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#85, Tele with SUT pickup package, other goodies, may be my last guitar.

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Project by Tennessee posted 02-12-2018 11:36 PM 3472 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built my first prototype guitar ten years ago this August, it dawned on me today…

This may be my last guitar. I officially shuttered my guitar business on January 1, 2017, but to date, have had to build four more, this being maybe the last.

It features:
My finest Sapale body with Paduak stripes.
The pickguard is burl cherry with a quilted section, and a Paduak stripe down the middle.
My Tsunami Guitar SUT Pickup Package, which has special wiring to emulate the big three, Teles, Strats, and Les Pauls. The little switch on the pickguard is a S/P switch for the Duncan bucker in the middle, I have sold a lot of this pickup package. People said I could not emulate all three, but I did.
A roller Gibby bridge with a B5 Bigsby.
Wilkinson 19:1 self-locking tuners.
Switchcraft jack, oversized capacitor, better than CTS pots. Smooth and responsive. I like Linear, not Audio.
An inlaid maple neck with rosewood fretboard and inlaid blocks, (not abalone, but true Mother-of-Toilet Seat!)
The headstock is cut to a Bigsby style, and veneered with Big Leaf Maple Burl.
Medium jumbo frets.
Dunlop strap locks.
Rosewood bullet pattern knobs, the ones Grizzly used to sell. (My last two)

It is going to a private collection in Texas, to the man whose name is on the pickguard. He is a country swing artist, (very much retired), with heavy connections to the family of players who played with Hank Williams Sr. I am proud to have this in his collection. This is the third one he has purchased from me. The last two were the two Guit-Steel units that are in my projects here on Lumberjocks. One is on stage with an up and coming country artist. I think that says something. (Not sure what, since I don’t know a lot of country swing artists, but still…)
Anyway, I think it is a nice way to go out, doing your best.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN





14 comments so far

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

290 posts in 1251 days


#1 posted 02-13-2018 12:03 AM

Wow,superb, absolutely beautiful. Great job.
I was wondering what you coated it with?
Regards
Anthony

View DMiller's profile

DMiller

407 posts in 614 days


#2 posted 02-13-2018 12:41 AM

Very nice, superb job!How long does it take to build a guitar like that? Good job!

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."

View htl's profile

htl

4091 posts in 1301 days


#3 posted 02-13-2018 04:18 AM

It’s down right beautiful if it never plays a lick.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs here on Lumber Jocks.. http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

5099 posts in 2408 days


#4 posted 02-13-2018 04:31 AM

“AMEN1”

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2880 posts in 2656 days


#5 posted 02-13-2018 01:08 PM

Anthony: It starts with a single coat of Minwax Natural, a clear stain. That is followed by 14-16 coats of Tru-Oil Gloss, each coat hand applied no more than one coat a day. Last couple coats, you have to wait two days between coats as the wood is full and it is coat on coat. Initial coats, sanding starts at 320, then 4-5 coats in, move to 600, last couple coats, sand with 1200. Final polish is with Megula’s #2 clear coat polish, since this stuff dries hard as a rock.

Neck has about 5-6 coats, buffed to a semi-gloss with 0000 steel wool, then 1200 sand, then polish to allow the hand to slide on the back of the neck.
Headstock front is sprayed with lacquer. Rosewood fretboard is coated with carnuba wax.

Dale: It takes me somewhere between 4-6 weeks, with the application of the finish. After it comes out of the shop with an initial setup, it rests for two days then goes into final setup. I use a set of “starter” strings for setup, then the final strings, a much higher grade, are put on and it is done. Right now, it is in rest stage.

Thanks for lookin’!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Brrman's profile

Brrman

65 posts in 2814 days


#6 posted 02-13-2018 07:43 PM

Man, that’s is gorgeous! I do appreciate a dynamic headstock design.

Mind me asking why you closed the business? Is it just too hard a market to make money in? I have been considering dipping into custom guitar building.

-- "Being a perfectionist does not make one perfect..."

