An average Joe builds a guitar from scratch.

And so, here we are.  The end.  I finished the guitar.  Here it is, on my kitchen table back in Berkeley:


Yep, that sure looks like a guitar.  Sounds like one.  Almost feels like one, and certainly will when the finish gets applied on there.  Which, speaking of, I have to admit I plan to outsource.  I feel kind of bad about it, because it’s the one thing I wouldn’t have done myself.  But given that I don’t have a place that’s well ventilated enough to get do it safely, nor do I have the time to do it right, I think it’s worth it.  Guitar nerds: I’m going to go to SF Guitarworks, they do great work!

But whatever, I don’t think my finishing job makes much of a difference.  Because the thing sounds good!  And it’ll continue to open up and sound better!  I’m in the process of putting a band together, and if (no, when) it happens, it’d be neat to play this thing live.  So that’s something to look forward to I suppose.

I also wanted to be sure I make mention of my great classmates.  From left to right we have Doug, Diane, and Charlie.


Charlie is the most Canadian guy I’ve ever met.  He’s from Alberta, in the north, I think.  And he is so freaking nice you can’t help but love the guy.  And oh my, was he skilled.  He seemed to be the most natural luthier of the bunch of us, but what the hell do I know.

Doug is from Des Moines, and I know for a fact he is going to continue to build guitars, and do it very well.  He was a great “second pair of eyes,” easy to talk to, and fun to be around.  I hope to order one of his guitars when he gets around to selling them.

When I asked Diane how she wanted to be described, she said “I know an awful lot about power tools for a middle-aged lady.”  True words indeed.  I admire Diane a lot.  She found that most instruments—guitars in particular—were just too big for her small hands.  So she decided to learn to build her own.  That is just bad ass.

And then there’s me. I didn’t lose any of my fingers.  In fact, other than a teeny little knife cut, a few splinters, and endless exhaustion, I came out unscathed.  I learned a lot about a lot of things, built a pretty damn nice guitar, and got to know some really great people.  All in all, a pretty awesome experience.

Look for an epilogue in the coming week(s), where I’ll show photos of the final, finished guitar, post a recording or two, and hopefully put together a little photo journal of the whole process front to back (minus the last day when, can you believe it, I didn’t take one damn photo).

So that’s it for Blood, Fret, and Tears…at least for now.

La fin.

7 months ago