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5 days ago
Wilborn Guitars
Headstock binding. Ebony and maple on Madagascar rosewood. Taking extra time to make the rabbets very clean and precise makes this job a pleasure instead of a chore.

Headstock binding. Ebony and maple on Madagascar rosewood. Taking extra time to make the rabbets very clean and precise makes this job a pleasure instead of a chore. ... See MoreSee Less

14 CommentsComment on Facebook

Gorgeous faceplate, too!

This is beautiful work. Thank you for sharing!

Looking good

Excellent!!

I count 6 rabbet holes to go down, take your pick! 8-)

Well, im about 1 more picture of headstock binding away from doing it on my currently build๐Ÿคฃ

I am with you!

One more string please….

Nicely shaped.

I would absolutely love to own one of your guitars, I watch your channel on YouTube, shame I have never seen one in the UK.

Craftsmanship....

Aric Tipler

And you chamfer the tuning machine holes - how cool is that?

I learned how to make complicated headstock binding by making them before gluing on the headstock. Index the holes, then shape and bind the veneer. Then glue the veneer down and shape the headstock to the veneer. Think F-5 mandolins.

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2 weeks ago
Wilborn Guitars
An Ibex in the the white. (Thatโ€™s luthier talk for complete, but unlacquered) This is my smallest model, at only 12 inches across the lower bout, yet it packs a mighty wallop. Carpathian  spruce over Brazilian rosewood . Wait till you see it in finish!Image attachmentImage attachment+2Image attachment

An Ibex in the the white. (Thatโ€™s luthier talk for complete, but unlacquered) This is my smallest model, at only 12 inches across the lower bout, yet it packs a mighty wallop. Carpathian spruce over Brazilian rosewood . Wait till you see it in finish! ... See MoreSee Less

10 CommentsComment on Facebook

I want to hear it!

thats super clean work, love it!

Beautiful.

I LOVE MY IBEX! This one will be exquisite!

I believe everyone are looking forward to hear the sound.

Very nice design indeed.

Wow!

That’s amazing

Hi sir, to custom make such a small size guitar(same as the picture you posted), may I know what is the estimated cost? Thank you

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2 weeks ago
Wilborn Guitars

A red Brazilian Nautilus with Adirondack on top. ... See MoreSee Less

57 CommentsComment on Facebook

All of your guitars have a unique sound....this one catches my ear and emotions in a very special way. Thanks, Ben. Lovely playing once again.

Another amazing creation Ben. The wood on this guitar is stunningly beautiful and as always I absolutely love your enthusiasm and energy when you do these videos.

The guitar is a master instrument. Great job!! I think the both the beginning piece and end piece you played really did a great job of showing what the Coma is capable of. And to think that it’s only going to get better sounding from here on!

Ben, aside from an aesthetic choice on the back and rims Dalbergia sapwood off cuts can make wonderful contrasting light colored binding materials as well. I have a Brazilian Rosewood guitar where we used Cocobolo sapwood as binding.

Man thats wonderfull, Iv been around guitars for 60years and thats as good as Iv heard , keep up the good work !!!!!!

Brother you outdo yourself on every guitar you make....absolutely stunning sound!!! Well done!!!!

Shazam! Huge sound and gorgeous looks--awesome stuff, Ben!

Wow I thrive to get my hoar guitar as good as yours. Well done sir. Wow

Extraordinary sound!

Congratulations Charles, that is a heck of a guitar you have coming your way! I would love to hear what that sounds like amplified as I do not recall ever seeing one with a pick up in it! Enjoy!

That sounds insanely good!

This one exceeds even your usual high standard, Ben. Congrats!

Now that is a tone and volume I would be after. Superb guitar as usual and it is nice that you demo it.

Exceptional!!

Sigh ... so very lovely. Nice fingerstyle!

This sounds good Murray Wall

I love a Gretch.. when at Sweetwater, they brought me a bib so I didn’t dried all over their Gretch guitars..I watched this..and had to find a bib twice as long! WONDERFUL.

I could play that beautiful masterpiece until my fingers started to cramp. Such a nice tone to the ear.

Beautiful work and playing..love partial capos..

Another beauty, Ben!

Beautifull tone. The base is deep the resonens strong.

