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Chipotle 07-25-2020 09:26 AM

Fretboard bound, now it's time to apply the radius.

Chipotle 07-26-2020 06:15 PM

Time for more inlay. The design for the rosette will continue across the end of the fretboard, like this:

We're leaving off what would normally be the last fret to leave room. The paper design is cut to make templates to cut the mother of pearl.

The paper templates are glued to a piece of MOP and cut with a jewler's saw, then filed & sanded to the final shape.

Details I never thought about... MOP reflects differently at different angles. A careful luthier will make sure that the pieces are cut so they all "flash" together.

Here are the pieces cut and set in position, to be inlaid into the fretboard soon.

Chipotle 07-30-2020 09:13 PM

Next up - position markers. "Searching for the perfect pieces" of mother of pearl.

Treenewt 07-30-2020 09:52 PM

That rosette is just too dang cool! Beautifully done!

Chipotle 08-02-2020 12:15 PM

Closer look at the almost finished fretboard end. Beau does some cool stuff with "shading" on the MOP to add a kind of shadow where parts of the design appear to go underneath others, adding a 3D effect.

Chipotle 08-02-2020 12:21 PM

Now on to the fretboard position markers.

After the pieces are cut, the outline is scribed into the fretboard with a knife, and the inside is routed/chiseled out. Small gaps are filled with ebony dust and black CA glue.

When dry, it's cleaned up.

Chipotle 08-07-2020 07:32 PM

Time to choose a face for the slotted headstock. So many choices!

Here's a nice layout, taken from the middle of the unnumbered piece going horizontally across the top of the numbered ones, above. It's bookmatched with a sister piece. A clear template of the headstock is overlaid (without the slot-head cutouts).

Chipotle 08-07-2020 07:38 PM

Here's a mockup of how that last one might look with the slots and inlay.

Chipotle 08-20-2020 08:29 PM

Inlay continues, now on to the end graft. This is Beau's design, working off the rest of the inlay which was mine. Here is the rout:

And with the MOP laid in but not finished:

Chipotle 08-25-2020 07:20 PM

Beau mixes three different colors of filler to pour on the poor pores.

cigarfan 08-28-2020 07:07 AM

Oooohhh! That is cool. Love the outcome!

Chipotle 09-23-2020 04:23 PM

We decided to go with something a bit plainer for the headstock face, still with some nice character but less distracting from the inlay design, and a color that meshes a bit better with the rest of the guitar woods.

Glued to the headstock and bound. I love Beau's signature "faded purfling" at the top of the headstock.

The last of the inlay design. It ties in to the design on the engraved tuner plates.

Chipotle 09-29-2020 10:33 PM

Beau knows inlay...
Before I continue with my guitar, I have to share this incredible uke headstock that Beau did the inlay on. He does some incredible work, and his use of different shades of MOP and some fine etching gives amazing 3D detail.

Chipotle 09-29-2020 10:38 PM

Back to our regularly scheduled build thread. Title: How to Slot Your Headstock.

It's a boring job....

Cleaned up a bit.

Here's how it will look with those fantastic Rodgers tuners.

All squared away.

cigarfan 09-30-2020 05:51 AM

Schweeet! Those Rodgers look incredible. Love the ramps.

Nemoman 09-30-2020 09:50 AM

Wow--the tuners really tie into the overall theme. Very cool!

Chipotle 10-07-2020 05:18 PM

The headstock inlay is completed.

Now, time for a neck massage. Beau posted a video of the initial rasping & filing; it made me a little nervous, tbh! I'm continually surprised by the order that guitars are put together... a lot of rough work is done after other parts are nicely finished. I'm sure there's a good reason for it.

The final product.

Chipotle 10-10-2020 10:37 AM

A better look at the completed headstock, front and back.

The body having nitro finish applied.

Chipotle 01-09-2021 04:29 PM

It's been a while but we're in the endgame! In a Facebook post, he showed the final final polish being applied...

... and how he is, um... buffing it. :lol:

As he stated in his post, "this is really how I stand at times buffing certain parts." He did not name the particular parts.

Chipotle 01-10-2021 08:09 PM

The neck being attached.

It's an actual guitar now, not just pieces!

Chipotle 02-05-2021 10:09 AM

Bridge going on.

Beau also posted a couple short videos of the process to his Facebook page:

Placing and gluing bridge

Removing the protective tape and glue squeeze-out

cigarfan 02-06-2021 05:56 AM

He does make it look easy. Strings and music next????

Chipotle 02-06-2021 12:17 PM


Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 6626743)
He does make it look easy. Strings and music next????

Very close! I got a picture of the frets cut and ready to install, but no installation pictures. Needs a nut too, I imagine, tuners installed, and the pickup (Schatten HFN passive) put in somewhere in there. But very close to making music.

Chipotle 02-11-2021 09:28 PM

Tuners installed! Strings on! It's just about done.

Chipotle 02-14-2021 10:19 AM

Aw, nuts. Material is natural bone.

Howard Emerson 02-22-2021 08:22 AM


Originally Posted by Chipotle (Post 6632972)

When I saw the early shot of the custom tuners my first inclination was to suggest having the plates inset flush with the sides of the headstock, which is something I've never seen done.

I wish I'd have followed the build earlier.

In any case it's a beauty. Use it in good health!

Best regards,
Howard Emerson

ChuckS 02-22-2021 09:27 AM

Wow, beautiful!

Ukulele_Eddie 02-22-2021 10:06 PM

I had Beau build me a baritone scale uke and then got to know him pretty well as he was one of the six luthiers in our Luthiers for a Cause project that raised $130K for The Ukulele Kids Club (support music therapy). He is a wonderful luthier and does some really fantastic artisan design work.

Congrats on a wonderful build that has come together very nicely! I cannot wait to hear your thoughts when you get this lovely guitar in your hand.


Chipotle 03-11-2021 10:03 PM

It's *this* close! Except a gigantic snowstorm on the way this weekend will delay any attempt to pick it up soon. In the meantime, here is a detail shot of the rosette:

I had a Schatten HFN passive pickup installed. Beau posted a bunch of pics of the installation and the jig he made to do it. Rather than re-post all the pics, here's a link to the sequence (about 15 photos): I think you can view it without signing in to Facebook.

The final shot in the series also shows a bit of the end graft detail. You can see some of the fantastic "3D" engraving Beau sometimes does on his inlays. It really suits this design.

Chipotle 04-15-2021 05:11 PM

A week from today I will be playing the guitar myself, but for now, here's someone else (artist David Starr) who got to check it out. To quote the three bears, "Somebody's been playing *my* guitar!".

Glamour shots soon to come.

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