Watson Guitars
Idyllwild
California, USA

7-string Multiscale Guitar - (Serial 17B083)
Custom Guitar
Call
951-240-1666. or email us here!
   
Materials: Top & Back: Book-matched Rosewood
  Body: Sides constructed from Rosewood matching top and back.
  Core Laminates: 5pc neck Maple and Wenge
Fingerboard: Scale Lengths 23" to 27" scale. Common 90 degree Fret 24
  25 frets - 20in radius on FB surface
  Fingerboard dimensions coming soon!
Nut: Custom nut - details to follow. 1.860" string spacing (ctr-to-ctr).
Headstock: Reversed in-line headstock
Bridge:

Kahler multi-scale bridge. Offset 1in @ bridge, 3in @ nut.

  2.460" max string ctr-to-ctr to achieve straight linear string pull.
Ext. Finish: Satin Poly-Resin
Other: Custom sculpted back to conform to the player's body.
  Neck thickness (with FB) target is .875"
  String to FB edge (target measurements coming)
  Lower bout edge to fingerboard 30.375" from nut (technical illustration here)
  Break angles of strings at bridge coming.

This guitar is going to be a very custom instrument. It will be a 7-string multi-scale built to my customer's guidelines. The instrument will be designed to fit the player's profile in three dimensions. There will be some custom carving involved.

Highslide JS
I rough cut the top plate from the material I glued. In the interest of extreme caution I left about 1/4 all the way around until we finalize the other instrument geometry. Looks awesome!
(12/4/17) Left: Top plate has been roughed out for shape but I will hold off on sanding much closer to finshed size until we resolve fingerboard width. (12/6/17) Right: Text and picture coming.
Highslide JS
The bridge is getting converted to suit out decision to have a 1 inch differential at the bridge end.

Highslide JS
This wood is really beautiful and I can see how the whol guitar will come together color/grain-wise. Slightly darker due to natural color settling and of course the application of the finish.
(11/30/17) Left: Gluing the two top plates together. The grain will look really nice in its completed bookmatched condition! (12/2/17) Right: The Kahler bridge will be receiving some slight modifications based on recent decisions on scale length distribution. I need to sawp out some bridge parts.
Highslide JS
The bridge is getting converted to suit out decision to have a 1 inch differential at the bridge end.

Highslide JS
This is the geometry of the nut end of the fingerboard which we have to establish as it affect many of the other dimensions of the overall instrument.
(11/26/17) Left: Fingerboard being prepped for machining. I'm busy writing programs for the features on this board right now, and hope to be cutting it very soon after. (11/28/17) Right: We will be seeing more of this drawing. Right now I am scaling everything in a vector program from the template. Will be adding many other specifics.
Highslide JS
this is the basis for the drawing I am creating in Adobe Illustrator. It will adopt all the dimensions of the customer template and allow me to add other specifics to bring all features together. I need to drop in the finished fingerboard extreme widths and bridge geometry as the next step.

Highslide JS
I had some machine time free so I put the two plates up on CNC in order to clean up the two joing faces.
(11/21/17) Left: Happy with the two top plates now, I wam machining a clean joint face to glue them together. (11/23/17) Right: Putting together a vector file to help define some of my customer's geometry spepcifications related to the top of the guitar and its relative positions for other component parts. Starting with scaled photo.
Highslide JS
This photo was imported into my vector drawing software. Fron there I will establish an accurate scale drawing with critical dimensions noted.

Highslide JS
Not very pretty right now since it has been cut o my bandsaw and discolored due to the friction. It will look beautiful afetr I get it sanded flat.
(11/17/17) Left: Finally got the material split into the two bookmatched pieces. Took a while as it was pushing the limits of my bandsaw! (11/19/17) Right: The two plates for the top of instrument have been cleaned up and I will have to do some more drum sanding to eatablish a final thickness for the top plates.
Highslide JS
Tops plates have been cleaned up and now only nbeed to be thicknessed.

Highslide JS
Raw material for top plate has been cut to length - I will be marking the profile of the combined top/bottom profile and then trimming.
(11/13/17) Left: I have now cut the material for the two top plate halves and I will now trim it up a little and then tackle the challenge of splitting it for bookmatching. (11/16/17) Right: Right now I am about 5 inches into the cut and it's going slow since this big chunk of wood is hard! I'll keep on it and will get through eventually!
Highslide JS
I'm being careful to make a clean and straight cut all the way through this big chunk of hardwood. Slow work but making progress..

