Archive for the 'Guitar 904 – Koa OM' Category

Guitar 904 – Gallery

October 2, 2009





Guitar 904 – Delivery: September 22nd

September 17, 2009

Beth, your guitar is ready.  Wait, don’t come by right away, I need to take it on the road and test it out.  I think everything is ready to go, but it could use a road trip to see how it holds up under travel.  I’m going to take it to Vancouver this weekend to make sure it knows how to cross into a foreign country.

It sure looks good, and sounds good too.  I think it’s all in the presentation.  So let me know when you want to stop by and pick it up.  This is what you’ll find when you get here.




Guitar 904 – Strung and ready to go into setup

September 16, 2009

904 is ready to go through the final setup.  I put on the strings after notching the nut and prepping the bridge.  I don’t have the final saddle in place, but that’s part of the final setup tomorrow.


I’ve asked Beth about the pickguard options and whether she wants a strap peg.  Below are two possibilities for pickguards:  black or tortoise.



I also need to mention that this guitar is a zero fret guitar; which means that there is a fret at the zero position where normally the nut would reside.  This (according to lore) gives each string the same sound basis, whether it is open or fretted.  Take a close look at the first picture and you will see there is a fret very near the nut.  The strings come off the nut and lay on that zero fret.  Now I haven’t yet fine tuned the setup, and the saddle is still not rounded, so the sound is not finalized, but I can say it has a real nice bass end and a warm treble, which over time will be even more resonant.  I’ll let you know after the final setup how this comes out.

Guitar 904 – Bridge on

September 15, 2009

Making progress with your guitar Beth.  The bridge is on, the nut is shaped, the fretboard is cleaned up, and next we move to the strings.  First step was to strip off the lacquer for gluing the bridge.  Many careful measurements for placement.


Then using the fancy little bridge clamp, glue it down.


After it cures, remove the clamp then drill out the pin holes and see what it looks like.


I installed the end pin and took some comparison shots between the OM and the parlor.




Note the fretboards look a little dull.  After I trim down the frets for the final setup, I’ll apply a little lemon oil and they’ll look glorious.

Guitar 904 – Buffed, neck attached

September 14, 2009

Sanded and buffed out the neck and body, then attached neck.


Tomorrow, glue on the bridge.


The buffing looks good, here are a few views.





Guitar 901, 902 and 904 have been cured: Praise God Almighty

August 31, 2009

It’s been two weeks since I applied the final coats of lacquer on three guitars.  They have sat long enough for the lacquer to be ready for final sanding and buffing.

The resonator:



I’m going to tackle this guy first because I’m so interested in playing it as soon as possible.

Finally, Carol’s and Beth’s guitars, very different, but quite stunning.  They’ll look great, and I’m anticipating good quality guitar like sounds coming from them once they’re strung up.



Even though these both are Koa guitars, they have very striking differences.

Guitar 901 902 and 904 – Final lacquer, sit for two weeks

August 17, 2009

Applied the final coats to all three mentioned guitars, and now they will sit for 2 weeks to cure.




And 902, Carol’s parlor:


Finally, 904, Beth’s OM:



Guitar 901 902 and 904 – Spraying Resumes

August 16, 2009

I just returned from Guitar Camp.  It is always an enlightening experience.  Got a good chance to show off some of my wares and do a lot of lutherie talk.  Check out the links section to see the PSGW site with info about camp, teachers and schedule.

Before I headed off to camp, I ran out of lacquer.  As lacquers all have their special formulation, I wasn’t able to find anything locally, so had to order McFadden online.  It had arrived before I returned home from camp, so was able to resume the spray cycle today.

I’m on 10 11 12 for guitar 901, the resonator.  Once I get those last coats applied today, it should sit and cure for several weeks before final sanding and buffing.

For 902, the mahogany/koa parlor, and 904, the koa OM, I’m on 7 8 9, with a final application of 10 11 12 tomorrow then followed by the curing.  I’m getting much better with the lacquer application, and I’ve got the wet coat without drip application almost perfected.  This trio of guitars will have my best finish yet, and dangerously close to perfect.

I’m becomming more and more dissatisfied with my spray booth location within my workshop.  Even though I’m using air venting and exhaust fans, and isolating myself in the back inside a shower curtained stall, the spray dust escapes and gets on everything in the shop.  It’s bad enough to have wood dust everywhere without the spray dust.  I’m not sure what the solution will be, but I’m on the hunt for a better location within the house.  In the meantime, I’ll use the current booth to complete the spraying on these 3 guitars.

Guitar 901 902 and 904: Lacquer application

August 5, 2009

Three guitars in the spray booth for another session today.  The Resonator, 901, got a ninth coat of lacquer.  Before I spray 3 more, I’ll see if there’s a need for any gap filling.  Not sure if I’ll try and fill the gaps with lacquer or epoxy, depends upon presence and severity.



The Koa Parlor for Carol (902) is really handsome.  Carol sez “old country”.  This is after the 6th coat.




Beth’s OM (904) is also on the 6th coat.



Tomorrow:  Coats 7 through 9.

Three Guitars: One spray session

July 24, 2009

I’ve been distracted from getting into the spray booth because of Carl’s guitar.  I can see a pattern here.  What I really like doing is the preliminary stuff, and by the time I get to the finish and setup, I’m easily distracted.  I had planned all along to start the spraying of 3 guitars ready for the booth since last Monday.  It’s Friday, and I finally allowed myself to do a lacquer session.  I got 3 guitars prepped for spraying, finally, by end of day yesterday:  901 – the Resonator which has already been sealed and grain pore filled; 902 – Carol’s parlor ready for sanding sealer; and 904 – Beth’s OM.  Here they are waiting to be sprizted.


First the resonator, then the two koa’s.  After each received one coat, I finished with two more coats on the resonator as it’s in the layer the lacquer phase.  The sanding sealer for the two koa’s is the prep before the grain pore filler, which I will do tomorrow morning.

Carol’s parlor with the first coat……….



Now Beth’s OM……..




This is all just a precursor of how that koa is going to shimmer.  I’m very happy.

Carl’s components arrived today, and I’ll balance the waiting for lacquer to dry with actual guitar construction.

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