First Commission!

I’m not going to reveal any names, but I’m happy to report I have a paid commission…  This person is prominent in government affairs.  He is in his young-looking 50’s.  Yes, he IS A US CITIZEN, although he was born in Hawaii, and lives somewhere in the Washington, DC area.  He doesn’t play guitar but he wants to learn- (he could certainly use a diversion from that crazy work schedule), and he’s looking for something in Koa, a wood native to Hawaii.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Pretty cool, huh?  Just getting started but here’s the front and back- Koa and figured mahogany.  And this is just one slab of each wood, no bookmatching- ought to be very resonant:

First coat of clear

Got a couple of drips, but overall it looks good for a first coat.  I tend to put coats on too heavy because even though I might get a drip or two, I avoid the orange peel effect.  On early clear coats I suppose it doesn’t matter too much as many more coats must be applied.

First Ever Sunburst!

Keep in mind that this is just the raw lacquer, two coats so far, no clear coat, and I’ll probably do a third coat of color before I start clear coating.  But, hey, it looks pretty good!  I looked to honeyburst finishes from Ernie Ball and Gibson for color inspiration, and I found some pics of Warmoth bodies that had nice sunbursts too.  I’m doing just the front in sunburst.  The Brazilian mahogany back is getting an even, darker finish.  My old Stratocaster has sunburst on both sides, but this guitar, like a PRS is a front-only sunburst.

More Driftwood 2 progress…

I wanted to take advantage of the 1/2″ top (Driftwood 1 was only 1/4″), so I “carved” (or actually shaped with a sander) this top and I’m happy with the way it looks.  I didn’t want to do the usual PRS or Gibson type of carve and instead opted for a “puffy” look.  I’m going to explore this further in future guitar projects.

Unfortunately I lost about an 1/8″ of depth because I started cutting a control panel recess in the wrong place and had to hand plane the back until I erased the error.  I had put it in a spot that interfered with the strings as they went through the body.  I learned that one should always do the important stuff first, like drilling string-through holes, so you know exactly where you stand before you route anything else!

Since I took these photos I’ve cut a control panel cover out of aluminum.  The last cover was from 1/8″ copper and really added to the weight of the guitar (Driftwood 1 is 9 pounds 2 ounces with 2 lbs of copper!).  I don’t really like the way the aluminum looks but I’ll try to get used to it.  I’ve also cut the holes for the switch and pots, and I’ve stained, sanded, and applied CA as a grain filler.  I’ve given the guitar one sealer coat.  I’m hoping to do a sunburst finish…  We’ll see!

-shows pickups, made from same wood as the fretboar

I made each pickup a different size so the screws will hopefully align under the strings