Saturday, October 3, 2009

Finished guitar cabinet!

Brought all the pieces home and put them together this evening with a bit of help from buddy Mark. First, for Kerry and James and everyone else who was confused about the "hockey sticks", this picture (blurry as it is) should make things a little more clear. You can see the T-bolt at the top - that slides in a mitre track - and you can see the yoke at the bottom, which holds the instrument. The idea was to suspend the instrument directly below the T-bolt and leave room for the biggest peghead of which mere humans can conceive.

I'm still missing one guitar that should be in there - I have to get it back from a friend - but the second picture shows the cabinet in all its glory, lit up with the internal fluorescent and basically doing its thing. I have to play around with the order of the guitars a bit more, but you certainly get the idea.

I'm really pleased with how this turned out!

(Oh yeah, because I know someone will ask, the instruments from left to right are: 1971 Martin D-28, 2007 Morgan CM, 1980ish Fender dreadnaught, Songbird tenor banjo, Ibanez bass guitar, Godin LG electric, Godin A8 mandolin.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This is looking AWESOME!

The guitar cabinet is almost done - just another coat or two of finish and it's good to go. I'll leave the detail pictures for the final post (once I have it home and full of guitars), but here are a couple to show what we've been up to.

First, here is a shot of the laminated ash yoke holders ("hangers" or "hockey sticks") after their second coat of varnish. I really like how they came out, and if they end up being stiff enough, I may not even need retaining rings on the yokes. Oh yeah, that's a boat in behind there... remember the boat? I'll be back working on the boat next week.

The second shot (taken a couple of days earlier) shows the major pieces assembled (sides, base, shelf, top, and doors). After testing the doors and installing the cedar on the top of the shelf, we took the whole thing apart for light installation, hole filling, and a couple other small jobs. Then it was final sanding and first coat of varnish, which is now on.

I'm hoping Dad will throw another coat of varnish on this puppy - it might be the last one, or I might have to put one more on later. Either way, I should have it home and full of guitars by next weekend. W00T!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Introducing: The Moaning Chair!

So I understand that wooden boat builders (and maybe woodworkers in general) have this concept known as the "Moaning Chair". It's where you sit and contemplate your latest really serious screw-up. Sooner or later everyone gets their turn, and mine was today.

See, the top of the cabinet and the shelf across the middle (which forms the bottom of the actual humidifier and guitar display portion) each have a 2x4 running across the front. This provides stiffness and room for lighting and space for the glass doors to run in. The three cross-pieces (the base, the shelf, and the top) were all carefully cut to 54" wide, that being my determination of the optimal width in which to hang eight guitars without having them too close together or making the cabinet really huge. I mean, I still need space for bookshelves on either side, right? (To say nothing of the mini-bar.)

The tricky part, though, is that the 2x4 on the shelf has to have space cut out for the stiffeners on the sides of the cabinet... whereas the 2x4 on the top is supposed to overlap the sides (the stiffeners butt up against the top 2x4). So I carefully calculated the amount of 2x4 that would fit between the stiffeners (this is last Wednesday)... and then cut the whole thing off that length, which is a bit under 53". And then made cutouts for the stiffeners. I did this, you see, because I am dumb.

Now, it wasn't the end of the world; we hadn't assembled the shelf or the top. It was a pretty simple matter to trim the other pieces accordingly, and we were back on track in half an hour or so. I've lost around an eighth of an inch between guitars, which isn't great but should still be OK. Mostly, it's my pride that was injured.

HOWEVER! The rest of the day went well, and we got the shelf and top assembled. Yes, the lengths are all correct now, thank you for asking. We then drilled all the holes for the quick-connect system. There are a lot of them, 72 to be exact, and we got all but one in the right place. I blame Dad, he had the drill and he's not here to dispute whether it was my marking of the hole or his placing of the drill...

Anyway, holes all drilled, we dry-assembled the sides, base, shelf, and top, and by Crom it actually went together! I offer you pictures as proof. It's actually looking like it should. Er, maybe an inch or so narrower than planned.

Somewhere in there we also started laminating the curved hangers that will suspend the yokes (these fit snugly around the neck of each instrument where it swells out to form the headstock) directly below a bolt in a T-track along the inside top. All eight should be laminated by the end of the week.

Next we attach the back, finish the cedar lining, test the doors (which I pick up from the glass place tomorrow), and then disassemble the whole thing for finishing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Guitar humidifier cabinet begins

A few hours into the guitar cabinet, the sides are assembled and pretty much ready to finish. Here are a couple of views: on the left you can see an inside view of the sides, complete with aromatic cedar lining (it's gonna smell goooooood!).