Beautiful guitar!

Class guitar , beautiful sound . How much does it cost ?

Fabulous guitar and very nice playing too!

Roars with a deep and sustained vibe. โค๏ธ tone.

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3 weeks ago
Wilborn Guitars

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4 CommentsComment on Facebook

Dude build guitars but your guitars are really amazing. Well done

Gorgeous ๐Ÿ˜

The written comment from the DG website reads: "I wish all guitars grabbed me like this Nautilus from Ben Wilborn. His Comma Series builds are just so energetic and expressive, playing this guitar is like having an active conversation with the instrument where it contributes as much as you the player." Wow -- what more can one say?

4 weeks ago
Wilborn Guitars

Hot off the presses from Wilborn Guitars! ... See MoreSee Less

80 CommentsComment on Facebook

Wow sounds great, love it!

The sustain is awesome. Wish I could afford one .Been playing junk all my 71 years.

What is the name of the second tune? I really like it!

Beautiful

A lot of projection and nice tone. Well done.

Beautiful looking and sounding guitars

Wow, sounds awesome !!

What a beautiful sounding guitar.

I want a CD!!! Do you have any with your music on them?

Very cool, dude. Beautiful guitar with truly exceptional sound.

Yet another really fine guitar .... and WONDERFUL playing, Ben!

The guitar sounds amazing as always. I also appreciate that you color coordinated your head gear and shirt!

Amazing indeed

Wow , big sound , love it

Most respectfull greetings from Belgium .. Love to hear you play, and I love how your guitars sound, pretty contagious is my best observation. Thanks for being around.

wonderful guitar - I prefer a cedar top for warmth - but first class instrument - congrats - Martin Simpson would probably like it

๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ€โ˜€

Wonderful!

I would love to know the price please. It reminds me of my 1979 Larrivee. Sings like an angel. Thanks for sharing your talents.

Wonderful! Ben, what strings do you use in these guitars, please?

A very rich sounding guitar. I’d play it !

I play sitting down and I would hurt myself with that pointy horn but this instrument has very impressive tone and its loud.

Som de excelência, parabéns.

Beautiful sounds ! Beautiful playing !

Wow,great guitar sound & playing!

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1 month ago
Wilborn Guitars

A little Frog and Toad for your Wednesday morning. Just close your eyes and pretend Brad is wearing pants.

www.frogandtoadmusic.com
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35 CommentsComment on Facebook

For American guys you have quite an impressive variety of toques.

I love it! Just wonderful!

Great job

So nice to see someone building amazing guitars and showing them to best advantage by playing them so well :-)

Hi bro good work

Breath of fresh air!!

Once again you two have outdone yourself. Love listening to your guys. Thanks for the opportunity to enjoy…

Whoa! Ben! Are you playing a guitar that you haven't shown to us? Does it have a pick-up? Cool matte finish

Love the tune! It somehow conjured an interesting PINK background vibe!!

Big Sky! Good stuff!

Very nice

Awesome, great job guys! ๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽธ

That was awesome guys. Sooo good.๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿ‘

I tried closing my eyes, but I just can’t un see it! Lol ๏ฟผNice tune!

Just so good… the music, not the shorts (or the puffball hat). Happy New Year to you both. ♥๏ธ

Wonderful guitars

Very enjoyable. ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿจ

Is that a Gruhn Versitar?

Very good. Congratulations.

Great tune, the guitars sound amazing of course, and the burst on Ben's guitar is one of the nicest I have seen. Beautiful.

Sounded great, I closed our light blocking shades, shut my eyes, put on Kathy's sleeping eye mask, and still could not not see them!!! I just thank the Father Almighty that I did not have to see the socks too!

Fantastic!!!

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿปโค๏ธ

Thank you both, I needed that tune to warm up on this frigid prairie morning, even forgot about the pink shorts : )

Lovely I

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2 months ago
Wilborn Guitars
Hereโ€™s another example of why Brazilian rosewood is king. In addition to the rich and powerful sound it contributes to a guitar, the sheer variety of grain and colors is astonishing. I love the stark delineation between heartwood and sapwood on this set. This is how it looks with just the grain filler- itโ€™s going to really shine under lacquer.

