More Workshop Mice

 

The workshop mice have been breeding again. All sorts of scrap and off cuts have found its way into these little beasties.

Woods include: – Oak, African Mahogany, Honduras Mahogany, Rosewood, Padauk, Pine, Sitka Spruce, Ply, Wenge, Lime, Bamboo and a little bit of Eucalyptus.

As soon as my back was turned they all ran off and hijacked the TV.

Watching TV

 

Chunky guitar complete

A good friend of mine (Chunky) recently celebrated his 50th birthday. To help celebrate, his closest group of friends asked if I would make an acoustic guitar for him if they all shared the cost of the materials. Here is the finished guitar.

As he is a motorcycle fan, I made the guitar around this theme with the Motorcycle frontal design on the headstock. This was inlaid with Abalone, Brass and a stainless steel ring filled with amber resin for the headlight. A further motorcycle design is included at the bottom of the fret board.

The rosette around the soundhole was inspired by the disc brake of a motorcycle and is made from brass, Abalone and Mother of Pearl (MOP) discs to represent the brake caliper. 5 MOP discs – one for each decade.

On the shoulder of the guitar is a sound port which includes a further five small holes to celebrate his 5 decades.

As gold is traditionally the colour for a 50 year celebration the inlays are largely brass and the machine heads are gold.

For more in-depth details regarding materials and construction see the build page here.

I have no idea how the mouse got in there.

Chunky guitar build

Here are some photographs and specifications of the ‘Chunky’ guitar build as it developed. See the finished article here.

Woods used.

The back and sides are made from African Mahogany which is considered a very fine tonewood and gives a very nice deep golden brown finish.

The soundboard is the finest Western Red Cedar. This gives a wonderful warm tone which, when combined with the mahogany back and sides is ideally suited for the fingerstyle guitar technique.

The neck is laminated from Meranti and Wenge. The Meranti is related to mahogany and has a lighter hue. This is very easy to work but also quite stable and strong. Conversely the Wenge (pronounced ‘Weng-hey’) is a very rich dark brown wood that is incredibly strong and hard. Wenge is one of my favourite woods but the splinters are like torture needles.

Other materials include Richlite for the fret board, Lime for the kerfed linings, Mother of Pearl (MOP), brass, Abalone and stainless steel for the inlay work and Sitka Spruce for the soundboard and back bracing.

Body:-

Back and sides……………………………………………………..African Mahogany
Soundboard…………………………………………………………Western Red Cedar
Binding……………………………………………………………………………………..Wenge
Bridge block……………………………………………………………………………..Wenge
String Anchor………………………………………………………………………….Richlite
Bracing…………………………………………………………………………….Sitka Spruce
Kerfing…………………………………………………………………………………………Lime
Sound port……………………………………………………………………………..Meranti
Mouse body…………………………………………………………………………………..Pine
Mouse ears and tail…………………………………………Leather from old sofa

Neck:-

Neck laminates…………………………………………………………..Meranti/Wenge
Head veneer………………………………………………………………………………Wenge
Fretboard…………………………………………………………………………………..Richlie
Truss rod cover……………………………………………………………………………Birch
Side Position dots………………………………………………………….Cocktail sticks

Hardware:-

Truss rod……………………………………………………………………2 way adjustable
Machineheads………………………………………………………………Grover Sta-Tite
Frets…………………………………………………………………………………..Nickel Silver
Nut and Saddle…………………………………………………………………………NuBone
Strings……………………………………………….Martin Phosphor Bronze 12 – 54

Dimensions :-

Neck width at nut……………………………………………………………………….47mm

String spacing at bridge……………………………………………………………..58mm

Scale length……………………………………………………………………………….640mm

Lower bout width……………………………………………………………………..380mm

Upper bout width……………………………………………………………………..285mm

Width at the waist…………………………………………………………………….230mm

Body depth…………………………………………………………………………………..93mm

Trinket box

 

A trinket box for a big birthday. With house mouse peeping from his hole and Mrs Mouse inside guarding the cheese.

The top and base are made from Oak whilst the sides are made from light red Meranti, which is often referred to as ‘Philippine Mahogany’ (although the link between Meranti and true Mahogany is quite tenuous).

The outside mouse and the large wedge of cheese are Beech, the small cheese is Oak and Mrs Mouse (in the box) is made from a reclaimed beam from a demolition site. I have no idea what this is but it has a fantastic variation in colour throughout its’ body.

The lid ‘stay’ is made from an old guitar string – nothing goes to waste.

 

Birthday Mirror

 

This mirror was made for a special birthday for someone who just loved to dance. The theme was 70’s disco with a mirror ball that could still be used as a functioning mirror.

The mirror measures 400mm x 500mm and is set in a solid oak frame.

Fonts used are ‘Boecklins Universe’ for the mirror text and ‘Psychedelia HM’ for the ‘Dancing Queen’ text.

Music text

Treacle’s ashes

What do you do with your dog’s ashes once they have left you?

