Agape Guitars

Tanner's Black and Red Protos

Tanner's ProtosRich ChaffinsComment
strung up

Guitars make great gifts, as you have seen before. This one isn't a surprise, as the owner actually did some of the early work on it. (Don't worry, I fixed it after his first time on the router.) Routing the roundover

Specs for this black and red Protos:

One piece alder body, black gloss maple/maple neck, black headstock/red logo, black dots red pickguard, black & red hardware Sperzel locking tuners, Gotoh bridge Duncan JB humbucker in the bridge position

Come with me on the journey!

Test fit of the output jack

Headstock cut to shape.


Before it's black and red.

Control holes drilled

Primer on.


Black gloss going on.

black gloss

Getting shiny.


Almost there.

strung up

headstock hardware

Stop back soon to see the final product and listen to a demo!

In the meantime, what do you think? Painted finish? Dyed? Just let the wood do its thing? Let me know your thoughts here or you can come check out my Facebook page and let me know there!

The Protos Twins

Protos TwinsRich ChaffinsComment

Greetings, kind reader! It's been way too long since I've updated this page, but I assure you, I've been a busy, busy, busy. Today I'd like to show you my twins. I have two Protos models in production, and I'm happy to announce that they are available for you! If you're interested, just use the contact form to get in touch.

Now, let's show these beauties off!


Alder bodies, semi-hollow Quilted maple tops, one autumn sunset, one faded denim finish maple necks, rosewood fretboards Grover locking tuners Wilkinson bridges Arcane '56 Tele bridge and wide-range neck humbucker in one, Arcane Ultratrons in the other.

Protos 1:

Protos 1


Protos 2 (love the bit of spalt in the corner!):

Protos 1

Protos 1 routed out:

Protos 1 route


Protos 2 routed out:

Protos 2 route


Fresh out of binding!

Protos bound


Logos applied:

Protos logo


For more pictures and updates on the progress of these guitars, be sure to follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.


Graduation Present: Finished Product

Graduation Present, Junia prototypeRich Chaffins1 Comment

I'm sure you've been sitting on the edge of your seats since yesterday's post to see how this Junia turned out. Well, dear readers, I am here to put your mind at ease. Come and revel in the awesome. As I mentioned yesterday, I decided to make this kind of a Beauty and the Beast theme. The ash was dyed brown to start:


The maple top went through several instances of dyeing. First I added a layer of brown:


Then I added a layer of amber:


Then some red to the edges:


Then finally another coat of amber to bring it all together into what I call Autumn Sunset:


The control cover and the headstock went through the same dyeing process as the top:



Once she was all oiled and joined up, it was time to start adding the bling:




And now, to take her out into the sunlight and show her off in all her glory:



autumnsunsetfront2As you can probably tell from my expression in that last picture, I hate to give this one to her rightful owner.

If you have any questions, be sure to leave me a comment. Or you can use the contact me page to order your own custom Junia!

Graduation Present: Assembly

Graduation Present, Junia prototypeRich Chaffins1 Comment

So lately I've been showing you some of my refinish work, but today you get to see my own creations: the Junia. I love this body shape, so I was happy to get this commission. The lucky owner still doesn't know that it's being delivered soon, but my client has authorized pics, so let's get to it! Today I'm going to share with you the assembly process, and tomorrow you'll get to see the fully finished product.


Ash body, flamed maple top, flamed maple control cavity cover Cherry set neck, ziricote fretboard, maple headplate gold hardware Zexcoil Guitar Pickups Signature Set Planet Waves Locking tuners Hipshot Baby Grand bridge

Roughing out the body and top:





Bringing the pieces together:



Routing out the spaces for all of the goodies:







I think that should give you enough to salivate over for today. Check back tomorrow for the reveal of the Beauty and the Beast (but mostly Beauty!). And if you absolutely CANNOT WAIT until tomorrow, check out my Facebook page to see more pictures of the process as well as the finished product!

Nick's Refinish

Nick's RefinishRich ChaffinsComment

This refinish for Nick went through all kinds of incarnations before we finally settled on a Caribbean burst with a zebrawood pickguard. First, the stripping (get your mind out of the gutter!):

Top, stripped and leveled

Back, sanded and leveled

Next, the dyeing process to make it all beach-y.

Dye, step 1, back

Dye, step 2, back

Dye, front

After it's dyed, it's time to wet sand and buff to bring out the shiny!

Wet sanded, buffed, back

Wet sand, buffed, front

Let's not forget the new zebrawood pickguard!

Zebrawood pickguard

And now, for the finished product! Feast your eyes on this!

Before strings

Finished, strung up


I hope you like it! If you have any guitars that you'd like to have updated with a new look, let me know. You can use the contact me page to let me know what you'd like to do. I'm currently creating a wait list, so get your name at the top of that list by getting in touch with me right away!

