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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!
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:

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.
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.
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.
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.

Last edited by C_Hart at Mar 12, 2012,
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.
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.
Last edited by C_Hart at Mar 19, 2012,
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.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
Its epoxy, and its all the way down the sides. I read that heat is really the only way to soften epoxy, but getting the heat where it needs to be, on the bottom of the slot, would be really tough. This martin style rod is put in with epoxy all down the length of its corners.
Last edited by C_Hart at Mar 19, 2012,
well theres why your rod broke! You only had to put a little glob at each end, and no where else. I think it's pretty much useless now, atleast you werent too far in neck construction.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
from the stewmac instructions:
"Run a thin line of epoxy down both sides of the bottom of the slot and install the truss rod with the rounded side (with the masking tape) down. The flat surface of the rod should be facing upward, almost flush with the top of the neck." The rod is housed inside the metal casing, which is glued to the slot.
ok, makes sense but still, wouldve just done ends for reasons like this.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
Okay, had to take a few steps back recently to take any forward, but here's what's up. the epoxied rod came out no problem using a heat gun, but the neck went back to the warpage it had before the rod was put in, so I had to level the whole top of the neck out, and then rout the channel to depth again. now the rod is glued in (only on the ends now) and the neck is back where it was before.

This is the cool part. My dad and I made this dremel router base, which will be very cool once it is in action. it is based off of Stewmac's router base, but we only had to buy the bolts, so it all worked out to be much cheaper. this is also based off of someone elses design here, i think it was metalwarrior.

the dremel screws into the big nut. We did make a stupid mistake though, and we used a nut that is too big for the dremel. after the first test fit everything seemed okay, but then we built the whole thing, and it turned out to be too big. So the top will have to be made again.

Also, we routed the back, glued on the top, and did a roundover on the bottom

The back will be painted, but i can't decide b/w red and black.
been a long time since ive updated. basically, ive done a ton of work on the neck, and carved the top. the carve on the top is really shallow since i had to cut away at the inside of the guitar for the F-holes, and i did not want to go through. also, my dad's stupid 30 year old router crapped out on me, and wouldnt stay at the right depth on the last level, so theres a low spot. that is a bummer, but i cannot do anything about it. dont have good pics of the carve anyways. the island on the fb is near my cottage in maine, and the tree on the headstock is this tree in front of my cottage in maine we always called the doctor seuss tree, but then it had to be cut down.

had to use a hand powered drill to do these guys since i didnt have the right size drill bit. it doesnt look great, but whatever. the grommets will cover it. The curve here and on the end of the fb will match the curve on the tailpiece if everything lines up right.

Last edited by C_Hart at May 14, 2012,
I like how the inlay matches the body. Nice touch. Head stock is a bit bulky in my opinion but THe work you've done still looks great.
This build is pretty sick, I've been keeping an eye on it for a while. I love everything about it really, even the first act headstock haha. Although its a bit bulky, it matches how bulky the body looks. Everything works together quite nicely. The nautical theme is pretty sweet.
Hey everyone, ive been really busy, and this thing is close to being ready to get some finish on it. Unfortunately, no good pics yet. i hope to have something good up tonight when my dad gets home. Anyways, i have a question regarding something that will affect setup in the future. at first (due to poor planning), the strings were too low to the body and the TOM would have had to have been recessed, but b/c of the tailpiece i am using, that wouldn't have worked due to the pressure needed on the bridge from the angle to keep the strings in place. So i boosted it up a little, and it looks good, but a little higher than i would like. I was wondering how much more you guys thought i could take away before strings jumping around is an issue.

also, a rough progress shot:
I'm picking up some serious hawaiian vibe from this
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That is a beautiful guitar man, well done.
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the open-back tuners really look like they belong
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