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Tagged With: luthiery

Digital Abalone

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Sapele Tele

For 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 I’d been toying with the idea of essentially labeling the fret … Continue reading »

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Finishing Up the Body

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Sapele Tele

Ouch! 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 and then flipping it over, but I was anxious that I … Continue reading »

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Chain Reaction

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

As 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 the body and headstock. I wanted to do something colorful and beyond … Continue reading »

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Inlaying My New Logo!

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

Now 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 and fine tooth blade. I then staged the pieces on a bit … Continue reading »

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My New (Not-So-)Secret Identity

Building guitars is becoming a bit of an obsession. Funnily enough I know two other guys in my software engineering group who are also luthiers – perhaps it’s contagious? In order to support this habit without going broke I’ve decided I need to begin offering my guitars for sale. And for that, I’d need an … Continue reading »

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Mahogany and Padauk Neck

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

Before 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 also laminate a “racing stripe” down the center of the neck. A … Continue reading »

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Atomic Age Surfcaster

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

With 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 caps for the next few guitars. Perhaps it’s the fact that during … Continue reading »

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Final Assembly and Setup

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

Once 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 and bridge, and then attached the strap pins and tuners. For … 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

A 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 makes it possible to work on the electronics and the finish … Continue reading »

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Dyeing the Wishcaster Blue

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Make-A-Wish Surfcaster

With the neck now attached, it was time for a quick trip to quality control – my eldest son Sean – for a check. Thankfully it passed and so the project moved forward to making the pick guard. Pickguard construction began, as usual, with templates. They were prepared from 1/2″ MDF using the full-size drawing. … Continue reading »

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