Acoustic Guitars

Acoustic guitars are my favorite thing to build. There is something about the process that gets me up and out to the shop at every free moment. From bending the sides to tuning the braces to final set up, I can feel them coming alive. Their voices start as a murmur and slowly build over time.

My favorite body style to date is one I have named the "A type". The sisters you see below both have Lutz Spruce tops (a hybrid found only in certain areas of British Columbia) and Brazilian Cherry necks with spalted maple peg head veneers. The stiff cherry necks give a sharp attack and crystal like sustain, but are a little heavy compared to more traditional necks like Mahogany.

Two type A  A body style guitars.  Lutz spruce tops. Bloodwood fret board on left. Ebony on right.

The one on the right has a Goncalo Alves body and Cocobolo fret board and bridge. I believe Goncalo Alves is one of the most under rated of the alternative tonewoods available today. It is currently played by a young musician who picked it up and deemed it to have "a magical sound." He uses all sorts of alternate tunings with it and I can't think of any one else I would have own it. It's like they were made for each other.

The one on the left is Purple heart with a blood wood fret board and bridge. It is also the first one I ever built with an oval sound hole. Unfortunately the back developed some superficial checking marks that transferred through the finish. It has not affected the tone as far as I can tell but I could not sell this in good conscience unless it connected with someone the way the Goncalo did.
Next up in the Show and tell is a double neck dreadnought commission I built for a rather talented local musician here in Marin County. The concept started out as a 9 steel string instrument with narrow spacing so that all strings could be reached. Since I did not have confidence that the completed instrument would be playable as requested I purchased the least expensive guitar I could find and slapped a neck extension and modified bridge on it for my client to noodle around with before starting the build.
That turned out to be a very worth while investment since he discovered that his original idea for an extended range instrument was too uncomfortable to play and that he really didn't need to fret the bass strings anyway since he was using them as drones. We used two more guitars to assemble a Frankentar with two necks and made adjustments until things were right. The result was this amazing Mango wood body, Lutz spruce top double neck.
Done front.  Mango double neck guitar.  Lutz spruce top    Done back.  Back of Mango double neck guitar
The tuners on the bass neck are Hipshot detuing type so that you can quickly change tuning up or down a full step or a half step if you like and keep on playing.
Don't you just love the look of that Mango! I have four more sets waiting for someone's special build. Not glassy like rosewood, but still has a brightness to it. More of a walnut tone to my ear. I love the sound of a walnut guitar.
I built this set of dreads a few years back when I was inspired to try a carved sound hole. Both are Bubinga bodies with three piece backs (the center is Maple) with one top spruce and the other cedar.
Sisters.  Two dreadnought's with cut away's and carved roses. Cedar top on left is still in my collection. Spruce top on right is playing bluegrass in South Carolina

Front n back.  Three piece backs made from Bubinga and Maple.

Just Rose.  A carved rose inspired by the Grateful Dead's American Beauty album. The thorn on the stem is a real thorn off one of my rose bushes. I just couldn't carve one I liked out of the soft cedar top.

The rose is inspired by the "American Beauty" album by the Grateful Dead. I couldn't carve a realistic enough looking thorn in the soft top wood so the thorns are real, from a rose bush in my yard.