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Once I’d assembled and made a start on cutting the various pieces for the top and body, I fairly quickly finished gluing the top together, and then cut and sanded it around my drawing.
During and after this, I was gradually gluing together the pieces for the body. This was quite laborious and time-consuming – some of the shallower pieces were first glued onto a sapele block, and then they had to be sanded perfectly flat for gluing. Clamping the pieces was quite challenging too.
Eventually I completed the body, and I also made a laminate neck using some of the same woods. In one of the YouTube videos about this build, I preselected five different fretboards and canvased opinions on which to choose. The most popular choice by far was the violeta, or kingwood, fretboard shown below.
Although I had by now decided to make this a headless guitar, it will still have a small headstock of some kind and I decided to glue some extra pieces onto the neck to make a headstock out of several types of wood. I hadn’t yet decided on the shape.
I routed out some cavities for weight relief in the body, and also decided to cut out a kind of f-hole. However, in keeping with my overall goal of making life difficult for myself with this build, I made the f-hole in the shape of an oak leaf.
I also glued a spare piece of maple, which was an offcut from a very nice top on a previous build, into the cavity where it would be revealed by the oak leaf-hole. I tried staining it first with a kind of cherry burst but that looked too incongruous with the rest of the guitar, so I restained it purple which looked much better.
As well as the guitar being headless, I decided to make it multiscale – 25″ to 26.5″. I worked out the fret positions and drew them on paper, which I used to cut them on the fretboard. I also decided to inlay some aluminium pieces onto the fretboard in a pattern that mimics the design of the pickups – I hope that’s going to look quite smart on the finished guitar!
The final picture – for now – shows the body with the top on it, showing the f-hole and the maple behind it, together with the neck with the inlays, which still need to be sanded down and cleaned up.
On the day of writing, I still have exactly one month to go before the deadline for this competition. I’m on track, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
I’ve been making YouTube videos for this build and they are all linked on a separate page: GGBO Videos.