Guitar nr 239
Width at nut: 41 mm
Width at 24th fret: 56 mm
Nr of frets: 24
Scale length: 635 mm (25")
Radius of fretboard: 10" - 16"
Inlay: MOP at the left side
Width at lower bowl: 300 mm
Length from neckjoint: 390 mm
Body: Swedish Elm
Neck: Swedish Hassel
Neck: Rio Grande, Halfbreed
Middle: Rio Grande, Halfbreed
Bridge: Rio Grande, Muy Grande
Color: Tobacco sunburst
Ready at: 2003-02-15
I made this guitar between February and September 2002. The body of this
guitar is made of Elm wood I found from a 1995 wood-hunting expedition in rural Sweden.
This particular piece of wood was in the loft of a barn in Karlskoga, Sweden.
It had been drying there for over 35 years. I remember that when I got it back in
my shop I discovered that the "tap tone" was a bit short and dead, but one look at the
grain was enough to decide that this plank could be a couple of nice guitars.
Besides not being quite ready tone wise I had other work in progress so this plank
ended up in my stock pile to mature.
Just before Christmas 2001 (December 14th to be exact) I re-discovered it ... gave it a tap or two and the tone blew me away! Like a good bottle of wine, this wood was ready! Not only did I remember seeing the DC model but I knew immediately this was going to be the tobacco sunburst finish Iíd been dreaming about. It took 35 coats of nitocellulose lacquer to get the finish and final body tone I was looking for.
This guitar could easily have ended right here ... got quite a few "finished" guitar bodies lying around. Thatís the real trick Ö finding two pieces of wood that play and grow old together. This is the 1+1=3 trick. Fortunately for the guy that owns this guitar today ... waited 14 months to get it ... (sorry!), I found a piece of Swedish Hassel* wood (similar to oak but a bit more on the yellow side) in my wood pile. Got this piece from a funiture company that went out of business a few years ago ... they didn't remember how long it was lying around there. To make a long story short the neck and body belonged togehter ... great on their own ... unbeliveable together!
Actually I would be happy stopping here and be completely happy making guitars you could play by just tapping the wood. Since my rather patient customers (friends) actually pay my food bills I need to finish the job off with the best (read ... right) hardware and pickups. My choice of hardware was Gotoh and the tremolo is a "510" which greatly enhance the tone. To pickup the great tone of the guitar I choose Rio Grande "Half-breed" for neck and middle position, and "Muy Grande" for bridge position.
What does this guitar sound like? I could cut and paste adjectives from guitar ads or reviews to impress with words but the fact of the matter is that you have got to play and hear it yourself. The owner says it sounds exactly the way he wants it to sound.
The toughest step in building this baby was the step when it went out the door. Wish I could afford to keep everything I build.
*Special note for my Swedish friends ... no I didn't cut down a Hassel tree ... against the law here in Sweden.