Flame Maple & Ebony


The body is two pieces of Figured Maple. The neck is Flamed Maple with a Figured Walnut insert opposite the tuners. The fretboard is Macassar Ebony, polished to a gloss but unfinished.

The guitar was dyed black, sanded back and dyed again with a bright red tone. It was then sprayed with Instrument Stringed Gloss Lacquer and given 10 full coats. Then 3 weeks for curing before being flattened and polished.

This is a closeup of the Custom Red Crackle Pickguard. The Knobs are Black Chrome with Red Tortoise inserts. Pickups are Seymour Duncan Everything Axe.
The body starts with two pieces of 8/4 (2" thick) Flame Maple
After they are glued together, they are planed flat on a drum sander.
The shape is rough cut on the bandsaw.
The master templates and the newly profiled body.
A 3/4" thick working template is made from the masters and is used to profile the sides and rout out the cavities.
Routing out the spring cavity.
The spring cavity is 3/4" deep
Double-sided tape (turner's tape) is used to attach the cavity template to the profiled body.

The cavity template is lined up and pressed firmly to the body.

By taking small passes with a straight router bit, the desired depth is achieved. The area where the pickups will go are routed to a 3/4" depth. The control and jack cavities are routed to 1-1/2" and the tremolo cavity will eventually be routed through.
Preparing to rout out the neck pocket.
Small passes are again taken.
Easy does it!
Perfect! The neck pocket needs to be 5/8" deep.
In order to set the router bit depth, I mark lines on the side of the body for reference.
A 3/8" roundover bit is used around the outside of the body, being careful not to let it drift into the neck pocket area. Both sides are done. Then the arm cut is made. Once that's done to the desired angle and depth, I use a modeler's rasy to create the roundover, matching the one done on the router table.
The pencil lines follow the roundover and will be hand shaped to match.
Beginning the belly cut. The pencil line on the edge approximates how deep the cut will be.
This jig is used to create the 12" radius on the Macassar Ebony fretboard.
12" Fretboard Radius
Routing out for the dual action truss rod.
Cleaning up the corners.
With the truss rod cavity cleaned out, it's time to begin fitting the fretboard
I use pins at either end to set the fretboard so it won't slip during glue-up.
The edges will be cleaned up on the router table. The pocket, cleaned with a rasp.
First color is black dye.
The dark area is still wet
After the black dye dries, it's sanded back to only the deep grain still has black dye in it. Then a coat of red dye follows. This was shot when the dye was still wet.
After the dye dries, it looks like this. I have already sprayed a black burst around the perimeter here.
One coat of shallac is applied to seal in the dye. That is followed by 10 coats of nitrocelluose lacquer. This photo was taken after the first coat of lacquer.
Ten coats of lacquer later, this is what it looks like only one hour afterward.
The finish, straight out of the spray booth.
I intentionally sprayed the black border lightly so the flame would show. The sides are darker than the rest of the body even though it doesn't show in this photo.
Head and body shot.
On the table for surgery. Note the copper shielding, standard with all JMG guitars.
Fret leveling and polishing complete. Guitar is strung and intonated.

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