This guitar features an access door on the tail for easy pickup modification and future repairs. And, of course, a very cool view of the innards.Image attachmentImage attachment+3Image attachment

Hereโ€™s another example of why Brazilian rosewood is king. In addition to the rich and powerful sound it contributes to a guitar, the sheer variety of grain and colors is astonishing. I love the stark delineation between heartwood and sapwood on this set. This is how it looks with just the grain filler- itโ€™s going to really shine under lacquer.

This guitar features an access door on the tail for easy pickup modification and future repairs. And, of course, a very cool view of the innards.
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47 CommentsComment on Facebook

Great looking! What is the grain filler you use?

Deja vu! That ripple in the middle of the back is neat!

Stunning!

This my dream guitar, since i found your fb account. I love your guitar.

Always great, and I love this tailblock access solution!

I have had a love affair with the guitar, in all its forms, styles and manifestations, for over 50 years but never have I seen or heard anything remotely like the guitars you craft and you just reach new levels with each new guitar; keep on doing whatever it is you do. I just wish that I had the talent to do justice to one of your guitars and could wait out the wait list whenever you decide it's time to reopen it. This one is spectacularly beautiful; don't recall ever seeing Brazilian Rosewood with sapwood in a guitar before.

I make a side hole guitar and adding pickups after the build is difficult. So you have added an access point for this very purpose. Such a great simple idea. Well done.

Ben, any chance of getting a straight on shot of the tailend of the guitar with the access panel on? I would just like to see it. I have toyed with the idea of doing the same with my guitars.

I’m such a sap for sapwood! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Beautiful work, as always, Ben!

Very nice! What do you use as a finish?

You know.. I've been needing an acoustic(constant search for the last 5 years.)and this might be the winner. Any chance you can stick a slim c on there?

I should stop looking at all your guitars here on Facebook ... I've become an addict. Looking at these just gets me so wound up and excited, and then I look at the calendar and remember my guitar is still a long way away. These instruments are just too good.

Awesomeness!!!

Beautiful wood and fine craftsmanship Ben. I’m putting the final touches on my new shop (well as final as a shop ever gets) and will start building again soon.

Brazilian rosewood, king of woods, and you are king guitar making!

Gorgeous!

Sheesh I wish that was mine!!

Incredibly Beautiful!! The access door is a great idea, both in the building stage as well as the life of the guitar.

Gorgeous!

stunning!

I have only seen one other guitar with the rear access panel like yours. It is my hand made Hopkins parlor guitar. Did you know or associate with that builder? How did you come up with that idea? On my Hopkins, the piece is held in by magnets! What about yours? By the way, that is a gorgeous build and looks like it will sound great. Nice to see as I have never seen your work before. Keep making beautiful things, please!

So beautiful!!!!!

Unbelievable…!!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Very pretty indeed.

Beautiful work, Ben. Similar to the BRW you built for me! Love it

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2 months ago
Wilborn Guitars
The inside of the current Nautilus. Thereโ€™s a pretty nice picture or two of the side laminations, and then the top being clamped and glued into place.Image attachmentImage attachment+1Image attachment

The inside of the current Nautilus. Thereโ€™s a pretty nice picture or two of the side laminations, and then the top being clamped and glued into place. ... See MoreSee Less

5 CommentsComment on Facebook

You don't have any Australian dealers do you? I'd be really keen to try one of your builds out!

Such straight grain on the back wood! What kind?

I would love to live in your workshop to watch you build a Nautilus from start to finish. But I would have so many questions, it would surely take you a year to finish one guitar!

Where the magic happens

Beauty

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2 months ago
Wilborn Guitars

One last Nautilus for Tomโ€ฆ ... See MoreSee Less

25 CommentsComment on Facebook

Spectacular!

I think I have made this comment in the past, but the thing I absolutely love about your videos is the excitement and enthusiasm with which you describe your guitars makes me want to mortgage my house and order one....... They are truly amazing works of art and they sound fantastic. Thanks so sharing these with us.

I want THIS!

How is it possible that the man who makes such incredible sounding guitars also plays them so stunningly well? I takes my hat off to you, Sir. Well done. Keep on doing it.

Like always, spectacular! The note separation and clarity, and easy on the eyes. Happy New Year

My name is Tom and I accept this guitar!

