Hi, I thought it might be a good idea to show some of the many tools and jigs I have made over the years, instead of buying them They may not be your cup of tea, you may not need them, but I may inspire you to be creative in your thinking.

As I mentioned in a previous post, out of all the tools and jigs in the Stumac catalogue I have made 53 of them for myself. Often before they appeared in their catalogue. Most are not original and many are created from just seeing a photo of the tool or jig.

To kick things off I'll show some of the knives I have made or modified. Sometimes two  knives come from the one blade of a bigger kitchen or boning knives.

Still to come is a host of different  hand saws, a half a dozen different style clamps, power tool attachments and misc. other converted  hand tools.

Feel free to add to the list.

Cheers Taff

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Sorry Taff, haven't been out to my shop in a while to take any jig/tool pics, not since it got too cold here fart without fear of it freezing in your pants LOL

here's a simple neck radius tool I made, merely glue the sand paper to the block, mount your neck stationary, and sand away with long strokes. Also a good idea to cut a piece of hardboard/plywood/plexiglass or whatever to the desired finished radius to use as a guide to know when you have your radius completed

about as simple a tool you can make

This is a depth gauge to measure the thickness of the bottom of or the lid of a box that may have a lip. It is a $2 plastic gauge, some styrene plastic, crazy glue and very tiny screws. When closed it reads 100mm. The long white plastic piece forces that. Simply subtract 100 from whatever the reading says to get the actual measurement.

Thanks for starting this thread, much appreciated.

This is a fret rocker made from scrap aluminum - no it’s not RC42 steel but I don’t plan on throwing it against a wall either. The fourth edge is not 100% straight, but the other 3 edges are good enough to measure for the scale lengths that I build. And I do check it every so often just to make sure the sides are straight. It’s stored in a plastic case so nothing else will knock it.

I don’t have room or enough justification for a planer. So this torsion box helps me sand away that little concave bow that very neck has. Scribble that side with a pencil and then keep sanding till the pencil mark is gone. I flip edge over edge regularly, I’m right handed and probably press harder with my right than my left. The opposite side will be spoke shaved so it dies not  have to be level.

The value of a torsion box is it cannot twist. The sanding surface on this box stays level. Start with 60 grit  then 120. There are little metal corner braces used as clamps at the end to hold the sanding strip and the wood pieces save the edges from smacking the braces. I used half inch Masonite, drywall screws.

Fret end dressing file. The file is from those packs of 10 files for $10. The top yellow handled file is the fret file. I ran the sides on the stationery sander to make them smooth, so running the file against the fret end will not mark the wood. The lower red handled file is what it started out as. Yes those are electrical caps on the file ends - cheap and plentiful.

Hey, that what I'm talkin about Joe, thanks for contributing.

You could also call this thread "More than one way to skin a cat"

I like you ideas. Here's my fret rocker......kit Ha ha. Before I saw that all in one model. This set goes small enough to check the last frets on a mandolin.


Cheers Taff

Hey Taffy - definitely - more than one way to skin a cat! Cheers - Joe

OK, next tool that may be of interest is the Clamp. Often an expensive item, and cheep ones don't always hold their grip.

Clamps for all occasions

Here is a collection of the clamps I have made for myself in the workshop over the years. They are shown, I hope, in order of manufacture starting back in the 1970’s and still going strong.

*First clamps are the big long reach clamps.

*Hanging up are the violin rim clamps, using threaded rod wood turned handle disc cut with a hole saw and a wing nut.

*Then the small spool clamps, threaded rod, Hole Saw cut discs and two wing nuts.

Good for CBG box lid/back assembly.

*Large spool clamps made for cello and double bass repairs, but work well for guitar assembly.

*Cam clamps, I made about 15 of these, various uses. Quick and light to use.

* And lastly, special violin clamps for cluing tops and backs.

I have a host of other clamps made for repairs of various stringed instruments, but these ones shown would be of more interest to CBG builders.


p>Cheers Taff

Thanks Taffy - spool clamps- now I know what to do with that box of leftover wing nuts. ;-)

This is a good thread.

1. I needed a curved scraper when working on a neck, so I used a cheap serrated edge steak knife with a curved shape, it worked out great. Also use utility knife blades as scrapers/shapers, they're cheap and plentiful.

2. I needed a radius sanding block for sanding a fretboard. I had already made a flat sanding block out of a 6" long piece of 2" x 4", so I cut another piece, drew the radius I wanted on each end(9"), used my router table to take away material in steps up to the lines I drew and then finished removing material and shaping with that steak knife. Then finished it off with some sand paper. It works great. Drill small holes in the sanding side of your block and poke through the paper to keep dust from clogging your paper.

3. I needed a fret puller. I noticed that Harbor Freight Tools had some small bull nosed nipper pliers for 2 bucks. I got a pair and put the ends on a grinding rock to make them completely flat to rest on the fingerboard, but they are sharp enough to get under the frets. Also got one of those flat metal pocket rulers and cut a 2" slot up the middle with a cutoff wheel in my Dremel to use as a fretboard protector when pulling the frets out. It keeps tear out at a minimum.

Thanks for the fret puller tip Paul - my kind of tool - take something close and adapt it. 

Hi, thanks Craig, you just lead me into my next set of posts.

First are my fret pullers. Red handled ones I've had for 20 years now and the other pair are 3 times that age. The inside of the jaws of the older pair are ramped in a way that as you squeeze the tool shut it pulls the fret up, I don't have to use any pulling.

Second group are pliers I modified for widening the fret tang, making it narrower and for hand bending a fret if I have too. 

Fret end cutters through the ages. I could not find any recently made cutters that could handle a decent volume of fretwork after that first pair, made in Germany, and low cost at the time. I had to go for an expensive pair made for the job. they also work on stainless fret wire. All were ground flat on the cutting face for a flush cut against the fingerboard.

Cheers Taff


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