1. This wasn't related to guitars directly but I was disassembling some old electronics prior to repair and desoldering the a couple of wires connected to solder terminals, essentially heating the solder with the iron and pulling the wires free, and I managed to splash myself in the face with the solder, missing my eye by around 5mm. since then safety glasses go on as I plug in my iron, or indeed any tool capable to throwing filings or shavings into the air.

    TLDR: Wear Protective gear when the is a slight chance that it will be needed.

  2. Other than trying to manipulate a router and jig, why not use a forsner bit in a drill press? with the guitar firmly clamped down whatever contours it has will be irrelevant. All you will need is the center point.

    As for a safety tip, well 40 years a carpenter has taught me to make sure your tools are sharp. Dull tools are much more dangerous. And always let the tool do the work. If you have to force it then you are doing it wrong.

  3. Here's a story that I'm sure will give you a laugh, and rightfully so… When I was young, inexperienced, and stupid, I was reshaping a Squire bass body. I was carving the upper horn with one of those small X-acto chisels (absolutely ridiculous, I know) and had my hand wrapped around it in the direct path of the blade. Not surprisingly, it slipped and impaled my index finger so deeply that it punctured my fingernail (mind you that it entered the pad of my finger). As you could imagine, this was incredibly painful and bled profusely. I never did go to the hospital and luckily it healed rather well. This was over 10 years ago and I still have a nice scar to show from it. Needless to say, I now know the importance of keeping your hands out of the potential path of any sharp tool. 

  4. I have done several recessed knob projects on carved tops. I used a small pilot hole, then a Forstner bit to bake the basic recess. Sanding to get the proper radius on the edges. It is very fast, safe and effective.

  5. I had recently finished a build that had the recess for the controls. I found it was easier to use several different sized "foster" bits with a drill press starting from largest to smallest. Gradually getting deeper with each size. Produced a perfect circle and left the bottom flat with a pilot in the center. Worked well

  6. Learned the hard way to ALWAYS, clamp down whatever you are chiseling. Keep hands behind the chisel (or any tool you are working with [especially the sharp pointy ones]) 😀 It sounds like common sense, but… stuff always happens around workshops. Like I tell about here: watch?v=bqjwVyfvqbE

  7. Absolutely loving the videos Ben I look forward to watching them each day, along with "when and where will Ben digress to next".
    Did you use the CNC for the Clarity 12th fret inlay? I'm looking to do a circular radioactive design inlay on my newest build, but as you said in this build if something isn't perfectly circular you see it from a mile off. just wondering how you managed it. thanks again keep up the great work 🙂

  8. At my old junior high school, a girl was working in the wood shop unsupervised and without permission. She was using a lathe and didn't have her hair tied back and out of the way. Her hair got caught in the lathe and her head was pulled into, well… Slammed her head into the work piece as it spun and was found dead the next day with half a head left.

  9. Years back, one of the bosses drinking buddies, I mean the foreman, walked up behind me and smacked me on the shoulder while I was bucking up a log with a chainsaw. His brilliant comment (no, I didn't swing around and cut him in half) was , "You're being mesmerized by the chainsaw." My comment to you (it certainly wasn't my comment to him!), Be aware of everything around you, but focus on the danger. And stay focused. If you choose to work with your hands instead of sitting on them, you will be in some or a lot of opportunity for personal injury or worse.

  10. Hello just a suggestion
    I drill the holes for the controls through the guitar when it is still flat and use a cove router bit to route down to the depth I want with the guide inside of the hole. I use the bearing guide to guide the router around the hole for the switches. For the tone and volume knobs I take the bearing off to fit in the hole and it gives me a flatter bottom with just the router bottom of the shank the bearing goes on to guide it around. I do this before routing out the control cavity so make sure you know your depths well.

