Dust Collection Discussion

Dust Collection

And then one day you find 10 years has got behind you, you guys know the rest. In case you don’t - for the youngsters, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

It’s been 12 solid years since we first set up Mai-Guitar. I think January will be the 13th anniversary. Lucky 13. I’m trying to figure out where the time went. But who isn't, right?

In the beginning, one of my goals was to have a custom guitar line for the future. The future never materialized. I’m still working on perfecting the Ibanez inspired guitars.

The intermediate goal was to make completely kick-ass necks. This goal has been going sideways for a while too. I’ve just done a couple mods to the Chinese knock off. Here’s a blog for that. I can say, I’m getting confident that the profile in these necks are better than the newer super thick Ibanez necks. It’s more of an old school, super thin neck. Like an old JEM.

It sounds weak, but I’ve been cleaning up the shop lately. I’ve been just swamped in dust, old parts, old wood, stuff like that. Basically working on a treadmill - getting nowhere for a while. So here are some pics of the new dust collector.

The collector should help a lot, especially in the winter. The filter gets clogged so fast. The dust gets everywhere. This one took a lot of various ... to make it happen. The plastic bin was sourced by a local place that recycles them. I love the recycling! They get food delivered in them, and otherwise would throw them in the garbage. So here you go!

And I really wanted to test this thing out, to see how easy it is to empty. So I thought I would whittle down the wood stack. Here’s what we’re looking at:

Measures out to 6 foot two, just about as tall as I am. Because I’m working on cutting down the blanks, I’m thinking more and more stuff I can put in this blog. So here you go.

The last load of wood worked out well. We all read about the price of wood going up for building new homes. So it did go up, but not nearly as much as I thought. Roughly 30%. I think we can live with that. What was super exciting is that they sent one basswood board that was super wide. Easy enough for a single piece of basswood. That’s what I’m whittling down on the top of the stack there.

If you’re interested in some super light basswood bodies, let me know. I mean these things are really, really light. I think I’m going to keep one for myself… My daughter loves when I say that. Trying to get my total guitars owned down to a reasonable number, so adding another doesn't help with that.

Another thing in that stack is the piece in the cardboard. That is a solid piece of clear plastic. Like the 20th anniversary JEM. I do have a 20th that I really should sell. If anyone wants it, let me know. I’m not looking for a hurt me price, but if there’s a collector that’s really interested in it, now is the time. I guess I have a 30th too. I really shoud make a page with all my JEMs. I'll do that soon.

On the top of the stack is some mahogany. That’s the general African Mahogany I’ve been using for a long time. Keep in mind, I have some new Florida Sourced Mahogany that I talked about in this other blog. That stuff has been drying out in the basement for a while. The latest measurements say it’s ready to go. So I’m going to do a test. It should be enough to do a live edge. I don’t think anyone’s done that in a guitar yet. At least I have not seen any. So should be some completely custom stuff. I think it will stain just great.

To test the dust collector, I cleaned out a lot of wood. It looks like it’s working great.

Here are some shots of how much dust was collected. Not too bad.

Now I only have to bring the big bin outside, instead of the whole filter assembly. Since it’s starting to snow here in Michigan, this is a huge benefit. Here is the recycle pile. It turns to dirt in about one season.

So these are just a few of the things going on. I think the shops going to be in a lot better shape, so I’ll be able to be a lot more productive. I know I’ve been behind on a lot of projects, and I apologize for that.

  • Chris Mai
  • November 2022