Archive for August, 2010

Black Beauty

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 25, 2010 by hamerblog

Our earlier post on this guitar detailed the woodworking that went into this beauty.  Jason Dumont is now taking this Standard through its final stages of sanding, buffing, assembly, wiring and set up.

We use random orbital sanders to sand, or level, the top and back.

We hand block the sides

and the peghead face.

Black is one of the most difficult colors to buff.  Every scratch shows with black so attaining a high gloss finish is vital. Having a hard rock maple top on this Standard provides a solid base for the finish and results in a flatter finish that will sink less over time.  With the hard rock maple top and lack of a sound chamber this guitar has some heft.

Like many at Hamer, Jason has a keen interest in guitars.  We welcome our luthiers building their own guitars as well.  There aren’t many jobs out there where you want to do the same thing at home that you do at work.  Such immersion is testament to the passion that our people have for guitar.

In Jason’s case, his  interest led him in a bit of a different direction, building lap steel guitars.  What started out as a project has become a top lap steel guitar line, Lap King.  Check out Jason’s website to see more:

As always, the electronics cavity is shielded and hand wired.

Jason installs the gold covered Jason Lollar Standard Imperial pickups called for on this guitar.

By tightening the machine head bushings by hand we are sure never to overtighten, which can cause finish imperfections.

The four ply .020″ binding, such as we use on the Improv, sets off the peghead.

This Standard is fitted with a black pickguard and lots of gold hardware.

The four ply binding extends around the fingerboard as well.  The genuine mother of pearl crown inlays look right on this Standard, providing a vivid contrast with the jet black ebony fingerboard.

Here Jason is hand cutting the nut for the string slots.

While we do measure for the string action, we also extensively play test every guitar.

This guitar actually sounds…

better than it looks.

That says alot

about this Black Beauty.


Standard of a Different Color

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 by hamerblog

We have a procedure that we like to follow with custom colors.  It’s somewhat cumbersome but keeps us aligned with what the customer is looking for.  We send out color samples sprayed on 4″ x 6″ blocks of wood – using the actual material that the guitar will be built from (for instance, a mahogany back and a figured maple top or a solid block of Korina).  In this manner the customer sees what the finish will look like in a way that a photo cannot depict.

We didn’t follow our own procedure on this guitar.

It’s hard to admit, but as a result we got the finish wrong.  Luckily, the customer saw the earlier post on this guitar and asked if we could change the color to be a green to yellow sunburst, not green to green as it had been sprayed.  Naturally we obliged.  It delayed completion of the guitar but we’ll have a much happier customer.

The end result speaks for itself.

The Brazilian rosewood peghead face looks great once it’s buffed out and has its machine heads installed.

Hand wiring the electronics.

Our shielded electronics cavity.

So that we can effect a proper ground, we sand off the anodization on a corner of the backplate.

Once the anodization is removed, the metal backplate will make contact with the lip of the shielding paint that is sprayed just over the electronics cavity.

Todd’s shirt says it all.

Some shots of this completed Standard… 

finished in a different color.

We aim to please.

Our aim is true.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Posted in Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 by hamerblog

We’re back from vacation and the finish on this lefty has cured sufficiently.  We let all of our guitars air dry for a minimum of two weeks prior to sanding and buffing them.

Here’s a backstage tour of Todd Gencarella completing the guitar.  Enjoy!

Earlier posts showed off the woodworking and finishing involved with this lefty.  The customization continues with the component parts and electronics fitted to this guitar.

The machine heads are locking Sperzel. 

The pickups are a Duncan ’59 at the neck and a Duncan Custom at the bridge.

It comes together nicely.

There was some back and forth on settling the electronics.  This Studio Custom is fitted with a master volume, three way toggle switch and master tone control.

We moved the master volume control closer to the lead pickup for ease of volume swells. The location of the selector switch necessitated the use of of a short Lev-R switch like on a Talladega rather than the larger one normally found on a Studio.

Both the volume and tone controls have push/pull potentiometers.  This set up allows for three distinct settings:

1)  Both pots pushed down: Normal humbucking mode with 3-way switch activating either or both pickups.

2) Volume pot up, tone pot down with the 3-way in the neck position: Neck coil of the rhythm pickup only.

3) Volume pot down, tone pot up 3-way in the middle position: Inside coils of both pickups

We tape off parts of the guitar during the assembly and stringing process to minimize the possibilty of scratches to the instrument.

We even tape the peghead.

There’s a southpaw out there who is going to get some satisfaction from this guitar.

That’s guaranteed.