Baby got back (shiny version).

Goodness. Sealed in.

These pictures show a fully carved and routed guitar with a few coats of wood sealer applied.  Eight months after commissioning this project, I finally know the color of the guitar, and it’s pretty much exactly what I was hoping for!  From the beginning, I was hoping for an overall dark color with a nice reddish contrast against the grain – and as you can see, that’s what I got.  The top has kind of taken on a three dimensional quality, as the grain starts popping out.  Also, the figuring of the Curly Maple core and neck is nice and deep, another aesthetic decision made early on that I’d hoped would materialize.  Take a look at the unsealed guitar from couple of posts back, and see for yourself what a little sealer will do!  Susan at Alembic says this top is one of their finest representations of this type of Coco Bolo to date – I agree.

Alembic will apply more layers of sealer (drying and hand sanding between each coat) before the inlays are placed.  After that, another bunch layers of sealer will go on, as many as necessary.

I’ll try to post some additional pictures of the sealed wood soon.

A rare action shot.

Baby got back.

The peghead is made up of multiple wood veneers.  Top to bottom, they are: Gabon Ebony, Maple, Purpleheart, Maple, Purpleheart, Western Flamed Maple, Purpleheart, Maple, Purpleheart, Maple, Coco Bolo.  It essentially matches the wood combination of the body, except the front of the peghead is Gabon Ebony.  The Coco Bolo laminate is from the same slab that the top and back body laminates are from, so the color is a great match.  If you look closely, you can see that the transition from neck to peghead is still just roughed out at this point.

The flame figuring of the neck (and body) is rather pronounced, and should really pop out when the first sealer coat is applied.

Come together.

I’m so happy with how the Coco Bolo top is turning out.  It has darkened up quite nicely since being bookmatched a few weeks ago – and look… what once was a butterfly is now a giant owl!  It really is something special.

The next step for this guitar is the carving phase, where the skilled craftspeople at Alembic will meticulously contour the body, neck, and peghead by hand.  This is also when the pickup and electronics cavities will be routed.  Forthcoming pictures will show how, although it already looks like a guitar, there is still a long way to go before it has its final shape.