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Rob Zamites

Baby Steps

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Having been bitten several times on and off the past 6 or so years with the CBOM bug, and spending money to have other luthiers create instruments for me, I've decided that I'll never be truly satisfied until I'm making my own instruments.

I did the exact same thing in a previous life, where I was a highly recognized homebrewer (I was the runner up in first Sam Adams World Homebrew Contest back in '96), then did a string of head brewer gigs. I eventually gave up because it was never my show, strictly my beer and my way of doing things.

Thus this cycle begins again, however I'm an older, calmer and (somewhat) wiser man. Baby steps, as is the title of my blog post, is the proper way to approach this. I've started out by buying my first few tools of the trade:

  • 60" Harbor Freight Workbench
  • An assortment of clamps
  • A 48" aluminum straightedge/ruler


Before you purists get all up in my grille about 'Harbor Freight' stuff, note that this workbench is highly rated, is sturdy as hell and had myriads of positive reviews. I will confess to being wary of many other items there, so I did not buy anything but the workbench and clamps there, and eschewed getting chisels and other more critical equipment.

The next purchase, likely in 3 weeks or so, will be a kit from Musicmakers, as my current luthier, Stan Pope, recommended them.



I'm going to see if they'll kludge together a kit with the Renaissance Guitar body, but an 8 pin fixed bridge and headstock, or the tailpiece/floating bridge assembly of either their Dakota OM/Mandocello or Bouzouki kit. No soundhole, as I want to do my own, as well as fretboard marker/inlays and a headstock inlay.

I know, ambitious, but while I'm taking baby steps, I've never been one to not take baby steps into a shallow puddle, more like baby steps into a vast deep pool....foolish, perhaps, but I can't deny my nature.



Tomorrow, I'll buy some Titebond and start making tweaks to the bench as I assemble it. Stay tuned.

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Luthierie

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