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Old 09-02-2017, 03:30 PM
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Mark Hatcher Mark Hatcher is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Green Mountains
Posts: 4,208
Default Lullaby Guitar

I've really looked forward to starting up this commission. This one is for a dad to use as a lullaby guitar for his two very young daughters. How great is that!
He already knew he wanted my little Piña model. Now I already consider this my snuggle model. In the shop I often refer to it as my "couch potato guitar". So we're off to a great start. We've already selected many of the woods for right now I'll start with the most important selection being the soundboard.
We're looking for lot's of rich response on this little guitar and are going with one of the Carter Redwood tops. I have a selection to choose from. The best of the Redwoods processed by the Carters were named trees. In this case a top from the "Truly Awesome" tree was selected.
Here is Alicia Carter giving a description of this particular tree and some history;

TA “Truly
Awesome” Log

This log was purchased from a mill on a private ranch. The tree on a slope and was said to have fallen naturally, due to heavy storms, in 1995. The log was one of three, cut 20’ or more from the ground. It was 5 feet in diameter, 17 feet long – an estimated 10,000 lbs of wood. It was hand split in Fall 1998 and the first sets were cut in Spring 1999. Because of its large diameter, it was sometimes possible to get two rings of billets: inner ring and outer ring. All billets split beautifully – very straight. The inner ring sets were naturally cured; they exhibited excellent stiffness to weight and sound characteristics. Soundboards made from this inner ring wood are pale gold with tonal range rivaling that of LS soundboards with a lighter weight. There were only a few of these inner ring billets, as the center of the tree had center or “wind” splits (common in the larger trees) and areas of uneven grain. Billets from the outer ring were bright, blood red when initially spit – very “green.” There were some billets taken from mid-diameter, also. When soundboard sets were dry, they were too “green” to use in guitars. Coloration was streaked and tone undeveloped until soundboards aged, air dried, for several years. As a result, most of the TA log remains in billet form. All soundboards now available were cut between January 1999 and March 2000. Outer ring sets (what is mostly available) are fine grain and stiff; coloration appears streaked before the sets cure, gradually clearing to gold. Sets cut today from mid-range billets should be ready for building when air dried, approximately 2-4 weeks. Sets cut in 1999, mostly from outer ring, have been made into fine guitars with unique redwood tonal characteristics: warmth of sound combined with clarity and broad tonal range and color.

How about some pictures?

You can see this is was rated by the Carters as AAAA or master grade

And we're off! There will be a lot more pics to come.
Mark Hatcher

“Choose always the way that seems the best, however rough it may be; custom will soon render it easy and agreeable”.