Friday, 20 April 2018

The Piglet guitar build project, part 4
(Above): Because this guitar is going to be such an unusual shape, I drilled holes in key places outside of the perimeter to aid the jigsawing process, especially where the blade needs to change direction.

 And after much careful jigsawing, here (above) is the cut-out body shape.

Hole drilled for the output jack.

The reverse of the body, sanding having commenced. Note I wanted to smooth certain pointy areas that may otherwise cause discomfort.

To give a better idea of the final product, here (above and below) we see the body with top in place (not yet glued) plus the neck, pickup and bridge in position.

Next job: Much more sanding! And then we can think about painting.

G L Wilson

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Thursday, 19 April 2018

The Piglet guitar build project, part 3

Just a very quick update this time. Here's the Piglet body all glued and clamped up on the bench and with a couple of heavy weights on top for good measure. Going to leave it for 24 hours before unclamping.

G L Wilson

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Monday, 16 April 2018

The Piglet guitar build project, part 2

Work has resumed on the piglet guitar. Today there was a lot of measuring, re-measuring, checking and double checking as we had to ascertain the precise positions for the bridge and the pickup so they would align properly with the strings on the neck.

Initially we cut a precise humbucker-shaped hole into the plywood top of the guitar thinking that it could be top loaded. Then it occurred to us that we wouldn't physically be able to get the pickup into the guitar unless the hole was made a good deal larger  and included cutouts to allow for the lugs for the height adjustment screws and springs. We decided to use a pickup surround but unfortunately the nice chrome flat surrounds I'd bought on eBay were too narrow for the humbucker (maybe they were meant for mini-humbuckers?) so we had to make do with making a surround cur out from the Strat-style pickguard from which our donor pickup had originally come, and set to work on it with the jigsaw.

We also drilled a hole through to the pickup cavity from the area upon which the bridge will be sited so that we can earth the bridge with a grounding wire.

We had much discussion about whether we should cut out the various pieces of timber making up the body before or after it was all glued together. We ended up by cutting out the plywood top of the guitar on its own, then sanding all the edges to the desired shape, from which to use as a template to mark out the rest of the body timber. The reason for cutting out the top separately was to avoid tearing the edges of the ply. Cutting it on its own meant we could use a finer blade and get a more accurate cut without ripping. To get around some of those corners in the body shape (e.g the areas around the ears and the feet) we drilled holes where the jigsaw would need to change direction.

We didn't get as far as gluing the body as we needed to get hold of some more clamps first, so that'll have to wait until another day. After gluing and clamping we will cut out the rest of the body, then will get to work sanding the edges.

The above photo shows my original paper template for the body, which should give some idea of the design.

G L Wilson

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

The Piglet guitar build project, part 1

This is a guitar I'm building for the singer in the band I currently play bass in, Red & The Hogweeds. When Red had said he would like a hog-shaped guitar, I knocked up a design in PhotoShop. My first inclination was to ask a factory in China if they could build a one-off using my design, so I approached a factory that I'd seen recommended on the net. But on receiving their reply of, "No, we can't do that, but we have lots of other designs..." (but I want THIS design! I mean what kind of consolation is that?), I decided, sod it, I'll build it myself.

I'm not a luthier by any means, although I have put together several Frankenstein guitars and I have built a six-string cigar box style guitar that does actually play quite well (I've even recorded with it). I've designed this piglet guitar so that it should be easy to put together with just the bare minimum of power tools. All we're using is a jigsaw and a router, other than that it's hand tools. I say "we", by the way, because I've drafted in Hogweeds guitarist Gunner to help out.

The body is formed by 4 pieces of poplar (a.k.a. tulipwood) - two wings, and a centre section made up of a front and a rear piece of wood. This allows us to make an easy neck pocket simply by jigsawing the front piece of wood, then when it is glued to the rear piece the pocket is formed. Finally the timber will be sandwiched between two pieces of plywood for the front and back. It's all going to be painted piggy pink anyway, so I didn't see the need for anything posher.

Yes, I'm cheating with the neck and am using one I've bought in specially. I make no apologies for this.

