I spent the last two weeks with Jeff learning how to construct an Acoustic Guitar. Jeff's guitars can only be described as exquisite. Not only are they works of art, but more importantly, they sound incredible. In fact, at the 2006 Guild of American Luthiers' Convention, two of Jeff's guitars were among the final top three guitars from among more than 50 guitars in contention. Jeff's original creation of a Monkeypod OM Acoustic Guitar was judged as the best sounding guitar in terms of tonality, timbre and sustain. This accolade was conferred by all the luthiers present at the convention. The other guitar was placed third.
Jeff is instrumental in introducing Monkeypod wood for musical instrument making. For us who are located in Singapore, it is more commonly known as a Rain Tree. I was very happy to bring back an incredible sounding instrument in the short span of two weeks.
The guitar in crocodile leather bound case.
It all started with the selection of the wood for the construction of the guitar.
1.Preparing the back for gluing.
6. Gluing the end block
7. The Master showing me how routing is done in preparation for the fretboard inlay.
10. Drilling the holes for the back bracing was challenging. These braces were then glued to the back on a domed surface.
11. Sound board bracing in progress.
12. Back of guitar glued to sides in the mold.
13.Cutaway and armrest internal details
14.Headstock inlay design. The Master approved of my inclusion of 2 young leaves.
16.Gluing the top to the sides.
24.A slot for the neck is cut into the body.
26.The body given a coat of lacquer.This brings out the beautiful grain of the Monkeypod wood.
31. Details of the fret-board inlay after the fretboard was oiled.