An average Joe builds a guitar from scratch.

Well, we’re really getting down to the end here.  Today we made the fretboard and peg head, and glued the fretboard to the neck.  I also put little fretboard dot markers in the side of the fretboard.  Tomorrow we shape the neck into something that will look like a real guitar part.  From there, we start assembly.  It’s pretty neat.

A few pictures from our work today, going clockwise from top left: the uncut peg head, cut peg head and peg head holes, freshly cut fretboard, clamping the fretboard to the neck with epoxy so gnarly we had to wear rubber gloves.

While I think some of these guitar-building details can get a little esoteric, I’m encouraged by the reaction I get to telling people about this unusual class.  Most people seem like they find all this guitar genuinely interesting—even people who don’t play.  Just tonight, I met a few people who don’t play and they couldn’t ask enough questions about the school and what goes on there.  And another guy I don’t get to talk to as much as I’d like also reached out and said he’s loving following along.  So thanks for that, it feels good.

A preview of what’s to come, or at least I hope what’s to come.  Today we finish the neck, shaping it into something comfy and normal looking.  Friday we do assembly and final tweaks.  Saturday we set up and play…but wait!  There will be an epilogue.

Our guitars have to go out “in the white.”  That means there’s no finish (i.e. lacquer) on there, making them super vulnerable to dirt and scratches.  So I’ll finish it at home and, if I can motivate, I’ll post a recording or two as well as some glamour shots.  

The final, final thing I may do, but only if the guitar is super awesome, is inlay something in the peg head.  I’m thinking an acorn because my childhood nickname was Squirrel.  But I dunno.  Ideas?

7 months ago