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Lowe Guitars shop notes
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BeeTL



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 1914
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:23 pm    Post subject: Lowe Guitars shop notes Reply with quote

Going forward, here is where I'll blog about projects, power tools, bacon, bunnies, and other occurrences in the shop.

First, may I introduce Roxy, the shop bunny:


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Brad Lowe, Owner
Lowe Custom Guitars
www.lowecustomguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/lowecustomguitars/
https://www.instagram.com/lowecustomguitars/


Last edited by BeeTL on Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:04 pm; edited 6 times in total
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bildo



Joined: 14 May 2009
Posts: 2824
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea what you're talking about...

wait, wrong thread.

Howdy Roxy Wink
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BeeTL



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 1914
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing

My first YouTube demo.

Video by Jeff K, switchplate wiring and troubleshooting by Guttermouth Electronics (Ian League):

http://www.youtube.com/user/lowecustomguitars?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/WykbnEsqnZk
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Brad Lowe, Owner
Lowe Custom Guitars
www.lowecustomguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/lowecustomguitars/
https://www.instagram.com/lowecustomguitars/
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tab



Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 1276
Location: Portland, Or.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knew the tune without reading the description -
nice playing & nice tele Wink
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BeeTL



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 1914
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, it seem like I’ve spent the last three summers “getting ready to get ready”, but it seems to be time well spent.

This summer I’ve focused on building up tools and inventory and getting organized.

Since I haven’t seen too much on the topic and I think I have a little different approach, I thought I’d share how I’ve built my workbenches and storage shelves.

I’m a one-man show and I HATE moving heavy stuff around, so I decided everything heavy or awkward in the shop will be on wheels.

I’m not 100% there yet, but I’m getting close.

For my benches and shelves I start with ½” or thicker ply cut into 2’ x 4’ pieces.

Next, I notch the corners of the lower shelves out like this:



I then frame the shelves out with 1” x 3” pine for rigidity:



…and add a center stringer for shelves that will carry very heavy loads:



Then I lay the shelves out on 2” x 4” support rails:



…make sure they’re square and tack them up with 2” finishing brads:



After that I glue and nail 2” x 4” shim blocks to the support legs and screw the 1” x 3” frames to the blocks.





Next I add locking casters to the base:



…stand ‘em up and paint ‘em black:



The finished product, in a variety of forms:






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Brad Lowe, Owner
Lowe Custom Guitars
www.lowecustomguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/lowecustomguitars/
https://www.instagram.com/lowecustomguitars/
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BeeTL



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 1914
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I got back to guitar work. I have quite a few guitars I’d like to finish in 2011, and this will be the beginning of the push to get that done.

I had a few necks to reshape…I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s Trademarks.

My templates are already made, so I trace the outline in pencil on the back of the stock necks and head to the scroll saw:





Cut as close to the line as possible to minimize the potential for tear-out at the router:







The less mess you make, the less you need to clean up, so I use a shop-vac and auto switch to suck the dust away from all cutting and sanding tools:





A Skil Xbench insert adapted to my sanding station:


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Brad Lowe, Owner
Lowe Custom Guitars
www.lowecustomguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/lowecustomguitars/
https://www.instagram.com/lowecustomguitars/
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BeeTL



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 1914
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished with the rough cut, so on to the router with a ½” template bit. By the way, I’ve never seen anyone use a dowel instead of double sided tape for templates, so I’m pretty pleased with that little trick:







Finished with that, and over to the spindle sander to smooth things out and fix up the back contours:



After final hand work at the sanding station:



Setting up to mount the bridge:



The first two ChromaSonic basses mocked up:








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Brad Lowe, Owner
Lowe Custom Guitars
www.lowecustomguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/lowecustomguitars/
https://www.instagram.com/lowecustomguitars/
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Joeglow
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Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Posts: 11054
Location: NY/NJ

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool stuff Brad, like the mobile shelves and work benches. Bass looks cool too. You've been working pretty hard at getting off the ground.
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BeeTL



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 1914
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Joe!

This is turning out to be quite an addictive little hobby/business.
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Brad Lowe, Owner
Lowe Custom Guitars
www.lowecustomguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/lowecustomguitars/
https://www.instagram.com/lowecustomguitars/
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ID Crisis



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 2366
Location: Quad Cities, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice Brad. Hope business continues to grow for you.
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Travst



Joined: 15 Jul 2008
Posts: 9535
Location: Birmingham, AL

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really dig those can-opener headstocks. Cool
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marksound



Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Posts: 16668
Location: OKUSA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That body style would look good in a paisley. Laughing
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BeeTL



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 1914
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys...I would LOVE to do a paisley guitar!!!

Up until now I have considered myself to be a “finisher” exclusively.

I have only done a little bit of woodworking, soldering and setup, and I consider my skills in each of these areas to be “workmanlike”…not bad, respectable in fact, but not great.

My goal over the next 12 months is to gain proficiency in these areas.

It’s not rocket science by any means, but it requires a great deal of attention and SKILL to be able to get things done QUICKLY.

Since I don’t have a great attention span, I need to be both good AND quick to enjoy this kind of work.

Today I’m building templates to build my first body from scratch.

The donor bass is a short scale Yammy with a whammy…a fun little project.

Step one is to get my new (to me) bandsaw set up.

I got the new poly-u tires and 1/8” blade installed, and I’m ready to go:





Next, I trace the outline of the donor body on to some ¾” MDF:






Cut it out on the bandsaw:



…and sand it smooth on the spindle sander:



Next I need to measure out the pickup, neck and whammy cavity:











...transfer the measurements onto an MDF blank and use a straightedge to project the outside edges of the neck out through the body:



…and locate the bits and pieces appropriately relative to the centerline and neck lines:



Then I cut it all out on the jigsaw:



Everything fits perfectly:





Did I ever mention that I have a 15” x 8/4” x 6’ hunk of sapele sitting in the shop?




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Brad Lowe, Owner
Lowe Custom Guitars
www.lowecustomguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/lowecustomguitars/
https://www.instagram.com/lowecustomguitars/
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DustyMurphy



Joined: 16 May 2010
Posts: 1396
Location: Lawrence, KS

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, just wow. Shocked

I am in total awe of, and so jealous of, your setup!

I wish I had the space, skills, and knowledge to do something like that. It looks amazing. You're going to have too much fun in there! I can't wait to see the works of art that come out of your shop.
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Micter



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 1458

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, I wish I had a permanent shop set up. I have to set up,tear down, repeat. Mad
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