The SJ Blog

How a Froggy Comes to Life

In 2008 we decided to create a new model and offer the prototype guitar to L.A.C.E. in Barre, VT for a raffle, we decided to document the building of the guitar in a blog for the website. Now that the guitar and the raffle are complete, we’ve turned the blog on it’s head and present the story from start to finish.

January 25 – Day 1

Off camera, we’ve selected the wood for the guitar, highly figured Brazilian rosewood for the back and sides and Adirondack spruce for the top. The bookmatched halves of the top and back have been rough sanded and joined together. Channels for the back seam inlay and the rosette, as well as the soundhole in the top have been cut. A neck blank has been laid up, gluing heel block and headstock to the running stock of the neck. The tenon which will join the neck to the body has been cut on the table saw. A channel for the truss rod has been routed, and the truss rod installed, and a highly figured rosewood peghead overlay has been glued to the face of the headstock.

Read the rest of the story in the captions for the pictures. Start anywhere; when the lightbox is open, move forward or back by clicking on the right or left arrows. Enjoy!

Since the last post… Off camera, lacquer has cured for several weeks. Larry has wet sanded neck and body and buffed both on a stationary wheel to a high gloss. Andy has made a bridge of African ebony. The bridge is positioned with a fixture and its outline scribed in the lacquer of the top with an exacto knife. Once the lacquer beneath the bridge footprint has been carefully removed the bridge is glued to the spruce of the top. Clamping is done with a vacuum clamp.

With no string tension on the neck, the frets have been ground and polished. The frets must be absolutely flat at this point. When the guitar is strung up, the string tension should create proper “relief” in the neck which allows comfortable playing without excessive string height.

Mass and height of the bridge as well as saddle height and string height off the face of the guitar are absolutely critical to best possible sound of each guitar. These factors can vary widely from one guitar to another.

Many thanks and heartfelt appreciation from Froggy Bottom and L.A.C.E. to all of you who participated in the raffle. Your generosity will be serving local agriculture in central Vermont in the months and years to come.

From those of us at Froggy Bottom Guitars a special thank you to each and every one of you. We’ve had more fun with this project than any three boys have a right to hope for.