the Crimson Guitars workshop diary – 171211
A custom guitar building workshop blog, following each and every process of every build as Ben Crowe at Crimson Guitars redefines what you believe a hand made custom guitar can be!
The newest custom guitar design we’re working in now is actually two instruments.. a six string guitar and a six string bass/baritone that will be hooked together with a quick release system to create a third instrument.. a twin neck..
The last part of the design that needs work are the headstocks.. always one of the more difficult bits of a guitar design..
The starting place is always, at least in my guitars, straight string pull.. it is possible to have good tuning stability without this but theres no point in taking chances.
lightweight, modern.. cool… I think we’ll be adjusting the flat spots at the tip otherwise I’m very happy.. Your first reaction is probably to think about the strength of the headstocks but with a 3mm veneer front and back you have a modern sounding composite headstock that will be strong as you like!
I can’t wait to get building this one, it is everything a custom guitar should be, unique, ergonomic and pretty as hell!
Back to our current build, the Robert Fripp ‘Stealth’ guitar
We made a set of custom bullet-head control knobs..
the client was unsure of the look and we swapped them out for these standard units,
for about ten minutes.. custom is king!
Time now to create a new tremolo arm out of stainless steel.
Some turning and a few bends and we’re singing.
The final set up, action at the nut is incredibly important, both for feel and intonation..
And you cannot beat a Peterson tuner for accuracy, this is one of the first things that Robert Fripp insisted I get before he brought me his guitars and he was, as ever, spot on!
With the action set we move on to more complicated areas..
The wiring is a very complex nest and there is an issue that needs sorting.
There are four seperate systems in this custom guitar, the MIDI, piezo, sustainer and magnetic and I need a kill switch to cut each of the off, this needs a rather interesting switch.
And of course the strings must come off again.. this is very common at this stage of a build!
While I’m in there I cut a custom plate to fit inside the trem recess..
It was looking a bit rough,
and this is a big improvement!
My favourite part of this build has got to be the all access carving and how it looks under the solid finish.
Strung up again and ready for a final shake-down..
Finally.. I’ve had a custom pickup winder built.. it won’t be too long before we’re turning out our own special brand of bespoke pickup! yay!
One final switch for the Fripp guitar, this is a battery kill to turn the sustainers battery off while it is still plugged in to the jack.. useful to have!
Into the office and of course the recording of the demo video!
Not to mention taking a bunch of photos!
For the demo we plug into two amps and a Roland synth..
This is the longest demo I’ve done.. then again this is one of the most complex guitars we could build! Editing commences.. this luthier is multi-skilled :)
And here is a list of the controls and what they do!
And of course.. here is the video, don’t forget to share it with everyone.. we could always do with more friends!
One last little job, a piece of padouk to match the guitars fretboard.
Some turning.. although I do feel rather naughty using a metal working lathe for wood, but we all have to live on the edge every now and then!
and we have a custom tool for adjusting the dual action truss rod and the saddle heights..
A change of pace.. this paf hollow is ready..
The lacquer is carefully, slowly rubbed flat.
Next week we will see this beauty all shiny.. and maybe even strung up..
All my best to you and yours,
Crimson Guitars | redefining the custom guitar