Monday, January 12, 2015

The logo

I have always liked the guitar.  Both acoustic and electric.  I play a little bit and not well, but that by no means diminishes how I feel.  There are loads of great players and songwriters that have come and gone that have taken me to other places with their music.  We all have our favourites, mine are many.  From the ones every one has heard about like Page, Hendrix, Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, to more obscure players like Lonnie Mack, Robin Trower, Frank Marino and many many more.  Suffice it to say, I am slightly enamoured with the instrument.

I always wanted to build one.  Something traditional, yet unique.  I had some material around and started with some ash that I had milled up from a tree that I took down in the yard.

How many wood working projects start out with "I cut down a tree"?

It took me about 18 months to get it all together and finished.  I bought the neck and built a semi-hollow, hard tail (non-trem) strat.

All throughout this build I kept thinking about what I would call it.  Having grown up in the mid-north of Ontario, I have always enjoyed the call of the loon and I suppose, in a moment of nostalgia, I decided to make it part of my logo.  But still that did not give me a name.  Of course everyone who makes or plays a guitar wants "tone", which is an entirely subjective thing, so that was part of it.  There was also that loon which always lives near water, and I was also born in a water sign.  So I ended up with Watertone.  Not one of the great mysteries of life, but, that is where the name came from.  As far as the model name for the guitar?......Well, there is the song that Zep does, but also, after putting in 18 months of fiddling around, it was quite capable of being one if it didn't work out.

It turns out, it sounds great and I love the feel of it.  There were many firsts in this build for me.  My first bookmatch.  My first try at making and using templates with the router.

Here is the ash back glued to the maple core:

The back is bookmatched too, and is a copy (a layer down in the tree) of the top.  I did have to cut in access for the electronics in the back.

I was a bit nervous about the critical neck/body joint, when I got it done and test fit it together (without glue, screws, or any other fastener) it ended up fitting beautifully!

This project was also my first foray into wood dyes and French Polishing.  I read a lot on it and also found a great You Tube series named Steve's Guitar Making that shows a neat acoustic build and great instructions on French Polishing.  Here is a link to his build:

I don't know him at all, but I do owe him thanks for his video.

I did some trading for a set of Texas Special Pickups.  Got the Allparts SMO-FAT neck ordered with some tuners on it.  A bunch of odds and ends from various places.  All in all, one of my most satisfying builds, and the birth of something called Watertone.

Again, thank you for stopping in.  We will see you next time with some more background projects.

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