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Guitar Of The Month March 2023

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Welcome to the Guitar Of The Month entry for March 2023!

ProjectGuitar.com's Guitar Of The Month contest is a showcase for members to exhibit their creations and to vote on their favourites. The contest is open entry for any and all members, new or old. Winner(s) receive a featured article at the head of the ProjectGuitar.com homepage and elevated member status. ProjectGuitar.com receives tens of thousands of unique visitors monthly; Guitar Of The Month is a great way to showcase your creations to the world!

Submissions are open throughout the month with public voting open in the last week. Polls close on the first weekend of each month.

Lastly, if you didn't win a previous month's Guitar Of The Month contest, you are encouraged to enter your build again the next month for a maximum of three consecutive months. Sometimes one entry just hits it out of the park and eclipses everything!

Tips and Guidelines

  • Upload a maximum of eight photos for the instrument in your post
  • Ensure that your guitar has a name otherwise we'll make one up 
  • List additional descriptive information specific to the build; for example....
    • The woods and materials used, especially if there is something unusual in there!
    • Scale length(s) and other specific configuration details
    • Electronics, pickups, etc.
    • Is this your first build, fifth or five-hundredth?
    • A bit of information on your own background as a builder helps give context to your build.
    • Was it built in the garage, at school, work or in your own shop?
    • A summary of the build's history. Was it built for yourself, friend/family or a client? Did you design the instrument and its specifications or was it built to spec?
    • What were the inspirations behind the instrument and why were various build aspects chosen?
    • Any background on what makes it special?
  • Posting a link to your guitar-building website, Photobucket, Facebook, etc. is fine, even if it is your business. In the spirit of fairness towards less experienced builders, we encourage professional builders to consider whether their entries constitute being "fair".
    • Commercial "standard" models are not a valid entry, guys....Guitar Of The Month is about unique and characterful builds, not rubber-stamped production units!
  • We reserve the right to pull entries that are thinly-guised adverts; ProjectGuitar.com is about community, sharing build processes and the exchange of ideas - not a vehicle for adverts by members that don't engage with the community.
  • If you documented your build in the forums, post a link to the thread; instruments with a build thread shared tend to attract more votes from the general community. In our experience this is the biggest attractor of votes.
  • ProTip: Voters vote with their ears as well as their eyes....if you have any soundclips of the instrument or even a YouTube video, do post it! Everybody loves to look at beautiful instruments, but hearing them demo'ed is 10x as important.


Unsure what to write? Have a look around the entry archives for suggestions!


If you have any questions about the contest, either PM the moderator team or ask forum members; we're a helpful bunch!

This thread is exclusively for entry posts only - any post that is not an entry will be deleted. We love to hear your discussions and opinions on the month's entries whilst the polls are open. Alternatively, head over to that instrument's build thread if one has been made in the entry post.

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Wabi-Sabi xCaster

The idea of someone like me (with zero woodworking experience) being able to turn planks of wood into an actual functioning guitar seemed absurd. Then I came across this fantastic tutorial (link), making it seem possible. I had to give it a shot! The build started off with clear direction. I wanted to make a plain old vintage-spec Surf Blue Esquire. But, I was thrown off course during the 18 month build  journey thanks to overambitious design plans coupled with very limited knowledge, skills, raw materials, and tooling…
ea5cc8_5ef081d384ad4c6b8e7981b3c72c9c79~The build was done in a small spare room in my apartment! It was made with 100% hand tools at first. I am too embarrassed to reveal precisely how many total hours I invested in completing the first iteration - a surf blue Esquire. But, it was completed in 3 months and I was shocked and pleased by the results. My pride didn’t last too long though because I started noticing serious mistakes everywhere. Disappointed, I gave up. Then, a few months later, I decided to give building another shot. I stripped the guitar down and started redoing virtually everything. Several months later, success!



Why “Wabi Sabi”?
This poor guitar went through more cycles of iteration than any musical instrument should endure! I decided to celebrate the scars it had collected through the process, rather than hiding them apologetically. This idea fit well with my original theme of Wabi-Sabi (侘寂), which I interpret as being a celebration of the reality that nothing is perfect and nothing lasts forever. This guitar has picked up dings, gouges, scratches, and markings from drilling/filling/re-drilling holes and removing/adding wood for patch up work. These scars paint a picture of my journey from knowing nothing about woodworking to eventually building a guitar that I am proud of.  Also, I have intentionally stripped some of the paint work and protective coating off the screws, body, etc. to give the natural ageing process a head start. I have added some copper elements to the guitar because of their patina-prone properties, to make further visible the effects of time on the guitar. The idea was to make a guitar that seems to live and breathe, organically changing over time as it grows older. 
Why xCaster?
Well, it's a Strat but also a Tele, depending on which angle you look at it from. I love the slabiness of the Tele body, its minimal two-pickup system, and its character-filled bridge pick up. But, at the same time, I like some of the contours of the Strat, and I prefer its headstock design. So, I mixed all these elements up! I also added some unique features of my own. 
  • String-through-body bridge
  • Body - European Ash
  • Color: Matte black nitro/poly blend spray can, top coat is matte clear 2k spray can.
  • Neck - Maple with ebony fretboard, Neck is stained brown, and finished with boiled linseed oil. Measures 0.98 inches at the first fret and 0.85 inches at the twelfth fret, with a soft V shape (like ‘57 Fender). Radius is 9.5. Vintage clay dots.
  • Pickguard - 99% copper
  • Total weight - 10 lbs
  • Scale length - 25.5”
  • Truss rod - I made a slot in the body and pickguard, along with a custom length Allen key to be able to adjust it without removing the neck or pickguard
  • Headstock - I used a ‘60s strat template. The 2mm rosewood inlay was in fact a cover up! I had messed up inlaying my logo into the maple fretboard previously, and so routed that part out and put in some rosewood instead and then successfully put my MOP logo on it. The copper name plate on the headstock was laser etched and then made to pop with some Laskin’s engraving filler
  • Nut - TUSQ
  • Tuners - Gotoh SG 381
  • Pickups - Bridge has a replica of David Gilmour's 1955 Esquire. It is wound with period correct Heavy Enamel AWG42 wire, wrapped with 8 strand white cotton string, and has been wax potted. The pick up has a copper plated steel baseplate, raised D and G magnets, and North up polarity just like the '50s original. It presents around 6.9k Ohms resistance. For the neck, I had a '50s style P90 made precisely to pair with the bridge pickup. It presents about 6.7k Ohms resistance. The pickup has a nickel silver baseplate, rough cast A4 magnets, and single shielded push back wire. The pickups are supported by two 250k Fender pots with a treble bleed network that I made. The control plate has a three way switch and one tone and one volume knob.
There is a lot of backstory to every design choice but it was too much to include here. You can visit my website and read more about it if you like (link). 

Here is a video of how the neck pickup sounds clean with only reverb on a 1W tube amp volume turned up a little past 3 quarters of the way…
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