Posted By carter 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!
Posted By carter 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.
Inner face of soundboard, showing the braces.
Inside the back and side assembly, prior to attaching the top.
Clamping the soundboard onto the body.
Body assembled, standing on its own two bench cookies.
I may have to do another one on this pattern once this one is done.
Posted By carter on May 8, 2013
Thought I’d post a few more pictures. This is an OM I built and handed off to its new owner last fall. Engelmann spruce top, beeswing cocobolo back and sides. Enjoy!
Back of the cocobolo OM
Neck heel detail, showing the hemlock boughs I carved into it.
Posted By carter on January 9, 2013
I just completed and delivered the church pew guitar that I built for a fundraiser for rebuilding the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, Maine. Troy Bennett of the Bangor Daily News put together this really nice piece on it, with video and a slide show to boot: http://bangordailynews.com/slideshow/new-guitar-rises-from-the-ashes-of-brunswick-church-fire/
It’s been a fun project, and I’ll miss having that guitar around, but it isn’t complete until it’s been released into the world. Here’s hoping it helps!
Posted By carter on October 22, 2012
Steve Wellcome has put together a page on the church’s website showing the progress of the guitar I’m building. Right now it’s in finishing. Here’s the link: http://www.uubrunswick.org/uucb-guitar.aspx
Posted By carter on October 15, 2012
The Coastal Journal has also done an article on this guitar. Their new guy, Chris Chase, wrote it, and I think he did it up nicely. Thanks for the coverage!
Posted By carter on September 25, 2012
I’m featured in an article and online video in the Bangor Daily news. This is a guitar that I’m making for our church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, which burned down last year. The body and neck are made of ash (like baseball bats and Telecasters), and the top is pine. I’m hoping to have it ready in time for the annual fundraising auction on November 3. It’s a long shot at this point, but I’m trying.
Here’s the link:
Posted By carter on August 11, 2011
Maple leaves and whirligigs on the heel of an L-26 I’m building. Â I don’t do this sort of carving on every guitar (some folks like the neck to be smooth under the thumb), but I do love to challenge myself in new ways with this sort of thing. Â This customer requested a maple leaf design, and left the rest up to me. Â I hope he likes it!
In the second photo you can see something that looks sort of like a donut. Â That’s the place where a strap button will be put. Â I like to build that into the design, so the customer can have the strap button be in the right place without hurting the design.
Bass (player's) side, showing maple leaves.
Center/treble side showing maple whirligigs.
Bass side and center view, showing leaves and whirligigs together.
Posted By carter on March 3, 2011
Here’s a phone photo ofÂ the carving onÂ the neck heel of a baritone ukulele I’m making for my wife.Â It’s a dogwood pattern I developed, and I bleached the petals to show them off a little better.
Dogwoods in March
Think she’ll like it?Â I hope so.