Guitar of the Month - December

December 02, 2016

The second edition of our much anticipated Guitar of the Month is finally here.  We have seen an explosion of submissions and stories about your guitars over the past month, and we want to thank all of you for sharing your projects with us.  We have another tribute planned for all of the guitars submitted in the past few months, so keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page in the coming weeks!  


This month's Guitar of the Month comes from Nick Townsend, and this is his story. 

"It was 1985, I had been playing guitar for a number of years and Dire Straits released Brothers in Arms, one of the best-selling albums of all time.  On the CD cover was a strange, but wonderful looking chrome guitar and from that moment I was hooked.  The look was fascinating but for me it was the sound, which in the proper hands was something haunting, soulful, and bluesy. Look up Chris Whitley, and it's quite evident. 

Fast forward more than 30 years, I have been building custom guitars for a couple of years and had a desire to build something different from the usual single cut, or bolt on neck style electric guitars I had been creating. The ideas was to get away from the well-established templates and design and build something with a little more of a personality.  

It wasn't long before I decided on the Tricone.  I searched for quite some time for plans with very little luck. Not be deterred, I grabbed a pencil, a ruler, and a compass and made my own. So not only was this build going to be from my own hand drawn plans, it would be resophonic and my first problem!

Guitar - Drawing


I dived in with both feet and picked a particularly nice piece of quilted maple from the top and quilted Sapele for the sides and the back.  The neck is Sapele with a Koa fret-board - Koa was also used for the tailpiece and for binding the body and head stock.  It was a true challenge as so many of the build steps were new to me, such as creating the body mold, bending wood on my shop built bender (not as easy as it looks, and it did cost me 2 sets of sides!), designing and building the sound well and lots of intricate cutting and shaping on the cover plate and tailpiece.  But this was without a doubt my satisfying build to date.

Unfinished Guitar - Top

Guitar - Tricone - 2

Guitar Inside - Nick

Guitar - Tricone


All that time and effort on the construction would have been a waste if not finished correctly. Behlen Vinyl Sealer provided a great foundation for the Amber Tinted Behlen Stringed Instrument Lacquer to get the perfect color, which I topped with 3 coats of straight clear before I let the guitar sit for 5 or 6 days.

Guitar - Full Image

Two Guitars


Then the whole guitar was lightly sanded/scuffed, and I applied an additional 4 coats of stringed instrument lacquer.  It was then time to step away and allow the paint adequate time to fully cure.  Lastly, it was time for careful sanding and a final buff and polish to achieve a finish that I am extremely happy with.

Guitar - Finished 1

Guitar - Tailpiece

 Guitar - Finished 2

What's next? A second tricone is already in the works, plus I am in the process of drawing up plans for a single cone "style-o" variant.  Looking forward to another great build!"


Tip - Removing Runs or Drips in Clear Coat

"I don't care if you have been painting for 2 weeks or 2 decades, runs, sags and drips happen!  But it's something that can be fixed quickly and easily.  Most automotive paint suppliers carry small paint nibs or run files.  Essentially, they are small file glued onto a small block of wood.  Let the paint dry, push your fingernail into the drip and if it doesn't leave a mark, it's dry.  Do it before it's dry and you can "tear" the paint and that's a bigger problem!  Apply light pressure with the file and move across the drip or sag (the file is directional, you can tell if you are going the right way when you feel the file "bite").  The raised portion will change color as the file removes the excess paint; continue until the problem area is close to level, then it's time to scuff and repeat" 


We want to thank Nick for sharing his story with us.  If you have any questions about the guitar, our products, or anything touch up related, feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram!  Stay tuned for our post next Friday - it should be a fun one! 

Update: Nick T. has recorded himself playing a short 20 second video - click to hear how it sounds

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