We stumbled over Andrew Coholic on guitar forum about a month ago when struck by a picture of this one of a kind Junior looking custom guitar. This months Craftsmen feature is dedicated to that build.
I recently moved my woodworking business, and was out of a shop for nearly a year. When I had my new shop up and running, I wanted to build a guitar, since I hadn’t built one in 16 months.
It started with the snakewood board blank I received from a friend. I wanted to make something to showcase the unique wood, and also go along with it visually. Around the same time, I found a seller on ebay that had some tortoise binding I thought looked awesome, as well the seller had some great looking tortoise sheet material which I bought.
I have always liked simple guitars – and having built a few single cut juniors, I wanted to make a double cut. I love the Hamer’s you see in Korina, and since I had some on hand I chose that for the body and neck wood (which I have used before with excellent results – Korina (white limba) is lighter weight than many currently available mahoganies and is very nice to work with as well.
To round off the build I saw the Schroeder wrap around bridge and bought one as they looked cool. I also have always wanted to try a set of Waverly tuners, so I bought a set with ebony buttons which would match well the ebony I was planning to use for the headstock overlay. Finally, although I was originally planning to use some sort of P90, I decided to go with a TV Jones powertron plus, a pickup I have used in the past with excellent results and they are not as noisy as a P90 but can give a great clean as well as overdriven tone without sounding muddy, or losing the chime. I also decided to put an N-tune tuner on it, again based on the last three I have used (and really like) as well the price dropped by 1/2 so it was a no brainer.
During the build, I decided to veneer both the front and back of the two piece body with some very nice looking Limba veneer I bought about 20 years ago. It was a great idea in my opinion. I also decided to bind the body front & back, as well as the fingerboard and headstock – all with a lamination of tortosie on creme with a thin black backing that up. The creme behind the tortoise allows the translucent tortoise binding to really look great, while also providing a border between it and the dark fretboard and headstock.
I also chose a 25″ scale length, and medium jumbo frets based on what I have done before and like playing. The neck is fairly chunky, but no too fat – and slightly wider at the nut than normal – again based on what I like in my own guitars having tried a lot of profiles and sizes over the years.
I started the build just as my new shop became operational.. worked on it here and there for a few weeks, then my wife gave birth to our son – and I had to take some time off. When I started working again, a few weeks later, I managed to get the guitar finished up. It turned out pretty well, it plays very nicely and is a mix of a few of my other guitars in terms of feel, sound, etc but is of course a unique instrument in itself.
When I build guitars, I always like to try something new- whether it is a different wood, woodworking technique, piece of hardware or pickup, or finish. I never build the same thing twice… never!
Here are the specs in a nutshell:
body – two piece white limba, with a figured book matched limba veneer on both faces
neck – two piece white limba with an ebony headstock veneer, and snakewood board (22 frets, 25″ scale, 1 3/4 nut width, 12″ constant radius), two way truss rod, set neck glued into body
tuners – Waverly open gear 16:1 with ebony buttons
nut – graphtec black tusq
frets – stewart macdonald medium jumbo
inlays – mother of pearl dots face and side
binding – tortoise/creme/thin black throughout
bridge – Schroeder aluminum stoptail, nickle finish
pickup – TV Jones Powertron plus
pickguard – tortoise/white/black three ply
controls – volume, tone with N-tune on board tuner (pull up on volume to activate)
output jack – electrosocket
Schaller strap buttons
finish – natural grain filler, catalyzed lacquer, with the first few coats tinted with orange/yellow NGR stain