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UUCB Commemorative Guitar, UU Church, Brunswick, Maine

Church member and luthier Carter Ruff is building a very special guitar that he donated to the fundraising auction  held November 3. The top, back, sides, and neck are made from wood salvaged from pews that went through the fire when our church burned on June 6, 2011. In addition to the unique wood, Carter is adding custom details that will make the guitar truly one of a kind.
Learn more about it from this article and video on the website of the Bangor Daily News.

The pictures below show some milestones in the construction of the guitar.

Complete! You can find out more, and hear how it sounds, at this link.
The neck being glued to the body. The finishing is done, the tuning pegs (Grover Rotomatics) are installed. The only significant work left is to glue on the bridge, install the strings, and give the entire guitar a final inspection. It's getting close!
The finish has been applied, leveled, and buffed. Ash never looked so beautiful!
 
Note the extra flame-shaped sound hole.
This is a photo of the guitar as of October 2012, giving a better idea of its appearance.  The neck is dovetailed to the body, although not permanently attached.
 
The two halves of the top being joined together.
 
 
Gluing on the top bracing using "go-bars" for clamping.
 
Carter uses curved bracing on the tops of guitars he builds, an unusual feature that is more labor-intensive than straight bracing but which Carter perfers. The curves add stiffness and strength, which permits the use of lighter bracing overall for superior tone response.
Attaching the glue strips along the top and bottom edges of the sides. One can never have too many clamps....
The guitar's neck block, stamped with its identification marks. The date is 2011 to commemorate the fire that destroyed the church on June 6, 2011.
 
Note the glue strips, kerfed to allow bending to the contours of the sides. They are attached with the kerfed side in. It is much more common for them to be attached kerfed side out. By doing it this way (kerfed side against the sides), the unsawn portion forms a beam structure with the sides, increasing strength and rigidity.
The top is glued to the sides. Bungee cord and deep-throat cam clamps hold the joint firmly while the glue dries. One can never have too many clamps....
The top is on! This gives you a sense of the guitar's proportions and its ties to the Gibson L-1 heritage. (The "Robert Johnson guitar.")
 
The soundhole rosette is tortoise celluloid, which will be echoed in the top and bottom binding.
Attaching the tortoise celluloid binding. Tape works well for clamps here.
There is a beveled section in the edge of the top to act as an arm rest, or simply to make it more comfortable to play. This is an uncommon feature seen in very few guitars. It's one of the special details that make this guitar unique.
 
This photo shows veneer being applied to the beveled surface.
Here is how it looks without all the bungee cords. The edge binding is in place and veneer is on the armrest bevel.
Cutting the neck dovetail. Note the grain pattern in the back. It should be spectacular when the finish is applied.

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