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

3506 posts in 2119 days


#7 posted 02-13-2018 09:05 PM

The skill needed to make this is incredible. You did a superb job. I have a nephew that has asked me to give one a try but I wouldn’t even know where to start.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32083 posts in 3008 days


#8 posted 02-13-2018 09:25 PM

Wow! This guitar is a real beauty and you did a wonderful job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View Nreese's profile

Nreese

19 posts in 248 days


#9 posted 02-13-2018 09:46 PM

Absolutely beautiful!

-- An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8408 posts in 2470 days


#10 posted 02-13-2018 09:49 PM

Bravo on an beautiful guitar build.

Would you mind me asking why you shut the business down?

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

290 posts in 1251 days


#11 posted 02-14-2018 12:16 AM



Anthony: It starts with a single coat of Minwax Natural, a clear stain. That is followed by 14-16 coats of Tru-Oil Gloss, each coat hand applied no more than one coat a day. Last couple coats, you have to wait two days between coats as the wood is full and it is coat on coat. Initial coats, sanding starts at 320, then 4-5 coats in, move to 600, last couple coats, sand with 1200. Final polish is with Megula s #2 clear coat polish, since this stuff dries hard as a rock.

Neck has about 5-6 coats, buffed to a semi-gloss with 0000 steel wool, then 1200 sand, then polish to allow the hand to slide on the back of the neck.
Headstock front is sprayed with lacquer. Rosewood fretboard is coated with carnuba wax.

Thanks for lookin !

- Tennessee

Thats interesting, wow you really have put some work into that. Great Craftsmanship. I often wonder if there is many or any younger people coming through with an interest in this level of craftsmanship.
great job
Regards
Anth

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2880 posts in 2656 days


#12 posted 02-14-2018 12:58 PM

Maniac Matt: When I was doing my taxes for 2016, (in January 2017), I realized that the least profitable part of my woodworking business was guitars.
Problem is prices have been falling steadily on decent to good guitars for quite a while. You can buy a very nice Epiphone, made of Sapale, by the way, with a flame top, great action, decent pickups and hardware, for about $5-600. I can’t make them at that price.
GuitarFetish.com will sell you a beautiful Asian made guitar, in various styles and colors, including hollowbody electrics, for under $350. It just got nuts, people asking me to build their dream guitar but not wanting to pay above $7-800.
And lastly, there are custom builders around the country now with CNC machines pounding out really nice custom guitars for around $7-900. They build maybe two styles, and sell the heck out of them.
So I got tired of the price wars, and just stopped in January 2017, shut down the website, killed off the FB page. That much I did.

Sort of stopped…
In the Spring of 2017 a fellow asked me to build one locally, decent customer whom I had performed a lot of repairs for, so I did.
Then came the Guit-Steel units, both of which are in my projects. First one was for fun. That is when this collector found me, when I sold the first Guit-Steel on Reverb.com. He bought it, asked for a second, then asked for this one. I think he is finally done, and to be honest, I am excited about doing some other things. Ten years of guitars is enough for me. Oh, and I will be 69 this year, and my back is failing, so there’s that.

I still do a lot of repairs for a local music store, probably 60-70 a year, always including one or two complete restorations, and I have two galleries I show in now for all my other stuff, and I still sell golf club hat racks on Etsy under my TsunamiWoodworking banner. So its not like I am not busy.

I am currently restoring a fairly rare 1968 Leslie16 speaker cab right now, including the electronics. Not much woodworking save for interior frame work, but lots of Tolex, grill cloth, and just putting it back to stock. Polishing chrome, making the bearings work again on the spinning cone, etc. Kind of fun. They had some interesting designs inside on making that Leslie sound.

Thanks to everyone who looked and commented – making this a Daily Top 3. Thank you all…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View DDWW's profile

DDWW

89 posts in 768 days


#13 posted 02-14-2018 06:49 PM

I really like your head stock design.

Thanks for sharing your business story.

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

8697 posts in 2984 days


#14 posted 02-18-2018 02:46 AM

Hey, Been handling emergencies. The next one will be your last. LOL! Nice work my friend.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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