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A New Guitar

...or two!

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The selected wood
First Steps
The bodies


Well it had to happen eventually, and once again I find I've succumbed to the temptation to make a new guitar. Probably two!

The first will be in the style of the Gibson Les Paul Junior, which I'm making specifically for a friend, and the second will be more like a Gibson Les Paul Standard. This one will be for myself, and will therefore be a little more experimental...

This time I'm going to keep a record of the progress (and the trials and tribulations) here on the site. This also means that Steve can have a look anytime and see how things are progressing.

I found a .dxf file of a double-cutaway Junior here, but Steve prefers the original single-cut version, so I'll really only be using this as a pointer.

Basic planning of dimensions and calculation of the amount of wood necessary was the first step. Various pictures and diagrams, in addition the the one mentioned above, were consulted to get a better understanding of the guitar(s) from a design and construction point of view.

I could have approached this as a kit-building exercise, but the first two guitars I built contained no prefabricated woodwork, so I may as well carry on the same way! Every one is a learning process, and my skill improves with each one.

Timber at John Boddy's

Visiting John Boddy's to see what timber they had available, I found that they had little Mahogany which would suit. After a chat with Steve (read: after browbeating him into submission!) the decision was made to use African Black Limba (Terminalia superba) for the body. This wood is also known as Afara or Korina, and is regarded as a fine tonewood in its own right.

Pictures of the trip to buy the wood.

Some of the Limba was wormholed, but I managed to find a good sound piece which is lightly figured.

View of Goncalo Alves figure Whilst I was there, I also found a glorious piece of Goncalo Alves (Astronium fraxinifolium) which is quarter-sawn. Rather than pass up the opportunity I decided that this should be the neck.

The fingerboard will be made from a Palisander Rosewood, although I've seen this common name used to refer to a few species, and I'm not sure which one I have. If it were Dalbergia baronii it would be a nice touch, but it's too doubtful to claim! It is lighter and more evenly coloured than Brazilian Rosewood, but is nonetheless pretty for that.

Fiddleback sycamore figure

For my own guitar, I found a lovely piece of fiddleback Sycamore (Acer psuedoplatanus) which I will split and bookmatch to form the front.