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 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 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.
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
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) TotalRojoGuitars.com