An update on my guitar build

If you’ve been following my guitar build, you might be wondering what’s happened in the last couple of weeks since I returned from the course.  I had a few steps left to finish the guitar, and for some of them I needed to order components which took a week or so to arrive.  These included a Tusq nut, some small magnets, a fret polishing kit and a few other bits and pieces.  The nut was pre-slotted; I had a blank nut but no nut slotting saws, and it was considerably cheaper to buy a slotted nut than to get the saws.

In the meantime, I haven’t been inactive although progress has naturally been much slower since I’ve only been grabbing a bit of time in the evenings or at the weekend.  I decided that I preferred the natural wood to the stain, and so I spent a considerable time (several hours) sanding the top down again.  Unfortunately, the imperfections in the maple top have caused problems but I have decided on a solution that I will implement later.  Last weekend, I finished sanding and applied five coats of finishing oil, and now the guitar is waiting for the oil to cure for a few days before I can finish it off with a light sanding and perhaps another coat of oil.

Part of the body, now sanded and oiled, with the sponges that will go under the pickups.
Part of the body, now sanded and oiled, with the sponges that will go under the pickups.

I have done a few more things too.  I fitted little magnets inside the control cavity and on the cover so that it stays on without any screws, although I still need to do a bit more work to make sure that I can take the cover off.  At the moment, I have to push it off by inserting a pen through one of the holes on the top, but when the tone and volume pots are installed this will no longer be an option!  I have also been working on my truss rod cover which will be similarly held on with magnets, but that’s not finished yet.  I also managed to install the string ferrules and ground them, which was a rather fiddly job.

Lastly, I’ve also started working on the electronics.  This is completely new to me, so I spent some time researching and getting help in order to design the wiring, since I couldn’t find a schematic that fitted my pickup configuration exactly.  I’ve also never soldered anything before, so I watched some helpful videos on YouTube and got stuck in, doing everything that I could do outside the body.

The tone and volume pots soldered together, mounted on a sponge which worked surprisingly well!
The tone and volume pots soldered together, mounted on a sponge which worked surprisingly well!

I hope that the guitar will be finished in the next few days, at least to a level where I can play it although I will still have one or two final touches to do afterwards.


Guitar Build Day Two

Day two is over and I’m busy updating this website and editing the video footage of the day.  Today we made the final outline of the body, routed out the cavities and glued it to the top.  Then I worked on the neck, cutting it to size and finally carving the neck profile (although not yet the heel and nut area).

A quick mock-up of the guitar top with the hardware!
A quick mock-up of the guitar top with the hardware!

The full report of the day can be found here!

Guitar Build day one!

Day one of my guitar build is over, and a full description of the day’s activities, with photos, has been posted in the articles section of this website: Crimson Guitars Build Day One!

I hope you enjoy reading it.  I will write a new article each day, showing the progress of my guitar, and videos will follow later.

Here’s a photo of the top and body of the guitar at the end of the first day!

The top and body of the guitar, roughly cut to shape
The top and body of the guitar, roughly cut to shape

The Crimson Guitars build starts tomorrow!

You might have already seen the articles on here about my forthcoming guitar building course…well, it’s finally (almost) here, and I will be starting tomorrow!

I will post a daily update with some photos on here during the week, and I’ll also be shooting some videos, with the intention of publishing one video for each of the six days of the course.  I’m not sure if I will be able to upload (or even edit) these videos during the week, but I will get them up on my YouTube channel as soon as possible.

There will also be links to the articles on my Articles page, so come back and see how it goes!

A very special New Guitar Day

I bought a new guitar!  It’s a stunning PRS Custom 24 Wood Library in Violet Smokeburst.  The full story of this guitar and more photos can be found on its dedicated page in the My Gear section, but here’s a quick photo of one of the most gorgeous guitars I’ve ever seen!


I’d like to thank World Guitars, where I bought this beauty, which is the best place to go for high-end PRSs.  Long may they stay in business!

Cigar Box Guitar – the headstock

I was on holiday last week (hence the quiet patch on this website) and so we missed out a weekend on the cigar box guitar build.  Last Sunday, though, we continued and the headstock was born.

This was virtually all my son’s work – my input was rather low this time, just helping out with a couple of small things.  The headstock was roughly cut to shape with the jigsaw, and then he used rasps and files to bring it down to the exact size that he wanted.  He worked out exactly where the tuning heads should go, so that they will be in line with the strings and the heads can be turned beside the headstock, and I think it will look great when it’s finished.

Because this was a rather simple process (even though it was still about 3 hours’ work), I won’t do a separate video but I’ll include the little bits of video from this session in the next video update.  I will therefore simply leave you with a picture of the nearly finished headstock (it will still be sanded and oiled towards the end of the build).


Next weekend he may come over on both Saturday and Sunday, so then we should have a major update, and hopefully the end of the build will be in sight.  My own guitar build is now less than five weeks away!

The cigar box guitar build continues!

Another session last weekend on the build of my son’s cigar box guitar…I have a new article  – Cigar Box Guitar Kit part four – which describes what we did.  The main activity this week was carving the back of the neck.

I’ve also uploaded the usual video to YouTube which you can see below.  These videos will probably total around two hours by the time we finish, but I’m also thinking of making a shorter video to summarise the whole process afterwards.