Hi all

Mike Kolb suggested I post this up here, after seeing it in a picture here on my facebook page here:

I never thought it was worth posting it, I'm too modest :-)  To the mod in question. Ihad problems with the neck rocker falling over when the guitar was laid in it upside down, as is usefull for some jobs. so I drilled a hole through it, and inserted a 6" length of dowel through it, as you can see in the picture.

I got the idea from the "fairy-wheels" that you can mount on a childs bike, so that it doesn't fall over while they're learning to balance. I hope it is of use to somebody, Mike was enamoured anyway :-)

My new workshop could be of interest too, it's only 390 sq. feet, but compared to the old workshop, I feel like I've won the lottery

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Hi Grahame,

I checked out yr new workshop and neck rest (after 20 years I may get around to getting one!) - nice stuff, way too tidy but we'll see!  

One thing I did note is your use of  pair of Makita 10.8v lithium ion power drill/drivers.   We have a pair as well as does my colleague upstate.    For the record,  I find them very well suited for general lutherie  tasks as they are light and maneuverable, affordable and have a good low torque clutch setting for screws and a high speed mode for drilling. They don't have the big battery bump and the associated long handle due to their modest battery size but this was one of the reasons we choose them as they are not bulky around the job space.  A couple of years in with no problems is a good thing.  We find  three batteries for two guns ample (when used for general workshop and domestic tasks) and the battery charge time is 15 minutes.

I didn't use powered stuff for a long time but as the workload and building tasks and RSI increased I found the time and effort saved just for string removal and replacement alone made power assistance most desirable.  Similarly, and to my surprise, they are great for pick-guard and neckplate screws (a repetitive time sapping and wrist wearing task) with a selectable range of  clutch setting and also do a lot of duty around the home for domestic tasks.   After buying cheap underpowered junk for a while I switched to these units and have had no reason to change.   

The reason for this blurb is not to endorse a particular product but to remark on what, from my experience, is a good choice for both start-up colleagues and other who may be thinking about a switch to power assisted stuff and also to invite a bit of show and tell regards maybe better alternatives and other effective uses of power assist and power tools.

I will now think about tidying the workshop spaces.


That shop is way too clean and organized, how could I ever loose my mind in there? In answer to Rusty's question I'm currently struggling with a Milwaukee 18 volt. Cannot believe I never even thought about using something smaller and compact. Home Depot here I come. 

Grahame & Rusty....

Thanks for the mod info & product report.

I'm in the market for a new rechargeable drill for benchwork that isn't bulky and I just received two glowing endorsements from 2 guys whose advice I trust completely.

And...that's a very nice workspace you have Grahame :)

Cheers & have a great week my friends,

Paul :)

Atta boy, Grahame!  After seeing your neck rest, I couldn't resist running out to the shop to do the same mod on mine.... thanks for the tip, that's going to solve a nagging little problem.

Your new shop is too be admired... very clean, very organized and you've done wonders with 390 sq. feet.  Makes me want to start cleaning & organizing straight away.  Isn't it amazing how these places can "get away" from us?!

First of all, thanks for all the compliments from you guys about my new 'shop: It's clean and tidy now,'cos I've just moved in, wait till you see it in three months time :-) I took the opportunity to throw out a lot of junk with the removal, stuff I always thought I'd need "one day", but when I was packing I found stuff that I hadn't even set eyes on for years, so out it went..

About the Makitas: Everything Rusty says is true, and when you sum up all the advantages of them, they're not even expensive really, concidering how long they last, and how well they work. The first one I bought is four years old, and has been used to convert workshops, do jobs at home etc., and is still going strong. And they are compact and ergonomically shaped, it's like an extention of your hand.

You can buy them here  from Amazon Germany for about €120, that's with a 15 min charger and two battery packs, a belt holster and a case. So I have two guns, one with a 1/4" hex head, and the other with a conventional chuck, and four battery packs althogether. I can work round the clock if I want.

I also used them when converting the 'shop, they can easily handle dry-wall screws into MDF and stuff, without having to drill a starting hole first, which saves time. And, as Rusty says, you can also use them for really small screws, due to being able to set the torque very accuratly: No chance of stripping the screws.

And the String winder is just brilliant, I used to hate stringing up by hand all day, the Mak is so much better :-)

About keeping things clean and tidy: As some of you may know, I was an Aircraft systems Tech in another life (back in the last century :-) ), and one thing they drilled into us was "clean as you go" If I don't need a tool anymore for that particular job (especially anything that could accidentally damage the instrument, like chisels or saws and stuff), then I put it back in the drawer. And when I'm finished with the job, I tidy up the workplace before I start the next job.

It might seem a bit anal, but in the long run it's better: You get more work done (and earn more money :-) ), and don't waste as much time looking for stuff. Just ask Rusty about military training, even fourty years after completing the training, it's still deeply embedded in my bones :-) I can still rattle off my service number like a pistolshot, even though I haven't had to use it since 1976!

Well, off to the shop now, today is the official first day :-)


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