In January of 2004, Keith Gipson posted a message on The 13th Fret's discussion forum stating that he thought it might be a cool idea to have a team of luthiers build a guitar. In his idea, various luthiers from around the country could perform specific tasks toward the construction of an acoustic guitar. Hank Mauel chimed in and got the ball rolling by stating that he'd bend a set of Indian Rosewood for the sides and provide a back as well. One thing led to another and before long we had a list of luthiers, both professional and amateur. I then called Chris Herrod at LMI and begged an Adirondack spruce top for the instrument. Alan Dunwell asked me why I didn't contact Allied and beg a set of Brazilian Rosewood for the guitar. I told Alan that I didn't have the nerve to beg such an expensive item from my friends at Allied. So Alan called Todd Taggart and lo-and-behold, Todd agreed to supply a very nice set of Brazilian Rosewood for the guitar. Wow - this project was surely getting off to a grand start! All pumped up with enthusiasm, I called another pal of mine, Frank Ford, and asked if he might be able to talk to the fine folks at Stewart MacDonald and see if we could get a set of Waverly tuners for the project guitar.To my delight, Jay Hostetler agreed and he contacted me to tell me to pick a set - any set - of their fine tuners and he'd donate them to the cause. I chose the gold with Mother Of Pearl knobs for the guitar. They arrived in a few days. We are well on our way.Next, Tim Flynn from Ameritage Carrying Cases then contacted me and told me that he wanted to donate a custom-made case to the project. Wow! Things can't get much better than that!
The 13th Fret Team-Built Guitar Project
The guitar is finished! Click Here
Upon it's completion, the guitar will be used to record our second cd project. The specifications are as follows:
- OM Body Style
- 25.4 in. Scale Length
- Brazilian Rosewood back, sides, headplate and bridge.
- Adirondack Top
- Maple binding with b/w/b purfling around body, neck and headstock
- Abalone Rosette
- Ebony Fingerboard
- Bone nut 1.75 inches wide
- Bone saddle 2.25-inch spacing
- Gold Waverly Tuners with pearl buttons
Needless to say, I am endlessly thankful for the folks who are investing time, materials and money into this project. This is just one more example which reveals the true nature of the fine folks who make acoustic guitars a main part of their lives. From some of the world's finest professional luthiers, the most enthusiastic amateur luthiers and those who supply them and play their guitars, The 13th Fret's strongest point is really it's participants. It's the good folks who call The Fret "home" that make it what it is - the world's greatest acoustic guitar discussion forum.
A special thanks goes to Hank Mauel. He has the role of Project Manager. As such, he coordinates the efforts of the various individuals involved. Without Hank's tireless work, this endeavor would not be possible.
SUPPLIERS FOR THIS PROJECT
- Luthiers Mercantile International (LMI) - Adirondack Top
- Allied Lutherie - Brazilian Rosewood Back and Side set and Brazilian headstock veneer and bridge blank
- Stewart MacDonald - Gold Waverly Tuners with MOP Buttons
- Terry Ruby - Fossilized Walrus Tusk nut, saddle and bridge pins from John Mikelson (FIK)
- Ameritage Guitar Cases - A custom-made case for the finished guitar
- GuitarPix - Provide artist rendering of guitar and do label design.
WHO'S DOING WHAT
Joint back, thin back and sides, bend sides, glue in end blocks. Joint top. Later, lacquer body. Hank is also our contact man and project manager.
Here we are all lacquered and buffed out. Next, Lance McCollum will set the neck, install the frets, tuners and bridge and do the final setup.
Sand top rim to 25 foot radius, sand back rim to 15 foot radius, install kerfed linings. Shape bridge.
Brace and tune top
Note: During shipment from Alan's shop in Colorado to John Osthoff's shop in the beautiful hills of Beckett Massachusetts the top was damaged beyond reasonable repair. It was then sent back to California where Hank Mauel and Lance McCollum removed the rosette that Kathy Wingert made and installed it into a new Adirondack Spruce top. Lance then braced the top. Here are pics of this new top:
Brace and tune back.
Glue back and top to prepared sides.
Bind and purfle body
Provide stock and glue up neck, glue on headstock, shape headstock to 13th Fret logo shape. Also, lay up artwork for headstock inlay and fabricate truss rod.
Inlay 13th Fret logo on headstock overlay
Slot, bind and inlay position markers in fingerboard.
Shape neck, cut dovetail mortise and tenon. Later fret.
Lance also shot the sealer coat on the body:
Drill headstock for Waverly tuners French polish neck and supply really trick purfling!
Mario's Very Cool Purfling:
French Polish / Lacquer
Provide the label and an illustration of the guitar
Also, several Fretters have donated funds to help offset the cost of shipping the guitar around to it's various stages of construction. They are: