La Pistola

Because Virgil Guitars is about to have a sale! If you’re not the Bookface type, here’s the pitch As some of you know, I spent the better part of last week, going through my private reserve stock (As well as ordering some new sets) and bookmatched a hefty amount of tops, some drop tops and some carved tops. My idea was to get them bookmatched, take some great photos of the tops and work them into some sort of "Virtual Guitars" for the upcoming September Sales Blitz, which is scheduled for...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 8/31/2016 5:29:11 PM | Feedback (0)
(Posted on Virgil’s site as well) Ever since I started playing guitar back in the late 80s, I’ve always eyed the high-end customs. Eyed from a distance, well beyond the roped off areas because I never could afford one. But I’ve always wanted to go to a Gibson, Paul Reed Smith or Carvin and say “I want a guitar with this paint job, these pickups, and this neck” and have it made my way. Not because I’m a guitar god (I’m not. I’m not even a minor guitar deity) but a guitar can be a work of art...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/21/2016 8:24:17 AM | Feedback (4)
Tonight, I was able to strum along to REM's "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" and "Find the River", back to back. It wasn't easy, nor completely painless, but I did it, which is an achievement. The finger is gnarly with rivulets of scar tissue on the pad, and where there's scar tissue, there's very little feeling. Immediately outside the scars it hurts. A lot. It's getting better, and being able to play La Pistola, even if only for a bit, brings me happiness. Hopefully within a few months I'll...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 11/19/2015 8:26:54 PM | Feedback (1)
I’ve not picked her up yet from Virgil, but here’s a few pics to whet your whistle
posted by by Robb Allen @ 7/13/2015 8:11:18 AM | Feedback (4)
  La Pistola is off to Moe Colors for her paint job. It’s a 4 to 6 week process and during that time, updates will be practically non-existent. So I wait. And wait. Granted, Moe does amazing work so it’ll be worth the wait and when it’s done, they’re going to have to redefine the word ‘epic’. I just have to wait patiently for it.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 6/2/2015 9:19:58 AM | Feedback (3)
La Pistola is guitar #20 for Virgil Guitars so this is fitting.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 5/24/2015 9:38:53 AM | Feedback (7)
This is starting to look like a guitar! Virgil is doing a damned fine job on this thing.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/27/2015 9:56:43 PM | Feedback (4)
Awesome, because I am ready to as well. The fretboard on La Pistola is the centerpiece of the entire guitar. Not only is Virgil's inlay work amazing, but the bocote wood used is vibrant & detailed. This poses a *small* issue in the fact that the body will need to remain a bit muted in order to show it off. When you see it IRL, the fretboard has yellows & greens in it that pictures don't really show well. I used some photos of Volcano since mine is also an X-15 (minus the trem) and I...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/11/2015 3:49:20 PM | Feedback (17)
One thing that Virgil has commented on to me is that sometimes it is frustrating that people only see pictures online that freeze hours & hours of effort into 1/30th of a second. You see a blank piece of wood, then some shell, then pieces, then the inlay put together and finally inlaid as a final product. What isn't shown are the intense amounts of work to get all that to work and even the problems that happen from time to time that require considerable effort to correct. This is one of...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/10/2015 6:17:08 PM | Feedback (0)
Managed to get away for lunch yesterday to drop by Virgil’s to look at the progress on my fretboard and daaaaaaamn   Pictures don’t do it justice as the materials change color & sheen based on your head’s position. The cylinder is black mother-of-pearl but often looks silver. The bocote wood is so amazing in its grain pattern even though it’s been somewhat of a headache for Virgil to work with. I’m glad he’s stuck through though. Also, my neck came in. 5 piece, flamed maple like my...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/6/2015 8:24:00 AM | Feedback (0)
      To say I’m floored is an understatement. My GOD it’s beautiful.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/29/2015 1:18:03 PM | Feedback (4)
Well, they’re not together yet, but they will be. There's something amazing about seeing artwork you've done cut into pieces that will be inlaid into your custom guitar. What's really cool is that I recognize each shape as something I did in Illustrator, but rather than .25pt thick paths, they're actual, physical objects. If you’re on the bookface thing, don’t forget to check out the group for the build.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/28/2015 10:21:25 PM | Feedback (0)
On Sunday I spent some time over at Virgil’s as we started work on my carved top. As you may or may not remember, my top was a big chunk of amazing flamed maple. Virgil sanded & trimmed the edges so that he could cut the board in half. The reason for this is to get a bookmatch, or mirroring of the grain. During the sanding, the smell was similar to pancakes – the sawdust had an almost sweet smell since maple syrup comes fr… uh, you get this, I’m sure I don’t need to explain. My board was a...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/13/2015 9:03:09 AM | Feedback (5)
Because we’ve got SLOTS! Tomorrow, he’s going to radius the fretboard (mine is on the bottom, the one on the top is for a build called ‘Steampunk’). Virgil has a neat machine for this – basically a giant belt of sandpaper and a swingset that the fretboard is taped to. He ‘swings’ the wood over the moving belt and magically creates an arc on the wood. If you’re of the bookface thing, you can see it in a photo gallery here. Once the radius has been put on, he can start inlay. And let me tell...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/4/2015 8:23:45 PM | Feedback (2)
Today's build specs revolve around the body of the guitar. I'm doing an X-15 with a carved top of flamed maple. Just like the Volcano, I will have a natural 'reveal' strip around the top to separate it from the body that will be made out of Sapele, often called African Mahogany. Originally I was going to just use alder wood for the body & paint it, but the more I looked around at the color scheme I want (that's another day!) the more I realized the wood itself would provide the contrast I...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/4/2015 1:09:22 PM | Feedback (2)
Virgil started work on my fretboard today. This makes the first physical work on it so I’ll mark today as its first day.  Bocote wood (top) Look at that gorgeous grain. One thing that was neat was looking at some of the fretboards that were sitting around. When they’re not glued down to a guitar, they look more like ukulele material than actual guitars.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/3/2015 4:59:33 PM | Feedback (0)
Met up with Virgil today and we went over the 'shopping' list. Over the next few days I'll go over each item and how my build is going to be and what I'm putting in it. Don't want to spill it all now and ruin it, so today, let's talk fretboard! I'm not a fan of ebony, and rosewood has a tendency to be too plain for me. Florida Rosewood is gorgeous, but with the color I've chosen for the body, I don't think the reddish hues would work, nor do I think the lighter strips in the wood would work. ...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/2/2015 7:07:58 PM | Feedback (2)
But I made a group so you can watch the progress of La Pistola. Feel free to join!
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/30/2014 10:10:01 PM | Feedback (1)
And now, ladies & gentlemen, I will finally give context to all the mysterious posts that have popped up over the past few weeks so that my 12 readers can finally rest at ease. I have an item on my bucket list that I am going to be able to fulfill. I have had some extra work come my way that took quite a bit of time & effort, and my reward is being able to tick something off that list. Ever since I started playing guitar back in the late 80s, I’ve always eyed the high-end customs. Eyed...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/30/2014 12:36:33 PM | Feedback (8)
#20 Look for the explanation soon.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/29/2014 7:07:25 PM | Feedback (2)
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/20/2014 8:24:11 AM | Feedback (6)
I need a few (3 or 4) pieces of .45 Colt brass. Anyone have any they can spare?
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/15/2014 5:15:44 PM | Feedback (5)
Next context-free image to go with the wood image from the other day When this project is done, they will have to redefine the word ‘epic’.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/15/2014 12:48:14 PM | Feedback (4)
Until then, you get no context This is going to be… amazing.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/13/2014 7:00:34 PM | Feedback (13)

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