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my string family has increased by 1 more
staying inline with the string-thing....
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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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January 28, 2017 - 3:34 am
Member Since: February 13, 2012
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As most of the senior members here know, I've been playing for about 5 yrs now, all self taught with the wonderful help of other members and Pierre and this wonderful site. I have progressed and accomplished what I set out to do 5 yrs ago... I can play a violin now.

As many of you know also, I make violins, mainly the electric 5 string fretted fingerboard models. I have three currently, two are for sale but that's not the point of this thread. What I wanted to show the other members here is my newest acquisition...

a 2004 Lamar Colvin pedal steel guitar (8 pedals + 5 knee levers). I was able to get this from the second owner for 1/4th of it's value (I've had Lamar send me a value quotation for replacement cost - insurance purposes) which replacement is $5300.00 I've wanted a pedal steel for about 40+ yrs but could never afford that kind of expense, but I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and the stars all lined up just perfectly. I have made two of my finest birch with abalone inlay fretboards for it to match the wonderful craftsmanship inherent in an instrument of this quality.

I also had bought a Fender Steel King amp from a music shop in Florida and had it shipped out via UPS right before Christmas.... and UPS lost it! Yes, they claim they lost it somewhere in the hub here in California only 2-3 hrs from my house. I had to wait almost 2 weeks for a refund to be issued and then of course look for another amp. There's a select few of amps that are primarily very desirable for pedal steel use and that was right at the top of the list. Damn the bad luck. Anyway... fast forward to 2 weeks ago and I found a beautiful vintage Fender Twin Reverb amp which is another very desirable amp for pedal steel use... and normally they are twice what I paid for the Steel King amp... but I managed this one from a guy in Santa Rosa who had too many amps and guitars and was getting rid of a few of them... for about 1/2 what they sell for new... so now I have a first class set up that I've been patiently waiting to get for decades.

I've included some pics for the new members here of the fretted violins I make and then the pics of the pedal steel and the newly made fretboards I inlayed and installed. Enjoy the eye candy...

 

dennisPC200343.JPGImage EnlargerP9300017-2.JPGImage EnlargerPB290082.JPGImage EnlargerPB290070.JPGImage EnlargerP1180178.JPGImage EnlargerPC030014.JPGImage EnlargerP1030118.JPGImage EnlargerP1030129.JPGImage EnlargerP1130138.JPGImage EnlargerP1130144.JPGImage EnlargerP1220005.JPGImage EnlargerP1220014.JPGImage EnlargerP1220012.JPGImage EnlargerP1220011.JPGImage EnlargerP1270047.JPGImage Enlarger

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"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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MrYikes
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January 28, 2017 - 8:51 am
Member Since: February 11, 2014
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Very Beautiful.  Yep Very Beautiful.
Question, did you rent a forklift to move the amp?
  What do you use to cut the abalone?

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 28, 2017 - 9:04 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2148
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Nice!  1st-place   Beautiful, professional finish - as ever @cdennyb - awesome !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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January 28, 2017 - 1:29 pm
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Congrats to your newest member of your string family.

Beautiful work and photos as always.

Thank you for sharing all that musical eye candy.

Cheers

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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cdennyb
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January 28, 2017 - 7:27 pm
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I cut the .006" thk abalone shell veneer with the laser as well. It's the only way to get perfect cuts for such delicate work. Oh I wish I had a forklift to move that thing, thank God it has wheels!

On a side note... I had quite a conversation with Jim Heep (Pedal Steel player for the Bellamy Brothers) who is in Switzerland right now on one of the last stops of their world tour. He plays a Franklin pedal steel (very expensive) and saw my FB posting of my fretboards. He had NEVER seen anything like that and someone who plays professional and records like he does would see a LOT of pedal steel fretboards trust me... he wants me to make him two for his Franklin pedal steel guitar.

I'm honored and shocked at the same time but making a pair for someone who is as talented as Jim is and knowing he gets a lot of joy playing over one of my hand made abalone shell inlayed fretboards really brings a smile to my face.

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"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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MACJR
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January 28, 2017 - 8:48 pm
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I am curious about that laser cutter/engraver. As an artist, I would love to be able to cut and engrave some of my art for different things.

If you do not mind my asking, what brand and model of laser is that?

More than likely, it is out of reach for a starving artist budget anyway. Still, I see the potential of having a tool like that. I see butterflies and teardrops galore!  😉

MACJR

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cdennyb
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January 29, 2017 - 12:43 pm
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The one I use started out as a 50w blue & white china laser system and of course it was exactly what we expect of that kind of assembly and quality so I upgraded it with many mods. Original price was $1500 delivered, then I added about $1000 in mods and upgrades.

I use it for a multitude of things, the imagination is your only limit.

