Here's a picture of that jig I created to see if I could round a spool using my table saw.
I got told off by Michael King yesterday for using my table-saw to do this job. He said that a table-saw is a very scary way to make spools, and you know, he's right. I wouldn't have done it this way unless I was absolutely positive that I'd come out the other end with all my fingers. The Adrenalin starts pumping every time I switch on the table-saw. I have a healthy fear of it... where I was simply terrified of my router. No-one was more pleased than me when that bloody thing bit the dust!
So, feeling wide awake and suitably cautious I dug out my jig to to start the main production run. Having finished, I can confirm that I still have all of my fingers. ;-)
Michael King is a far more talented luthier than I will ever be, and being the kind of guy he is, he was constructive in his criticism. See this picture where Michael shows us some clamps he has made using a plastic breadboard of all things. I really like the idea of this, and I might try it further on down the track if I'm ever in the market for more spools.
Michael got the idea from a Mandolin book he was reading. I've been googling and all roads seem to lead to Graham McDonald for this neat idea.
If you'd like to have a go at making plastic spools then check out Michael's instructions on his blog.
Back to my wooden spools...
Here's what I was left with after my first production run. These spools are a hair off 1 inch tall and approx 1 5/16 inches wide. Looking good!
This is what they look like, fitted to the bolts and in place on my Washburn guitar.
And that is it for now. As boring as making spool clamps has been, I've loved being back out in the garage doing things again. If only it was a bit warmer. I'm going to have to make all sorts of jigs and patterns for my archtop build, so maybe this is what I'll concentrate on initially as I dust of the cobwebs. As I worked on these spool clamps I've been wondering if I could make a few specialist blocks to aid with making the neck. I think that the basic spool clamp idea has a lot of potential to make all sorts of things easier. And once I get through this project, I'll be able to use them again. There is so much win here that I think I might just have to go grab a pint in celebration. Ha ha.
Before I go I want to show you this wonderful picture by Brenoch Adams called Wards that Jake Tolbert showed me. I love the apocalyptic feel to it and see the gun in the banjo... that reminds me a lot of Sabata:
Oh wow... I almost forgot to mention that I've only gone and published "Gold Mountain". I should do a post on this, but for now I'll just say that it is working its way to the shelves of all the usual bookshops. The only place you can get it right now is from Lulu. It's free. Go read it and write me a review. You know you want to...