The progress reports

Each week (hopefully) we update this page with new photos of instruments in progress. The updates will usually be on Monday.

We hope that you enjoy seeing the progress on your instrument and those of others who have them on order.


Week ending January 28, 2008

See last week, or next week, or the index of other weeks for more pictures.

Sorry for missing the update last week. Cali was out sick for a few days, and I had an extra day of work at the U with the big grant application.

That gurdy that was In Progress - here it is finished:


And here is is in the hands of its new owner. Enjoy, Pierre!


The big news in shop this week is the arrival of part 2 of the Jane S. Megrew legacy. Jane was my great-aunt. We have her to thank for the funds that paid for our two latest tools acquisitions.

This was Aunt Jane in 1970, holding my one-year-old brother on the porch in Annisquam. I know I have better pictures of her, but I couldn't find them on short notice.


The first tool arrived just before Thanksgiving, and the second one came last Friday. It's a 24-inch thickness sander, and at 1700+ pounds it weighs in as our heaviest tool.

The nice FedEx delivery person brought it. Thankfully the weather was clear and cold.


There it is in the shop. That's Justin's dog Mouser. Thanks to the FedEx guy who gave us such good tips on moving it into the shop on the pallet jack.


Uncrating begins - it turned out to be problematic to remove the boards individually, so we just sawed the top off.


It's all uncrated, and it's in the right place. Now the real fun begins: removing it from the pallet. We unbolted it, and started by removing the "flooring" on the top of the pallet.


We're stacking pieces of wood and wedges under the corners of the sander, then cutting away the pallet so that we can slowly remove the pieces and get it down on the ground. That's Justin working with Cali. Thanks for all your hard work, Justin - we could never have done it without you.


The pallet is all gone except for two little pieces. Of course the stacks of blocks are still there. This step was very challenging. Justin's big jack was the key.


It's on the ground! Next it needs to be hooked up - it needs electricals, compressed air, and dust collection.

The electricals were the most problematic. When we designed the shop, we included a 220V circuit in the hopes that someday we'd get a sander like this. We didn't foresee two things: that we'd get the big table saw, which also needs 220V, and that the sander would have such a big motor, so it needs a much larger supply wire than we had used.


You can see the new wire dangling from the access hole in the wall up into the crawlspace.


Here's the new wire, about to be hooked up to the new circuit breaker.


We got the electricals all hooked up, ran a temporary air hose from the main feed, and kludged together a dust collection hose - and voila, it works! It's awesome. Here I am with the first test piece we ran.


This morning we woke up to beautiful, glittering snow. It's been clear and cold, and it clouded over last night and gave us about 3 inches. There must have been no wind, because the snow was pristine on every branch when the sun came up.




Here's the other half of the Megrew legacy - our new laser cutter. It has a much larger table surface, a more powerful laser, a way cooler interface, and some very nice bells and whistles.

One advantage of the larger table is that we can now cut an entire soundboard in the laser. Check out this video clip of the laser cutting out a Chinook soundboard.

Here's Cali with a completed soundboard.


A custom Minstrel under construction. This is the second body we constructed for the instrument - the first suffered from some tension wood and so was too twisted to use. Rather than compromise on quality, we're making the body again. Here the sides are being bent and clamped on a heated form.

The bent sides clamped in the form.

The hip blocks

The peghead parts

See you soon!

Thanks for watching - tune in next week!

Beati illi qui in circulum circumeunt, fient enim magnae rotae.

Please contact us if you have comments or questions about this page or other pages on this site.

Alden and Cali Hackmann
Olympic Musical Instruments

Beati illi qui in circulum circumeunt, fient enim magnae rotae.

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