Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Make a Rad 2x4 Skateboard!

I made a Skateboard out of a standard 8-foot 2x4 for the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association 2x4 contest.  Even the wheels are made from the 2x4!  Watch my video to see how I did it!

The 2x4 Contest Rules stated that we were allowed to use only an 8-foot 2x4 and fasteners.  I ended up using most of the 2x4, two 1/2" bolts 8" long, four washers, and two nylon lock nuts.

I used wooden spacers between the wheels and cut the bolts so that only a small portion of the threads extended past the wheel for the lock nut to fit.  This allows the wheels to spin on the smooth part of the bolt which is lubricated with paste wax.

Download my Skateboard Template if you would like to make one of these yourself, although I highly recommend using real skateboard trucks and wheels if you are not restricted by any contest rules.  The wooden wheels work ok on a smooth surface, but there is no steering and they probably would not last very long.  Use at your own risk!

My Skateboard ended up receiving the Most Functional Award and won me a gift card to Peachtree Woodworking Supply!  Awesome!  Even though the skateboard is functional, I plan to keep it in my shop for display only.  I don't need any broken bones!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Electric Guitar Follow Up

This is a follow up to my Electric Guitar build video where I answer lots of questions and play some guitar riffs for you.  See if you can recognize the riffs!

Take a look at my Electric Guitar Project on the Inventables site for some basic instructions and links to copy my Easel jobs.  Also, check out the X-Carve CNC Machine while you are there.  Below are links to some great resources that I found very helpful:
David Picciuto of the Drunken Woodworker/Make Something channel also made an electric guitar with the X-Carve.  Watch his video below to see how he did it!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Making an Electric Guitar with the Inventables X-Carve

When Inventables sent me an X-Carve 3D Carving Machine, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it...make an Electric Guitar!  Making an electric guitar has been on my project list for a long time and I finally did it.  Watch this video to see the process and how the guitar turned out!

I have posted step-by-step instructions for this project on my Inventables Project Page.  If you have an X-Carve, then maybe you would like to try tackling this project.  One thing I learned while making this guitar is that double-checking your measurements and settings, as well as making test cuts, is key to a successful outcome.  I tested the guitar body, neck, and fret board measurements by cutting a single pass on scrap wood before carving any of my good wood.

Below is a list of the guitar parts that I purchased to complete this project.  These are a mix of items from the C.B. Gitty and Stewart-MacDonald websites.  I highly recommend purchasing all parts prior to carving the guitar, because the parts you use will dictate some of the guitar dimensions.

  • 2pc. White Plastic 6-String Guitar Nuts ( Part 31-074-01)
  • Chrome Adjustable Bridge for Electric Guitar ( Part 31-065-01)
  • Chrome Sealed-Gear Tuners - 6pc. Inline Right-aligned ( Part 31-006-02)
  • Pre-Wired 6-String Single Coil Pickup Harness - Black ( Part 54-006-01)
  • U-channel Truss Rod, Electric ( Item # 1177-E)
  • StewMac Medium Fretwire, Medium/medium, 2 ft x 3 Qty  ( Item # 0148)
  • Neck Mounting Plate, Chrome, with screws ( Item # 0131)
  • Strap Buttons - Set of 2, Chrome, set of 2 ( Item # 0170)
  • Electric Guitar Strings (Light 009 Gauge Recommended)
  • Control cavity cover and pickup ring made from wood or plastic.  Click here to download my templates for these.

Below is a list of the tools I used to build the guitar.  If you do not have an X-Carve, you could use a bandsaw, router, and fretsaw to make a guitar, along with the help of some homemade templates and jigs; however, your cuts may not be as accurate.

  • X-Carve Machine, Computer, Easel Software
  • .25" 2-flute upcut spiral bit for the body and neck
  • .125 and .024 spiral bits for the fretboard
  • Rasp and Files
  • Phillips Screwdriver Small
  • Drill/Driver and drill bits
  • Adjustable Wrench Small
  • 5 Minute 2-Part Epoxy
  • Wood Glue
  • CA Glue
  • Sandpaper and Finishing Materials

Overall, I'm very pleased with how my first electric guitar turned out.  It's not a Fender or a Gibson, it's just a "Carmichael".  There are a few things I would like to do differently on my second guitar, such as learn how to use the X-Carve to carve the profile on the back of the neck.  Keep an eye out for my Electric Guitar Follow Up video where I discuss all of the details regarding what I will do differently next time.

Thank you to Inventables for sponsoring this project and providing the X-Carve, milling bits, Easel software, and inspiration that I needed to scratch this project off my bucket list.