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colins 04-21-2019 01:42 AM

Build thread – Baranik 00 in blue spruce and koa
Welcome to my build thread everyone; it's for a 00 guitar in blue spruce and koa by the amazing Mike Baranik.

Why a Baranik? I’ve been huge fan of Mike’s guitars since I first played one back in 2004. In 2006 Mike built me a CX model in Italian spruce and claro walnut, and two years later he built me another CX, this time in Italian spruce and African blackwood. Both guitars have been an absolute treat ever since and I continue to be amazed by their tone, playability and build quality. I have a light touch and I particularly like the way these guitars give me 100% tone from even the most hesitant fingerstyle or pick work. In both cases working with Mike was a dream, and spending time with him when I picked up each guitar was a real bonus.

Why koa? I caught up with Mike at Healdsburg back in 2013 and was very taken by an OM that he had on show. It had koa back and sides and a spruce top. That guitar had a sound that really appealed to me, clear and straightforward but still showing the richness, sustain and warmth that are common to Mike’s guitars.

Yep, I was quite taken by that OM, and it got me thinking about another build. I procrastinated for a while, then booked a build slot. After that I procrastinated a bit more, then chose some wood. And then, instead of procrastinating a little more for good measure, I got distracted by a couple of builds by another luthier that just could not wait. I’m a “one build at a time guy” and Mike waited patiently while I focused on those other builds.

Why a 00? A year or two ago I visited a friend who also has Baranik guitars, and played his deep bodied PX model for the first time. The PX is another small body guitar that Mike builds; I have shoulder issues and the smaller body was very comfortable. Also, the deeper body in particular seemed to develop the sound in a direction that I liked …a little guitar but with a big guitar attitude! I decided that my next build would be small body with a bit of extra depth.

So here we are, no more procrastinating or distractions. Mike has had the wood carefully gathering dust for me. We’ve talked about body size and agreed on a 00, with an extra 1/4 inch of body depth but also with a small shoulder bevel.

So, let’s look at the wood. For the top wood we are going with Mike’s “signature” wood - Colorado blue spruce. Having been very satisfied with Mike’s selection of Italian spruce for my previous builds I am excited to find out how this will sound.

Koa back wood – You may notice the flame in the wood, which should look amazing once the finish is applied!

Sides – we had a choice of a couple of different sets and went for this one, as we both liked the sap wood. We have some particular ideas for the binding and the sap wood should be a nice contrast.

And finally – some figured maple. This is going to be used for binding and mini-bevel. We have a few ideas about working with it and taking the theme into the rosette.

That’s it for now folks!


Deft Tungsman 04-21-2019 01:49 AM

AWESOME!! What’s the estimated time frame, Col? Looking further news with this build. That koa set is sweeeeet!

Deft Tungsman 04-21-2019 01:50 AM

And that spruce top??? Holy moly!!! Mike always sources primo wood sets.

Cocobolo Kid 04-21-2019 02:09 AM

Baranik 00
Congratulations Colin! This looks to be a fabulous build and I can't wait for it to unfold. Please keep the photos coming.

riorider 04-21-2019 07:03 AM

Most excellent!

iim7V7IM7 04-21-2019 07:08 AM

It is nice to see a build by Mike again...:up:.

justonwo 04-21-2019 08:59 AM

This is going to be killer. Love that koa. That’s one tight set of blue spruce!

TomB'sox 04-21-2019 09:26 AM

Koa is really starting, maybe starting is the wrong word, but is really blossoming as a well respected guitar wood. At the recent event I had at my home, there were two Koa guitars there and they both sold over many other choices. I personally have two and really like them both. In the hands of this builder, it should really be a great result! Congrats on the custom guitar!

El Conquistador 04-21-2019 12:56 PM

VERY cool, Col! I look forward to following this build.


Nemoman 04-21-2019 04:17 PM

Awesome to see another Baranik build thread--looks like some great woods to start with!

Guitars44me 04-21-2019 07:00 PM


Great Luthier!!!

If you are having shoulder issues perhaps you could ask for a Manzer Wedge? I LOVE mine.

This will be fun

Enjoy the ride


CoolerKing 04-23-2019 07:55 PM

another Baranik build! I'm excited.

jaymarsch 04-23-2019 08:48 PM

Congrats, Col. Looks like that one will be a beauty.


colins 04-27-2019 02:43 AM

Making progress
A few more images folks,

First, another shot of the back, because I really like that flame. I'm going to spend a lot of time just looking at this guitar!

Now the back being glued together. Strange bench...I am guessing it is Mike’s special ‘Lightrite’ unit. While the better known Tonerite helps with tone, judicious use of the Lightrite imparts a certain lightness to the wood. (Either that or it’s for curing the glue.)

Now the top being glued. Note the special pot; I believe that Mike paid a great deal for this pot, which was originally made for a Tibetan glue-master during the 12th century, when yak hide glue was “de rigeur” for the finest Tibetan musical instruments.

I notice also that Mike has two neck blanks there...I wonder if he is making me a spare?


GeoffStGermaine 04-27-2019 06:16 AM

Maybe it will be a secret double-neck! Woods all look great, looking forward to seeing another fine Baranik guitar!

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