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!