This American sycamore and red spruce guitar is rounding third base headed for home. The finish has been built up and now I’m on to compacting and burnishing the French polish finish. I still love the sycamore!


Between coats, I’m working the last piece to shape for this guitar: the pyramid-style bridge made of African blackwood.


See the earlier galleries for this guitar: part one, part two.

This American sycamore and red spruce guitar is coming right along. I’ve completed the woodworking and am deep into the finishing. The box sounds and looks wonderful–sycamore has almost unbelievable figure naturally and my previous sycamore guitars have given me some good practice on getting the most out of this wood. The adjustable neck joint front loads a lot of what is typically final setup work, so this guitar will be playable very soon!

See the first part of the gallery.

I’ve just begun work on a new 12-fret auditorium in American sycamore (from Callaway County, Missouri) and red (Adirondack) spruce. This guitar will feature laminated sides, an adjustable neck joint (adjustable from the inside of the guitar) and that wonderful snappy sound that sycamore provides. The aesthetic will be pure classic on this one: clean and simple rosette, binding, a slotted headstock, an African blackwood fingerboard and bridge and a warm brown finish.

See the next installment of the progress gallery.

See the first installment of this guitar’s build gallery.

There are a lot of ways to apply a sunburst. I like to use wood dye and work directly on the wood similar to the method used by violin makers (and guitar and mandolin makers before sprayed finishes became the norm). The method enhances the grain of the wood because dye interacts with it, becoming darker in the areas where the water base of the dye is held and stays wet, like areas with curl in the wood fibers. If you love the quirkiness of wood and like the way that watercolors look, then this method might be for you. It is, however, less predictable than spraying color coats over a sealed wooden surface. I think it’s worth the extra work and a little risk! Continue reading “Making a Dyed Sunburst”

I’ve recently started a new build, an adirondack and sugar maple 12-fret grand concert guitar that will be clean and contemporary-looking, with a sound port and paddle headstock featuring really sharp-looking Gotoh “X-finish” tuners. Notably, this guitar will be my first production guitar to use double sides and solid lining, which I’m pretty excited about. The goals for this guitar’s sound are a focused bass with good carrying power and trebles that are thick, musical and committed.


See the next installment of this guitar’s build gallery.