Treacle, Starkie and Sam were our three brindle coloured dogs who were inseparable when they were with us. They were all around 11 to 12 years old and would run, play and sleep together – sometimes they lay in their bed and you couldn’t tell where the first dog started and the last finished.

Then in 2006, Starkie was suffering terribly with arthritis and despite the best efforts and medication from the vet, he passed away as we prepared for the Summer. The other dogs obviously felt the loss and just after Starkie died, Sam was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Sam died just two months after Starkie, leaving 11 year old Treacle lost and visibly feeling the emptiness left by her two friends.

Not knowing what to do with Starkie and Sam’s ashes we kept them in their boxes and placed them to the back of the bookshelf. The thinking was that as the three dogs were so close, we would wait until Treacle joined them and they could all be scattered together. Given Treacle’s demeanour and apparent downhill state of health we feared we may not be waiting long.

Then in October 2006, in an attempt to perk Treacle’s spirit, we visited the RSPCA and found a two year old Lurcher we called Ozzy. Treacle took to him straight away and was like a new dog herself. Ozzy did the trick for both us and Treacle and Treacle went on to live for another six years.

When Treacle died in 2012, at the grand old age of seventeen we were once again faced with the prospect of what to do with the ashes. Unfortunately, we had now had Starkie and Sam’s ashes so long we were reluctant to part with them. Treacle joined the other two on the bookshelf and there they all stayed for a few years more.

I finally decided that if we weren’t going to scatter the ashes, I would make something with them so they could be out in the open with us once more.

This is the result of Treacle’s ashes which I have set in a clear resin and mounted between the ends of an old oval bathroom mirror. I sandblasted the mirror to leave just a mirrored tree and Treacle’s name to the front and a paw print on the reverse. Treacle’s last dog dag is also set into the clear section of the ashes and the main part is then mounted on a piece of solid Oak.

The remaining ashes are set in the ‘pool’ on the oak base with a Mahogany paw walking across. Being a Border Collie/German Shepherd cross breed, Treacle was the most intelligent dog we have ever had and the poem describes a typical trick she used to play on the other dogs on a regular basis.

Chopping Board

 

 

During a recent kitchen revival the large gas hob cut out removed from the Beech Block worktop was left wanting a purpose. I was asked to inlay the names and signatures of everyone involved in the refitting of the kitchen.

This is the finished board with the inlaid work on one side and blank on the reverse to allow for serious chopping without damaging the named surface.

Each name is made from strips of 30 year old Honduras Mahogany formed to follow the contour of the name and sitting 3mm deep into the Beech board. The main names are filled with brass and aluminium filings set in crystal clear Counter resin to allow them to stand out from the crowd.

The board is finished with a thick Oak surround with an inset pine inner edge and ‘MANDY’S KITCHEN’ set deep into one side.

Finished size is approx 900mm x 450mm.

Happy chopping.

Sun Dial

 

About five years ago, our very close friends reluctantly cut down the apple tree that had been taking over their garden. The tree had been a much loved feature for many years but the roots were threatening foundations so it had to go.

As many apples were salvaged and boiled into crumble filling before being frozen for future use and the tree was felled. However, unknown to them, a slice of the trunk was kept to one side to dry out for a future project.

Now, five years on, and to help celebrate their Ruby anniversary, I took the slice of apple tree and made a sun dial for the newly re-landscaped garden to return the tree to its’ former home.

The numbers are made from glass discs with the relevant number sandblasted onto the underside.

Not sure how accurate it will be or how often the sun will shine hard enough to cast a shadow but there are always modern clocks on hand for back up.

Arthur

Little baby Arthur was destined for a wonderful life with his parents and two big brothers. Unfortunately, fate had other plans and on 14th of April, 2017, Arthur skipped this world as he was born straight into the next.

To his brothers, Arthur was a new star in the night sky and to reflect this his mum asked me to make a container for Arthur’s ashes. She didn’t want a standard ‘urn’ but preferred something more resembling a trophy to celebrate his essence and him being a star.

This small polished aluminium and mahogany trophy was the result which incorporates an adjustable star on top which can be moved to reflect his starlight up onto the ceiling from any position.

The inscription around the base reads: –

“Always on our mind, forever in our hearts.”

Restaurant Wine Tower

 

 

In 2006 some friends asked if I could build a wine tower for their restaurant. An ‘Industrial’ theme was required with straight vertical lines to enhance the height.

A dark blue mild steel frame rises at the rear like two cranes from the floor and reaches over the top and anchors to the wall. This supports the main frame that consists of 14 vertical square stainless steel tubes, each holding 23 aluminium cups that in turn hold a precious bottle of red wine. The whole thing is surrounded by a thick wall of glass to keep it safe but unrestricted to the viewing eye.

In all, 322 bottles of the finest red wine can be stored on the tower and are accessed by a ladder within the enclosure.

This feature in the restaurant often serves to open up conversation between guests and staff as the diners are shown to their table.

twelve restaurant.

For the wine enthusiast visit I love wine