I love it! I’m a novice and could not bring out the potential of such an instrument. That doesn’t mean I won’t try!

That sounds SO GOOD

My name is Van but I now Identify as Tom!

Nice playing and talk, thanks :-)

The sound and beauty of this guitar is unbeleavible. I don't know if you remember me but I am loving watching your posts and some day I will own a Wilborn!!!

Gorgeous tone

I’m in love with the sound of this guitar! Absolutely beautiful work.

This sounds as fabulous as it looks! Wow!

Ahhh...thanks so much for the info and I love your playing!

Love where the guitar took you on that last improv!

Just when I think you have tapped out, you come up with a better sounding guitar. I enjoy your progression and the deep thoughts that lead you this modal. This is just a thought. What about a smaller scale of the same guitar. Maybe parlor size ?

That might be my favorite new guitar too!

There has to be a voice to that song in you

I’m gunna topic veer for a sec . I’d love to see an all hog model which I think African Mahogany fir the top as is has so it’s said a bit brother highs and tad more lows then Honduras . Obviously if I could afford it I’d have it built ! lol ๐Ÿ˜‚ but maybe someone will eventually order one . I’ll just watch from the sidelines. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Ben Wilborn I think Tom needs a new friend. I could picture setting on the porch playing his new nautilus.

Thumbs up

Thank you for the beautiful music and the guitar porn.

Wow!

At the risk of asking, a stupid question, is the guitar tuned a step low with a capo in the second fret? ๏ฟผ

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2 months ago
Wilborn Guitars

Merry Christmas from Frog and Toad.

www.frogandtoadmusic.com
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83 CommentsComment on Facebook

That was just gorgeous guys! Merry Christmas to you guys too! ๏ฟผ

Wonderful

Merry Christmas, guys! You sound fantastic! Loving the headwear. ♥๏ธ

Beautiful arrangement, guys! Happy Holidays to you and your families!

Beautiful tone and well played. Merry Christmas

Bravo!!

Beautiful. Perfect.

Again incredible!!! Love when you two play. You knock my socks off….

Thanks a lot from Slovakia. You are great, guys. Have a wonderful whole new year ๐Ÿ€

Wonderful thanks for sharing this with us ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜Š

Merry Christmas guys! So clean and tastefully done!!! Love this!!

Sounds fabulous guys!

Merry Christmas

Pretty good ๐Ÿ‘ Merry Christmas ๐ŸŽ„

Nicely done guys ๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ‘Œ

Good job guys.โš˜โš˜

Merry Christmas!!! Awesome. Brad - love the stocking cap!!!

As aways you guys sound great. Merry Christmas

Very cool guitars sound magical

Very nice indeed guys.

really nice sir

Just lovely, you guys.. A most blessed Christmas to you both... And all of your cohorts!!

Bravo ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ‘

merry Christmas to you all sir

Perfect!

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2 months ago
Wilborn Guitars
Some progress shots of the current Nautilus. The body is complete, and Iโ€™ve applied a couple coats of grain filler. Brazilian and Carpathian spruce. No matter how many times Iโ€™ve done it, this benchmark in a guitarโ€™s progress always feels good.Image attachmentImage attachment+4Image attachment

Some progress shots of the current Nautilus. The body is complete, and Iโ€™ve applied a couple coats of grain filler. Brazilian and Carpathian spruce. No matter how many times Iโ€™ve done it, this benchmark in a guitarโ€™s progress always feels good. ... See MoreSee Less

57 CommentsComment on Facebook

Seeing the wood come alive with the pore filler has to be a wonderful experience. I love this set, right up my alley, a little character here and there to add to the beauty.

That's a beautiful guitar. It looks stunning and definitely is a thing of beauty. I bet it will sound great, too.

Love it !

Looks great man. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wow, that is really pretty. Though I think it may be missing something kind of important.

Beautiful

Beautiful work!! Can I ask how much you ask for one of those??

So may I ask ? Between the models of the comma series is the body shape the same just scaled down for each ? They look that way but never thought to ask ? ๐Ÿ˜Š

Aside the awesome design, this guitar sounds like unique to me . A pity you are on the other side of the world otherwise I would get one for sure

One thing I wish I could do is build guitars! It must be so rewarding! Particularly when you can play what you've made!

