These pieces are only rough cut at this point, but you can now see the basic shape of the guitar body, with its two asymmetrical horns (which will eventually get a bit more of a “point” to them).  Even though these are the insides of the laminates, I am able to determine which elements of wood grain made it into the instrument.  I am looking forward to a similar picture of the top laminate!

Also notice the profound change in wood color from the previous entry’s picture, taken when the wood was freshly sliced.  Once it hits the air, Coco Bolo tends to darken up and the yellow/orange components turn to a more brick red.  This color change happens quite rapidly during the first four weeks, but after that initial window, the color change is much more gradual.  The difference in color is further enhanced here because of the glue that has been applied.

Bookmatched beauty.

I decided to bookmatch the outer laminates of the body sandwich for two reasons.  One, it just looks beautiful when you’re working with otherworldly wood.  The second reason is a bit more left-brained.  When you bookmatch wood, you have close to (but not exactly – this is Mother Nature we’re talking about) a mirror image of wood grain.  This makes expansion and contraction a bit more predictable, or at least more-or-less uniform across the width of the guitar.  You generally get stronger construction and more consistent performance out of your instrument when the laminates are bookmatched.  These Coco Bolo laminates have been bookmatched to a thickness of 1/4”.

You never know what you’re going to get when you slice wood open… Sometimes you get a face (a wood gnome), while other times, there’s not much there at all.  When my top board was sliced open, it revealed a beautiful butterfly!  This wood is something special, and I can’t wait to see it with some sealer applied!

On a side note, we decided that the guitar would look better if the top accent laminates of Maple and Purpleheart were also bookmatched to center, along with the Coco Bolo.  Alembic sanded off the top accent laminates that were glued to the body sandwich, and they’ll apply new wood to the Coco Bolo, so the accent lines are not interrupted by the neck at the bout.  The lower accent laminates will remain as is, again to match the bottom Coco Bolo laminate (which is bookmatched, just not to center).