Great Guitar Build Off 2020 page 3

…continued from Page 2

At this point, the body and neck were essentially made but there was still a lot of refining and finishing to be done. Since this guitar is a headless design, the tuning is done at the saddles and I needed to make a cutout to allow access to the tuning knobs.

You can see the dummy saddle that I made since the real saddles hadn’t yet arrived!

I also decided to put some stains on the back of the guitar, where there were a couple of pieces of flame maple, as though they had come from guitars with different stained tops. It’s a bit of a joke really, but it did add some extra colour on the back! In fact, the piece below the blue maple in the picture was also stained with a pale amber to bring out the flame, although it’s not very obvious.

Stains and copper foil for electrical isolation

Eventually, the remaining hardware arrived, and due to the nature of the separate saddles and string holders, I had to drill a lot of holes in very precise locations!

24 holes for the saddles…
…and 12 more for the string holders on the vestigial headstock!

I applied a few coats of brush-on lacquer as the finish and then polished and buffed the guitar. Due to the fast approaching deadline, I didn’t have time to let the lacquer cure for long enough and the finish wasn’t quite perfect, although it isn’t really visible in pictures. I might sand it back and redo the lacquer in some places.

A closer look at the nearly finished guitar, with most of the hardware installed

I’m very happy with the finished guitar. It’s a strange design, for sure, but I think it generally works, with the possible exception of the headstock. There was a lot of experimentation and an awful lot of work, but in the end it was successful. It certainly has a unique look, and it plays well and sounds great!

I just made it in time for the deadline….the guitar was finished the day before, and I uploaded the final video on the day of the deadline. Due to the number of entries (about 140), Ben Crowe chose 30 of his favourites that were then put up on the Crimson Guitars web site and channel for public votes, and I was very happy to be selected in that final 30. Here’s a link to Ben’s selection video, where he said some very nice things about my guitar!

I didn’t do very well in the public votes – I think I was down in the 20s, but I’m not surprised because I think this is a “marmite” guitar. A small number of people really loved it, but it didn’t have the mass appeal of some of the others. I was very happy to make it that far anyway, so overall it was a very positive experience for me.

Apparently there’s going to be another Great Guitar Build Off in 2021. I will definitely take part again and I have some crazy ideas that will be even more complicated than this! Come back in 2021 and see how I get on! 🙂

Return Home