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C_Hart 02-26-2012 11:50 PM

La Gaviota
Hi all,
This build has been in the planning stage for a while, but now its up and running! It is inspired by Chris Craft boats, vintage radios, and the ocean. It is a chambered/hollow body with f-holes. I could tell a long story about the planning, but I won't. 75% of the wood is recycled. the name means seagull, but its a working title. i figure i might as well go with the spanish theme. it sounds cool (at least i think). no im not spanish.


-Top - Carved, multi-lam jacaranda and maple, with f holes whose design i will post the when its finalized.
-Back - Painted black mahogany, chambered, support strip down the middle of the inside, roundover on back.
-between the natural top and painted back, there will be a red pinstripe, like the waterline on a boat.

-notes: jacaranda came from a couch like the one with the red vynil pictured. my dad had in his house growing up, but it broke, so it has a second life as a guitar. maple was purchased, so was fretboard, but the back was mahogany from a chair my uncle built in middle school. not really sure how he paid for all that mahogany, or why he decided to build the chair, but it is literally 5 feet tall and 2 inches thick, using 2 solid pieces for the back. it is incredibly uncomfortable to sit in due to the fact that the back is at a 90* angle to the seat. Anyways, it was falling apart and unusable (not to mention ugly) so he gave it up to us. my dad and i made him a miniature version out of the same wood for xmas, he loved it.

-25.5" scale
-Ebony fretboard
-Scarfed headstock
-island inlays
-compass rose inlay on headstock

- these tuners
-the bridge pictured (TOM)
-the tailpiece pictured
-one pickup, lollar imperial bridge, placed sort of in the middle.
-one volume, no tone
note: I've found that I basically only use my bridge pickup on my main guitar, especially during shows, and that the extra controls are only in the way, so im going as simple as possible on this one.
-no pickguard
-martin truss rod
-jack top mounted and recessed
-coil tap? how do lollars sound tapped?
-maybe a cool red killswitch, who knows, but i think i want one cool button or something. let me know if you have any suggestions.
-pickup will be subsurface mounted, no ring, if possible. if not, it will have some sort of bling-ey mounting ring. not sure what yet. maybe rickey style chrome ring, or maybe red plastic. let me know if you have any suggestions there as well.

the mortising on the inside is pretty rough, but i figure nobody will see it

truss rod rout

close up of the wood


Let me know what you think!

Garageking1479 02-27-2012 12:19 AM

Looks awesome, reminds me of a rickenbacker, is it hard to do a guitar?

LeviMan_2001 02-27-2012 03:27 AM

That looks awesome! What great inspirations for a build too!

C_Hart 03-04-2012 01:00 AM

Thanks guys! and yeah, i guess its hard, but its all about careful planning, and every minute spent planning something out makes the guitar that much better. its about taking your time.
An update on the weekend (mom and sister gone, dad and i spent 8 hours in the shop so far):
1: Pickup cavity routed
2: F holes designed
3: F hole jig made
4: F holes routed
5: Inlay idea: have the inlays look like the jacaranda w/ the center maple stripe is still running through them, against the ebony fretboard. whenever an island comes to the center, it has the maple stripe running through it (like it is revealing it or something. No matter what, the headstock will be the same pattern as the body.
6: Other F-hole idea: Cut a rectangle out of the guitar and put in a metal grille like a bath drain or something.
7: should we relic the hardware to tarnish it a little? just putting it on the table. it might add to the "seaworthy" look of the guitar.
8: Should the fretboard be glued to the neck before either of them are tapered? will ebony splinter like crazy if it is run through a band saw or table saw?


forstner holes for starting the rout

F-hole routing jig

Jacaranda dust. This wood literally turns to butter under tools. its awesome. Also, it smells like some incredible spice. I can't describe it. It is such a joy to work with compared to the mahog. back. Piece-to-piece variation is wild, which is probably why it is not very popular (and im not even sure if its attainable anymore, this is recycled), but everyone should at least smell it before they die.

rout from the back

and the front (no sanding whatsoever)

some beauty shots:

LeviMan_2001 03-04-2012 02:18 AM

Love it, especially the f-holes. I like the idea of mesh under them.

