This one came about back when I used to make a lot more guitars than I do today. It was my 10th anniversary as a business and I thought I'd make something ........... nice, for myself.
I'm not a huge fan of most natural, figured timber guitars but I'd always loved the way Semie had made his decorative Mosrite versions and since it was an a special model, I thought I'd do one like him ?
This is all Australian timbers featuring mainly Queensland maple and jarrah, These were two timbers I used extensively when I built guitars and I'm a huge fan of Qld maple as a body and neck timber. It has much the same qualities as south American mahogany but varies in colour from light pink to dark brown. It can have nice flame and birds eye running through it too.
I started with strips of maple that were actually (mostly) offcuts from other bodies I'd made and planed them down to equal widths. The centre pieces were one piece, cut in half and then glued back together, with a strip of jarrah in the middle, to give the symmetrical look. Once all the pieces were squared and ready, the body was glued together with two more strips of jarrah for effect. These jarrah strips were fretboards I'd thicknessed and left to dry.
The neck blank was glued up the same way with alternating pieces of maple and jarrah.
I wanted to do something special with the fretboard so I laminated the same using mainly jarrah with a centre maple strip and two maple strips on the outside to look like binding. This was again, left overs and was quite thick and I ended up cutting three fretboards out of the one blank block.
The fretboard was planed, slotted and fitted to the shaped neck blank. Once the glue dried I shaped the rest of the neck and put the frets in. So the neck and body was all shaped and sanded ready for paint.
I do all my shaping by hand and the German carve on the body is always a lot of fun and varies from guitar to guitar. It's a lengthy process that needs attention to detail as it varies in depth and width as it moves around the body shape. To me, Semie is still the king of the German carve and the special guitars Semie made by hand are some of the most impressive displays of sculpting in wood you will ever see. His carves and lines were perfect and flowed beautifully.
I decided to use a Qld maple laminate for the scratch plate to keep the theme going. Again, I'm usually not a big fan of too much "wood" in a guitar but I thought this might work ?
Everything was given a coat of clear lacquer and left, for some time.
I was making a lot of guitars around this period and my serial number book says I made 14 this year including the Scimitar I made for Speedo (RFTC, Hot Snakes etc), one I started for Nicke Royale (Hellacopters) and Tone GuitarNerds T Byrd bass. I eventually got back to assembling it late in the year and took my time doing bits here and there as I got spare time.
I ended up making a timber tailpiece, again based on the Mosrite one and a timber string guide (nut), again to keep the theme going. I actually made a couple of timber knobs on my lathe, but they looked a bit tacky ..........
This was finished in 2007 and is serial number 106 and by 2010 I had all but stopped making guitars due to time restraints and the shop taking over my life. Within a year or so my pedals were taking up as much time as guitar building had taken. I considered selling this guitar when I first made it (actually put it on my site) but ended up realizing it's more special to keep it as an anniversary present to myself. I'm thinking of hanging it in the shop along with the carved Tele for people to enjoy ?
I might get back into building guitars for friends one day but I don't think I'll ever do it as a "job" again ?