A New Build

Third year of doing GGBO— the Great Guitar Build Off—, here we go! Last year was the first year of the Freestyle category which opened up the competition officially to acoustics and non-guitar instruments like ukuleles, mandolins, and exotic instruments. I have a thing for small instruments, so I built a mandolin.

This is one of my favorite instruments that I have built so far. For 2021, I built a full-scale guitar and it was a ridiculously cool instruments. I took inspiration from F-style mandolins in making an offset, claro walnut-topped guitar with all black hardware.

So what do I do for #GGBO2023? Well, I’m working on a few things. One or two might be for GGBO. I had two instruments on the agenda for this year, both for myself. First up is a 5-string mandocello. 23.5 inch scale, same body-shape and headstock as the mandolin from last year’s competition. Ignore the 4-hole headstock, I only have the 4-hole (ukulele) headstock and 8-hole (mandolin) headstock vectors done.


The second instrument I was planning on building this year is a T-style guitar. Obviously, I don’t build other company’s instrument designs, so I’m working on my own T-style body shape. Unlike my mandolins that have shiny chrome hardware and vibrant gradient tops, this guitar will use reliced hardware paired with a bourbon barrel top for a more rustic look. I want the echos of a Telecaster to be clear, but bring my own taste to it.

T-style guitar

So far I have done the math for the neck shape, neck pocket, bridge placement, and hardware placement. If I achieve what I want with this, it might be my new daily rider.

Beyond these two instruments for myself, there is another idea I’m noodling that could be spectacular. Those I’ve talked with about it agree.

As Spring is springing and Summer right around the corner, I am excited to get back in the shop and start working a few projects this year. The design phase is fun, but I’m psyched to make some sawdust and make a joyful noise.

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