Watson Guitars
California, USA

Chambered guitar with F-Holes (Serial 09G025)
951-659-8616 for special pricing.

Materials: Ash body - Curly Maple top. Ash/Maple neck.
Fingerboard: Birdseye Maple
Pickups: Customized blade humbuckers switchable to single coil.
Electronics: Passive
Bridge: ABM
Hardware: Chrome
Tuners: Original Fender tuners
Finish: Polyester Resin Gloss over "Olympic White" Fender® paint

This guitar was made for a Southern California customer who already owns another Watson guitar! It is a very lightweight hollow-body guitar. The original plan was for a color tint on the ash/maple body using black hardware. At our customer's request we switched to the Olympic White body colour and based on that, we agree that chrome hardware is more complimentary to the new color scheme.

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Glamour shot. Instrument plays and sounds very well.
(8/31/09) Today this guitar left our care and was delivered to our customer in Orange County, CA. As much as we like natural wood finishes, the cleanliness of the Olympic White finish is impressive. We ended up with a very lightweight guitar, comfortable and easy to play, with five selectable pickup options (humbucking and single coil) and great overall sound. Although we build mostly basses - we really enjoy working on guitars too!

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Completed guitar photographed the day before we delivered it to our customer.
(8/31/09)The Olympic White paint looks very nice on this guitar body. The instrument is quite lightweight and actually has a little bit of un-amplified acoustic tone to make it audible for praticing! The action is great and it's nice to be able to play all the way up to the 24th fret. we also like the simplicity of the single volume and tone controls for this instrument. The ABM bridge is well constructed and very easy to adjust.

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Just about finished. L:ast minute adjustments to frets and neck.
(8/30/09) Here we see the almost completed instrument. We installed a 5-position switch even although there are only two pickups. Normally 5-positions switches are found on similar style guitars whith 3 pickups. We are able to select the pickups individually, together, and also as single-coils. This provides plenty of different tones. The pickups on this instrument are dual coil humbuckers.

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neck is on, electronics are in and we are now putting magnets into the joint face of the cavity.
(7/30/09) Since the last photo we have attached the neck, tuners, bridge and all the electronics have been installed and wired together. At this stage of the build, the process is slow and painstaking since the instrument is so suceptible to damage and everything has to be adjusted to work perfectly. We are very close to completion on this guitar. Just have to do some minor adjustments, fit the back cover plate and test drive.

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This is the body of the guitar after the finishing. The body was sprayed with Olympic White paint and then given a coat of Polyester Resin.
(7/30/09) The neck and body have now been finished. The neck has a clear coat all over, including the maple fingerboard, and the body has been sprayed with Olympic White and then coated with Polyester resin and buffed to a super-high gloss. Now we have to start the process of cleaning up the overspray and making all the parts fit back into their respective places. We'll get that process moving in the next couple of days - it's usually a 10 day process.

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We recently assembled the fingerboard onto the neck.
(7/9/09) Neck and fingerboard have now been successfully glued together. We are getting both the neck and body parts ready for finishing and all we really have to do now is sand the surfaces so that they are smooth enough to apply the grain fillers and finishes. The neck will have a clear coat and the body will be finished in Olympic White per our customer's instructions. We're looking forward to getting this one assembled.

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Neutrik socket, control knob recesses and the slot for the 5-position pickup selector have been machined into the body.
(7/7/09) The work on the body of this guitar is pretty much complete. The hole for the Neutrik locking jack socket has been machined into the side of the body. The holes fro the Volume and Tone controls have been drilled and counterbored and the slot and holes for the 5-position pickup selector switch have been cut into the wood. All that's left for the body is some sanding before the body and the neck go to finishing.

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We drilled holes through the body for the strings.
(6/20/09) The placement of the bridge in relation to the neck pocket is very important. We did all the necessary measurements with the neck and fingerboard in place and having established the location of the bridge we were able to drill the six clearance holes through the body for the strings. We'll also cut counterbores at the opposite ends of the holes on the back of the body to suit the string ferrules.

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The side dots have now been glued into small holes we drilled on our CNC.
(6/18/09) Now that the inlay has been set into the front of the fingerboard we can continue with the side dots. We decided that for maximum visibility we would put black side dots on the neck. We drilled the holes in the side of the fingerboard on the cnc and glued in the material for the dots. Once the glue has completely cured we will clean up these dots and get the fingerboard ready for installation of the frets.

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pearl dots have been installed in the neck. We're ready to put the side dots in.
(6/13/09) As you can see in the photo to the left, we have now installed the pearl inlay into the front of the fingerboard. We glued these into the recesses we cut on the cnc leaving a very tiny about above the surface. Once the glue is completely hard, the entire fingerboard surface is carefully sanded down so that the inlay is perfectly flush with the compund radius. We'll do some further sanding with very fine paper right before the frets go in.

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The Carbon Fiber rods are now part of the neck. We've drilled the tuner holes and the fretboard has been machined.
(6/9/09) As you can see from the photo we have completed the carbon fiber rod assebly and cleaned up the joint face. Also we have drilled the six holes in the headstock for the tuners. On the left, the maple fingerboard has been machines and the holes for the pearl inlay dots have been machined. We also cut the slot at the end of the fingerboard for the nut. Once we insert the inlay dots on the front we'll add the side dots.

