guitar building with the Crimson Guitars blog – 110612
Welcome to the weekly photo blog following every stage and process involved in building the unique custom guitars lovingly created by hand by master luthier Ben Crowe at Crimson Guitars in the UK.
In a move closer to my training as a violin builder the current project is a small bodied acoustic guitar. The curved back braces were glued up last week and now the carving begins.
each section is sanded down as though it would be seen every day, the thought of leaving something ugly and un-finished is unconscionable.
the same process begins with the cross-bracing. The trick carving this is to listen to the tap tone as you go to make sure that the final result is what you want it to be!
and it is working out perfectly so far!
A few spot patches down the center-line are the last to be glued in and carved.
The Eyry detachable twin neck guitar is finally nearing her last days in my workshop, nearing but not quite! Once I had it wired up I found a
slight really rather loud propensity towards microphonic feedback caused by my customising an already custom set of pickups!
The pickups come out..
and I start melting wax!
and the pickups are potted..
If you didn’t catch it last week I filmed this whole process (though I got a bit of stick about being scared of hot wax) here is that video.. enjoy.
Here’s a in interesting one, if you tried to access our site last week there were several days when we were not around.. I’m really rather proud that we get around 5000 unique visitors to our site each month, this is great for a really small niche company.. in the last 30 days though that number shot right up to around 26000! The joys of stumbleupon, anyway, this blew up my server, and then in transferring over to a new, bigger one there was more down time.. this should all have been sorted out now though and should not happen again.. at least until we get to 260000 visitors in a month! :)
Now, once the pickups have cooled down I put them back in their custom padouk surrounds.
They are installed and I start stringing up the guitar with a new set of Elixirs.. never having used these before I asked my followers on the various social networks if the hype was justified and the results were split right down the middle, each to their own, we’ll cater for any tastes!
With the new guitar strung up I get testing and the microphonic feedback has been cleared up and we have a very lovely sounding little instrument!
This 45rpm guitar is going to have a load of custom electronics fitted, it will end up with a touch pad MIDI controller to control a Korg Kaoss pad as well as built in wireless MIDI and various fx pedals.. before we get there though the lacquer has to be rubbed down..
I couldn’t resist a close-up of the bass’ dragonfly.
a full volume shakedown just to make sure I’m happy :)
Elixirs are fitted to the bass side as well…
The hollow headstocks of this design are there to reduce the head drop inherant in a twin neck bass/guitar combo with this layout.. it helps that it is also as sexy as hell!
The bespoke carved ivory nut is filed down to get the correct action..
And then it is on to the final set up using my superb Peterson tuner.
We are very nearly done here :)
Now, to clear my head I need a change of pace and it’s back to the new proto-acoustic.
It is possible to put a thread directly into wood..
this is very very useful when you want to make a set of, for want of a better name, spreaders.. ?
Now, the client doesn’t like the look of the back plates i made last week, too little contrast I think.
Well, stainless steel should do the trick.
Cut out and shaped (four words to describe several hours of hot, noisy and painful work!)
When they are drilled out the final finishing begins.. each piece is rubbed down through various grades of wet and dry paper and then polished on the buffing machine.
And then, finally installed. The guitar and bass are bolted together.
And I have some more fun! I generally only get several weeks in which to enjoy the guitars I build as they are meant to be enjoyed.. it’s both the best and worst part of the job..
Who needs microphone stands!? Let’s record a demo video :)
When they are bolted together the output of the guitar automatically routes through to the bass jack socket but you can still use two leads if you have both amps, a three way toggle on the bass selects bass/mix/guitar.. simple controls but very very flexible!
A slight adjustment to the acoustics mould
and I start gluing up the back.
There’s something about having loads of clamps that just makes me happy!
Remember the custom made flight case from adrenalin flight cases?
I am in love! While this guitar has taken way too long to build and caused more grief than I would like it does what I’d hoped it would and does it with style, I am one very very happy guitar builder.
Don’t forget that this beautiful Conspiracy guitar is still in stock and could be yours for just £1175.. there’s a demo video on it page.
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All my best,
Crimson Guitars – bespoke guitars hand built with love