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!

 

Woods for a new build!

I went mad this week.  Inspiration struck, with the evolution of an idea I’ve had in mind for some time, and I drew a design for a rather ornate bass guitar top using several types of wood and several techniques to put them all together.

Since returning from my second, and more successful, Crimson Guitars course, I’ve been mulling over what to do next.  This idea has made the decision for me, and I’m going to at least start working on this build at home.  I could return to Crimson to finish the build, but I’ll take that decision later and at the moment I’m thinking that I should be able to do it all at home.

I’m going to start documenting this build with a series of pages on this website very soon, but for the moment I’ll just leave you with a couple of pictures of the woods that I’ve ordered.  These pictures were taken from the websites, and post my own pictures when the pieces arrive.  They are in two batches, because I found different wood suppliers with strengths in different areas.

I bought the main body and neck woods from Espen, a German supplier that has a great selection of blanks.

Then I bought some other pieces from Edelholzverkauf, also in Germany.

Because I have never done much woodworking before my Crimson builds, I don’t have a lot of equipment at home and so I’ve also ordered a number of tools, such as a router, making this a rather expensive build, but hopefully the first of many!

More information to follow…

 

Tips for your first guitar building course!

Based on my experience of my two guitar building courses, I have compiled some tips on how to approach your first guitar build with a luthier.  This is based on a course where you have a limited time for your build, such as a week, which may force you to make some compromises.

There is also a second page discussing some design considerations and their complexity and amount of time required.  You probably won’t be able to include all possible elements, so it’s worth thinking about which ones to include in your first build.

I hope that these pages will be useful!