Rainy Sunday, and some heel carving.

Posted By on July 27, 2014

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The workpiece, some tools, some of the subject to go by, and of course my knee.

Headcap inlay

Posted By on July 11, 2014

Just finished inlaying this headstock.  The headcap is spalted curly maple that came from a tree in our backyard.  (I’ve got a stack of them!) I hope the guy buying this guitar likes it!

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Rosewood OM

Posted By on March 14, 2014

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This rosewood OM is on the market and available.  Indian rosewood back and sides, Engelmann spruce top, ebony bridge and fingerboard with wraparound position markers, and hop vine carving on the neck heel.  A pickguard can be added upon request.  Asking price $3000.00.  Call (207)522-6792 to inquire.

Archtop guitar completed!

Posted By on January 8, 2014

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Just recently completed an archtop guitar for a client.  In answer to his stated desire for a small-bodied, f-hole archtop with a strong bass, I produced this model.  The body shape is based on a Gibson L-1 (roughly 00 sized).  To enhance the low end, I made the back and sides from mahogany rather than maple, and made the rib an extra deep 4″. 
This guitar has nice top end sparkle, a round bottom end, and plenty of power.  First time in a long time I’ve not wanted to let a sold instrument go.  When I figure out the technicals, I’ll post a sound recording I made of it before I handed it off.

Now I just need to build another one!

Necks in finishing.

Posted By on December 6, 2013

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GRAYISH WEDNESDAY SPECIAL!

Posted By on December 4, 2013

Every guitarist, young or old, beginner or seasoned pro, wants the same thing: a custom guitar made just for them.  This Christmas, let the guitarist in your life find a card under the tree telling them that their dream is coming true — a custom guitar by Subterranean Music Works will be theirs.  They can talk to the luthier and work with him to design the guitar that’s perfect for them.  They’ll probably cry.

Contact me today, Grayish Wednesday, and get a 10% discount off the final price of the instrument.

Not only that, but you’ll be making your favorite guitar player’s dream come true!

 

The “Church Guitar” completed! Pictures

Posted By on July 26, 2013

I’ve finally made time to post these pictures of the guitar I made for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick.  Troy Bennett of the Bangor Daily News took these pictures in my shop the day I delivered the guitar to its new (and still happy now, months later) owners.

This guitar was made of wood salvaged from pews that were rescued from the church building that burned down.  The back, sides and neck are ash (think baseball bats and Telecasters), and the soundboard is pine from the seat of the pew.

This guitar has a strong, mid-rangey sound, with nice note separation and chime.

UU guitar full frontal

UU guitar full frontal

UU guitar back

UU guitar back

UU guitar iso closeup

UU guitar iso closeup

UU guitar headstock

UU guitar headstock

UU guitar sound port detail

UU guitar sound port detail

UU guitar forearm comfort cut detail

UU guitar forearm comfort cut detail

UU guitar nail inclusion back detail

UU guitar nail inclusion back detail

1931 Martin OM-28 Restoration

Posted By on July 26, 2013

This guitar came to me from a client in Portland in terrible shape: it had numerous badly-done repairs from its past, a gloppy-looking refinishing job (probably urethane, given how hard it was to remove), as well as some replacement pieces — notably the bridge — that didn’t look even remotely original.

My task was to undo the bad, and restore it to playability with some semblance of  original appearance and material.  I refinished it (since the original finish was long, long gone) with French polished shellac, did significant structural repairs on the body, and reset the neck, along with other playability-related and cosmetic repairs.  Here’s the finished instrument:

OM-28 full frontal OM-28 iso OM-28 back OM-28 front OM-28 neck heel OM-28 soundhole det

 

…and after all that, boy, does this guitar sound amazing!

Electric mandolin prototype

Posted By on May 9, 2013

Here’s a picture of an electric mandolin prototype I recently knocked together.  The body is pine, with a curly maple veneer cap.  The neck came off a cadaver instrument  (this is, after all, a prototype).  And the pickup is one that I wound, using a block magnet as its core.  I’m pleased with the sound of it — it’s sweet and usable in a variety of styles.

I based the shape on an old Kay Kraft mandolin.  It’s a shape I like, as it seems to come from the same aesthetic palette as the f-style, but is less ornate.  It’s a classic, American mandolin shape that is less often seen and isn’t trying to be something else (like a scaled-down guitar).

I’d love to make more!

 

Prototype for the electric mandolin.  Now taking orders!

Prototype for the electric mandolin. Now taking orders!

12-fret archtop

Posted By on May 9, 2013

Yes, you read that right — a twelve-fret archtop.  I am making an archtop guitar in the shape of a late-twenties L-1.  The back and sides are mahogany, and the top is Engelmann spruce.   Since the bridge is moved toward the tail of the instrument from where it would usually be located on an archtop, I had to redesign the f-holes.  I kinda like ‘em this way.  These are progress pictures, and there will be more to come!

 

The outside of the soundboard.

The outside of the soundboard.

Inner face of soundboard, showing the braces.

Inner face of soundboard, showing the braces.

Inside the back and side assembly, prior to attaching the top.

Inside the back and side assembly, prior to attaching the top.

Clamping the soundboard onto the body.

Clamping the soundboard onto the body.

Body assembled, standing on its own two bench cookies.

Body assembled, standing on its own two bench cookies.

I may have to do another one on this pattern once this one is done.