This was a custom commission for a friend. It’s the first banjo I have built both the neck and rim for, and really the first fully acoustic instrument I have successfully built. The rim is composed of alternating segmented layers of red mulberry and walnut, with an integral flange, instead of the more common array of metal brackets; with the tension nuts recessed in the back. The neck features the same woods, in a complimentary arrangement, with a persimmon fretboard. The headstock inlay and position markers are turquoise recon stone, and I recessed the area around the tension hooks, and painted it a similar color milk paint.
1/4” round brass tone ring and grooved tension hoop by Balsam Banjo Works; Pisgah Hawktail brass tailpiece; Rickard brass coordinator rod set; Waverly planetary tuners.
This was a custom commission; a 22 3/4″ scale electric tenor guitar, tuned GDAE. The body is sassafras, with an arched chestnut barnwood top, walnut/maple neck, and black locust fretboard. The finish is milk paint, in a color decidedly reminiscent of the “avocado” enamel on many mid-last-century appliances, as inspired by the “Frigidaire” name badge I used as a switch bezel. The pickguard, as well, is cut from a diamond-textured sheet of thin aluminum which looks like it came from the inside of a freezer. The Bigsby B12 tailpiece also resembles a piece of old icebox hardware. The bridge is by Mastery, and the tuners are Hipshot. Pickups are a four pole version of my homespun single coils. weighs 6.3 pounds.
Over a year, in fact; a really long year, in which I got very little done.
This is the headstock of an electric tenor guitar I started last summer. I’ll post more about it soon, but right now I wanna talk about my fancy new logo. Don’t worry, I’ll still be using the old one too, but Dismal Ax is a thing I have been hiding behind for too long. I started using it, rather than my name, because my name always seemed weird to me when I saw it in print; and seemed even weirder to apply to my work for some reason. I changed that name several years ago, and feel like I’ve finally grown into it enough to start putting it on my instruments. My more basic solid body electric guitars and basses will continue to get my old logo burned into the front of the headstock, but my fancier custom work, and other kinds of instruments will get this new “GF” inlay. This one is done in aluminum, to go with the hardware on the body. I’m not sure what other materials I will use yet, though. I kinda want to avoid pearl and abalone and such, but we’ll see. Anyway, I’m really happy with it!
This is the first of a series of guitars in collaboration with Rail Yard Studios, made from a couple different species of mahogany-like timber salvaged from the decking of rail cars built to carry coils of steel.
Single cutaway model, with milk paint finish.
Pickguard is made from an antique clock pan, and control plate from a brass machine plate.
Kluson USA bridge plate, Hipshot tuners, 2 homespun single coil pickups.