Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Hockey Stick Headstocks

Broken headstocks are always an excercise in creative clamping. The hockey stick headstocks, like this Jackson are like trying to clamp a watermelon seed.

I cut a jig out of plywood and bolted the headstock to it reducing it from a 3 to 2 dimensional clamping situation. I use wedges all the time and this was the ideal place for them to apply pressure, a clamp would push the pieces apart. After a few rehearsals I was ready, this clamping arrangement got good glue squeeze out all the way around the gluing surfaces and I was even able to get a clamp from tip to heel of the headstock.After 24 hours I can do the clean up the touch up and the setup.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fabulous Fingerstyle Guitar Show

Don't miss this show, these guys are great.

Tim Sparks on you tube

Tim Sparks' long journey to the 1993 National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship, and beyond, began modestly in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, when he started picking out tunes by ear on an old Stella flat top. He was given his first guitar when a bout of encephalitis kept him out of school for a year, and the music he heard around him was traditional country blues, and the gospel his grandmother played on piano in a small church in the Blue Ridge mountains.

Phil Heywood is a fingerstyle guitarist with a bluesy swing and a bucketful of whatever it is that helps a performer turn an instrumental piece into an arresting lyrical narrative. His lucid playing encompasses the down-home rhythmic groove of a Mississippi John Hurt or Leadbelly, and the sheer fluidity and flair of Leo Kottke. Phil has played with Chet Atkins on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion.

For more info click the link below

The Doc

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Guardian Fiberglass guitar case

Just in and not for long, this is a seriously tough guitar case. Heavily padded with a thick PVC seal, your guitar will stay dry and comfortable inside it's fiberglass armour. It's not as good as a Calton case but it's a fraction of the price and doesn't take months to come in.
  • Fiberglass shell
  • PVC seal
  • D hooks for shoulder straps
  • Dark Grey
  • Comfortable leather handle
Price $229 (only available for dreadnaughts)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's finished

My kids took a vote and decided on blue, I like it. It will be hanging around the shop for awhile but won't be for sale until a few more are made. The guitar hangers we use in the shop will be available soon too.


I'm looking for a name

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stick Dulcimer (it needs a better name)

We used to sell Stick Dulcimers a number of years ago but the guy who made them moved away. A week ago I thought I'd look into making them in house. After an evening of careful planning I came up with a design that could be made mostly from one piece of wood.

I used the wood from an old dresser that I had taken apart last summer. The drawer fronts were cut into 1 1/2" strips and glued up in twos. Then they were cut to make the neck and sides (all one piece) and fingerboard. I got an off cut piece of spruce for the top and utilized the dresser drawer bottoms as a back. The fingerboard is fretted like a dulcimer (diatonic scale) meaning you can't really play a wrong note on them. This makes them fun for the novice and an interesting challenge for a player.

I plan to make more of these and sell them in the store, it will 3 or 4 weeks before they are ready and I want to keep the price under $150.


Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm just sayin'

Late at night when everyone is sleeping and there is $25 in your Paypal account, you to could end up with Gold Chicken Head knobs. I have black buffalo horn from a similar event.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Lack of humidity keeps me busy this time of year. Often older guitars seem to be more resilient in the dry cold winters, don't be fooled I get guitars in that are 30 and 40 years old showing thier first damage from dry winters. Humidify your instruments.

Old case humidifiers should be replaced by the latest great new humidifier, right now that would be the Oasis Plus not the regular blue one but the Plus model that is made for climates like ours. Years ago I liked the Dampit (green worm shaped thing) Two years ago we were pushing the Planet Waves humidifier and had great hopes for thier system that required no refilling.

The Oasis Plus wins the Sled Dog Music Award for best conceived and executed humidifier on the market today. It's a gortex tube with ¼ tsp of crystals in it, add distilled water and the water turns into a gel. You get a controlled evap rate in a sealed container. When the container is empty it shrivels, giving you a visual that it needs to be filled again.

I just placed an order for Oasis humidifiers, we've gone through several dozen this winter and we're low in stock I expect to see more in two weeks.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Soon to be expatriate

Manitoba Hal is moving to Nova Scotia, so it's farewell to Manitoba for Hal. (there should be a song in that) I'd like to set the record straight, under the category of the-one-thing-everyone-knows-about... fill in the appropriate bit of common knowledge.

Hal is not changing his name, the marquees will not be sporting the name Nova Scotia Hal, Liverpool Louie, or the transvested Glace Bay Gladys. No he will be billed as (expatriate) Manitoba Hal. Ex Pat Pat is probably going to far but I thought I'd throw it out there. In 9 days Hal will be touring east through Canada on his way to NS, you can follow him on his website, Facebook, Twitter, My Space and podpigeon.

If you see Hal in the next nine days don't try to change his name, wish him well and say goodbye.