Agape Guitars

Limba/Bubinga Protos

Angle grinder therapy!!

Limba/Bubinga ProtosRich ChaffinsComment

Hey everyone, How's your day going? Mine was made much, much better a little while ago. :)

Started out kinda cruddy, as it started way too my standards, anyway. I usually work pretty late, so I don't beat down the door to the shop in the AM. Today, however, found myself in the shop a bit after 7 this morning. Among doing other things that I'll blog about soonly, I was debating what to do with the bubinga/limba Protos. If you recall from previous posts, I'm going for the most un-"F" version of this guitar possible. Add to that the fact that the body was quite heavy, and I was debating ways to lighten the load,so to speak.

So, a brief look back to the day: In the shop 7-12:30, when I had to leave to go teach. Was supposed to teach til 5:30, but my last 3 students didn't show up, and only one called to let me know. So I was waiting around with nothing to do for an hour and a half. I was getting frustrated, cuz for one reason, I HATE no-call/no-shows. Also, I have a crap ton of stuff to do this week, and waiting around unable to do anything drove me nuts. So....left work in a bad mood, going back to the shop. Okay...back to the shop talk now. :-D

In a fit of inspiration, I decided to try my first carved top. That'll take the weight off! So, drew lines around the body, like this:












Started routing the outermost circle out at a depth of 5/8", and gradually routed "steps" in the wood, each one more shallow than the last. Here's the next step routed:











And the third step routed:












Once all the steps were routed, leaving the bridge/pickup area flat, I took out the angle grinder and went to work smoothing out the steps. Funnily, this was the best stress relief I could've asked for! Don't know what it was about it, but using a roaring, powerful tool to turn strange-looking steps into a (mostly) smooth surface just eased my mind and relaxed me almost instantly. I don't have it sanded smooth yet, but it's still satisfying. Here are the results:













Looking forward to getting more done on this one! Any thoughts on it so far? Thanks for reading!

Limba/Bubinga Protos build

Limba/Bubinga ProtosRich ChaffinsComment

Hello...we meet again. So, I'd put up a few pics of this build in its infancy, and it has now reached what could ostensibly be called its teens. This build is a testing ground of sorts for me. The body is my Protos model, which is a slightly curvier version of "that" guitar shape. That's where the similarities end. With this build, I'm trying to make it the least like "that" guitar as possible. How, you ask? Like this:

  • 1" white limba back, 3/4" bubinga top
  • f-holes (literally holes, as usual) in a solid body guitar
  • 3-on-a-side tuners, with my Design 1 headstock
  • Walnut neck, macassar ebony fretboard
  • GFS P90 in the neck, GFS repro of Fender wide range humbucker in the bridge. Stellartone Tonestyler tone control
  • Big honkin' neck, inspired by a replacement neck my friend Caleb got for his Strat, glued in
      So, as specs indicate, not very "T"-y. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.  This'll be my first set neck guitar. Looking quite forward to it!
      Here are some pics that I've taken so far. Questions/comments/concerns, let me know. Thanks for checking it out![gallery]

Let there be sawdust (and metal filings)

Limba/Bubinga ProtosRich ChaffinsComment

Hello and a happy day. Got up early and got some stuff done, and I was also not a layabout yesterday. I have pictorial evidence to document these statements, and will now recount said proceedings. A-here we go.

The last couple weeks, I've been working on a replacement neck for the first guitar I ever delivered, a cherry/zebrawood Revelator. The original neck is still fine, but he wanted the new inlays, a new neck shape, and the new logo. So away we went! It's a new headstock design that came from me originally making the neck for something else, and then it got called into duty on this project. So, this is more a re-shape than anything. Not sure if I'll use it on future designs...time will tell, I suppose. It's a maple neck, rosewood fretboard.  My standard horizontal dot inlay pattern, in abalone, is present. The frets were pressed/hammered yesterday, filed and beveled today. Leveling will come Monday or so.

In other goings-on, with the new wood laying around the shop calling to me, I decided to answer. The lovely piece of bubinga I picked up the other day was wanting to become a Protos. Heard that from the first time I saw it. So, I coupled it with some of the white Limba that I also procured, and applied glue, mucho clamps, and a particularly heavy vise in the middle for moral support. This morning, I removed all the clamps (and vise, of course), and got to cuttin'. Sawdust flew, and shapes were made. See for yourself! I particularly love how the two woods play off of each other, and either piece would have made a fine front for a guitar. Note, however, there is not a thin third piece in the middle. The pics were taken post-routing, pre-sanding. It just looks that way.

This particular Protos is not currently spoken for, so I'm debating some different approaches I can take with it. One idea I have is to have the standard "T" control setup, but without the metal plate (rear-mounted controls). Still kicking around hardware options,'s early in the game.

That's it for now. Take a look at the pics, let me know what you think. On a happy note, I just got a commission last week that will soon be foisted upon these pages. It's gonna be the most "custom" thing I've done in....well, ever. Neat ideas came from the customer, and I'm designing a new shape for this one, as well. Should be pretty nifty when it's done! Heck, when it's in progress, too. Take care![gallery]