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My #3 Dred is finally done!
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 984
Hi Gang.
Well I finally got this one completed on Monday, July 5 and tonight my wife shot some pictures for me. As you all know it is difficult to photograph these shiny guitars, so we did our best.
I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. I learned a lot....again....along the way. There are a few things I will do differently on the next one, and hopefully my building will improve. Every build is a new learning experience.
I hope you enjoy seeing it. It took me just about 6 months to complete it.
So here are the specs.

Cocobolo back & sides from LMI. I got to pick the set out at the Healdsburg Guitar festival last August. They set up a store there, and boy was that fun.

The top is Bearclaw Sitka that I got from a vendor on Ebay. I don't remember who it was, but the top turned out to be a real winner. Lots of figure as you can see, and it really pops under the finish.

Binding is Koa, with BWB purflings top, back and sides.

The rosette is 1/4 wide Paua Abalone from Andy DePaule, and it is beautiful, bordered with BWB .060 purfling on both sides.

The neck is one piece Sapele, hand cut and carved, bolt on.

Double action LMI truss rod.

Rosewood fretboard with gold frets and abalone markers

Bone nut, saddle, and bridge pins.

Headstock is Cocobolo with maple underneath, Gotoh gold tuners

Bracing is standard X bracing, with minimal scalloping.

Bridge is Cocobolo, glued on with Loctite Sumo glue.

Pickguard is handmade Cocobolo / from a leftover back piece.

The finish is Deft Gloss Nitro Lacquer from spray cans. 16 coats, but they were not real heavy coats, I used about 4 1/2 cans. Under the lacquer is 2 coats of sealer over an epoxy pore fill.

The strings are Elixir Nanoweb Lights.

I installed a LR Baggs I-Beam Active pickup , that really works and sounds good.

This is a heavy guitar. Cocobolo is a heavy dense rosewood. I also left the top alittle thick, the braces a little stout, and the neck heel beefy, all in hopes of this guitar withstanding the high humidity change it is going to experience in India.

My #1 Dred made of Palo Escrito feels light at 4.8 pounds. This Coco dred is 6.2 pounds, and feels heavy, however, it has alot of projection, very even bass, mids and highs....not at all boomy, but still loud. I think it has a sweet sound.

If I get brave, I might try and record a little bit of something. I don't play much, and all I can do is sit in front of the computer and try it. Then I have to figure out how to post the sound file!
So there you go, now for the pics.
oh, and I can't wait to start the next one!!!


Jul 08, 10 | 8:21 pm

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 165
She's a beauty! (one in a million... ok i digress...)

Seriously nice job- we must have the same taste because I'm using the same tuners and fret combination.

Lets hear it!

Jul 09, 10 | 5:12 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Gosh Kevin, that is really a beautifully built guitar. He is going to flip over it. Are you going to take it to India, or ship it?
I too want to hear its sound ...

Really great job!


Jul 09, 10 | 7:30 am

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
Once again I have to say you are such a craftsman Kevin. I would put this up against any I've seen. I can't wait to hear what he has to say about this. I would love to see the look on his face. :)

Jul 09, 10 | 7:32 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
That is a beautiful guitar, Kevin! You have got to be elated with how it turned out. Great execution, and the coco and sitka are gorgeous!

Good show!!


Jul 09, 10 | 9:01 am

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Kapow, ya done good. I'm in love with the bearclaw.
Gotta get some.
Very well done.

Jul 09, 10 | 11:13 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Beautiful job, Kev. Every bit of it is high quality, loving attention....your son will love it. Great natural wood pick guard too.

Jul 09, 10 | 12:39 pm

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 165
Yeah, the pickguard is first class; what glue did you use to install that over your finish?


Jul 09, 10 | 1:02 pm

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Beautiful. Just beautiful. I love abalone and that rosette is beautiful. Did I mention this is a beautiful guitar? It is.

Jul 09, 10 | 7:50 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Thank you everyone. It has some flaws, but they don't show up in the pics... :>)

My Son-in-law will be here in about a month, and is taking this guitar back with him to India. He is purchasing a tough travel case and is going to check it as baggage. Hope it makes the trip okay.

Darren, you can get a real thin 3M transfer adhesive from LMI (maybe some stores too) for laying down the pickguards. It comes in a sheet, and is the best way to do it. The cocobolo has quite a porous surface, so I filled most of them with super glue, but I didn't want a plastic look, so I left some unfilled so it still looks like wood.

You guys are so encouraging, makes me want to build another one!!!


Jul 10, 10 | 7:04 pm

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Really a great tight build guitar. Your skills defintely showing.
Maybe we have LMI-cocobolo from the same tree and mine is as heavy as yours.
Next time I use cocobolo I'll try to thin the back and sides more.

Minmalise the flaws and you are ready to enter the market. Well done.

Jul 11, 10 | 3:08 am

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
I've heard it said that striving for cookie cutter perfection, destroys
the attraction and the essence of "Hand made".
We tend to judge everything by the "Factory image" projected by MFG's and their machines today.
The Martin's and Gibson's of old, were painstakingly produced by a special few who had achieved the pride and grade of being called Master CRAFTSMEN...and other than the wood available to them, (Which may or may not be quite as important than one would think) did exactly what we attempt to do today.
No two were exactly the same, but they had that special something that can only come from the "Master's touch".
CNC's and robot sprayers WOW us with shiny perfection, but little else...they just don't have the "Touch"...but you certainly do. :)

Jul 11, 10 | 6:43 am

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Kevin, I've been waiting for this post. The guitar is beautiful!!! Very nice and even nicer that you are giving it to your son-in-law. Nice choices.

Post a pic of the top that really shows off the bear claw figure!

Jul 11, 10 | 11:50 am

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Oh, is the white line under the headstock lamination some purfling you added? Looks nice.

Jul 11, 10 | 11:51 am

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 19
Looks fantastic! I love a wood pickguard.

Jul 11, 10 | 2:36 pm

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 90
Kevin - great job man! Right up there with the best.

Jul 12, 10 | 4:16 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
That liner is sandwiched inbetween the headstock and the coco veneer. LMI supplies it with their kits, and I like the look.
Here is a pic that shows the bearclaw pretty good, but the right side of the top is washed out by glare...sorry.

I did a final polish of the guitar last night to put it away, and found that, through the cloth, I made a finger nail impression about an inch long in the finish, under the strings just above the bridge......eeks! I guess the finish is still soft, and I am NOT careful enough. Oh well, it is going to be played alot, and it will get dinged soon, so I'm not going to worry about it.

Jul 12, 10 | 6:00 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
I made the same fingernail marks on my first guitar. No one ever notices it.

This is a fabulous looking guitar! I'm going to steal your label for my 00.

Jul 13, 10 | 7:17 pm

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