Highslide JS
I use the customer template to cut out a paper template with a centerline which will allow me to plot the cutting path for the top plates.
(11/6/17) Left: I needed a paper template that I could fold in half to allow me to pre-cut the material for the top plates. It will have other uses down the line. (11/9/17) Right: Laying out the template in preparation of cutting up the bookmatched top material (and maybe also the back material) on the bandsaw.
Highslide JS
Using the paper template to define the upper/lower combined profile so that I can get the top plate pieces sawn up.

Highslide JS
This is the template for the shape of the guitar and it also indicates lrelative locations of features on the instrument.
(11/1/17) Left: I'm using the customer body mock-up to help define the cross sectional shape of each of the core laminates as they are different on either side of centerline. (11/3/17) Right: This is the Kahler bridge that we will be using on this instrument. I'm doing measurements of its adjustment parameters to supplement our drawings.
Highslide JS
This Kahler bridge is designed to allow for the difference in scale length between the top and bottom strings of this multiscale guitar. I need to know the intonation adjustment travel, string spacing and height adjustment parameters.

Highslide JS
I have enough material on this board for bookmatched top and back. I want to make sure I'm using the nices looking parts before reough cutting and splitting.
(10/29/17) Left: Now that we have a lot of the basic raw materials on hand I have to decide which pieces to cut to yield the best bookmatched top and back. (10/31/17) Right: Fingerboard blank has been drum sanded both sides and I have attached it to a substrate that will keep it stable all the way through fret installation.
Highslide JS
Fingerboard sanded and attached to a stable base so that I can get the machining started on this part.

Highslide JS
After a few conversations with my customer we chose the rosewood based on its grain and good tonal properties. My challenge was to fin a way to also create the body halves so that they would match the decorative top and back plates. I was able to purchase more wood from the same supplier and by my calculations it should be enough to fabricate the thick body halves and yield a beautiful looking assembly.
(10/26/17) Left: After various discussions about wood species we decided that the Rosewood would yield most impressive results. I drove to my wood supplier and bought some more of the same batch so I had enough on hand for for top, back and sides. I was lucky because I purchased all he had and it will just be enough to yield the bookmatched top and back and the remainder will allow ne to create the thick sides to yield 4 in body thickness!

Highslide JS
I have to get the body template down on paper in order to get top plates cut. I established an accurately placed centerline and will use this resulting template to cut the wood blanks.
(10/6/17) Left: I took the customer template I have on hand and carefully created a scaled paper template from it. This allows be to work on the individual halves of the top plate. (10/11/17) Right: These are some of the woods Maple and wenge) that I plan to use for the somewhat unusual core section of this instrument.
Highslide JS
This photo shows some of the really nice figured maple I will be usig as part of the core structure.

Highslide JS
We will be using Bocote for our fingerboard - this is a nce looking piece and bocote is nice and hard.
(9/28/17) Left: I am getting started on the fingerboard which is a really nice piece of Bocote that will look really nice on the instrument. (9/30/17) Right: Fingerboard marked out for rough cutting. I also ran it through my drum sander to guarantee flat top and back and even thickness. I will now attach it to a support piece.
Highslide JS
xxxx.

Highslide JS
This drawing us under development but it uses real sizes from samples and real measurements from calculated dimensions. I'm goig to use it to cut core blanks.
(9/23/17) Left: This is one of the 100% scale drawings I have been working up which uses my customer's data to create a cross-sectional template to allow me to rough cut core material. (9/25/17) Right: Regarding material: At about 4in thick I am trying to consolidate available materials so that I have top, back and 4" thick sides!
Highslide JS
xxxx.

Highslide JS
This is more like the color of the Koa when wood is finished.
(9/18/17) Left: I'm currently going through my inventory of hardwoods to locate enough of one species to allow me to create the complete body from the same material. (9/21/17) Right: This Rosewood is an option if it will yield enough to do the complete body. We have some very workable options for the 5-piece neck.
Highslide JS
Another option was Rosewood which would make a very pretty top.

Highslide JS
Inserting upper and lower scale length geometries so we can analyze best layout for frets.

(9/15/17) Left: I'm working on a 100% scale drawing that is plotting out all the geometry of the bridge, nut, fingerboard and fretslots plus other features. (9/18/17) Right: We looked at several wood options and one thing that came out of our discussions was that the top sides and back should be the same material.

Highslide JS
I can;t get curly Koa any more but had this piece in stock and thought it would fit - it did!.

Highslide JS
This is the template for the shape of the guitar and it also indicates lrelative locations of features on the instrument.
(9/11/17) Left: My customer sent me some materials to help create the finished form that this guitar will have. This photo shows the top plate. (9/12/17) Right: This is a cast foam representation of what the back of this guitar is going to be shaped like. It will be sculpted to closely fit the player in a sitting position.
Highslide JS
We currently have a rendition of the foam shape which we are going to replicate in wood for the back of the guitar.
Last update September 17, 2017