The oil/resin finish is applied by hand, and after several coats builds to a nice satin sheen. I then apply shielding paint inside the pickup routes and control cavity to protect against unwanted noise. It’s important that all shielded areas are connected to ground, so I fit some small solder lugs inside the pickup routes and run wires through to the control cavity. As I’m using single bridges for this build, I need to ground each individual bridge. This is done by drilling a hole into a channel below the bridge (routed before the top was attached), and threading wires from each saddle to a solder lug screwed to the side of the control cavity.
As mentioned previously, the customer requested a very wide string spacing for this guitar, as he finds a wider neck more comfortable to play with slightly arthritic hands. This made pickup selection tricky, as the pole spacing on the pickups needs to be much wider than standard. We ended up going for a set of NDC humbuckers from Nordstrand, which have been custom made in the same size as a 7 string pickup to allow for the wide spacing.
Each pickup is wired to it’s own volume control (with push/pull for coil split), a 3-way toggle switch and a master tone control.
With the wiring complete, I fit the remaining hardware and make a nut from some Black Delrin. After a thorough setup, the guitar is complete and ready to be sent to it’s new owner. To see more photos of the finished instrument please visit the gallery page.