Fantastic just Fantastic

Muito interessante, parabéns ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ

Stunning work. I'm sure they sound most awesome!

Nice! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Beautiful. And again…so neat!

That BRW is sweet!

Wow!! Just wow!! Absolutely stunning!

Beautiful curve the circles the teardrop sound hole! Very nice!

Love that big black stripe on the players side!

Beautiful the binding around the soundhole

Howmuch

Very nice work

Stunning workmanship

Stunning!

What a beauty! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ๐ŸŒˆ It seems we both like the same soundhole shape ๐Ÿ˜Š

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2 months ago
Wilborn Guitars
The very beginnings of the next build here at the never ending guitar manufactory. Note the previous instrument marinading in the background. More lovely Brazilian, this time coupled with an Adirondack spruce top.Image attachmentImage attachment

The very beginnings of the next build here at the never ending guitar manufactory. Note the previous instrument marinading in the background. More lovely Brazilian, this time coupled with an Adirondack spruce top. ... See MoreSee Less

8 CommentsComment on Facebook

Man I wish I was an elf on the shelf in your shop ! lol ๐Ÿ˜‚

Absolutely stunning… As usual!

That back!

Drool ๐Ÿคค

and the thirst quenching sparkling water! Beautiful wood!

Gorgeous BRW and luscious Adi!

Wow what great straight grain. That guitar is going to be a cannon. Nautilus?

I invite you to be very suspicious of Brazilian rosewood that has sapwood. Half a century ago this sapwood was simply chopped off and discarded. Its presence is an indicator of potential illegal harvest.

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3 months ago
Wilborn Guitars

Just in time for your Christmas gift to yourself! This Tasmanian blackwood and Carpathian spruce Nautilus is headed to Dream Guitars next week.

By the way, I misspoke; the nut is 1 13/16โ€ wide, not 1 3/4โ€.
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49 CommentsComment on Facebook

Master!! Your work is incredible!!!

Nice array of tones and good resonance! Kudos!!

Outstanding! The sound and looks are superb!

My dream guitar..๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ™

Beautiful guitar, Ben--love the woods, the understated bevels, the headplate, the tone, and on and on. Someone will get a special Xmas present with that guitar--Kudos!

Sounds fabulous Ben Wilborn, well done my friend!

Beautiful, Ben! Love the headstock texture and color combo with the tuners.

I want one of these beauties! Currently, I have a Guild D-25 with a broken finish on its face due to three juveniles who showed me no respect. I had that Guild since I was 21, I am not 67. I still have an Alvarez, acoustic guitar. But this Wilborn would really change my perspective on picking and grinning.

Nice sound

Beautiful sounding instrument ๐Ÿ˜

I just discovered you through your video. There's something about that blackwood and spruce combination! Just bought a Maton 808 with a spruce top and blackwood back and sides, and although it's not a high end model, I was really blown away by the tone! So to hear this now was fantastic! Lovely work! Can't comment on the looks as I am totally blind, but the positive consequence of that is that aesthetics are a secondary consideration for me. I prefer a satin finish generally, as I believe the wood breathes better than it does even under a thin gloss finish, and this is certainly true of both the Matons I own.

Ahh, good old Aussie Tasmanian Blackwood. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nice sound.

Another beauty!

Wow! It has a brilliant accoustic sound.. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’–

An amazing sound in a new guitar! Wow!

Very nice!

I would apsulotly love but would probably be out of my price range

Love the headstock… tones are unbelievable once again you have outdone yourself

Once again, again, Ben! Absolutely beautiful!

Can't wait for this beauty!!

very warm and round sound very good!

