I meant to post more updates about this build, but I was working under some time pressure and didn’t get around to it until after I finished the guitar. However, here are a few pictures of later in the build process, and the finished guitar.
The neck was a five-piece laminate of sapele and padauk. As you may have seen on my other builds, I like laminate necks, and this one – while simpler than some of the others – worked really well. The fretboard was flamed maple – surprisingly inexpensive for a very nice piece of wood, although I felt that it was a bit too pale next to the white top.
For the 12th fret inlay, the friend I was making it for had an unusual request. He wanted a sort of beach scene, with the sand, sky and sun. Fortunately, I had some pieces of different coloured cellulose material…
You might notice that the fretboard changed colour. We agreed that the maple needed to be distinct from the top, and so I stained it with a mix of amber and yellow.
The headstock looked odd from the front with the laminate neck, and so we picked a veneer. I made a truss rod cover from an offcut of the lacewood top, and decided that on this guitar, that would be the best place to put my oak leaf signature inlay. This picture was taken while I was working on the frets, so the fretboard was taped up.
By this stage, I’d largely finished the body. Then I made the mistake of asking whether my friend wanted the strings to connect at the bridge, or go through the body. Of course, he wanted it strung through, so I had to drill the holes. Unfortunately, the padauk didn’t take kindly to being drilled, and the edges of the ferrule holes splintered badly. I ended up routing out a bar-shaped hole and gluing in a new piece of sapele which is much easier to drill into cleanly.
Since this guitar was only going to have one pickup, the electronics were pretty simple – just a volume pot and a tone pot. This was refreshingly quick to solder up, and looked quite tidy, so here for once is a photograph of my soldering work!
That was almost it. The control cover was made from an offcut of the padauk, and I made several others at the same time that I can use on future builds. The guitar was finished with a brush-on poly lacquer, and I delivered the guitar a couple of days after Christmas 2018. Here are a couple of photos of the finished guitar!
Generally, this guitar worked out pretty well, and there are a number of features on it that both I and my friend liked a lot. The cutaways on the top look good, and the shaping of the heel – which I’ve seen on some other custom guitars – worked really well with this construction.
The one problem is that somehow I miscalculated the width of the neck, and so it’s a bit slimmer than it should be around the higher frets. This can be partly compensated by adjusting the string width at the bridge, but it’s a lesson for future guitars.