The body and neck of our SJ prototype have been completed. It’s time for finishing! Larry is applying lacquer topcoats to the body. There will be several rounds of spraying, with sanding between coats, followed by a period of curing, final sanding then buffing.
Here we see Petria Mitchell working her magic with her graver on the SJ’s heelcap. A piece of 10,000 year old mammoth ivory has been glued to a block of mahogany and polished to a high luster. Working completely by hand and with no magnification, she will etch the picture desired onto this small surface. Here we see acrylic paint being added to the etching. Ah, but it seems so simple, doesn’t it?! Try it yourself sometime. Ooops! Yes, she IS amazing!!!
The headstock is scraped with a cabinet scraper to level the binding. The final carving of the transition area from headstock to the running stock of the neck is then hand carved with a paring chisel and sanded.
The neck is now ready for the precise fitting of the neck to the body of the guitar. Size, shape and mass of the bridge can have tremendous influence on the sound and performance of the guitar and this is the stage which assures that the playability of the guitar is exactly what is required.