  11. Make sure your tools are sharp enough.  If you have to apply too much pressure you can slip and stab or slice yourself.  It sounds counter intuitive but it really isn't.  If the tool is cutting through the wood correctly with lighter pressure you are less likely to slip.  If you have to press harder and force the blade through the wood there is a good chance it will slip or break free and that extra pressure you are applying will put the blade or chisel through your hand, leg, arm, etc.

  12. Hi Ben, I don’t have a horror story to tell, the worst I did was to use my router without ear protection, bad idea, but no harmful consequences since I didn’t use it for a long time. However, my advice, especially for beginners would be to stay away from power tools as much as they can. If people are just starting to build, there is no need to save time, building is the fun part, not only the finished product. When I see people shaping necks with grinders, radiusing fretboards with router jigs it makes me cringe, shit can happen, especially as a beginner, no need to play with fire. Of course you’re still going to need a router for cavities, truss rod channel etc…, but that’s pretty much it. Of course you need a bandsaw or a jigsaw to cut your body, but that’s pretty much it. Hand tools also makes you connect with the instrument. When you spend a lot of time planing a surface, shaping it with rasps and elbow grease, the result is so much more satisfying 🙂 I’d also add that you also don’t run the same risk ruining a nice piece of wood that way, while a loose router bit can not only hurt you but also destroy something you probably already spent hours on !

  13. I once got a sliver of wood under my fingernail while trying to sand down a piece of wood I wanted to use for a neck, let me say that I would rather lose a finger than go through THAT again.. and gloves.. hahaa.. that wouldn't have stopped that from happening. I guess just paying attention and going rather slow would be the tip I have if you hand sand things 🙂

  14. Safety tips.. never use a file without a handle on it, you can slip and embed the pointy bit that the handle is supposed to be on in your forearm & you really don't want that. Remove all jewellery, rings, watches, necklaces etc. they can strip the skin right off your finger/hand. And for those with long hair, wear a hair net or at least tie it back when using Lathes, Pedestal Drills or any spinning type power tool.. 

  15. Hi there
    I love your channel and am a subscriber but never posed you a question. I have a wonderful looking "tree of life" Alvarez PD-100-S (I believe) so Solid Spruce Top and BRW back and sides but I think those are veneer. The guitar is perfect with the esexception of what appears to be a water mark on the back of the guitar/in the finish. I have seen so many videos of how to "steam out" a water mark on furniture with an iron and a towel but I don't dare…. unless you tell me to give it a try. The guitar sounds great , looks fantastic, has tons of abalone inlay aside from the vine tree of life on the fret board so I would greatly appreciate your advice… what to do sir? 

  16. Horror story: last year while shaving bark from some lumber with a very sharp knife, a slippery bit of sap caused the knife to slip. I severed 75% of the tendon in my fretting hand index finger. Being old, after 2 surgeries, I am permanently maimed and am trying to relearn how to play with my injury instead of giving up. Sadly, the scale & type of guitar I would do best with is not on the market, and disability retirement income in the USA will never allow having one built from scratch….watch those knives kids!

  17. Here's another safety bit: Never ever use a non router bit on a router. I don't care if that oddball bit is the perfect shape to round over the edge of a piece, only router bits are engineered to spin at the RPM any router will reach. Needless to say, a chunk of metal breaking off at 10k RPMs is often lethal to the luthier in question.

  18. Make sure your men check out there equipment before they start working, 2 years ago I was using a 6 inch hand grinder with a stone wheel on it for grinding concrete, didn't know it but the wheel had a crack on it, as soon as I touched the concrete the wheel exploded into 3 pieces, 30 stitches in the back of my hand, the bad part is I lost some of the feeling on my pinky finger and my ring finger and of course its my fretting hand

  19. My rules:
    Anything that you can't do with both feet on the floor really needs an extra person. Eye protection any time an exposed tool is running or anything is being struck. Can you hear me saying "Hearing protection?!" Respirators or filters where needed. Everyone gets checked on at least once an hour especially if they work in an isolated area. Any switch that needs to stay off gets tagged. Whoever takes the last set of Eye/Ear/Breathing Protection has to let someone we need more.

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