English Cherry small bodied guitar

I had been planning on getting started with an acoustic build since the completion of the thin line Telecaster I built in 2011 but got delayed due to the construction of a new workshop. No more working in a freezing cold shed for me! I now have a fully insulated workshop it maybe a little on the small side, but compared to what I had before, I’m more than content.

As I was gearing up to start the build, the Official Luthiers Forum, decided to run a Newbie build competition  so I decided it was time to get on with things so duly signed up.

I am very keen to try and utilise Native and reclaimed woods in my builds, there are many suitable English woods that are suitable for instrument building, so I have decided to try and use only British grown wood for the competition build.

So far my plan is as follows.

Model – English Cherry small bodied guitar

Back & Sides – English Cherry
Soundboard – European (Alpine) Spruce – The only part I wont be able to source locally.
Bracing – European Spruce
Neck – English Sycamore
Fretboard – Bog Oak
Bridge – Bog Oak
Binding – English Walnut
Rosette – Cherry with Black, Pear, Black purfling

A more in depth build thread can be found on the OLF forum here so rather than duplicating content, bellow you can see a series of pictures charting progress to date.



Applying the finish

I have finally started to apply the finish, for this build I am using Liberon Finishing Oil, wiped on by hand. Its a rather time consuming process, as the coats have to be as thin as possible, and lots of them. I am aiming for 15 coats, but with a minimum 5 hour drying time between coats and other commitments it is unfortunately taking a long time.

Back with 6 coats of finish applied

Back with 6 coats of finish applied


English Cherry 00 front with finish applied


Side on profile

Side on profile

The colour of the Cherry is really starting to develop, and I am really looking forward to stringing her up. Hopefully I should be playing her before the end of the month…




No. 1 finished.

My first acoustic build is now complete, and i have been playing her for several weeks and what can I say, it blows my expectations. When I with trepidation tuned her up for the first time I had serious doubts that she would play in tune but I can happily say my fears were unfounded. There are a few cosmetic flaws (mainly caused by impatience towards the end of the build as I just wanted to string her up) but these are all things that can be improved upon in later builds