Because it is such a big body, I've included several cavities - or "tone chambers" if you prefer - and these should keep the weight down. The cavities are rather crudely cut out; I will tidy them up a bit but won't worry about this too much as they are going to be hidden away inside the guitar and not seen. We're also hoping to put LEDs into the pig's eyes, so these and the battery will be housed in the large chamber you can see to the left of the design.

I'll post more photos as the build progresses.

G L Wilson

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Please read our photo and content policy.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Hoyer Black Lady Deluxe HEG 320 Telecaster

Hoyer is a company with roots as far back as 1874 in Germany and is responsible for some of the cooler german offerings on this site.

This Hoyer 320 telecaster style apparently has a sister called the white lady. I love the simple black on black design and the white/black binding adds just the right touch. The sexy mudflap lady inlay is a nice touch as well. It borders on tacky yet remains a subtle tongue in cheek addition on this otherwise sober guitar.

R.W. Haller

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Please read our photo and content policy.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Martin Model America Double Back Guitar from 1906

This 1906 Martin Model America is somewhat of a mystery to me. I've done some quick searches and have found mostly links to pinterest posts. That, and the page I got these pictures from.

What I cannot find is the "why'.

I have no idea what the advantage would be to having a double bod in such a way.

Does anyone know?

R.W. Haller

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Please read our photo and content policy.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Sano Acoustic Guitar Mystery. Possible connection to Lowden or Yairi

Hello all, as I get ready to send my youngest off to full time school, I may actually have more time to post here. Unless I get one of those job thingys. Let us hope not.

Here we have my newest acquisition.

I spotted this Sano Acoustic guitar as it reminded me a lot of my Lowden O-10 ( see the last picture). Then I ended up down the rabbit hole of google research. There is little to be found on the subject of Sano acoustic guitars. There is quite a bit about Sano amplifiers and their possible connection to Ampeg. 

Sano started off building accordions and were in the forefront of accordion amplification. They imported electric guitars from Italy in the 
1960s and started to focus on guitar amplifiers at the time. 

I did find some information that said there was possibly some Sano acoustic guitars build by Yairi in the 1980s. Lowden also built guitars with Yairi in the eary to mid 1980s. There was even a short lived brand of guitars that were Lowden designed sold under the name Artisan ( less than 1000 guitars ).

This guitar is amazing. Has all the balanced tone of my Lowden and is perhaps even better sounding when using a more aggressive strum attack. The top is solid cedar and the back and sides appear to be mahogany, but I cannot tell if they are solid or laminated. The fit and finish are quite good even if not quite as refined as the Lowden. And the trim work definitely suggests this guitar is worth more than I paid for it. 

A couple of interesting things on this guitar. The volute is the biggest pyramid volute I've seen in person, yet it's well placed enough to be unnoticeable while playing. The pick-guard is more unique than you may think upon first glance. It's rosewood, and it's actually inlaid into the cedar. In all my years of guitar obsession I've never seen this approach. 

Has anyone seen these guitars before. The only labelling or markings are a serial number on the neck block and a small label inside that says "Sano Craftsman Made". No country of origin, or any other markings. 

Be interested to see if anyone else has been as lucky to come across one of these guitars.

R.W. Haller

© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!Please read our photo and content policy.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Eastwood 1975 Morris the Cosy Mandolin shaped guitar

I was drawn to the look of this Blueberry guitar when it was posted back in 2014, but I always thought that it was a bit too much, as a lot of the Blueberry is. A bit too ornate and flashy. The thought of a well proportioned mandolin shaped guitar has interested me since.

This Eastwood 1975 Morris the Cosy doesn't exactly fit the image I've had in mind, but it is certainly worth a gander. 

Modelled after a 1975 Morris Custom Mano Mania guitar best known as  one of the main guitars for Pete Cosy from Miles Davis' band, the Morris Cosy looks like a nice take on a semi-hollow 2 pickup design. It would be nice to see one in an non sunburst or even bare wood design to look like an old Gibson mandolin.

R.W. Haller

© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.


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