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Robert’s Royalty – Double Carved Sensation…


As promised, here are the pics of my Double-Cut Carved ’59.  I was originally inspired by one of the customer builds on your site (Keith’s Carved ’59, 28-APR-2012).  I love the way the burst brings out the flames in the quilted maple.  I also love that the double cut is a more unique shape… its less of a tribute to other great guitars, and unashamed to stand alone.  Everyone talks about the quality of your kits, and this one was no exception.  You make it easy to get a great looking and sounding guitar.

I decided on a custom headstock shape to try to go with the curves of the body, and was able to have a template CNC routed.  I used that with my router table to cut out the headstock.  I sealed off the edges of the headstock and the faux binding on the body before staining with water-based dyes.  I brought the grain out on the body with Red Mahogany stain then sanded it back a little.  I blended Bright Red and Yellow for most of the burst but added a couple of drops of black to the red to help darken the outside edges a little.  The headstock is straight black kept a little light to let the grain show through.  All the mahogany is unstained.

The entire guitar is finished in Tru-Oil.  I lost count of the number of coats, but there are well over 40…some really thin, some pretty thick.  Nitro would have given a better shine, but I have alot more experience with rubbed finishes on furniture.  I sanded in the Tru Oil on all of the mahogany to fill the grain.  I like the brown tint that the Tru Oil gave to the guitar.  It makes it feel a little vintage, a little like sepia tones in an old photograph.  It also helps make the burst a little less flashy, which suits me well.  I buffed out the top to a pretty good shine by hand, but left the back and neck a little closer to matte to help hide scratches.

The electronics cover is from a test piece for the body I did early on.  It is mahogany dyed black in an attempt to get the grain to show through on the body.  I just couldn’t get the mahogany to go any darker than a dark brown, so I abandoned that idea for the body but thought it was nice for the electronics cover next to the natural body.

I added a Seymour Duncan SH-1 ’59 4-wire pickup at the neck, and an SH-12 Screamin’ Demon at the bridge.  Everything is wired to a 6-position Freeway switch so the coils on both pickups can be split.  I added push-pulls to the tone controls to select different capacitors for a little extra versatility.  The bridge is a Hipshot Baby Grand and the tuners are also Hipshot.

The sound is awesome.  I could tell it would be nice before I even plugged it in because the body really resonates when its played.  A really solid guitar.  Before this, I was a little skeptical that the wood in an electric guitar made much of a difference, but I was very wrong about that.  I learned alot along the way.  I definitely made some mistakes, but I was able to recover from most of them.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  Thanks again for making such a great kit!

Best regards,