Remember when I mentioned that I had found a bunch of really exotic wood on eBay? Well I bought a bunch – really cool book matched pairs for faces. Curly Beech, Spalted Maple, Cocobolo to name a few. But the one piece I hemmed and hawed about for days was a three inch thick piece of buckeye burl that was pretty expensive, but incredibly beautiful! it was pretty much the coolest piece of wood I’d ever seen, but it was still hard to justify the expense.
I also mentioned that I was gaining a new found appreciation for vintage and more popular instruments right? Well I got this book about Fender guitars, Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970 which takes you through the history and all the models and it was very inspiring. I’ve always really liked the Jaguar guitar (and some of my favorite guitar players used one – Nels Cline, John Frusciante, heck even Kurt Cobain!) so I started toying with the idea of a pair of book matched jaguars. A bass and a guitar, with opposite bodies and wood/paint treatments. I did a lot of concept sketches like the one pictured here but I kept coming back to that buckeye burl.
Then I had an idea: what if I cut that three inch piece into thinner boards so I could make more instruments out of it? So I called around to see if the mills in the bay area could do it and I came across Baker Hardwoods in Gilroy and talked to Jim Baker who said “We can do it but if that burl had rocks in it and it brakes a blade it’ll cost you thirty five bucks extra.” It seemed worth the risk, so I ordered the wood, and when it arrived I took it down to Jim to see what he could do. Turns out he was able to get four boards out of that hunk, so it was well worth it. This way I’ll be able to make the bass for the Jaguar pair, and still have three more instruments I can make out of that one piece of wood. We were even able to shave off a real thin piece from one of the boards so I can make a pickgaurd for the Jaguar guitar too! I’ll keep you posted. There are a couple short projects ahead of these in line but I’ll get to them as soon as I can – I can’t wait to work with this burl!