This build started out as a test using the shape origin. It is this handheld CNC machine I had my eyes on for the past two years. My old workflow consisted of designing a guitar on paper then transferring those drawings into a 2D CAD program. Then I’d either manually painstakingly make templates for the neck, headstock, body, pickup routes, neck pocket and control cavities, or I’d send it over to get laser cut on Baltic birch plywood. The first method usually was not only frustrating but also very time consuming. The second option was faster but that speed usually came at a cost.
Enter the Shaper Origin. It’s essentially autocorrect for my hands. I’m able to knock out the neck including tuner holes and truss rod routes, body with neck and pickup routes, fretboard with inlays and blind fret slots in ONE sitting. This build could likely have been completed in a few days. I took my time and casually finished it over the course of a month. I’m excited to make more guitars with this tool as it takes a lot of the mundane aspects of guitar building out of the equation and allows me to enjoy the aspects I love.
I used Odies Oil Dark Oil and Butter on this build because I wanted an ambering effect on the more pale areas of the limba. Their newer formulations are just perfect to work with. The oil now doesn’t require to be mixed as vigorously and is a bit more granular which tells me that the overall mix is much more homogenous. It also doesn’t seem to skim over as much for me. I do use bloxygen liberally but still it’s nice to know it won’t go bad on me. The butter lasts longer and is much denser. The wax has the biggest change. It’s now not a solid jar but solid enough to a point where it gives a bit allowing for easy application while still forming a thick coat like before. As always the smell is glorious and it’s a joy to work with. It’s given me just the right kind of finish I’m looking for- that warm hand rubbed oiled look.
This guitar is named “Hazelnut” after its owner Hazel Abaya. Friend and co-resident of mine from Las Vegas. She’s a wonderful person and talented singer/guitarist. I’m looking forward to hearing what she creates as she puts this little guitar through its paces.
All pictures taken by myself on a Fuji XT10 | 56mm f1.2 | 35mm f2
Scale Length: 18in
Body : Black Limba
Neck : Quartersawn Pau Ferro | Richlite FB |Koa inlay
5 Layer Pickguard
Pickups: GFS Alnico V Gold Foil
Frets: Jescar Jumbo
Strings: Daddario 12-60 Tuned E standard
Finish: Odie’s Dark Oil | Butter | Wax
Buckeye Burl Knob by Clay Carrillo of Archipelago Glass