Steve's Replacement Pickguard

Steve's Neck and PickguardRich ChaffinsComment

Yesterday I showed you the new neck that I made for Steve's rockin' (because it's a granite finish? Get it?) guitar. He also asked me to do a replacement pickguard for him, and when I asked what he was looking for, he uttered the two most beautiful words in the English language: Artisan's Discretion. Behold! The artist has used said discretion to create the following!


maple and rosewood to compliment the new neck (no swap on the electronics)

Pickguard, section 1

Pickguard, section 2

Pickguard, section 3


Pickguard rough assembly

Sometimes things don't go quite according to plan, so I need to improvise. This time, the improvisation took the form of epoxy and crayon shavings.


Space for the pickups created and then loaded!

Pickup holes

Pickups and knobs loaded

And now, for the finished product. I think it looks pretty sharp.

Pickguard on body

Strung up


I'd love to hear your thoughts and answer any questions. And as always, I upload a ton of pictures to my Facebook page, so you can always see more there.

Steve's Replacement Neck

Steve's Neck and PickguardRich ChaffinsComment
Hand Carving

I based the neck for Steve off of a previous build that I did for my student Josh.

Specs: Rock maple, big D shape, rosewood neck, 16” radius, 22 frets, last 4 scalloped, oil finish.


Truss Rod

Glued up, side dots

Rough cut

Frets installed

I decided to be a little bit creative with the dots I did for this one:

Neck Dots

Hand Carving

Steve asked for the last four frets to be scalloped.


The body of the guitar has a kind of granite-style finish, so I decided to echo that in the headstock.




And here's the finished headstock with hardware installed.

Finished neck, back

Finished Headstock, front

Check back tomorrow for pictures of the pickguard I created to go with this and to see the finished product! And if you absolutely have to see everything right now, go like my Facebook page where you can see this and a bunch of other stuff I've been working on!

A new neck for Josh's Strat

Josh's replacement neckRich Chaffins1 Comment

A while back, my very best guitar student asked me about building a neck for his Strat. I had already modded this beast in just about every which way possible already: replaced the pickups a couple times, installed new locking tuners, a graphite nut, put a Stellartone Tonestyler tone control in, a Super-Vee Bladerunner tremolo, a kill switch, the works. So, why not? The new neck is Indian Rosewood. It is a fat D shape with a macassar ebony fretboard, abalone side dots, and zebrawood logo/headstock "wings". A few progress pics:

Josh's neck truss rod fretboard glueup wings glued on fretboard polish dots installed logo done finished!

Here's a video of it in action. Check out the tasty stylings of my student, Josh Martinez, and his sweet new Agape neck. Thanks!

Protos bass for sale!

Ben's Protos bassRich ChaffinsComment

Hey, everyone! Want to catch a deal on a sweet, handmade bass? Then read on! I built this one for my friend Ben a few years ago, and I'm lending a hand in helping him sell it. The original rosewood neck developed a severe twist after a year or so, so I built a brand new neck for it a couple of months ago. Ben has this to say about this 4-string Protos bass:

"The bass can produce a really versatile array of tones due to the Bartolini 5.1 9V preamp and Bartolini humbucker/J pickup configuration. A three band EQ with a parametric push/pull mid ensure that you can dial in any tone from an aggressive, Musicman style growl to a wide, fat P bass impression. The finish on the neck is smooth as silk and the spalted maple top is a real eye catcher. The Hipshot Ultralight high-ratio open gear tuners help prevent neck dive and the D-tuner on the low E string makes moving to alternate tunings a snap. I used this bass in contemporary worship, country and studio projects all with great results. The only reason I'm parting with this beauty is that my current touring gig requires a different vibe and I could use some other equipment that better suits a recording rig that I'm building."

The specs:

Swamp ash body w/ spalted maple top;

flamed maple neck with coal dust and oil finish, cocobolo fretboard and backstrap, abalone fret markers; bone nut;

Bartolini humbucker and J-Style pickups; Bartolini 5.1 preamp;

black hardware;

Hipshot Transtone bridge, Ultralite tuners and X-tender

Some pictures, then the original demo video:

back bass back2 bassbody downneck headstock headstockback

And the original demo video:

Let me know if you're interested. Thanks for looking!

Jason's Apophis completed and demoed!

Jason's customRich ChaffinsComment

Okay then. This one was finished up last month. Original post, complete with specs, here. The thing we did change was the model name. Working title Apollyon (mine, Greek for destroyer), final name Apophis (his, Greek translation of Apep, Egyptian god of darkness and chaos). Either way, bad news. ;) ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Really happy with the playability. Super-low action, nice thin neck (although I personally prefer big, chubby necks). The sheer amount of tones available is insane, also. 3 Guitar Logistics Diablo humbuckers with separate volume, tone, and on-off-parallel switch= sounds amazing AND super flexible. Here's the demo:

Check it, yo. Thanks!

