Friday, July 3, 2009

Model # 1 Mahogany-Walnut-Cedar Guitar

I recently finished this guitar. It is now for sale in the Different Strummer Music Store located in The Old Town School of Folk Music.

It has a cedar body with a mahogany top and back. This makes for a very light and resonant guitar. My original intention for building a cedar bodied guitar was to somehow emulate an acoustic guitar's vibe in an electric guitar's body. It does seem to do this in a subtle way. This is probably one of the lightest guitars I have ever built.

The neck is mahogany with a black walnut fingerboard and a black walnut back cap on the headstock. The fingerboard was precisely leveled and fretted with medium fretwire. It plays great.

I'm asking $1350 for it which for a handmade guitar of this quality is exceptionally low.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wall Mounted Walnut Speakers

These are some speakers that I've wanted to make for a while now.  They are inspired by a pair of vintage speakers that I have.  They're made of walnut and have an unbleached cotton grill cloth.  They have a natural oil and wax finish.  The speakers inside are 8", 30 watt vintage style Jensens.  They can be hung on a wall or used as bookshelf speakers.

These are for sale in my Etsy shop @

Monday, April 13, 2009

Recent Projects

This is an archtop that I'm building for myself.  It is modeled after the early Gibson archtops with an oval soundhole and a rounded bodyshape.  The top is cedar from a local lumberyard and the back and sides are black walnut scraps that were being thrown away at the cabinet shop that I used to work at.  I'm looking forward to finishing this.  

Also shown are some ebony pickup covers and a tailpiece that I made for a client.

Workbench from Woodscraps.

When I moved into my house in November, the first thing I did (with a little help) was tear up the old wood floor and walls in half of the basement.  I did this mainly to get down to the concrete floor and increase the headroom.   The wood from the demolition went into my tiny one car garage and lived there for the winter.  My plan is to salvage the wood and eventually use it for my projects in the future.  
I recently got around to setting up my 'guitar room' and I needed to build a bench.  It was a sunny day and I was looking for something to do outside so I decided to salvage some wood from the garage and see what I could come up with.  I dug through the piles and pulled out the nicest 2 X 4's that I could find.  I set up a couple of saw horses and spent a couple of hours pulling out nails.  I ended up with better wood than I could find in a lumberyard today and it was essentially free.  The 2 x 4's are bigger that what you can find nowadays  and it is denser, old growth.

I added a bench-top made of Georgia-Pacific Blue Ribbon OSB which contains no added urea-formaldehyde, sealed it with an oil finish and I was done.  Now I can get to work on all the project that have been brewing in my head for the last 6 months!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Launch

I am happy to announce the launch of my newly designed website :  I simplified it's layout and decided to have it focus on my woodworking.  It's main purpose is to show examples of the guitars and furniture that I have built.  Now that I have a permanent workshop on the northwest side of Chicago, I plan to promote my services.
I try to be as environmentally friendly as I can be and I plan on continuing to develop this aspect of my work.  I prefer to use non-toxic low VOC finishes for many reasons.  The manufacturing is easier on the environment, they are less hazardous for me to work with and they contribute to better air quality in your home.  I also try to use wood that is reclaimed or at least responsibly harvested.  Local is really the best way to go and there is no shortage of good wood around here.  Many of the pieces of furniture that are shown on my website are made from wood that was on it's way to the landfill.  It's amazing what people throw away.
I hope you like what you see ....thanks.......Dan