BUILDING A SPECIAL 381 WITH HAND-CARVED TOP FOR
A CUSTOMER IN JAPAN
This was a long-term project that addressed many preferences of the customer, and I was honored to have been chosen to build his "dream" guitar for him. Starting with a highly-figured 381V69, the original top was removed, and a new top was hand-carved from a similarly-grained 1 1/2"maple slab. The new top was to feature an "F" hole and no pick guard--controls were to be mounted to the top, and access to the wiring harness was to be through a new access hole in the back, which received a black acrylic flush-mounted cover plate. A new neck was made with a wider nut, and the neck was set with a steeper positive angle so the body would tuck more closely into the player's body. This meant that the bridge plate needed to be shimmed up from the top--obvious in the photos. Crushed mother-of-pearl fret markers were fabricated, and the neck was bound in "checkerboard" celluloid. A finish to match the owner's favorite vintage Gibson ES-175 was applied.