Virtual Non-Meeting
Nov 18, 2020

David Motley: Original Song - Pandemic Panic

Larry Sakayama - Travel guitar fixed

After breaking the neck and cracking the top, my travel guitar is fixed, with a slightly thinner neck.


Woody Violins

Here are photos of the last two violins I set up. The one with the carved head I made from scratch and made it lefty. It's made from western quilted maple and red spruce. The other fiddle is a kit violin. I also made the varnish.


Chet Dickerson Rosewood Dobro

I’m working on this rosewood b/s, red spruce top dobro. The rosewood was given to me by a friend who is a banjo guy and had no use for it. It had some voids/defects in it that I filled that are in the black streaked area. They should disappear with top coats applied. Stay tuned for this one...


Tom Pafford - Guitar

It's plain gray maple of some wood that I had - three-piece front and back, plain sides. I'm planning on painting it as a finish.


Tom Pafford - New Workspace

I finished a cutting, sanding and routing room, in hopes of keeping the other shop room cleaner.


Larry Sakayama - Canoe done

My target was under 45 lbs. Finished canoe weighs 38lbs.



Covid-19 Pandemic Virtual Non-Meeting 4

Here's what we're doing while unable to meet with our fellow luthiers. Hopefully we'll be able to meet face to face soon.

Michael Dean

This violin has been my main project. Think this is basically done, except final sanding and scraping, setup, and varnishing. May set it aside until spring to do that, especially if I spray the varnish. That piece of wood it's sitting on top of is glued soundboard blank for the archtop I'm slowly getting moving on.


Chet Dickerson and Jerry McGuire - CNC

I’ve been helping/working with Jerry McGuire on his new CNC machine.

I’ve been doing the CAD work and programming tool paths for some CNC machined jigs/fixtures for guitar building.

So far we built the Fox style side bender and bending form for a dread, cutting the majority of the parts on the CNC.

I’ve also created some bracing templates, one is a 1939 rearward shifted pattern based on a Martin D-18 1939 Authentic series. Below is the Cad image and we cut one of these out of Masonite hardboard.


I have also modeled up several Radius dishes, 15, 28, and 40ft. We plan to cut one of those in MDF next week. We hope to soon have Jerry carving his mandolin tops and backs with the machine.

Chet Dickerson Mahogany Dobro

Finally finished this all solid mahogany dobro! The wood is reclaimed mahogany that came from Black Dog Salvage. I was told that the ship lapped mahogany boards came out of a furniture factory near Galax, likely built in the ‘40s, and was used as wall paneling in the executive offices. It has a warmer sound than my maple guitar of the same specs.


Woody Guitar

Inspired by the creative and superb builder Ben Wilborn at I decided to attempt a radially braced guitar with a soundhole in the upper bout, similar to his new Comma model guitars.

I have a whole sequence of photos documenting the construction of this guitar and I will put up a facebook photo album of it soon. The back and sides are walnut that I got from Chet over ten years ago. The maple is WV red maple that I bought several years ago and the redwood top is made from cutoffs from a hot tub enclosure.


The bass on it sounds like a dreadnaught! Overall, I'm very pleased. I intend to build two more like it, but use spruce tops instead. And I may try to make the bracing slightly stiffer. This guitar is on the warm side and great for folky stuff but doesn't punch for swingy stuff, if you know what I mean.

Larry Guitars with arm and rib rests

These guitars were put on hold while I worked on my canoe. Started them up again. I'm spraying lacquer now.

They are experiments in doing the arm/rib rest bevels. One was done with a block of wood for the bevel support that is the same as the binding (cherry) - so no veneer overlay is required. The other was done with a walnut veneer over the internal basswood bevel support to match the walnut binding.


Both have mitered purfling, side soundports and backstraps on the headstocks.

Chet Dickerson Bookcase

This bookcase is something I had promised my wife I would build for her a long time ago. The wood is quartersawn white oak. I built it from rough sawn lumber I purchased about 3 years ago. The entire bookcase is solid wood, no veneers/plywood. The design is in the arts and crafts (mission) style and I built it with all mortise and tenon joints (my first attempt at this!). There are no screws or nails holding it together. The finish is a water based dye stain for color followed with a dark brown oil base gel stain to accent the figure and grain. Clear satin top coat. Happy wife happy life!


Frank Riner - Stuff

I cleaned up my guitar working area in the basement and working on finishing up a bathroom project.

On Halloween weekend all the work stopped. A sheet of paneling slipped out of my hand and landed on my left foot big toe cutting a gash and breaking the bone. It looks like it's healing ok but the Doc is sending me to UVA orthopedics. May have some tendon damage.


While I'm down, I'm working on a couple of books for my grandkids.

The grandkids call me Papa Roni. I finished "In The Garden with Papa Roni." Working on another, "At The Farm with Papa Roni." Both are just made up rhymes I wrote and inserted free clip art from online.

Also, all year I have been growing my beard to play Santa for the grandkids. Somehow out the blue someone called me, asking if I would fill in for their usual Santa because he had broken his ribs. I told them sure but if any kid stepped on my broken toe they would be on my naughty list for a long, long time!