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Here we are clamping and gluing the two carbon fiber rods into the neck.
(6/3/09) Time to glue the carbon fiber rods into the channels in the neck. We secure the rods with epoxy and it's important that the rods are firmly seated in the channels and that the glue fills any space between the wood and the rods. This results in a very rigid assembly and a very stable neck. The epoxy is left to cure overnight. The neck is already very light and we haven't even shaped the back of the neck yet.

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The CNC is in the process of cutting the fret slots using a micro carbide end mill.
(5/29/09) Some progress has been made on the fingerboard. In this particular case we are using Birdseye Maple. We have cut the fingerboard profile to the finished size, cut the compound radius with a ball nose end mill, and now we are cutting the fret slots using a micro carbide end mill. This will get us to a stage where we can finish up the neck and get the frets installed. We'll have to come up with the right solution for the fret markers and side dots.

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Good progress today. We were able to cut the two f-holes in the body and shape the headstock and parts of the neck.
(5/19/09) Today we set up the guitar body on one of our CNC machines and machined the two f-holes through the top plate of the body. These really give the guitar some character. Later in the day we worked on the neck blank. I marked out the headstock shape and cut and sanded it to size. Also, I removed a good amount of excess material along the neck profile and now the neck really feels like it should! Next step will be getting the fingerboard cut.

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here we are cutting the radius and front face of the headstock on the CNC machine. This will be cleaned up later and maybe veneered depending on how it looks with the maple fingerboard.
(5/5/09) We have the neck of this guitar mounted on one of our CNC machines. We cleaned up the top surface of the entire neck, then cut the neck profile from the nut to the heel. Next we cut the front surface of the headstock and the raduis using a ball nosed end mill. Now that the basic shapes of the neck have been established, we will move on to cutting the slots for the two carbon fiber rods, and the center slot which will accommodate the truss rod.

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The maple top is being glued onto the ash body. Always a good idea to use as many clamps as possibe.
(5/5/09) Today I decided it was time to glue the top plate onto the body of the guitar. All the internal work has been done - the shielding spray has been applied and we need to move on to cutting the f-holes. As you can see in the photo - we made sure the two pieces were securely glued and clamped together. Tomorrow we will clean up the edges and mark out the locations for the two f-holes. Looking good so far!

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All the nachining is done inside the body - we are now ready to glue on the top plate.
(4/30/09) We have machined out some of the material near the base of the guitar, and you can also see the small slots that have been cut for wiring holes running between the two pickups, the bridge and the control cavity. Next, the joint edges of the body were carefully masked off and I sprayed electrically shielding paint into the entire cavity area. This paint acts like the copper tape we normally use to inhibit outside electrical interference.

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Here we see the hole for the access to the controls inside the body of the guitar.
(4/21/09) The body of this guitar was aet up on the CNC and we cut the recesses for the control cavity and the control cavity cover. We already have the actual cover set aside ready to fit into this recess which we machined from the same piece of wood. Next we will machine a few channels for the internal wiring and at that point we will be ready to glue the bookmatched Maple top onto the rest of the body.

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The two bookmatched pieces for the top of the guitar are bing glued and clamped.
(4/14/09) The two halves of the curly maple top wood have been sanded down to a suitable thickness for this chambered instrument. Next - we used a milling cutter to accurately machine the two joint faces of the tops to ensure a perfect fit. In the photo on the left you can see the gluing and clamping procedure. We have 4 clamps holding the two pieces down, 2 more keeping everything flay, and 3 more applying pressure onto the joint itself.

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These are the woods we will be using to construct the neck. Ash and Curly Maple.
(4/12/09) These are the two woods we are using for the neck of this guitar. The stripey stuff on the outer edges is Ash, and the tapered strip down the center is Curly Maple to match the top of the guitar. These will not only look good together on the instrument, but they will both respond nicely to the tint we will apply to the body and the neck. The more I think about how this guitar will come out, the more I like the thought of a tobacco sunburst. We'll see.

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Chambering of the body is under way. The ash is a great material for this type of instrument. It will also take a nice color stain when we finish it.
(3/29/09) Here you can see the cnc machine working on the chambering of the guitar. There are a few different operations to complete the chambering work which we will continue with over the next couple of days. The resulting body will be nice and lightweight! We will now proceed to the cutting of the top plate. We're planning to bookmatch some curly maple. We'll let our customer decide on the tint. We're also waiting on our material for the neck to arrive.

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we are ready to start machining out the chambered sections of this guitar. We will remove around 75% of the body material making the instrument very light!
(3/27/09) Today we set up the body of this guitar on on of our CNC machines so that we can get started on removing material to create the chambers inside the guitar body. We will remove most of the material from the inside of the body so that the instrument will be very lightweight and have a little resonance of its own. We have to be careful to maintain wall thickness around the body that will support the tension of the strings.

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The two body halves have been rough-cut and now we are gluing them together so that we can start working on the chambered body.
(3/23/09) In this photo you can see that we are in the process of gluing the two halves of the body together. Previous to this, we removed the piece of material which we will use for the control cavity cover. It was carefully cut from the parent material so that the grain will match when the cover is fitted into the finished instrument. As soon as the glue has set between the body halves, we will clean up the oversize material and get it ready for machining.

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here we see the blanks for the body halves cut out from a very nice piece of Ash we have in the shop.

(3/11/09) This guitar will be built along the same lines as 07G012. In the photo to the left you can see that we have cut out the basic shape of the body of the instrument from a nice piece of Ash. This will become the back of the guitar which will then be chambered so that the finished instrument will be hollow-bodied. We'll machine the body halves down to the correct thickness and glue them together over the next couple of days.

Last update August 28, 2009