C_Hart 03-04-2012 11:13 AM

Thanks! Also, I love levis. they're the only pants i wear. your name is referring to levis pants, right?

inkandlead 03-04-2012 02:07 PM

This is going to be beautiful.

rapfohl09 03-04-2012 02:55 PM

Very cool and original. The only thing I would have done differently is put the humbucker at the neck, not the bridge, but that is just a personal thing.

LeviMan_2001 03-04-2012 10:34 PM

Originally Posted by C_Hart
Thanks! Also, I love levis. they're the only pants i wear. your name is referring to levis pants, right?

Nope. Its my name I've never worn levi's.

C_Hart 03-04-2012 11:09 PM

damn. well go try a pair on!

SGRocker400 03-05-2012 10:38 PM

love the f holes and the maple stripes. hell, i love the whole build.

personally i would definitely coil tap the pickup, probably on a push/pull to keep the clean look

C_Hart 03-08-2012 11:30 AM

Thanks! Nice Idea on the push/pull coil tap. So, this is pretty far in advance, but as far as finishes go: I'm thinking either french polish or oil. Or maybe just polyurethane/spar varnish. The thing is, the back of the body will be painted black. I'm not exactly sure if it is possible to oil over spraypaint, but im not so sure about brushing the back on either. what do you guys think about painting the back of this with a brush? I'm trying to avoid spray clear at all costs. I hated using it on my last build.

Also, i rough cut it before i glue and rout the shape, right? i'm thinking those are the next steps.

inkandlead 03-08-2012 02:23 PM

I think you should keep the whole thing natural. Just oil it all.

C_Hart 03-08-2012 03:41 PM

the mahogany and jacaranda look terrible next to each other

inkandlead 03-08-2012 11:08 PM

Ah, thats too bad. I still think it shouldn't be black. Maybe a complimentary stain ala PRS/Les Paul or how Gretsch used to two-tone the Anniversary model.

C_Hart 03-12-2012 06:22 PM

Nah, thanks for the suggestion, but im definitely painting the back black.

Here is an update of the control access panel. The pickup will be mounted through the top, so no ring needed, but back access is necessary, so we did a circle access panel that should provide us with the space to get at electronics and the pickup. Fortunately electronics are simple, one jack, one pickup, one pot.

Sorry these pictures arent that great. they actually show color better than some other ones though.

I have an important question regarding this V picture!!!
So, this right here is what is left of the "support spine." Will that be enough to carry the tension of the strings? I am afraid it will be less than ideal, and putting a carbon fiber/steel reinforcement rod into it might fix that. I don't want to have to put one in though.

inkandlead 03-12-2012 06:32 PM

Yeah man it's your build.

I think as long as you have enough wood for the bridge posts you should be fine. Plenty of guitars used to be made with no center structure at all and they're still surviving.

C_Hart 03-12-2012 06:36 PM

Thanks. Just realized I formatted the post all wrong, do you think it still will be okay?

C_Hart 03-19-2012 09:32 PM

This weekend:
Mocked up inlays (island chain)
Routed top to shape
Painted inside black
Broke truss rod nut :/

For some reason this came out super-high contrast, but this is how the wood looks with rubbing alcohol on it.

(that is ONE coat of black paint, some crazy super high pigment stuff)

Can't resist a mockup...

Okay, heres the problem for the day. already posted in the jim thread, but now i have pics. what should i do about this? restart the neck, or try and get this truss rod out?

let me know what you think.

nowa90 03-19-2012 09:35 PM

how much is holding in the rod? If its less then 3-4 globs of silicone I'd just pry it out of there and replace it, or even better straighten the neck first and put the new one in.

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