Great sounding guitar.... love to play.....๐Ÿ˜Š

Sounds nice and playing

Mother of gods your playing is exquisite

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3 months ago
Wilborn Guitars
I was once a carpenter. I remember framing a wall with an old grumpy carpenter who yelled at me โ€œGaddamn it, Benny, we arenโ€™t building a piano here!โ€, because I was trying to be too precise. He had a point. Even then, the urge to work in thousandths of an inch rather than โ€œfat eighthsโ€ was upon me. But some framerโ€™s tricks, like these X marks to indicate which side of the mark to place the brace (or 2x4) still serve me well.Image attachment

I was once a carpenter. I remember framing a wall with an old grumpy carpenter who yelled at me โ€œGaddamn it, Benny, we arenโ€™t building a piano here!โ€, because I was trying to be too precise. He had a point. Even then, the urge to work in thousandths of an inch rather than โ€œfat eighthsโ€ was upon me. But some framerโ€™s tricks, like these X marks to indicate which side of the mark to place the brace (or 2x4) still serve me well. ... See MoreSee Less

30 CommentsComment on Facebook

Ha, my boss at Calton Cases used to yell that at me.

Do you also mark cut lines with an additional angled line to show which side of the line to cut on? I feel like I learned so much in carpentry that I’ve applied to guitar making - but like you, I was far too picky to be a fast carpenter…

I worked under a finish carpenter once. I was mainly his gopher. He said that good finish carpenters are really good at covering up their mistakes. I took that to heart because I certainly make them. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love the way you build your guitars

Haha, I saw and built many a wall with a line and an X. Threw in a couple of Os for king studs too.

Benny! Never thought of you as a Benny…

Thanks for the tip. Having never worked as a carpenter, I've learned something new.

brazilian?

Sometimes, whether it's working with wood or just around the house, I'm reminded of "Close enough is good enough." ....The fella who taught me how to build my first ukulele would first ask "Is it the best you can do?" when I'd ask him to look over my work.

I retro fit doors for 40 years. I get it.

The Grandfather would say “we ain’t buildin’ a watch here”, as well as “if it looks good from the highway, it’s good enough for me”

Hey Mark !It s not a piano! Was yelled at me so many times when I was learning but I stuck to my guns and now I am the guy they hire when they want stuff done tight and right๐Ÿ˜Ž

True.

Hey man, I have a giclee of the train I want to give you if you'd like it. It's not full-size but it's not pocket-sized either. Let me know...

It's all relative. I used to tell folks who marvelled at instrument work tolerances that a luthier would be laughed off the set at any good automotive machine shop.

Lucky is the guitarist who will soon own this Brazilian masterpiece!

I do the same. Not only because of my woodworking experience but because the older I get I have a bad case of “CRS”๐Ÿคฃ

What kind of wood is that? It’s beautiful.

Beautiful

I was a machinist who became a carpenter. People who know see my framing work and describe it as "crisp". That's a compliment. Being somewhat precise has its own rewards.

I'm sure you still use 2x4's it's just they're 2mm by 4mm. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I worked with a carpenter who used to tell me, “This ain’t no church.”

Looks like you learned from said grumpy old carpenter.

I had a friend call me Pharaoh and tell me we aren’t building the pyramids.

"You're not building the altar at St. Mary's"

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3 months ago
Wilborn Guitars
I think finishing represents about 1/3 of the work of building a guitar. Long ago I would struggle and gnash my teeth, but about a decade ago, I made my peace with nitrocellulose lacquer, and now I actually enjoy the process. It involves a lot of very disciplined sanding, using abrasives that I have become comfortable with, and mercilessly discard the second their performance deteriorates. The key is getting the instrument very close to perfect before the last coats go on. This involves all sorts of different sanding blocks: shaped, cylindrical, hard and flat, and soft and flat. My schedule involves shooting 15 coats of 50/50 diluted lacquer after a catalyzed undercoat, and the final film is between .004 and .005โ€ thick.Image attachmentImage attachment

I think finishing represents about 1/3 of the work of building a guitar. Long ago I would struggle and gnash my teeth, but about a decade ago, I made my peace with nitrocellulose lacquer, and now I actually enjoy the process. It involves a lot of very disciplined sanding, using abrasives that I have become comfortable with, and mercilessly discard the second their performance deteriorates. The key is getting the instrument very close to perfect before the last coats go on. This involves all sorts of different sanding blocks: shaped, cylindrical, hard and flat, and soft and flat. My schedule involves shooting 15 coats of 50/50 diluted lacquer after a catalyzed undercoat, and the final film is between .004 and .005โ€ thick. ... See MoreSee Less

19 CommentsComment on Facebook

I’m a new follower from Sweden. You are very generous with your advice. Thanks a lot. I do struggle with my nitro process myself, haven’t found the key to success yet, very often I shoot 20-25 coats before I’m satisfied with the surface. And I must add, you make wonderful guitars. Both the sound and the looks are stunning!

