More Photos

Here are some more photos of my recent guitar build.

These high dynamic range photos really show off the wood… and a bit of our backdrop too. šŸ˜‰

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Here are some pictures of the build process:

Raw Materials
A few of the materials for the “Strat” build. Pictured is the body blank, as I received it. The “Les Paul” guitar body was in a rougher state than this. Both bodies required some adjustments, and of course they had to routed for electronics and so forth. Also shown are some boards used to build the neck.
Truss rod rout
A neck board has been routed for the truss rod.
Fret Slotting
I’m working on slotting for the frets in this one.
Slotted fingerboard
Slotting is finished in this photo.
Fingerboard clamps
Fingerboard clamped to the neck blank
Neck shaping
Here the neck is starting to take shape.
Rough neck
Here is the rough neck. Note the truss rod peeking out from the heel.
Radiusing
Working out the fingerboard radiusing. I just wing it…
2013-10-15 12-38-28
Here the neck is starting to get rounded out to its final shape.
Neck mortisse
The neck pocket has to be routed so that the neck is angled at one degree for proper string clearance.
Neck Inlay
The neck inlay is coming together.
Finished inlay
Here is the finished 12th fret inlay
Fret work
In this photo I’m working on leveling and re-crowning the frets.
Here is the trade logo inlaid on the head stock. Pictured is one of my thin, oval scrapers that I used to scrape it flat.
Ready for electronics
I’ve installed the copper shielding tape and am ready to wire it up.
2013-11-05 23-27-25
Here the components have been installed. The guitar is ready for final assembly.
I made the Les Paul Neck from a single, thin board of curly maple. Many makers use a board that will accommodate the headstock angle without having to do this 16-degree joint. I couldn’t get a big enough piece of curly maple to do that method, though. Typically a less figured wood is used, with a fancy veneer glued to the face. Note the body blank in the background. I had to plane that down to the right thickness and do a lot of work on the body shape. A typical Les Paul is arched with binding, but not this one.
2013-12-26 12-04-24
I’ve made a template for the head. The truss rod rout is complete, the tenon is ready, and the neck is shaping up.
2013-12-26 14-54-28
The mortise on the Les Paul needs to be routed at a 3.5 degree angle.
Shaping the neck with rasps.
Shaping the neck with rasps. Note the routed body in the background.
2013-12-31 16-43-43
Test fitting the neck.
2013-12-31 16-44-10
Inlay detail and a look at the neck binding and side dots.
2014-01-13 19-17-05
Leveling the frets.
2014-01-14 20-06-19
Polishing the frets with “fret erasers.”

 

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Two New Guitars

I just finished a commissioned guitar build for a local furniture maker and wood dealer. He provided rough-shaped box elder burl for two solid guitar bodies. One suggests the elegant style of the old Les Paul, and the other suggests the rugged and functional Fender Stratocaster.

It isn’t common to use box elder in an instrument, and these guitars are quite heavy. But they look amazing and play just fine.

Newly finished custom electric guitars
Newly finished custom electric guitarsĀ 
This guitar is styled somewhat after the famous Les Paul set-neck electrics. It's finished in gold and black trim with an ebony fingerboard. I used a wraparound bridge with no tailpiece.
This guitar is styled somewhat after the famous Les Paul set-neck electrics. It’s finished in gold and black trim with an ebony fingerboard. I used a wraparound bridge with no tailpiece.
I had to fill the knots and cracks in the wood with epoxy to stabilize the body, but the results are pretty. I used curly maple for the neck.
I had to fill the knots and cracks in the wood with epoxy to stabilize the body, but the results are pretty. I used curly maple for the neck.
I was very pleased with the maple used for the head stock and didn't have to put any veneer on it.
I was very pleased with the maple used for the head stock and didn’t have to put any veneer on it.
This guitar is loosely based on the Fender Stratocaster, with a bolt-on nect and 25.5" scale length.
This guitar is loosely based on the Fender Stratocaster, with a bolt-on neck and 25.5″ scale length. It’s trimmed with chrome and white.
Most Strats are routed from the front, and then covered with a big pick guard to hide everything. I wanted to show off the wood, so I routed this one from behind and came up with this back cover instead.
Most Strats are routed from the front, and then covered with a big pick guard to hide everything. I wanted to show off the wood, so I routed this one from behind and came up with this back cover instead.
I wanted this guitar to be all about the wood. The head stock inlay is rosewood left over from the fingerboard, and I used a scrap violin rib to make the fingerboard inlay.
I wanted this guitar to be all about the wood. The headstock inlay is rosewood left over from the fingerboard, and I used a scrap violin rib to make the fingerboard inlay.