The latest 'Fifty - The fun begins
With the first 'fifty fresh off the work bench, demo'd and showcased at the Guitar Show, I decided to get moving on the second one! Home of Tone build #3, which is a nice thing to be able to say!
I wanted to do another 'fifty, but taking on board some of the comments & feedback from the many customers who kindly played & chatted with me at TGS. Not just to refine details, but more to just make new exciting ideas that interested me as much as you folks! One detail a lot of players asked over the course of the weekend was, 'Could you make one with body contours, that'd be comfy!' and the answer was most definitely a yes.
So after choosing the main body wood, which for this build I went with a slightly denser American Ash rather than the first 'fifty's Swamp Ash body. This will be explained why shortly. I set to work shaping the body & hand carving the tummy contour. I achieved this using a rasp & file, then various grades of sand paper bringing it to a smooth finish. It came out lovely, and sits nicely. Hope you folks who commented about having a T-Style guitar with a contour like what you see!
Next step was deciding a pickup combination. The Duckling/A5+ was such a killer set in the first build, textbook Tele combined with a really versatile S-Style tone at the neck. For this I wanted to step slightly further away from traditional and had my heart set on a McNelly Soapbar P90 at the neck, and possibly the new 'Duel Blade' in the bridge position. Which is why I chose the slightly denser American Ash. I felt the heavier, denser grain would suit these beefy pickups.
Chunky LP Junior tones paired with those searing Danny Gatton esq sounds, a nice combination right?! So I dug the router out and got the cavities cut out ready to house those pickup choices...
Came together rather nicely indeed. After a few hours sanding, wet sanding, sanding again, with some more sanding. We're ready for grain filling, and guess what? More sanding. It's all worth while when you get a nice finish though, especially with the wood dye & oil technique I do.
I'd had some ideas & inspiration in the form of T-Type Deluxe & Thinline models in terms of the scratch plate. I really love those models for that 'swoop' shape guard, in particular I love the slighty shallower 'horn' cutaway. So I decided to get some scrap paper and draw out a few styles. I'm going with a usual ashtray bridge so the little corner shape is to suit that. I settled with something like the photo above, which I've absolutely fell for! By all means share what you think, but I'm confident this will be the shape I'll be cutting for this. Just need to decide on the material, which all depends on the colour finish.
That's all for this update, but stay tuned for further blog posts as this build develops. Also, this guitar can be reserved in advance, so please get in touch if you're interested and I'd love to chat to you.