Andrew's F5 mandolin guitar finished and demoed!

Andrew's NeckRich ChaffinsComment
Andrew 1

Andrew body 2 Andrew body 3 Andrew body Andrew first play Andrew setup

This one was finished back in November, and we just got around to shooting a demo. It turned out great...Andrew did a fantastic job with the body! I built the neck, and helped with wiring/setup/hardware selection. Check the video out here:


Catalpa body/headstock veneer Indian rosewood neck, cocobolo fretboard, abalone side dots Hipshot Baby Grand bridge Lollar Vintage T bridge, Lollar Low Wind Imperial neck pickup Custom knobs/switch tip by THG Knobs

Let me and Andrew know what you think!ImageImage

Re-routing to Facebook, y'all!

UncategorizedRich ChaffinsComment

Hey guys n gals, In light of the fact that my Facebook page is growing, and I am finding time to update this site difficult to find, I'm going to switch over to making my Facebook page my primary internet presence. Sorry about not updating in forever, but in better news, I've had time to get a bunch of guitars and basses finished! I do hope you'll check out my guitars and basses on Facebook here. Thanks a bunch, and God bless!

Nope, not dead.

UncategorizedRich ChaffinsComment

Hey, guys n gals! Hope you're swell. 

  Nope. Haven't posted for over a year. 

  Yep. I suck. 

I am NOT good at keeping this blog updated, obviously. 

So, the cliff notes of what's been happening since last we met: 

We moved.

My shop is now bigger, but not as big as I'd like, still.

I have finished some of the stuff I was working on in earlier pages, and some I am in the process of finishing up. 

My lack of faster progress is due to, in no particular order: me learning on the job several things I'd never done before; me being a slow learner; me having three other jobs that occupy my time, therefore having limited time to work on guitars; me being a husband and father to my lovely wife and my two sons, one of which is special needs; me needing downtime once in a while.

All that being said, I've learned a lot, and am now nearing the finish line on dang near everything left in my shop. I also have some interesting ideas I'll start working on as soon as this batch of seven instruments is delivered to their respective owners.

The big thing I have learned? Don't take too much on at one time. People (rightfully) get impatient, deadlines can get missed, my stress level goes through the roof. So....

Going forward, I'm going to work on roughly two instruments at a time. This will save me (and you, dear clients) stress. 

In the meantime, until I get pics and posts up here, you can find more up-to-date stuff on my Facebook page, or you can find me on Instagram, username agapeguitars. Thanks so much!


Jason's Apollyon- an update

UncategorizedRich Chaffins2 Comments

Hey y'all. Doing alright? This particular blog post brings news about a particular guitar. Got some work done on Jason's guitar, placeholder name Apollyon. Placeholder because I like the name, but not sure it belongs on this guitar. 'Kay? Moving on.

After a tragic misunderstanding about the neck which cost me quite a bit of time, progress moves forward! *Okay, long story short less long- I was making a scarf jointed neck, as usual, not realizing that the notes I took from our meeting on specs meant not just a Strat-like neck carve, but the Strat-like flat neck as well. Feh. For what it's worth, that particular piece of rosewood was giving me fits anyway, so it ended up working out nicely.*

The neck is packing a truss rod, fingerboard is glued on, and the neck is rough cut to shape. Final headstock shape will be done by hand, cuz the pointy bits would become the router's lunch if I let it near them. Will be installing dots within the next few days, as well as routing the neck pocket. This will be a set neck, and will have quite the long tenon to go with it. Yay for neck stability!

Jason was nice enough to come over to the shop last night, and we took a good while doing mockups, discussing placements, carves, and crazy ideas (all his, I'd like to point out). Also a 25th fret, for no apparent reason other than you don't see those, like, ever. Think this build is gonna turn out fuh-REAKY cool.

Here's some pics to add evidence to the above claims. Have a fantastic day! Leave fantastic comments in which you say fantastic things! Etc. !  Thanks. :)


Update: my Junia

My JuniaRich Chaffins2 Comments

Hello and a happy day! Hope things are swell. Here's a quick update on the Junia I'm building for me. I took a couple days in the shop recently to get some work done on it, and it's coming together nicely. Since the last post on it, much has been done to the pickguard and the neck. The pickguard has had all 5(!) pickup routes done and controls laid out. Wire holes are drilled on the body. Got a good bunch of the neck carve done, and the frets are in and beveled. Just glued up a veneer for the'll be getting the same burst as the body. Can. Not. WAIT to play this one! *evil giggle* Thanks for checking it out!