New build on the bench

in #guitars9 months ago

Many years ago, when I worked for Samash Music, I met and became friends with an avid guitar collector, or to be more accurate, someone who suffers from the same problems as me. Mike and I became good friends, and over the years he's one of those few who always makes an effort to stay in touch.

A few months ago, when I showed him the headless guitar build and told him the story behind it, he told me he "wanted in". And so, the bargaining with the wife (his, not mine) began and the green light has officially been given.

To date, he owns more Cordovez guitars than anyone. He's bought 4 at this point, and this would be his fifth. I would call him a fan of my work, right?

Anyhow... he wanted the same shape as the VAZ model, a sister guitar, if you will, but not fan fretted (too much of a traditionalist) and he wanted a tremolo. Last week I got started on the build, and so far things are coming along pretty great.
WhatsApp Image 2023-07-03 at 7.00.42 PM.jpeg

Some challenges, but overall, I love the direction here...

Installing a tremolo meant that the real state on the back of the guitar was severely reduced. Having overlaps here, meant that I had to embrace the overlap instead of attempting to move it and thus having a sliver of separation between the electronics and the tremolo springs.

WhatsApp Image 2023-07-03 at 7.00.02 PM.jpeg

So I bookmated another piece of Toad Skin (this is how the locals call this timber) and back matched (???) the guitar with the top. I think it looks pretty cool.

Mike insisted on the 24 frets, of course, and I fell some trees of Mother of Cacao three years ago that make perfect fretboards. But, when I was installing the Walnut inlays, I noticed that one inlay was not very noticeable. So, keeping with the theme of embracing these "issues" I inlayed some maple instead.

WhatsApp Image 2023-07-03 at 7.00.25 PM.jpeg

This mother of cacao is stupid hard. Normally I hammer frets in, but it's impossible with mother of cacao, you need to press them in with some hatred or they simply won't move.

As I was working on the neck, I realized the headstock had to be different too. My brother and I have a "standard" so to speak, shape that we use as to be recognizable, you could say. But the shape didn't work for here. This guitar feels Katana-ish whatever that means to my brain, that is. So, I made something close to what that feeling.

WhatsApp Image 2023-07-03 at 7.00.37 PM.jpeg

I think the top looks gorgeous as it is. For now, I'm just sealing it with shellac, but Mike wants it purple, translucent, of course, but purple. I'm conflicted, but... I'm gonna give it a go.

WhatsApp Image 2023-07-03 at 6.59.43 PM.jpeg

My hope is to finish this build before July ends and travel once more to deliver it, and visit 'merica.

Calling it a night...



It is indeed sublimely beautiful. Your instincts reveal your artistic merit in the design of the novel headstock. Even purple, Mike will be pleased every time he lays hands on it.


That's looking great. The rear panels are very neat, not that many people will see them. I would like to try a fan fret guitar. I expect you have to adjust to it and I wonder if bending strings feels/sounds different.

The fact that this guy comes back to you is a good recommendation.


the multiscale idea is that it seems to maintain tension... that's sort of the reason for it. but yeah, they do take some getting used to.