The Beginning

Here are some pictures of the parts as they were purchased.  The parts for the project came from three sources.  The majority of the parts (neck, pot assembly, binding, etc.) came from First Quality Music (FQMS) in Louisville.  Bill Sullivan and his team of people did an outstanding job in helping me to select all the right parts.  They quickly and courteously answered all my questions.  I can't say enough good about them.  The tuners and most of the luthier tools came from Stewart-MacDonald.  Once again, enough good can't be said about these people.  They are great.  The inlay materials came from David Nichols at Custom Pearl Inlay.  Same goes here.  David has been a great help answering all my questions and offering his assistance beyond the call of customer service.  I highly recommend working with all of these people.

Now on to the parts...

First, the neck.  Unfortunately I didn't have a digital camera when I started the project so I don't have any photos of the neck when I first received it.  I bought what is called a Stage 4 neck from FQMS.  My neck is presentation curly maple.  Stage 4 is the basic neck with earwood, truss rod installed, and peghead overlay.  In addition to the Stage 4 neck I had additional services applied as follows: peghead shaped and drilled (double cut), fingerboard installed, heel cut for 1 pc. flange, heel cap, machine round back of neck, drill fifth string hole.  (You can see a picture of the neck in the FQMS online catalog.)  When I got it the back of the neck was roughly shaped and both the heel and the handstop were basically a block.

Here's what the neck looks like now after initial shaping.  For more pictures see the Initial Neck Shaping page.

Here's the rim and the tone ring.  I bought a 40 hole archtop tone ring from FQMS.  It is gold plated and engraved with a Gibson Style 5 Wreath pattern.  (Why an archtop?  'Cuz Ralph Stanley and Doug Dillard play one.)

Here's a detail of the engraving pattern:

Here's the armrest.  Again, engraved with the Gibson Style 5 Wreath pattern:

 

Here's the tension hoop.  Engraved in the same pattern:

 

Here's the flange.  While there is a Wreath pattern for engraving the flange to match the other parts, I chose not to have it engraved:

Here's the resonator:

 

And here are the tuners (Waverly V-2 in gold (not engraved) with ivoroid knobs):

 

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