I enjoy the process too. Can I ask what brand of nitro you use? Now that McFadden/Seagrave seems to be no longer available, I’m kind of dreading switching to either Cardinal or Behlin.

Question for you, Ben. I’ve noticed you use both Festool and Mirka sanders. Do you have a preference between the two? Or do you have any specific tasks where one performs better than the other? And thank you for sharing. Your work is great, as always!

๐Ÿ™Œ

Somebody’s gotta do it! If it was easy, everybody would! Ben, this totally and reluctantly fits your nature! What an awesome thing to find in life!!!!

Please! What kind of guitar is this with an offset sound hole on the BACK side of the guitar? I must know!!

I admire your dedication and discipline Ben. It sure shows in the final product!

Slow and steady wins the race. Can't rush perfection. Well done.

I envy you. My maiden voyage into guitar finishing was 5 Teles I made last year and shot nitro. Got it done with happy result but, MY GAWD, it took for-ever! Lots of mistakes and issues and sanding, sanding, sanding! I developed a facial tick just thinking about it!

May I ask how many hours you spend finishing a nitro guitar?

More beautiful by the day!

Do you ever do French polish?

Nitro is so forgiving, I would hate to have to replace it. The process to me is getting easier every year, like you say Prep is everything if it isn't good below the finish it takes so much more work. Your finishes are great Ben

I had to stop using nitro some 25 years ago for health reasons. I tried various waterborne finishes, but never was happy with the results. as nitro really is hard to replace ...it;s such a great finish . Ended up with french polish, and I like it Same kind of warmth

Use sandpaper like it's free!

That appears to be a stunning guitar you are working on there. One of a kind for sure!

They don’t call it the finish for no reason … a lot of woodworkers struggle. For many years I didn’t think of it as work, because I was already done producing …

BOOORRRRRINNNGGGGGG! More WoodGrainPorn content, please.

You said the undercoat was catalyzed - is that also nitro?

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3 months ago
Wilborn Guitars
Iโ€™ve seen many a tuning machine installed badly. Some so badly I can barely believe my eyes. But doing a nice job is not hard, and it means you can easily remove the machine for maintenance or replacement. Iโ€™ve made a carefully spaced template for locating screw holes, and I drill the holes with a self-centering vixbit. All the holes are chamfered (10 seconds total). I do this before finish goes on, so Iโ€™m less likely to gouge my finished work later. This might seem like an overly fussy detail, but repairing one torn out ferrule hole takes longer than making the template, going to the store for a vixbit and setting all the tools up for use. Plus, it just is the nice way to do it even if it is never seen or appreciated.Image attachment

Iโ€™ve seen many a tuning machine installed badly. Some so badly I can barely believe my eyes. But doing a nice job is not hard, and it means you can easily remove the machine for maintenance or replacement. Iโ€™ve made a carefully spaced template for locating screw holes, and I drill the holes with a self-centering vixbit. All the holes are chamfered (10 seconds total). I do this before finish goes on, so Iโ€™m less likely to gouge my finished work later. This might seem like an overly fussy detail, but repairing one torn out ferrule hole takes longer than making the template, going to the store for a vixbit and setting all the tools up for use. Plus, it just is the nice way to do it even if it is never seen or appreciated. ... See MoreSee Less

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Good one!

What an Artisan

Doing it right the 1st time is the way to go, looks great! God is in the small details

I'm certain all that craftsmanship is appreciated โค๏ธ

Love all the details!

Overly fussy? Not to me. Little things like this are the difference between good and excellent

A bradawl works just fine.

I love that philosophy. It reminds me of the old master composers who would write “A the glory of God” At the top of the page. I’ve built an acoustic dreadnaught with my dad when I was in high school and I know the time and attention to detail all it this makes. No one but you may ever see it, but there is something special about doing the whole job right.

No detail is "fussy", the devil is in the details. Details seperate the levels of quality, and in my opinion is what craftmanship is all about. Be proud of your care for details, its what will make you.

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