THE DREAM GUITARS BLOG

Latest Big Hollow Build

Bevan Frost of Big Hollow Guitars is killing it! He recently delivered a commission for our showroom, and is already fast at work on a commission for one of our clients as well.

Big Hollow 00
Top: Moonspruce, master grade
Back & Sides: Cocobolo
Scale Length: 25.4”
Nut Width: 1-3/4”
String Spacing at bridge: 2-5/16”
Fretwire: Gold EVO
Pickguard: Tigerstripe Celluloid
Finish: Natural
Bridge: Pyramid
Trim: Bloodwood and bold herringbone
Headstock: Slotted with Bird’s Beak
Headstock Inlay: Big Hollow Girl
Headstock Veneer: Cocobolo
Fretboard and bridge: Cocobolo
Pins: Cocobolo
Neck Profile: Medium C, on the slender side
Inlay dots: side and front, 3,5,7,9 12 ( front only)
Case: Ameritage silver series custom fitted
Tuners: Waverly

Bevan: “Here are a couple of shots from the end of the day today. I prepared and glued in the Moonspruce bracing for the back. I also installed the rosette.”

Bevan: “I set the stiffness of the top using the stiffness gauge. This top is stiff, I had to take it down to get the right flex. I cut all my braces out of Moonspruce stock, then glued them on the top. The next day I roughed in the brace carving. Later I will do a final session using the same stiffness gauge to set the stiffness on the top braces. I log the stiffness of each guitar top and use the data to create a benchmark.”

Bevan: “I bend the sides by hand on the iron in the background, but only pretty close to the shape. Then I load the sides in to my bending form, heat them up to 300 degrees, and then let them cool on the form and set to shape. I glue in the braces a bit oversize and then remove material using hand planes until the plate acts like it should. First snow here has lasted about four days. I don’t think the stuff in the shade will melt.”

11/12/19 Updates!

“I use the thermostat controlled bending iron to get the sides bent 90% of the way”
“And then I bake them on a form. The metal helps to make the wood bend cylindrically, without waviness.”
“Then the sides get placed in this form, and marked and trimmed for length.”
“And they’re in!”
“Sides mated to back.”
“Winter fun day.”
“Headstock overlay. I made this from the same board as the fretboard, so the grain lines are continuous across the nut.”
“Binding channels complete.”
“Nice crisp definition.”
“Cutting the end graft mortise. I use a similar jig for the neck mortise.”
“Binding taped in place to mark for length.”
“First look at the instrument yields satisfaction. Just add binding.”
“The binding and purfling are bent by hand to the curves. Often the binding channel needs adjustment after routing, which I do with scrapers and cutters. It can be a bit of a runaround to get the mitered purling lines just right.”
“But when they are right, they’re right!”
“the end graft must be precisely trimmed to length and the adjacent purfling lines get mitered with the outer corner of a chisel.”
“After the joints all fit the binding and purfling is glued on in 4″-6″ sections. The back binding must be marked and trimmed to length in place, an operation with no room for error on the short side.”
“A slight scraping yields a fresh face and confirms the binding is installed correctly, as it allows one to see any unclosed gaps.”
“4 for 4 on these miters! It didn’t even feel fussy, just flowed right out.”
“Centered and well fit.”
“Closing a couple gaps on the back binding.”