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.

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…

 

Spotlight on Luthiers – AC Guitars (seen at NAMM)

Not that I was at NAMM myself, but I was watching the Anderton’s video on boutique guitars at NAMM 2017, and noticed a UK luthier that I didn’t have on my list page.  It’s AC Guitars, which is a one-man custom shop in Dumfrieshire, Scotland, and the man himself, Alan Cringean, focuses on custom bass guitars (although a recent post on his website says that he’s also making 6-string guitars under another name, Reiver Guitars).

An AC Guitars Salace bass

AC Guitars makes a number of different body shapes and has lots of gorgeous finishes.  The range includes basses with anything from four to seven strings.

A Krell headless six-string bass

If you’re looking for a special bass, they seem to be well worth a look.

New stuff day!

I ordered a few bits and pieces from Thomann on Sunday evening, and they arrived today – pretty quick service!

I needed some components to play with for my Crimson build guitar, so I ordered two 250k pots, two 500k pots and two output jack sockets. I also got three more packs of my favourite Ibanez Grip Wizard picks, and the big thing is a new power supply for my pedalboard, to replace my two Harley Benton Power Plants and the separate Strymon adapter. I’m hoping that this will eliminate the noise that comes from my pedalboard.

The 1Spot Pro power supply was recommended to me when I last visited Anderton’s in October. It has 12 outputs, although I won’t use all of them – there are two 18v outputs and an AC output which are all currently useless for me, but that still gives me nine usable outputs. As I currently have 12 pedals on my board, I will either daisychain a few of them or kick a couple off the board.

On the bottom of the power supply, there are some dip switches which allow you to choose different voltage options for five of the outputs. These make it a very flexible power supply.

This could well be my only new gear day for 2017 as I don’t really intend to buy anything else. On the other hand….nah, that’s not going to happen!

PRS Periscope Guitars 6 and 7

Previously on this site, I posted links to the Periscope videos in which Paul Reed Smith and his team selected the woods for some very special guitars.  Today I noticed two of them that have been sold by World Guitars.  They both sport an unusual colour on the top, called Teal Nightshade.  They are stunning guitars, and I thought they are worth posting here!

These are both McCarty 594 models with natural wood backs and necks; #6 has a swamp ash back, and #7 has a ziricote neck.  The links lead to the World Guitars website where you can see more photos, but they probably won’t stay live forever.

Firstly, Periscope #6

And then Periscope #7

They were listed at £8,995 – a bit above most of our budgets, but certainly unique and very beautiful guitars!

The Pickle Jar Pickup

I just saw a post by Seymour Duncan from last year talking about an experiment that they did at Billy Gibbons’ suggestion.  They dipped a Pearly Gates pickup into a pickle jar to see if it would work, and it did….so they put it back, and pulled it out from time to time, and it continued to work.

That was back in May 1978, nearly 40 years ago!  According to the story, the pickup is still there, and it’s still working.  I’m not sure that I’d be rushing to put it on one of my guitars, though!

40 years of.....something nasty!
40 years of…..something nasty!

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).

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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!

Spam and Faded Purple Jean

Sorry, this post is mostly not about guitars.  It’s about spam.  Someone is putting a lot of comments, containing some kind of spam in an Asiatic language, on my website.  They aren’t shown because I moderate all comments.  So please, whoever is spamming me or might think about doing it in future, don’t bother.  Your rubbish won’t be shown, and all it does is to waste my time and annoy me.  If this becomes too much of a problem, I will have to turn off user comments and perhaps user registration, which would be a shame as I would like some interaction on this website.

To get back to what this site is supposed to be about, here’s a photo of a truly wonderful PRS Custom 24 that’s just arrived at World Guitars.  If I had the spare money lying around, I’d buy this one.

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