Lilly and Walter

Lilly & Walter

One evening after dinner in the fall of 2018, my wife said, “I would like to get rid grandma’s Cedar Chest,” a chest that had been handed down, was beaten, ugly and had block nailed to one rear corner where a foot had departed years ago. I replied that I had no suggestions but I would think about it. Next day, having forgotten all about it, Kat asks, “Could you make me a guitar from grandma Lilly’s Cedar Chest?”

So I set about drawing pictures, surveying the chest, taking it apart and sawing the chunks into workable blanks and began building a guitar. The chest was made of Cedar planks of various widths and lengths and therefore not applicable for an acoustic guitar. The design I came up with was a product of Kat telling me what she liked and she chose the wood blanks which made the body. The final plan is a solid body Archtop with dual humbuckers. She will have a Cherry neck, Rosewood fingerboard and bone nut.

I start by sawing out the body shape and sanding the edges to size. Now I use the plane routing jig and create the neck and pickup angle planes. Though the body shape is different from other models I have built, I am still able to use the same layout template for the neck pocket, pickup cavities and the hardware mounting holes. When the routing is done there is plenty of final carving and sanding the top. Next step is binding, then more sanding. At this point the body is ready for the neck.

The neck is made of Cherry with a two-way truss rod, Rosewood headplate veneer with logo and MOP inlay. I’ve already checked my tenon fit prior to attaching the fretboard and just need to final check and/or adjust befor gluing. It’s very important to…. Nope it’s imperative to check the bridge location before gluing. Just to be safe. Now it’s just a matter of sanding and sanding and sanding and getting it all smooth and clean for lacquer.

So the other side to the story is Walter, Grandpa Walter. There was plenty of “Frankenwood” left around so I made Walter from my design. He is a Fender style with dual humbuckers and double cutaway with streaks of gold.

I’m pleased with how these turned out. Another great idea from Kat, the marketing dept.

Author: Rick

A life long woodworker, I've been building guitars for just over ten years. I build acoustic dreadnoughts, electrics, and the "Hambone", a Terz guitar. I am a North Carolina native and am currently located near Charlotte, NC.