This is the first Strat-shaped Road Dog I have done.
The body is made from salvaged pine 2×4, neck is hard maple, with a persimmon fretboard.
Pickups are Dismal homespun single coils
Hipshot fulcrum tremolo and locking tuners
New headstock shape, too. It is a bit bigger than my usual one.
Pickguard is a 1966 Alabama “Heart of Dixie” license tag.
1966 was the first year African American citizens were allowed to vote; but although they comprised a large portion of the rural population of Alabama and other southern states, they were heavily disenfranchised by efforts to prevent them from registering.
The Lowndes County Freedom Organization was formed in 1965 to empower black residents of this county, and provide an alternative to the overtly racist Alabama Democratic party. They chose the Black Panther as their symbol, and this subsequently became the icon for a broader movement, as news spread across the country to Oakland, California, where Hughey Newton and Bobby Seale were forming what would become known as the Black Panther Party.
The reaction from the white populace was far from cordial.
Most blacks in the rural south at this time lived as sharecroppers on white-owned farms under oppressive economic conditions, and after the 1966 election, large numbers were forced off these farms and became homeless, with no means of support.
A large “tent city” cropped up in Lowndes County, where many families lived for the next two years while organisers worked to find them jobs and housing.
More license plates..
This one is a classic “Heart of Dixie” Alabama tag from 1962, in unissued condition.
A real piece of Americana for sure.
License plates are fun for me because they relate directly to a pretty specific time and place in history.
Let’s take a peek at this one~
A time and place where a lot of people lost their lives fighting for some pretty basic human rights, stuff most of us take for granted, and this struggle continues to this day.
These are the kind of people that make this country great, and I will be including them henceforth in this blog when referencing their times and their places.
Otherwise it’s just pretty pictures, boring specs, and an occasional bad pun.
The body on this one is made from poplar rafter sections, with a distressed finish on the back~
Brass control plate, jack plate and bridge~
Red maple neck with greyed finish and persimmon fretboard~
This is the third Road Dog I have done with this green painted bead board that came from the sliding doors from the old Watertown railroad freight station.
I sawed the boards in half, and laminated the top 1/4″ of the green side onto a sassafras back.
Neck is red maple, with persimmon fretboard.
This one is headed across the pond to a delta blues enthusiast in England.
This is a custom commission for one of my favorite customers, who asked for a mutation of the classic Gibson Firebird, giving me free rein to do as I please with the details, which partly accounts for his favored status.
The body is composed of a salvaged poplar center block, with wings made from spalted sycamore, capped with salvaged elm barnwood. I kept the curves of the original Firebird body shape, but mixed them up, placing both long points on the top, and scaling them all appropriately. This not only gives better upper fret access, but places the front strap button further toward the center of the guitar for better balance. The original Gibson design was by Ray Dietrich, who was an automobile designer by trade, and evidently not a guitarist.
The neck is red maple, with a persimmon fretboard and tortoise celluloid binding.
The central feature here is a hood emblem from an early ’60′s Studebaker Hawk, a tip of the hat to the automotive roots of the design, from the same era as the Firebird. The art deco styling of this piece was partly the inspiration for the brass, aluminum and copper pickguard/grille and center overlay.
The pickups are my own homespun versions of the Firebird mini-humbuckers, with alnico 5 bar magnets in the coils, and aluminum housings I designed, and had fabricated by eMachineShop
Top: Three piece salvaged ash
Back: One piece cucumbertree, moderately distressed
Neck: Black walnut, with persimmon fretboard, compensated nut
Pickups: Dismal homespun
bridge~ Tele style, Alnico 2, 9000 turns, 7k ohms
neck~ P90/Jazzmaster hybrid, alnico 5 polepieces, 7500 turns 42awg, 6k ohms
Bridge: Callaham, 3 compensated brass saddles
Tuners: Gotoh 510 HAP
Control plate: Custom, bakelite, with nickel silver overlay
Switch plate: Antique cast iron doorknob backplate
This ax is available at DestroyAllGuitars
Salvaged cypress top on one piece buckeye back
Mild birdseye maple neck with black locust fretboard
Seymour Duncan hot tele stack
Tone Pros wraparound bridge
Hipshot Classic tuners.
Available at Rebel Guitars
More license plates…
This one has a body made from salvaged yellow poplar barn rafters, with a bolt on soft maple neck.
Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz humbucker set,
Dismal Ax brass three saddle hardtail bridge,
Brass control and jack plates
Available at Rebel Guitars
This is a bridge I started designing a couple years ago; and after much tweaking and refining, I had a small run of them fabricated by eMachineShop.
Recently, I have been liking fixed intonation bridges for their simplicity and lack of excess hardware. Adjustable intonation bridges are nice, but I have had too many problems with the saddles rattling, even in very expensive models. The front edge of this bridge is shaped in a way that approximates the pattern of an adjustable saddle bridge after it has been intonated properly; but it is just a single piece of T6 aluminum clamped firmly in a pair of TonePros locking studs. Nothing moving, nowhere. I had these powder coated black to match the studs, but I will probably have some done unfinished, and maybe some in brass, as well.