Sunday, November 20, 2016

Spare Time Stuff

There's always small pieces of exotic wood floating around my shop getting in the way during the guitar building process, so I decided to turn them into something useful . . . guitar picks.

Decorative hand painted duck decoys is another 35-year sidebar interest I've played with.  It doesn't take much to keep me amused.

When I get really bored, I resort to working on 'Piano Man' creations for my friend Ken Arthur's elaborate art ehibit, which he shows at galleries, museums, and universities around the State of Ohio.

This particular creation is a representation of my blues music playing friend James 'Super Chikan' Johnson.  All the pieces used in the construction of the figure are from the internal workings of a baby grand piano dismantled by Ken and given to various artists for their unique contribution to his exhibit.

These cool guys, Luigi and Gianni, who adorn the walls of our kitchen, are carved from chunks of poplar wood and hand painted with acrylic.  Another 'honey-do' project to keep the cook happy.

I like all types of artwork, but abstract pieces seem to gravitate toward the front of my skull when I grab a brush and a tube of acrylic paint.

I don't have a discription for this painting, but funky balloons come to mind when I look at it.

A fireball racing through the night sky over a city is what I see in this acrylic.

Others viewing this may see a helluva mess of mis-applied paint, but, it doesn't really matter, because it keeps me sane in the process.

And, when I really get bored and distracted, I turn to painting rocks for our flower gardens.

If you look carefully at the butterfly, you will see a message of peace and love in the wings, which is being surveyed closely by the psychedelic frog.

I think it's time to go find something to do.  More later.

Delivery Rig

I finally ran across an example of the perfect delivery rig for my guitar building gig.  It'll be a Harley 1200 cc two-banger that's street legal with lights and horn, and with a guitar nestled safely in a gig bag strapped on my back, I can fire up this scoot for a helluva good time making a delivery.  Yup, I'll wear a helmet, too, but it'll be a chrome military bonnet with flames painted on the sides.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

'Bigfoot' on Journey to Hollywood

Hollywood calling...
'Bigfoot' is going to Hollywood to be a part of a Nickolodean promo shoot for a new Yeti episode. More later.
Geez, TotalRojo Guitars finally made show biz.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Get Acquainted With 'Raffaella'

'Raffaella', the latest creation to escape the workshop, is a six-string acoustic guitar.  I chose the Italian female name because it seemed appropriate at the time . . . and, it means 'God has healed'.

The only way I've managed to maintain my sanity the last couple weeks, while painters have taken over our home, is to spend as much time as possible in the shop working on the guitar.

It is pretty easy to craft an acoustic guitar now that I have experience under my belt, but I'm not into simply creating a guitar.  I want each creation to be different and unique, so I try to spice things up with a little unusual treatment.

The mahogany one-piece neck has a rosewood/mahogany combo headstock overlay; bison bone nut; and, cocobolo rosewood fingerboard with maple position markers on the edge.  You'll notice the tail curvature of the fretboard matches the shape of the headstock.

The Wenge (pronounced WHEN-gii or WHEN-ghay) body is a very dark, distinctive straight-grain Central African wood, which is heavy and hard.

Many guitars makers use wenge because of its natural beauty, which is often referred to as African rosewood or faux ebony, and because it is easy to shape and finish.

The bookmatched walnut pieces used to enhance the Sitka spruce top and to surround the multi-piece rosette inlay are highly patterned, and the color works well with the highly figured cocobolo rosewood fretboard and bridge.  My granddaughter Maggie thinks it looks like melted chocolate.

Black Grover tuning machines and ebony bridge pins finish off the overall appearance.

The headstock is a simple curve of mahogany to match the other elements. And, the head on the reverse side is rolled to add a different, but pleasant, effect.

The rosette inlay is created from 17 individually fitted pieces of mahogany, rosewood, zebrawood, walnut, yellow heart, and maple.

You will notice the absence of a logo on the headstock, which was replaced with a piece of cocobolo inserted into the internal vertical back brace, on which I painted the 'T' logo.

This photo shows the maple/ebony backbone stripe, which is inlaid into the vertical center of the back.

The heel cap is a combination of spruce, mahogany, and cocobolo rosewood, and the body binding is Indian rosewood.

Wenge is a medium brown wood, sometimes with a reddish or yellowish hue, with nearly black streaks.

However, the photo above of the interior of the guitar gives a better idea of how dark this wood can be. Photo flash brightened this shot.

This photo really demonstrates the beautiful grain of the cocobolo rosewood bridge, and the ebony bridge pins with abalone inlay.  And, the fretboard is exactly the same.  Both pieces were cut from the same stick.  Notice the maple position markers on the edge.

Internal bracing for the top and back is hand shaped and scalloped from mahogany stock

The 'X'  and 'ladder' brace patterns follow the Martin guitar layout from the pre-war (WWII) manufacturers design.

Some experts judge this style to be the 'best'.

Wenge Custom Acoustic Guitar

Body             14-fret dreadnought
Sitka spruce top w/custom inlay rosette – w/book-matched walnut overlay
                        Wenge back and sides
                        East Indian rosewood binding
                        Cocobolo rosewood bridge w/ bison bone saddle and ebony pins
                        Hand-rubbed satin finish
                        Custom scalloped mahogany ‘X’ top bracing
                        Custom scalloped mahogany ‘ladder’-style back bracing

Neck                One-piece mahogany, standard ‘C’ profile
                        Dual-action truss rod
                        Custom mahogany/Indian rosewood headstock overlay
Cocobolo rosewood 14-inch radius fingerboard w/custom maple position markers
                        25.4-inch scale
                        1-11/16 bison bone nut
                        Grover black enclosed-gear tuners recessed into headstock overlay
                        Hand-rubbed satin finish

Extras              Elixir extra light 010-.047 strings
                        Inlay hand-cut and assembled from exotic wood
                        Mahogany/Indian rosewood tailpiece w/ebony strap button
                        Maple/ebony centerline backbone insert
                        Cocobolo heel cap

                        Handcrafted in Mansfield, Ohio (USA)