Insanity rules!

Having recently finished both the baritone and the hybrid tele – although I still need to update this site with the final pictures of both of those guitars – I needed a break from guitar-building.  Unfortunately, though, inspiration struck for a slightly crazy new build, and I couldn’t prevent myself from leaping straight into it!

The plan is to build a hollow bodied 12-string guitar, with a rather distinctive design.  It’s a bit crazy and it will be a lot of work, probably sending me mad in the process, but I’m gambling that nobody will tell the difference.

The first two pages of this build have been posted, together with an index page where you can also find links to a series of YouTube videos that I’m making about this build.  As I also have a proper day job, this will probably take me a few months to complete, so come back and see how I get on with it!

Crazy 12-string build part 1 – design & preparation

Crazy 12-string build part 2 – main components

Crazy 12-string build – Index

Another course, another build

In a week’s time I shall be returning to Crimson Guitars for a third course.  Lest you think that I must have shares in the company by now, I did look around for other courses but theirs was still the best option available for me.

Because I want to spend some time working on inlays, I needed to start working on the guitar in advance.  I’ve put together a page with some more explanation and photos of the first stage of the build, and I’ll post more updates during or after the course.

The main pieces that the guitar will be made of – laminate neck, bubinga cap and wavy fretboard!

See the page on my Crimson Guitars 2018 build!

New build: the Hybrid Tele

I’ve been working on another new build recently, which is the first one I’m making under an arrangement whereby the customer pays for the materials and I build the guitar for free.  I’ll make a few guitars like that until such time as the quality of my guitars is worth charging for.

This guitar features a Telecaster-style body with Les Paul-style features.  It will have a flame maple top and a natural ebony fretboard, with a special inlay.  The new page on the Hybrid Tele part 1 includes pictures of the early stages of the build, and more will follow later on.

You can never have too many clamps!

Wavy fretboards

A while ago, I watched a YouTube video from HiTone guitars (no, I don’t know them either).  The video showed a very interesting idea for fretboards, and it has been in the  back of my mind ever since.  This week, I decided to have a go, and I picked a pair of fretboards that I thought would look good together (purpleheart and wenge).

The pictures below tell the story so far.  I haven’t yet glued them together bceause I still need to sand the joins in order to get a good, close fit.  I’m considering some options such as putting another stripe of something between them, possibly either a maple pinstripe or a thin inlay of metal powder.  I’ll post an update when I’ve finished them.

I don’t yet have specific guitars in mind for these fretboards, but they will be interesting options for future builds and I’m sure that I’ll use one of them at some point this year.

Early build photos of the wenge 339

My next guitar build is the first one that I’m making for someone else.  We talked about the options and picked some woods from my stock, and I think we’ve designed something that will look great.

At present, I’m part way through the build but I have some nice photos that I’ve put on a page.  I will post another page with more photos when the guitar is finished – in the meantime, you should be able to see roughly where this is going!

Click here to see the photos!

My biggest fan inspecting the body!

New article about buying wood

Today I have posted a new article on buying wood for building guitars.  This is based on my experience of trying to find nice wood, and discovering that it’s not particularly easy to find.  The article describes my progress so far, and includes some tips on where to look for wood.

I’ve managed to acquire a small stock of attractive woods, enough for about half a dozen guitars, which should keep me busy for a year or two!

A spalted maple top that I bought recently

Crimson Guitars video montage

A few weeks ago in May, my son and I went to Crimson Guitars to build a guitar each, which is documented here in my Crimson Guitars 2017 Build pages.

I took quite a few photos during the week and gave copies to Crimson, and their media team has made a video montage as an example of a couple of student builds.  Many thanks to Shaun for creating the video, and to Master Luthier Christopher for guiding us through this process!