22 July 2014

Appletree 1/2-size custom guitar

After working on more or less ready sets I was ready to take on a massive project.
I started it  out during the summer 2013, when I aquired a 1/2 size strat style neck from a friend of mine, with the marking "Volcano" (LINK) on it.
The next step was to discuss with my trusted wood-provider, ie. my father-in-law, about a body for the project.
Knowing the guitar would be a gift for his grand daughters he suggested apple tree, an old tree they just cut down at his childhood home. So on many accounts this project provided to be emotionally meaningful.

The last piece of the puzzle was to figure out the body shape. I scavenged through the internet until I came upon some beautiful shapes at Ed Roman Guitars (LINK). The shape reminds me of the one of classic string instruments with added cut-outs for a more sinister look.
Another important part of the design was that it needed to be mirrored for optional "left-hand" playing.
All in all the shape turned out to be a smash hit!

After fitting the neck I noticed that the headstock was way out of style compared to the body, so I went for a nice and slimmer design that resembles an eagles beak.
With the shaped headstock the guitar got a sleaker, less bulky, look to it.

I later used the same design for my "punk-tele" (LINK).

The paintwork was also something that took time to figure out "which way to go". I finally desided to only do the nec and the top of the body.
I painted the edges with Osmo Color (LINK) Ebony colored wax and then sanded the edge to give the dark color a transcending look towards the middle.
To smooth it off further I added come Cognac colored wax over the whole top and finished it off with spray varnish.

The electronics I desided to keep simple. Single humbucker with only volume pot. Can't get more basic than that.

My weapon of choice this time around is a DiMArzio D Activator™ neck-humbucker (LINK) that I purchased 2nd hand which gives the little beast a great sound.

The wrap-around hard tail, by Duesenberg (LINK), lifts the strings a bit too high above the body, but by adding a bit of angle to the neckjoint the strings came farely low over the fretboard.


So in the end of this story we have the trusty Waves Auto-Trim tuning machines (LINK) together with the Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings (LINK) that have become something of a trademark in my builds.

Then the only thing that was left was packaging and thus Santa Clause had a huge giftwrapped box in his bag of gifts...

The guitar is still a bit big for the girls, but they are quickly growing into it. :)

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