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Luthier

This is a still from a short documentary, Andrew H Guitar, by George William K & Clark Gray.

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Fretless 4-String Bass, Sapele Body and Neck, Richlite Fingerboard, Mother-of-Pearl Inlays, P+J Pickups.  Finished in February, 2023, this was a gift to my friend, Gil Young Choi.

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Hollow, Archtop, Bent-Side Les Paul-Style Guitar. Ebony Fingerboard, Curly Maple Top and Neck, Hard Maple Bottom, Finished in December 2022. (I hadn't put in the truss rod cover in this image.)

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This tiny, 25-inch scale, walnut travel guitar is wired as for a Les Paul, with a three-way pickup selector switch and volume and tone knobs for each humbucker. The strings go on backwards, starting at the aluminum headstock, over the bridge, around bearings that route each string to the back of the guitar, and finally onto tuners embedded in the back.

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I work a lot with Sapele.  I love the luminescence, as shown in this ES 335-Style Archtop.  The fingerboard is Purple Heart.  I don't care for the layout of the classic ES 335, with the jack among the pots, so I put the jack on the lower edge, and the pickup selector switch on the upper horn.  This is one of my favorite guitars to play.

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This was a one-off experiment.  The body, neck, and fingerboard are made of Bamboo.  The Ebony inlay at the top is the Chinese character for Bamboo, "竹." Wired as for a Les Paul, with toggle-switch coil-tappers for each humbucker, a bolt-on neck, and a tremolo bridge, the guitar is a hybrid. 

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This Birch guitar was an early build.  I carved the tailpiece directly into the top.  It's awkward to string; you have to bend the string wire to get it to clear the trench I carved between the string entry holes and the bridge, but it sounds and plays well.  Two coil-tapping mini toggle switches sit below the three-way pickup selector.  The absence of horns has left this guitar machine head-heavy

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This Brazilian Cherry ES 335-Style guitar sports Fender Double Tap Pickups.  Here again, I left natural brown in the Ebony fingerboard rather than dying, and in this case, I had enough Ebony to cut the Machine Head veneer from the same board and continue the black/brown pattern.  The bent sides are maple.  The neck was cut from a plank of cherry wood (not Brazilian) that my dear friend and Galumpha Co-Founder, Greg O'Brien, gave me as a birthday present.

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I set out to make another ES 335-style archtop, but the maple side came off the jig so clean and stiff that I decided to try routing binding channels without the benefit of a body to keep the side rigid.  I had to be gentle with the router, but in the end I routed the channels and glued in the binding.  Now I had a perfect side with no top, bottom, or neck.  Loathe to hide my work, I left voids.  The body is not the hollow, archtop I'd originally intended; it's essentially a solid-body Les Paul inscribed in a 335 frame.  With Gibson 57 classics pickups,  an ebony fingerboard, and low action, the guitar plays beautifully and sound great.

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It's hard to go wrong when you find a piece of curly maple with this much fire in it.  The guitar sports brass binding and gold hardware.  Gluing brass is tricky.  I used tiny brass finishing nails at either end to keep the binding from separating outward.  I tapped them in and sanded the heads flush until they became indistinguishable from the binding.  The three mini-humbuckers are wired to the three-way selector switch in a two-one-two formation, such that the guitar gets that out-of-phase Strat sound in positions one and three. 

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I just finished this Sapele and Curly Maple Bass, May 12, 2023.  It's a gift for my brother, Danny, a professional bass player out of Athens, GA.  Danny gave me exacting specifications: 30-Inch scale, Lollar Pickups, Medium Jumbo Frets, and Fender Tuners.  He's coming to Binghamton on Sunday and I'll give it to him then.  Hope he likes it!

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I completed this red zebrawood Les Paul-style guitar on June 15, 2023.  I built it around a fingerboard I cannibalized off a guitar I made a decade ago about which I'd grown dissatisfied.   This guitar, especially the top-wood, is gorgeous, but unfortunately, it doesn't play all that well, and sooner or later I'll take it back down to my shop to extract the expensive hardware, including a Floyd Rose FRX Bridge and Steinberger Tuners.

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10/08/2023: You'd think I'd get better at this after making some fifty guitars. This one was a bag of mistakes. I made ambitious maple, purple heart, and ebony inlays. They looked great when I first embedded them into the fingerboard, but when I radiused the neck, I exposed poorly aligned inlay joints. I routed them off, leaving cavities I had to fill. I ended up using pieces of purple heart to fill the entire between-fret areas. It's cool, but unintentional.

Then I glued the bridge block too close to the neck. When I tried to pry it off, I cracked the poplar back of the guitar. I injected glue and clamped it back together, but the crack looked terrible, so I put a quilted maple veneer over it.

The neck didn't have enough back angle. Before gluing down the top, I forced it back by hand and inserted a steel rod, anchored at the bridge block and pressing against the neck, to keep it from springing back. It worked, just. I still had to grind down the bottom of the bridge to get it low enough.

I put bad capacitors on the tone pots. I had to pull all the pots out and swap in good ones.

This guitar was more trouble than it was worth, but in the end, a sound instrument.

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