hit me – they don’t really care about child labor unless it’s a labor they find distasteful. Child actors? That’s labor. Models for baby wipes? Labor. Selling Girl Scout cookies? Labor.

So, if we really believed child labor was offensive, wouldn’t we say ALL of it is?

Just a random thought but feel free to pick it apart. Lord knows I’ve not put much brain-power into it.

posted by Robb Allen @ 1/19/2015 9:40:06 AM | Feedback (13)
Things I do not need

But need desperately.


The worst part is I know the 10mm is boutique and not necessary and that a 9 will serve me just as well with more capacity, less recoil, and good enough performance for the .0000001% chance I’d need to pull my gun but I still can’t help but love the 10 in ways illegal in most Southern states.

posted by Robb Allen @ 1/13/2015 12:23:38 PM | Feedback (10)

On Sunday I spent some time over at Virgil’s as we started work on my carved top. As you may or may not remember, my top was a big chunk of amazing flamed maple. Virgil sanded & trimmed the edges so that he could cut the board in half. The reason for this is to get a bookmatch, or mirroring of the grain. During the sanding, the smell was similar to pancakes – the sawdust had an almost sweet smell since maple syrup comes fr… uh, you get this, I’m sure I don’t need to explain.

My board was a bit high in moisture content, so Virgil said we’d saw it and he’d take a deeper reading. If it remains high, he’ll send it off to sit in a drying kiln for a few weeks which is fine with me. He has other guitars in progress ahead of mine, the neck & inlay need to be done first anyway, and the last thing I want to do is rush perfection.

First he used a jointer to ensure the edge was perfectly flat. He had the clearance on the jointer blades down to .05mm – the man makes my OCD look positively carefree

Jointer Edge Straight

Each pass took fractions of a mm off the wood. In the first pic, you can see a large gap where the wood meets the table. The second pic shows why – rough edges as the jointer is taking it down. By the time he was done, you couldn’t have split a hair and slid it between the straight edge and the maple.

Sanding down the maple Ready for resawing

The next step was to use the drum sander to smooth out & flatten the sides so that the surfaces will be perfect for resawing. Any imperfections in the shape of the edges would transfer to the resawing cut as the side was being pushed against a fence.

This was the nerve-wracking part – resawing. Using the bandsaw, Virgil cuts the board in half. If the blade wanders or the edges aren’t just right, the cut can be imperfect which could lead to poor bookmatching or worse, an unusable chunk of wood.


However, the cut was damned near perfect and the grain ended up simply amazing.

Inner beauty Amazing

There were many awesome things about this experience. Seeing the inside of the wood for the first time was awe inspiring. Watching Virgil ply his trade was another. But the one thought that kept pounding through my head the whole time was “in a few months, that chunk of wood right there will be a guitar that I am playing”. And that’s just friggin’ cool.

posted by Robb Allen @ 1/13/2015 9:03:09 AM | Feedback (5)
Baby, I’m ready for Vegas

Because we’ve got SLOTS!


Tomorrow, he’s going to radius the fretboard (mine is on the bottom, the one on the top is for a build called ‘Steampunk’). Virgil has a neat machine for this – basically a giant belt of sandpaper and a swingset that the fretboard is taped to. He ‘swings’ the wood over the moving belt and magically creates an arc on the wood. If you’re of the bookface thing, you can see it in a photo gallery here.

Once the radius has been put on, he can start inlay. And let me tell you, this is going to knock your socks off.

posted by Robb Allen @ 1/4/2015 8:23:45 PM | Feedback (2)