make a custom timber guitar knob, or two.

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At Crimson Guitars we have a reputation for making as much as possible of each guitar ourselves and at times what our clients need are custom control knobs.. there are many ways that these can be made from hole saws to wood-working lathes but today I’m using an engineers lathe..1 - an experiment in adding a strip of copper to a control knob

my initial thought was to glue  a thin sheet of copper in-between the ebony before turning the knob.

2 - up to this point succesful

And up to this point that worked out fine.. sadly drilling through the metal shattered the whole assemblage every time so it is back to the drawing board..

3 - a simple custom ebony knob

In other words back to the simple.. well, for now.  I turn a sleek ebony knob and polish it with Renaissance wax.

4 - a thin strip of claro walnut is planed down

I plane a thin sliver of walnut flat.

5 - I carve a thin piece of walnut and mark the top of the knob with a scalpel

Then a small section of walnut is cut out matching the radius of the knob and I scribe around it with… Continue reading

Clarity – how to level a new guitars frets

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Fret levelling, crowning and general setup is one of the things that I seem to talk about in blog posts and on our YouTube channel ad infinitum and here we are again.  The irony is that for the first 5 years or so of my career as a luthier the final setup, and fretwork in general, scared the living daylights out of me.  Since I didn’t have YouTube to watch and learn from I muddled along interpreting the instruction in various books and in the end came up with my own tried and true techniques for the work.  To add insult to injury it was only when I was fully set in my ways and comfortably happy with my techniques that we started making luthiers tools at Crimson Guitars and this meant experimentation, and change.. I am still in that phase now, trying out new techniques,… Continue reading

Teak oil, what is it and how did we use it in building the Clarity guitar?

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A teak oil finish is used by many guitar builders around the world and is an easy to use and reliable choice.  It provides less of a protective film over your guitar than a lacquer or pure varnish finish would but also allows the wood itself to ‘breathe’ and does not suppress the inherent vibration of the guitar as much as a thick finish would.

Teak oil – what is in it?

What is teak oil when you get down to it?  Well, while you can go and buy a ‘teak oil’ from any number of hardware and diy stores you can also find the main ingredients in those same places.  For starters it doesn’t contain teak or any bi-product from that incredibly useful tree.  It has equal parts tung oil, boiled linseed oil and varnish, and that is it!  Most commercially available mixes… Continue reading

the topaz 45rpm guitar

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The birth of the new Topaz 45rpm guitar from Crimson Guitars, this guitar is one that came pretty close to my own personal ideal.  The multi-laminate through neck is sandwiched between two tone chambered blocks of sapele and the pretty carved top is matched with an ebony board with custom mother of pearl inlays.  In the end it is the simplicity of the electronics that make it my ideal,  volume, tone and a switch controlling a set of custom humbuckers.. here we see the final stages of it’s construction in the new Crimson Guitars workshops in Dorset, UK.

1 - the lacquer top of the PAF topaz 45rpm guitar has been rubbed down

We enter the story after the lacquered top has been rubbed down to remove any imperfections left by the spraying process.

2 - the back and neck have a more tactile tru-oil finish

The back and neck are not lacquered, after filling the grain we finished them in tru-oil for a comfortable and less sticky feel.

3 - after a lot of polishing and buffing the top is nice and shiny

The front however is… Continue reading

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