Take a breath

It’s hard being seven, six and four years old. At least it was the other day at our house. I don’t know what was in the water where we live last Saturday, but I can tell you what was in the air – cries of “THIS IS A DISASTER!” and “THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!!” mixed with a healthy dose of “IT’S RUINED!!!” for good measure.

It seemed like every time I turned around one of my daughters was bringing me a tangled slinky or a botched project asking for my help, and in the midst of all these mini melt-downs I offered the same advice: take a breath, then take another, and then say these words “I can fix this problem”.

The irony vortex around our house must be particularly strong because ten minutes after giving this exact advice I managed to do this…


Maybe I should back up.

The mangled mess you see before you began life as the leftovers from an article that you may or may not ever get to read in Popular Woodworking (and co-incidentally for which I may or may not ever get paid). When I saw that these chunks of very-nearly quartersawn mahogany, and realized they were just about the right amount to glue up into a guitar body I couldn’t resist.

IMG-20190308-WA0000I also couldn’t believe it when it tipped the scales at 9+ lbs so I decided to go with a chambered, thinline style body with a maple cap (that just happened to be laying around).

This being my first chambered body I would have done well to do the chambering before cutting it out and the trimming after joining the top. Now I know, but enthusiasm and stupidity got the better of me and I hadn’t thought that through until the pattern bit on my router caught a glue seam and WHAMO!

I said words. Glorious words. Words I’m glad my kids were not around to hear. I think I may even have invented a new obscenity.

I came in the house, sat down across from my wife who looked up from her book long enough to hear me say “THIS IS A DISASTER” or “ALL THAT WORK AND IT’S FIREWOOD!!!” or something along those lines.

I started licking my wounds and looking for guitar body blanks on Ebay, when suddenly I remembered what I had been saying all day “take a breath, then take another, and then say these words ‘I can fix this'”.

So I did.

IMG-20190310-WA0001I cut the upper bouts off with a bandsaw, jointed the edge with my no.7 and scabbed in what scraps I had left. It ain’t pretty and no longer do I have that perfect grain, so I’ll be painting (or at least bursting) the back, but it’s a solid repair and even money says it sounds the same when I finally plug it in.


So I glued on the top and cleaned up the edges.


Eh, I guess that’ll do, and at 3 lbs, 14 oz, my back is already thanking me.



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Why hide it behind paint? I mean, it’s not perfect, but it’s honest, and still lovely…road worn, in a sense.


    1. True. And I’m a sucker for honesty.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrew Brant says:

    I think it looks great, and agree, why both with the sunburst? I think there’s a much more important life lesson here, and than you for sharing. But as a guitar player – yeah, I wouldn’t worry about it.

    Heck, I played a dan electro DC-59 for years, and it’s made of masonite and formica. If it’s good enough for Jimmy Page on ‘In My Time of Dying’ it’s good enough for me. The music won’t care and you’re the only one who would notice that’s not a guitar maker, and even then, I like the honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

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