The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-26-2018, 12:16 PM
smasters smasters is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 15
Default New Build: Swannell Guitars, Deep-Bodied OM

Hello!

Iím new round these parts but have gratefully lurked in the past!

Iím having an instrument made by Jamie Swannell of Swannell Guitars (UK) and I thought it would be fun to record the progress of what I think will be a pretty special instrument.

Jamie and I went to university together where we occasionally beer-jammed on guitar and talked nonsense about British Folk. We sort of got on with our separate lives for several years and then crossed paths again when I started performing solo fingerstyle acoustic guitar and discovered that he was making guitars full-time. He brought a couple of guitars along to a gig I did in Cambridge and I (along with Don Alder/Dan LaVoie) got to sample them. I was a big fan and straightaway, rather cheekily, asked if I might borrow one for some recording. He obliged and since then Iíve played a number of the guitars heís made. I ended up moving to roughly the same neck of the woods recently and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to commission a build.

I had a pretty specific idea of what I was after - a comfortable body shape with decent bass response, smooth trebles and a fairly light build - a dynamically responsive top. I also like the idea of using fairly well-established tone woods but of relatively local (to the U.K.) origin. I know that the rosewood and mahoganies of the world are in limited supply and while I enjoy them greatly, conversations with Jamie (and playing some non-tropical instruments made by him) reassured me that tone has a lot more to do with the build of the instrument, than purely the timber choice.

Anyhow, we settled on a deep-bodied OM, with German Alpine Spruce top, English Walnut (from France) back and sides, 3,500 year-old Bog Oak (buried, discovered by a farmer tilling fields near Cambridge, UK) fingerboard and binding, a Yew neck (famously used for English long-bows) and Cedar bracing. All Non-Tropical woods, all of European origin.

Iím pretty excited and thought Iíd share some pics of the progress. Iíve moved this thread from the Build and Repair forum - I hadnít realised this one existed....

Hereís the Yew for the neck:


And some further early progress pics:




[IMG][IMG][/IMG][/IMG]


Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-26-2018, 06:35 PM
jstroop jstroop is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North Texas
Posts: 259
Default

I admire your approach regarding the woods. Itís going to be fun watching your progress. Thanks for posting.
__________________
Joe
1948 Martin D18
1999 Martin HD28
2015 Northwood R-80 MJ
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-27-2018, 01:39 PM
cigarfan's Avatar
cigarfan cigarfan is offline
Music soothes the soul!
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Within the blast radius of Washington D.C.
Posts: 3,682
Default

Some really nice local woods! Love the rosette. I will be following along.
__________________
Life is like a box of chocolates ....
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-27-2018, 05:44 PM
SJ VanSandt SJ VanSandt is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,476
Default

That's a great rosette - how in the world did he do that? This will be fun to watch as it comes together. Thanks for posting!
__________________
Allison D-A German/Mahogany
Kinnaird/Middlebrook OM Sitka/Red Gum
Allison Single 0 all mahogany
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-29-2018, 04:10 AM
smasters smasters is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 15
Default

Haha- yes - the rosette! I think an Archimedes drill was involved but beyond that Iím not entirely sure...

I meant to post a couple of clips of previous Swannell OMs Iíve played

European Spruce and Ovangkol on this guitar:
https://soundcloud.com/stuartmasters...ur-eyes-part-1
https://youtu.be/zSM-N3rRjnE

And hereís a fan-fret OM Mod, with Spruce/Cherry:
https://youtu.be/VO3ZvfD0q88
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-29-2018, 06:06 AM
smasters smasters is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 15
Default

Anyway, thanks for following along, guys!

I actually have a few more pics of more recent progress:








Last edited by smasters; 01-29-2018 at 06:24 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-29-2018, 07:08 AM
redir redir is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Mountains of Virginia
Posts: 4,007
Default

Beautiful.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-29-2018, 11:12 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4,310
Default

Excellent work!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-29-2018, 02:13 PM
cigarfan's Avatar
cigarfan cigarfan is offline
Music soothes the soul!
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Within the blast radius of Washington D.C.
Posts: 3,682
Default

Very very nice. Clean and precise.
__________________
Life is like a box of chocolates ....
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-03-2018, 05:57 AM
smasters smasters is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 15
Default

Here's a little timelapse video of Jamie closing the box:


I canít work out why the above thumbnail isnít working... in the meantime, hereís the actual link: https://youtu.be/lupl08zihyo

And a bracing shot prior to closure:

Last edited by smasters; 02-03-2018 at 06:48 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-17-2018, 06:20 AM
smasters smasters is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 15
Default

Apologies for the long absence (entirely down to me, not Jamie!) but here are some pics of the guitar in its final stages, pre: Holy Grail guitar show and after completion. It is, without doubt, one of the most expressive and responsive instruments I have ever played.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-17-2018, 06:26 AM
smasters smasters is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 15
Default

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by smasters; 05-17-2018 at 06:39 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-17-2018, 07:22 AM
smasters smasters is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 15
Default

I know that walnut is a pretty well-established tone wood but playing this guitar, made entirely from non-tropical timbers, has shown me how much the tone can be to do with the construction of instrument, not just timber choices.

I am one happy camper.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-17-2018, 11:33 AM
SJ VanSandt SJ VanSandt is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,476
Default

It looks great! I'm impressed with how the oak fingerboard came out looking like good ebony: did he have to stain it to get it so black? If so, do you know how?
__________________
Allison D-A German/Mahogany
Kinnaird/Middlebrook OM Sitka/Red Gum
Allison Single 0 all mahogany
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-17-2018, 11:42 AM
Haasome's Avatar
Haasome Haasome is offline
Charter Picker
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 7,049
Default

That’s a real beautiful guitar!
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=