First Acoustic Guitar

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Project by wallybob posted 05-06-2012 12:40 AM 2164 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have posted several of my instruments on LJ but this is my first acoustic guitar. I know that there is not a lot of interest in string instruments on the site but for me this is challenging woodworking.

As I have mentioned before, I try to use urban lumber that I mill from locally felled trees. Also, everything I build I donate to charity auctions or give away. In March I was astonished, not trying to brag, that someone donated $9,500.00 to the Carter Center at this years auction for one of my ukuleles. I also donated a second one to a boy’s ranch in Missouri. Haven’t heard what that one brought but I am certain it is no where close to the first one. (They were both posted on LJ under Landfill Ukuleles.)

As this was my first acoustic, needless to say there are a lot of little things or maybe even some big things I could have done better but it was a great learning experience and a wonderful journey. Still don’t know where this one is going but hopefully it will be appreciated.

The sides, back, and neck are made of Black Acacia. The sound board and all bracing is Bunya. The fret board, headstock veneer, and bridge are quartersawn spalted Sycamore. The tuners are Gotoh. The nut and saddle are buffalo horn. The finish is TruOil and wax. The truss rod cover is fused glass made by my wife. I’m sure you noticed that there are no screws to attach the cover. That’s because I drilled the holes in the cover before making the nut and as is obvious they are in the wrong location. She is currently in the process of making me some new ones.

Thanks for looking,


14 comments so far

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4699 days

#1 posted 05-06-2012 01:00 AM

Nice job!

I’ve not seen a glass truss rod cover and I like how you built up the heel, How does it sound and how does it play?

Guitar building is a serious woodworking challenge. Just think of how much you have learned that will be applied to your next guitar.

I think you will find a lot of interest on this site. Check out the blogs and you will see a few builds.

-- Nicky

View luv2learn's profile


3000 posts in 2910 days

#2 posted 05-06-2012 01:53 AM

Great job. I looked at some of your other instruments and it is apparent that you have a passion for building them and building them well. I admire you for your generosity to those less fortunate. I am sure that those instruments will change some lives for the better.

The one thing that I have come to appreciate about Lumberjocks is the wide variety of interests and talent of its members. We all benefit from every member’s contributions.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View CampD's profile


1807 posts in 4093 days

#3 posted 05-06-2012 11:29 AM

Thats a beauty! also congrats on the auction, well done.
Love the look of the headstock, nicely placed.

-- Doug...

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4825 days

#4 posted 05-06-2012 10:13 PM

Unusual but beautiful wood choices. As a player myself, making an acoustic guitar is definitely on my “bucket list”. I hope I can make one half as nice as this some day.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View GenerationWW's profile


521 posts in 2856 days

#5 posted 05-06-2012 11:05 PM

I too, have a guitar on my list of things I want to make, Very nice and inspiring. I also like that you do it for charity. Two thumbs up!

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ for free!

View bobasaurus's profile


3618 posts in 3791 days

#6 posted 05-06-2012 11:07 PM

This is a great looking guitar. I really want to get into instrument building / luthier work, maybe starting with solid body guitars and moving up to finer acoustic instruments. The inlay ring around the sound hole (?) is amazing… I have no idea how you would make something like that.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View oweno's profile


18 posts in 2851 days

#7 posted 05-06-2012 11:52 PM

very impressed. Guitar making is on my list but any instrument making is extremely challenging. You did a great job and there is interest here, just not a lot of people bold enough to try and tackle a hollow body acoustic guitar! :)

View Hersh's profile


106 posts in 4322 days

#8 posted 05-07-2012 05:40 PM

What a wonderful guitar. If plays like it looks, it will sound great. Good prject. Keep up the good work. Also,
there are quite a number of luthiers on LJs.

-- Hersh from Port Angeles, WA - Gotta Complete That Project!

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2913 days

#9 posted 05-07-2012 11:12 PM

Nice Guitar, based on how great a job you did, I would’nt care how it sounds, LOL. Beautiful instrument.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Woodknack's profile


13017 posts in 2987 days

#10 posted 05-09-2012 06:40 AM

With all those unusual woods, I’m curious how it plays.

Nicely done. I wouldn’t say there isn’t interest, it’s just a very specialized skill.

-- Rick M,

View scottishbob's profile


171 posts in 2894 days

#11 posted 05-17-2012 04:32 PM

very nice guitar , would love to make my own guitar, is there any websites you can recommend that would help with design and construction?

-- Ireland, Galway .... fingers! "we dont sell them"

View sweebs's profile


9 posts in 3906 days

#12 posted 05-19-2012 06:15 AM

that is a beauty

View Woodknack's profile


13017 posts in 2987 days

#13 posted 05-19-2012 06:44 AM

I’ve spent the last few weeks learning about lutherie. My approach was scattershot but there is a wealth of information available on the web. I can’t point you to a specific website but I found many sources through youtube… watching/listening to people play then following links to their websites which often contain step by step project logs. By listening, you also get a sense if they have actually built a nice sounding guitar. In a nutshell I’ve learned that it is not difficult to make a decent sounding guitar if you have a little woodworking experience although I have yet to complete one. Where it becomes difficult I believe is making a guitar that will sound a certain way. Step one for me was neck building and that leads you to everything else.

-- Rick M,

View Philip's profile


18 posts in 3375 days

#14 posted 06-27-2012 06:57 PM

Thats some nice work for a 1st time. I really like that fused glass truss rod cover. Nice touch.

Happy Building!


-- Philip, Minnesota,

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