April 29, 2008

I sent out an email to all my friends and relatives making an offer to build an instrument of their choosing if they would pay for the materials.  Carol thought I was nuts, and she’s probably right.  But, I wanted to generate some “financing” for my guitar building and this seemed like the right thing to do.

Surprise, surprise.  I have received several queries, many of them serious, and one firm commission.  My good friend and music buddy, Larry Madison, jumped in as he didn’t want to wait behind others who want to take me up on my generous offer:  you decide what you want, you pay for the materials, and I donate my labor and deliver a custom made instrument.

We logged on to the LMI kit wizard, started with the Serviced OM kit and swapped out most everything for alternative components.  It will be a curly maple back and sides, spruce top, maple neck and fretboard with scads of rosewood binding, back center strips, fretboard binding, and a rosewood accented neck (really a trilaminate with maple/rosewood/maple).

The big departure for me is that I will have to carve my first neck from a neck block.  There’s still decisions to be made on the rosette, but we’re thinking something abalone with BWB purfling accent.  We ordered a solid wood rosette ring that we might use as the centerpiece of the rosette, but we’ll play around before cutting any channels in the top.

There’s a remarkably similar picture of a guitar in Cumpiano’s Guitarbuilding book of a maple cutaway that has the dark wood binding like we dreamed it would be.  I’ll see if I can scan a picture and put on the blog.

Two weeks before the serviced parts are ready (side bending, top and back thickness sanding and joining, fretboard grooving).  We requested the fretboard to be radiussed, but LMI nixed that as maple doesn’t come out of their radiussing machine very pretty (lots of chipping).  I’ll have to Brutus my way through sanding in the radius with my sanding block.