Utilizing my Arcadia doublecutaway design as the platform, this semi-hollow instrument was created to be a versatile jazz hybrid.
The top is a modestly figured big leaf maple bookmatch and the back is one-piece walnut. Both are hollowed like the halves of a clam shell with a block running down the center to create an extremely light and responsive body. In the following photos, you can see how I leave a complete block running down the center of the top, while breaking up the block of the walnut back. The top block spans the gap for plenty of sustain and feedback suppression, while the back block configuration allows for a lighter, more responsive electric guitar.
This two-part body also allows me to clean up the interior of the instrument and carve the inside back with the outside contours in mind.
The finish is wiped-on Tru-oil, which produces an extremely thin film, letting the wood sound like wood. The only way to get a thinner finish might be to open the bottle and let the guitar smell it.
This instrument required around 20-25 applications of Tru-oil. Since my technique also involves leveling and rubbing out at specific stages, the final finish is perhaps only 8-10 applications thick, if that. I've heard it said by a number of good luthiers that it's not about how much finish you put on, but how much you leave on.
The final application is rubbed out with several grades of buffing compound completely by hand. The thin topcoat can be quickly worn through by a buffing wheel, so I prefer to buff Tru-oil with nothing more than a cloth, some compound, and a buttload of elbow grease. The finish on this Arcadia is super-silky smooth.
In the above photograph and the one below, you can clearly see the one-piece walnut back, as well as the contoured "heel" or joint where the neck meets the body. The three-piece maple neck lamination is also evident in the photo, along with the mahogany veneer stripes. The fade-away dye job creates an elegant transition between the dyed maple top and the blonde maple neck.
The bridge is one of my favorite aspects of an instrument to embellish. I'm into creating elements that are more unique than the over-the-counter guitar replacement parts. This one is a floater, like so many of my wooden bridges are, which easily allows for any slight intonation changes in the field. Although a bridge like this isn't instantly height-adjustable, I do allow for replaceable saddles. During the final set-up of my instruments, I make all the necessary intonation and action adjustments myself, but a competent luthier anywhere in the world can make the same adjustments to my guitars, just as they do for millions of acoustic guitars. If a player requires the set-up to be intonated for a specific gauge of string, I'll be happy to set it up for that gauge. My E-string gauge of choice for this instrument is .011.
The headstock inlay: maple J and original abalone leaf design to compliment the bridge.
bookmatched maple top, one-piece walnut back, semi-hollow
Neck: set neck with 3x3 angled headstock, dual-action trussrod, slight asymmetrical carve
Indian rosewood, 24.625" scale, 22 frets, mother of pearl markers
graphite, 1 11/16" in width
Pickups: Carvin Holdsworth humbuckers
and tone w/3-way pickup selector
Bridge: carved ebony w/ maple saddle
Tuners: black locking Sperzel 3x3s
Finish: aniline dye and Tru-Oil
This instrument is no longer available, but please drop me an email if you're interested in a similar instrument.