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Guitar Building

Digital Abalone

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Sapele Tele




This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Sapele TeleFor this guitar I wanted to do something a bit different for the fret markers. Though I considered a somewhat elaborate inlay like the previous two, for this one I was thinking of something a bit simpler and unique. As I’m in software engineering … Continue reading »






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Finishing Up the Body

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Sapele Tele




This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Sapele TeleOuch! When I was prepping to cut out the body on the CNC, I knew I didn’t have a long enough bit or enough Z height to cut the entire way through from the top. I considered cutting half-way through from the bottom first … Continue reading »






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My First CNC Guitar: a Sapele Telecaster

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Sapele Tele




This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Sapele TeleWith the CNC up and running it was time to try it out on my first guitar. I’d already decided the next would be a Telecaster thinline out of Sapele with a Maple cap. A “Sapele Tele.” I found a PDF online of a … Continue reading »






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First Impressions: Stepcraft-2/600 CNC




It started innocently enough. The woman who was doing engraving work on my guitars was suddenly out of business. When I started searching the web for alternatives, I was presented with dozens of results for engraving machines and very few for services. This got me thinking that I could maybe just do it myself — buy … Continue reading »






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Chain Reaction

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Atomic Age Surfcaster




This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Atomic Age SurfcasterAs this is the “Atomic Age” Surfcaster, it seems fitting to inlay an atom on the 12th fret. I’m naming the fretboard inlay design “Chain Reaction.” The basic idea is this is the chain reaction leading to the “nuclear burst” finish applied to … Continue reading »






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Inlaying My New Logo!

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Atomic Age Surfcaster




This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Atomic Age SurfcasterNow that I’ve a new logo, time to get it inlaid into the headstock. I again used the “iron on” trick to transfer the laser-printed logo line art to a pearl blank and then cut it out by hand with a jeweler’s saw … Continue reading »






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Mahogany and Padauk Neck

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Atomic Age Surfcaster




This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Atomic Age SurfcasterBefore routing the neck pocket in the body, we need a neck. This guitar again features a Gibson-style angled headstock made with a scarf joint. The bulk of this neck will be African Mahogany like the body. For this guitar I decided to … Continue reading »






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Atomic Age Surfcaster

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Atomic Age Surfcaster




This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Atomic Age SurfcasterWith the charity guitar (the “Wishcaster”) complete, it’s time to start the next build. Though I still haven’t completed the acoustic, I really want to build another Surfcaster – this time for me. A few weeks ago I acquired three burl Maple bookmatched … Continue reading »






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Final Assembly and Setup

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Make-A-Wish Surfcaster




This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Make-A-Wish SurfcasterOnce the finish cured, I sanded with wet/dry paper starting with 400 grit and then working up to 2000. After than, I polished it with brown jeweler’s rougue and buffed it out to a high-gloss near-mirror sheen. I attached the neck, installed the pickguard … Continue reading »






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Wiring the Wishcaster’s Electronics

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Make-A-Wish Surfcaster




This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Make-A-Wish SurfcasterA primary difference between this guitar and the previous two is the electronics wiring and installation. The Surfcaster is wired like a Stratocaster — with the pickups and controls attached to the pickguard instead of directly to the body. This greatly simplifies installation and … Continue reading »






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