The front side of the side (if you know what I'm saying) is on the outside of each piece in this photo, so if you rotated the outer edge 90 degrees toward you and the sides faced each other, you'd be looking at the front of the cabinet. The cutouts are for oak 2x4s that will hold the doors and strengthen the shelf and the top.

Oh, and the ugly grey stuff is foam mat, which is easier on the feet than a concrete shop floor. Used as illustrated it doesn't do as much for one's feet, but has the virtue of protecting the outer ply of precious oak veneer, which looks good, but is only slightly thicker than, say, cling-wrap.

The second picture shows the outside of the sides; you can just make out the reinforcement/front edge strip of oak along the inside edges (which are the front edges once assembled, blah blah blah).

Next up: the bottom, the shelf, the top, the legend.

Side project

Courtney here with a quick note: the next couple of weeks will be devoted to a side project, which I will try to document with a few pictures. I've somehow accumulated a fair number of guitars and similar instruments, all of which really should be protected from extreme humidity or lack thereof (Winnipeg winters are very cold, which means our heated dwellings become very dry in winter). I've decided to build a big display cabinet to house, show off, and humidify my instruments.

The basic plan is a cabinet about 55" wide by 20" deep by 79" tall, with a compartment for case storage below the main compartment for display and humidification. The upper compartment will feature sliding glass doors, a lining of aromatic cedar, and eight custom laminated hanging yokes (to suspend the instruments from their pegheads) which slide in a track. It's also got lighting and a hygrometer, and the whole thing will be assembled with 1/4-20 quick connect hardware to facilitate moving.

I'm still trying to figure out how to work in a hot tub and a pony, but squeezing in a mini-bar seems like an insignificant challenge. Photos soon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

As usual it's been busy...

...including trips to New Hampshire and BC. Back at work and back to work on the boat. Seat sides are installed, framed, and filleted on the inboard side. The fillets look a bit messy because we're not going to sand and paint until the inboard side is filleted too, which in turn is going to wait until we have more epoxy mixed up for the companionway lockers.

The second photo shows the beginning of the framing around the tops of the companionway lockers (they're small things on either side of the CP case). Inside the framing is a raised bit (I'm thinking it's called a coaming but I'm probably wrong) over which the locker hatches (lids) fit, with the raised bit keeping water out of the locker itself.

Man, that doesn't make much sense. Oh well, watch for more pictures.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love this construction stuff!

Here's the latest: fit the other seat side panel, and cut hatch holes in both seat sides. Not being all that familiar with routers, I think I'll wait for Dad to get back before I tackle trimming the hatch holes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


No, just busy. Somewhere in the blur of the last couple of months we painted the inside of the boat a few times, and cleaned it all up and made it look pretty. Well, the clean-up and the pretty are almost done, anyway.

We're fitting out the cockpit now - yes, construction! Always a pleasure. A bit fiddly, the construction process; it goes something like:

1. Measure

2. Mark

3. Trim, but not too much! (I've misplaced the board stretcher)

4. Repeat. A whole bunch of times.

Anyway, it's going well. Here's a picture of one of the seat-sides, loosely in place and ready to have hatch holes added to it (but that will be on Wednesday).

Oh, and now that there are actually interesting instances of actual progress to show, expect more updates. Er, that would be all two of you who are still checking this blog in the forlorn hope that I've updated it...

Monday, March 23, 2009

We're back!

Just a quick note to say we're back at work on the boat. The past month has been entirely too busy and the boat ended up on the back burner - not where it belongs! Got some solid work done yesterday and will be painting the interior Real Soon Now™. Watch this space for more regular updates and photos!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Been meaning to update the blog but life has been rather busy. Here's a quick crappy phone camera photo to show you what we're up to.

Glassing the inside left some rough spots, which were cleaned up prior to filleting. Then we filleted the joints with thickened epoxy, masking the areas that will be bright-finished. We used the Ziploc baggie method of epoxy application, which I must say worked like a charm.

You can also see the bulwarks, which are getting their own fairing treatment. There's a bit of fillet sanding to do, and some final smoothing and sealing down around the bilges, and then I think we paint the interior.

So we're working, it's just not particularly photogenic or hugely indicative of progress.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Having finished glassing the inside of the boat, we can make all the dust we want. Today saw the top of the cradle removed for easy access, after which we used sabre-saw and belt sander to trim the gunwales:

At some point we'll apply the outwale and then a cap rail (IIRC), but for now it's much easier to climb in and out... which we'll be doing many times as we finish off the interior. More later!