SJ Blog

Heel Carved First

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The heel is carved first, then the headstock transition area, and finally the running length of the neck.

Begin Final Neck Carving

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All necks are rough carved on the CNC router. Final carving and shaping is done by Michael with rasps, files and sandpaper, to order for each guitar. A few thousandths of an inch can make a significant difference in feel and playability.

Fret Press

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Andy smiling at the fret press, installing the frets in the fingerboard. The fret ends will be trimmed and beveled, but not given their final dressing until the last stages of set-up.

Spray Booth Sunburst

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Off camera, Andy has been in the spray booth. After masking all surfaces except the top, a tinted base coat has been sprayed on the top in preparation for the actual sunburst. After the sunburst pattern itself has been sprayed it is allowed to set up only partially. Then the dark lacquer is removed from the body edges and the rosette rings. In this photo, if you look carefully you can see that the inner ring of lines and abalone shell still has some dark lacquer on it.

Coating with pore filler

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Imagine coating your guitars’ rosewood back and sides with almost black mud! That’s what allows your instrument that glass-like lacquer finish, giving the grain such three-dimensional depth. The paste filler is painted on with a brush; after drying for about an hour the filler is wiped off with burlap cloth, leaving little residue except what fills the pores of the wood grain. Any smudges, etc. are wiped off with cheesecloth.

Another View

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Another view at the same stage, showing the sides. Please note the difference in color of this and the previous picture. Color presentation on different computer monitors can vary greatly! On our Mac, the previous picture (of the back) is much closer to the actual color of the rosewood.