Clarity – how to level a new guitars frets


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?


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


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

a new guitar is born and trusted tru-oil is tried


This new guitar that you will see come together through the final stages of its build has been a rather interesting challenge.  At Crimson Guitars we are well known for talking on projects that other luthiers will not consider and even then adjusting and developing the guitars design until it is exactly what the client dreams of.  Sometimes however we come against a problem that seems, initially, to be an easy solve.. until you begin work that is.

1 - the veneer is discoloured where the veneers were slip fitted together

In this case our guitar was almost complete, a solid one piece padouk body with no top was specced and built, we were ready for final sanding when our client, Michele in Paris, decided he would like to add one final thing, a flamed maple veneer on the top stained with a trans-black stain and then oiled..

Veneering, what could be simpler.. been there, done that, wiped the glue… Continue reading

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