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"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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MACJR
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January 29, 2017 - 1:01 pm
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As I suspected, out of my price range. But I did some looking around and there are some lesser priced setups I could budget in at some point. They are probably not that good, but might be good enough to get me started.

I will ponder it for a while. Maybe sometime next year I will work towards going in that direction. It would be cool to be able to laser some of my art like that.

MACJR

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 31, 2017 - 3:43 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12583

Great stuff Dennis!

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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cdennyb
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February 1, 2017 - 11:50 pm
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MACJR said
As I suspected, out of my price range. But I did some looking around and there are some lesser priced setups I could budget in at some point. They are probably not that good, but might be good enough to get me started.
I will ponder it for a while. Maybe sometime next year I will work towards going in that direction. It would be cool to be able to laser some of my art like that.
MACJR  

There is a smaller version, considered a K40 model which can be had for under $400 quite easily. It has a much smaller table than mine but if you're just engraving small items, plaques, and things like that, maybe engraving powdercoated cups and the such, it would work quite well. It might be more within your price range.

 

Here's a e-bay ad for one. There's several so choose wisely based on location to you, accessories offered, etc. and get as much as you can for the lowest price. Mostly they are plug and play but if you're handy with your hands and understand basic mechanics and robotics, computers and software like coreldraw or inkscape... you'd be set.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mophor.....SwopRYhAfO

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 2, 2017 - 1:14 pm
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Very cool Dennis. Do you have one of these? Do you know which software and OS is compatible with this machine?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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MACJR
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February 2, 2017 - 1:56 pm
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FireDragon_Egg_2b.pngImage Enlarger

The original, first step image was made in a tablet app, but the finish work, and making it into an egg shape, was done with a paint program.

Yeah, I am familiar with paint programs. Since I am on a tight budget, I only have PaintShop Pro, and a few open source raster graphics programs, but I know how to make them work for me.  😉

The above image probably would not make for a good laser print, but I also do illustrations and other types of art.

MACJR

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Fran
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February 2, 2017 - 7:40 pm
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@MACJR  this is beautiful! 

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MACJR
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February 2, 2017 - 7:44 pm
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Fran said
@MACJR  this is beautiful!   

Thanks, Fran.

I probably should not have posted that on another artists thread though.  😉

At least it is a different style of art.

MACJR

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cdennyb
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February 3, 2017 - 1:45 pm
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Oh it's all good, artistry is just that... share away.

 

@Fiddlerman Yes I have the bigger version, not the K40. It comes with the software called RDWorks, and I'll include a screenshot of the program. Compatible with Windows. I use W7 and many use WXp or even the newest W10 without too many issues. Mostly the problems are associated with the plug-ins for Corel-Draw or some other graphics program and not so much the basic RDWorks program.

@MACJR  That is a pretty colorful piece of artwork but as you are correct it would not even begin to be do-able on a CO2 laser. When thinking of a laser you have to see in black & white basically. Or stencils or silhouettes since you're removing material and essentially burning the wood or melting the acrylic away.

I addition to the basic laser, I needed a 'chiller' to keep the coolant water a constant cool temp so the tube will last. I also added a cross-hair accessory for aiming the beam or knowing where it would start. The stock laser comes with a red dot laser for alignment but as you raise or lower the table (and workpiece) then the dot will move sideways and not stay directly under the invisible beam. My creation uses a line of red laser light that doesn't change as the height does, where they cross is where the beam will hit.

I also added a poly tank for completing a sealed water reservoir system. It's purpose is to keep the water system sealed and clean, free of airborne contamination. The chiller is actually for use in an aquarium and has a UV light which kills bacteria and growth in the water as it circulates. I also added some LED lights inside the cabinet lid because the single small light that comes stock creates shadows from the gantry as it moves so you can't see the work well. A mA meter was added to watch the tube current and insure it wasn't going too high and shortening the life of the tube as well.

The electronics bay which has the stepper controllers and the 'brain' of the whole thing was getting really hot as there wasn't any airflow so I cutout a spot in the cabinet and added a small computer power supply fan which now eliminates the hot air inside which rises. Since they already had louvers on the door the fresh room air which is cooler now flows thru there keeping everything within about 5 degrees of room temp.

Yes, a lot of work but for me it was just something to do and everything was done to make it easier to use or more efficient. A welcome reward for my efforts as the unit as it sit would probably sell today for around $4000. P5080621.JPGImage EnlargerPB190046.JPGImage EnlargerP5250759.JPGImage EnlargerP7091111.JPGImage EnlargerPC120060.JPGImage EnlargerPC120052_01.JPGImage EnlargerP4110296.JPGImage Enlarger

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"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 8, 2017 - 10:04 am
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Very nice. Making me jealous brother!

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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damfino
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February 8, 2017 - 10:14 am
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All really very cool, @cdennyb 😀 

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