My Formentera Dottie
built in 2006, in a 3-weeks course by myself on
Formentera Island, Spain,
with a lot of help from Ekki Hoffmann of
chambered khaya body
with maple top
guitarfritz wiring for 10 sounds
from 3 singlecoils,
a 3-way and a 5-way-switch
I can`t decide how to call
self-applied acrylic finish.
Shall we name it ...
(I swear I`ve never thought about exchanging any initials in "worn pork" like Daniel Sch. suggested, although it would be a cunning stunt to do so...)
further suggestions are welcomed
where they don`t belong!?!?
Luthier Ekki Hoffmann thought I was crazy
(... and was probably right):
But I wanted the same distance between the fretboard dots.
From the 3rd up to the 15th fret the dots keep exactly the same distance from one another... From the 15th to the 21st fret the distance is exactly half a s long between these smaller frets...
Sounded like a good idea to me,
looks like shit.
the same idea was applied below and looked better:
These 4 guitar design projects
were my humble contibution to competition
called "build your dream guitar"
that the German guitar magazine "Gitarre & Bass" organized in 2005.
The blindfolded jury didn`t like any of them.
so I had to build this guitar myself.
A 3-way toggle selects the neck pickup or everything that is coming from the 5-way switch. Or - in the middel position - both, the neck pickup and the 5-way option.
The 5-way-switch provides:
bridge and middle parallel
bridge in series with middle pickup
bridge in series with neck pickup
(The P-90 bridge pickup is RWRP)
a heart and a bone
symbolize my love for this guitar (and all electric guitars) and the work that was
required to build it.
It took a lot of epoxy filler to hide the gaps that I routed into the ebony fretboard... Doing an inlay is definitely not what I do best.
trouble, trouble, trouble 1
Troubel started in Formentera:
the guitar body fell of the pin router
one pickup rod magnet was the wrong way around
one pickup had to be rewound
I lost a piece of the pearl inlay
we didn`t find it. I had to redo it.
trouble, trouble, trouble:
Back at home I disassembled the guitar
and started applying the finish.
I dyed it red and then applied some clear acrylic coats.
This took approx. 3 months.
But once it was finished, the guitar had shrunk
I assume the climate was the problem:
Formentera Island has a very moist climate and central europe where I live is a lot dryer.
Considerable body, neck and fretboard shrinkage:
The ebony fretboard had cracked: The little cover for the trussrod adjustment screw
had not shrunk, but the fretboard around it had ... Of course the cover beeing too big in relation to the fretboard cavitiy it was sunk in caused cracks.
Also the fret ends were stinging out of the fretboard sides ...worse than on an average Gibson guitar!
The guitar body had shrunk ...
... so that the hole for the guitarjack was too tight as well.
Unfortunately this plug was the only part I had left inside the body when I applied the finish. After that, when I wanted to take it out and resolder it this was impossible and the plug could not be moved and not be removed.
I had to use a metal drill and distroy the original plug in order to get it out...
The guitar body had shrunk so much ...
that the P-90 covers were too big to fit back in their routings The
cavities had to be hacked and chiselled wider again...
...MORE SHRINKAGE ...
The worst thing:
After the shrinkage the two posts for the PRS-style wraparound bridge had moved too close together.
The bridge didn`t fit well in between them anymore. It had to be jammed in and was blocked and could not be properly adjusted.
the string spacing was fucked up, too. The high E-string was much too close to the fretboard edge now and slipped off all the time when I played.
Apart from the shrinkage ...
I disliked the sound, too. Maybe this was a consequence of all the frustration that came with the shrinkage of all important wooden parts of the guitar ...
But I found that the neck singlecoil sounded way too thin and bright and the P-90 in the bridge position was honky, boxy and narrow.
(and built, modded and bought some new onest)
7 years went by ...
...7 years later I decided to give it another try ...
I had some rosewood dowels made to fill the bridge post holes with and then redrilled them a bit further away from the treble side fretboard edge.
Also I decided to try a different bridge:
The Schaller Les Trem.
The next chapter is
the next desaster:
..."The Pete Townshend Attitude" or:
Why does God
me so much?
I have no fotos of the thing that happened next:
I put the bridge and strings back on this cursed asshole-guitar and everything was fine.
But then I realized that the dowels were too soft and the bridge was too high. And the strings had pulled the bridge posts forward. The bridge posts stood out of the body at an slanted angle.
This was the moment when I thought that smashing this fucking guitar could be very, very satisfactory...
A second attempt
... to reset the bridge took place...
(with some kind of "I-have-nothing-to-lose-attitude")
I chiselled and hacked away 5mm from the guitar`s top in order to get the bridge posts a bit lower.
I had new dovels made, bigger ones.
I redrilled the slanted post holes.
I refilled them with the bigger dowels.
I redrilled new post holes (the 3rd generation of damned holes!)
I drilled, chiselled and hacked away a lot of wood in order to get deeper pickup cavities.
I drilled new holes going directly from every pickup cavitiy to the electronics cavitiy.
They turned out to be really ugly. (But "she" deserves it.)
the making of this
Some older ideas and digital sketches
Luthier Ekki Hoffmann thought I was crazy
when I showed him how "well prepeared" I was
(... he is probably right). But I`m glad I created so many veriations because after 10 years I still feel that the result turned out well and looks better than early versions.