Thursday, October 9, 2014


Why do we name our guitars, and why do we seem to always choose a woman's name?

I don't know, and I've really not put much thought into it, until now.  Perhaps it's because the guitars look really good.  The shape of the body?  Could be, because the usual hour-glass shape is sleek and kinda sexy. How it sounds?  Ya, especially when she's happy, there's nothing that gets your blood moving like a shapely woman purring like a kitten.  How it feels?  Oh, ya, I don't think this needs an explanation.

'Cristine' seems to fit my latest build pretty well.

She started out rough, but with a little tender care and attention she has turned out quite lovely.

Imagine, if you will, the body being a  rough slab of wood, which was in the first stage of a build.  The pickup cavities and neck pocket had been routed on the front, and the switch and pot opening had also been cut out on the back side, but that was the extent of the work, before, as legend has it, that the owner stopped work because of the onset of Alsheimer's disease.  It laid around in my friend Pat's shop for years, until he thought I should have it.  I'm always a sucker for a vintage project.

I don't know where the old after-market 25.5-inch scale neck came from, but it was the only thing about this basket case that led me to think it could be turned into something worth having.  It has real nice Grover tuning machines, so I was sold the minute I saw it.

The other item that interested me was the vintage Leo Quan 'Badass' wrap-around bridge/saddle.  It's a really cool piece of nostalgia, and no longer available on the market.

After acquiring a three-way switch; a couple single-coil magnetic pickups; volume and tone pots; and an output jack, it was time to commence building.

Pickup surrounds, switch base, and the scratch guard are all handmade from rosewood sheeting left over from the 'Elvira' acoustic build.  On the backside, the cavity covers for the electronics were made from surplus wood sheeting.

The wood body required shaping and sanding to remove imperfections, and then it was ready for sealing, priming and painting.  The rosewood pieces were sealed and clear coated to allow the grain to show, which is a nice contrast to the black body.

Magenta, green, and gold are all secondary colors, which work well together on the black surface, which is pretty stark looking as a stand-alone paint scheme.

I like having 'Cristine' in my life, 'cause she brings everything to the party.

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