Future NGD for someone

I have at long last finished the wenge 339-shaped guitar that I've been building for many months. It's been a long process partly because I got distracted by other guitars and partly because I had an awful lot of problems with this guitar, for various reasons (the types of wood used, my incompetence, bad luck at times...).

This one is definitely a bit of a rookie piece, I must admit. It's quite nice in some ways - I think the overall design and colours are good and the basics of the guitar are OK. However, I had lots of problems with the fretboard - to the extent that I nearly had to chuck the neck away but in the end it's more or less salvaged, although close inspection will reveal a few flaws. Hopefully these flaws will only be cosmetic and it will play well anyway - the frets feel good and my test this morning had all of the notes playing OK with no buzz or anything.

You'll see that it isn't actually complete, because it's going off to a friend who will install his own electronics. I'm quite glad about that since, as you can see from the pictures, it's going to have a lot of controls and it's going to take a lot of soldering! I tried to prepare it well for everything that will go in there, with a large cavity and holes in all of the necessary places. It has a bolt-on neck and it's now been dismantled and mostly packed up, so the pictures aren't finally final - for instance I cleaned up the fretboard and oiled the heel where it had been sanded off a bit after taking it apart. However, I hope that the person who's getting this guitar will take some photos when he's installed all of his jiggery-pokery and then we can all see it in its final state.

I will mention the staining process because that was quite interesting. The top was stained at least three times, because the first times didn't produce a good result for various reasons. I like the final result, which is a mix of red, blue and purple stains to (a) highlight the very subtle flame and (b) produce the gradual burst from a more reddish purple in the centre to blue on the perimeter. I'm pleased with the final result, and it's been good practice for future stains (both of the other guitars that I'm now working on will be stained).

I'm pleased to have finished this one so that I can focus on only two guitars now - the 12-string and another one that I've started but which I haven't yet documented at all on here (I'll probably start a new thread soon).

So here are a few photos of the guitar followed by some specs:

Body wood: Wenge
Cap wood: Spalted Maple
Back plate: Panga Panga (don't ask; I don't know!)
Neck woods: Purpleheard, Padauk, Ovangkol
Fretboard: Violeta
Bridge: Babicz FCH Fixed 6 Hardtail
Tuners: D'Addario Auto-Trim Tuning Machines
If anything, it should look better than that now because after I dismantled the guitar I put some lemon oil on it. It's a very nice fretboard - I have another one from the same wood, but just with straight grain, not the striking pattern of that one.
I got this boxed up and ready to go yesterday after work and dog-walking...I had a slight mishap because I taped it all up with packing tape and then wanted to put some "FRAGILE" tape around the box. I looked around for my reel of tape, which I was sure I'd taken out of the cupboard...eventually I realised that I'd sealed it up inside the parcel!

D'oh... :rolleyes:

So I had to cut through some of the tape and open it up, and found it nestling in the packing materials. Consequently, there's about twice as much tape around the box as one might expect.

I also had to work out how to complete the customs form since this is going outside the EU. Now we have to wait for delivery - I sent it via regular post because that was inexpensive and convenient, and they have tracking so we'll follow its path.

And last night I made a squirrel out of mother-of-pearl!