Last Update: 10/07/10

Guitar for Sammy Hagar 10/13/10

Model: 2010 Birthday Bash/Cabo Wabo 20th Anniversary Axe


First step, selecting the tonewoods.

The back and sides are African Padauk. This is a very stable and great sounding tonewood similar in qualities to East Indian rosewood. It has a pepper-ish smell to it. Padauk is bright red when freshly cut or sanded but over time turns to a darker red.

The soundboard is Western Red Cedar. One of my favorite woods for guitar tops. It is very stable in regards to humidity and has great volume and tone qualities.

Mahogany will be used for the neck which is also very stable and has a great feel and look to it.

Gluing up the Western Red Cedar soundboard.

Soundboard cut out ready for rosette.

Rosette Idea.

Now that I've decided on the rosette design it is time to get to work. The central mosaic tiles are made of dyed wooded veneers. In this photo I've cut the veneer strips.

The veneer strips have just been run through my home made thickness sander so they are all the same thickness.

The 3/4" wide strips are now cut into 3" long pieces and are arranged by color and order of each vertical column of each rosette tile theme.

In this photo the "I Can't Drive 55!" tile theme is being glued up by columns.

Columns are cut off the logs.

Stacked up in order and you get a complete tile.

All three themes glued up! Chickenfoot-Cabo Wabo-I Can't Drive 55.

Individual tiles sawn off the log.

Inspiration for the "Cabo Wabo" tile.

Measuring to make sure I have enough tiles!

Rosette mock-up. I'll return to the rosette later.

Thicknessing the sides on my drill press.

After bending the sides they are fitted into the mold.

Heel block, tail block and top and back linings glued in place. Neck is under construction to the right of the mold.

Back under construction.

Rosette inlaid.

Soundboard isn't braced yet, but I set it on top of the sides to see how it looked. So far so good!

Close up of the rosette.

Soundboard ready to be glued to body. Dedication is written backwards so when a mirror is inserted inside the guitar it can be read normally.

Gluing the fingerboard onto the neck as Sami Schramm (6 years old) looks on. She has short hair because she decided to give herself a haircut!!!

Fingerboard ready to receive the frets. Neck about to be carved.

Final prep stage before finishing. Neck is carved and frets installed.

Tail end purfling and binding. The black binding is African Ebony and the purfling lines are yellow with red in the middle. Perfectly mitered.

Frets ready to be leveled and dressed.

Rosette and soundboard during buffing stage.

Back and Sides after lacquer and during buffing stage.

Buffing out the lacquer. Waiting for tuning machines to arrive.

Close-up of the head. Ebony face with yellow-red-yellow-black veneers.

Back view.

Front view.

Close-up of rosette and edge purfling.

Close-up of heel and back and side purfling. Black binding is ebony.

Completed instrument ready to be presented to Sammy at the Fresno Fair Wednesday October 6th, 2010.

Front and side view.

Tuners are handmade Sloane tuners made in Montana, USA. The head plate is Ebony with black-yellow-red-yellow purfling veneers.

Unique one-of-a-kind rosette made with dyed veneers, brazilian rosewood(brown) and maple(white) veneers.

Soundboard and side view.

Brazilian rosewood bridge.

Ebony binding with black-yellow-red-yellow purfling. Ebony heel cap.

Padauk back and sides.

The finished instrument!

Here is an arrangement of "Dreams" that I did Tuesday evening October 5th on the guitar built for Sammy.

The unveiling! Sammy opening the case for the first time back stage at the Fresno Fair October 6th, 2010.

There it is!

Showing Sammy the rosette detals.

The real "Sam and Dave" ;-)

Sammy looking it over...

...admiring the details.

Time to try it out! (Why didn't someone tell me to take out my bluetooth! Agh!)

I wasn't sure how Sammy would take to a nylon string guitar.

He really dug it.

Sammy said he doesn't own a nylon string guitar. He does now!

Sammy was a complete gentleman. " about some poses?"

Some more playing...

...some fingerstyle!

Dave and Sue with Vic Johnson (Bus Boys, Total Eclipse, Sammy Hagar). One of my favorite guitarists. What an amazingly talented musician. Maybe one of these days Sammy will let him sing, "New Shoes" (Bus Boys)Ha!

We met Mona briefly but we didn't get a chance to talk much with her. Maybe next time. She is so humble and such a great musician as well. Both are a perfect fit for the "Wabos."

Happy Birthday Sammy! Thanks for your hospitality.

None of this would have been possible without Aaron, Paul and Carter. Thanks you guys. What a perfect evening!

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