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Tagged With: musical instrument

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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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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Make-A-Wish Surfcaster: Capping the Body

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Make-A-Wish Surfcaster

With the Ash blank shaped, it’s time to prepare the figured top. I made a “top cap” template including holes for the sound hole and electronics pockets. Two of these were cut: one in MDF and another in acrylic. I wanted a clear version to allow me to see the grain pattern I was selecting for the … Continue reading »

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Make-A-Wish Charvel Surfcaster: Starting the Build

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Make-A-Wish Surfcaster

In 2014 I had the idea that I could build an electric guitar (my first) and raffle it off for charity through my company’s holiday party band, the LCA. This resulted in the LCA SG Jr. guitar which raised over $2,100 for Make-A-Wish Illinois. Last year this was repeated with a Lospennato-inspired “Radio star” clone, … Continue reading »

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Assembling the Box, Part I – Soundboard and Sides

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Building an Acoustic Guitar

The head and tail blocks The head block was assembled as a 5-piece glue-up with three ‘core’ pieces stacked vertically and a top and bottom glued horizontally cross-grain. This is done to promote stability and strength in both dimensions while providing a side-grain surface for both the sides and the top and bottom. The top of the … Continue reading »

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Picking Up Where I Left Off…

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Building an Acoustic Guitar

In early 2012, I started my first acoustic guitar build and for several reasons wound up putting it aside. Over 4 years, a couple electric guitars and mountain dulcimers under my belt, I finally felt ready to return to this project. Back to Prep Work… The first two tasks were to build a bending form … Continue reading »

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Finishing “Coco Bear” the Appalacian Dulcimer

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain Dulcimer

My biggest concern in finishing the dulcimer was sealing the Cocobolo. I’d read that the oils in the wood along with it’s natural density made finishing difficult. Again turning to online forums, people typically recommended sealing the oils in first under a couple coats of shellac before applying your finish of choice. Though I own … Continue reading »

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Glue Up and Carving the Scroll

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain Dulcimer

Joining the back and sides went smoothly. The concern I had here, and in general with gluing Cocobolo, is the oily nature of the wood. I’d read numerous articles and blog posts discussing difficulties with getting the glue to adhere. I followed the advice of several commenters in first sanding/planning the edges to be joined … Continue reading »

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Starting the Kimball Dulcimer

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Building a Mountain Dulcimer

After finishing up the “Back to Basics” dulcimer, I took a few shop days to prepare for the next build. This time was spent building a couple keys jigs/fixtures that I was lacking. Something I knew I wanted for the next build (and future guitar builds) was some spool clamps. If you’re not familiar, spool clamps are essentially … Continue reading »

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