Well, it’s been real quiet around here the last few months because I’ve been working on this new music project. Not to fear, though…because I also finished building my Lamia Warmoth. 😉
I have always wanted to build a Warmoth instrument, especially after I started working at SF Guitarworks since so many customers brought in really cool looking builds. One day, I was browsing the Warmoth in-stock selection and found a beautiful flame maple beauty, that I immediately had to have….
I gave some serious thought about just having one pick up in the bridge position to preserve that awesome figuring on the top, but in the end, there was still enough cool figuring left for me to enjoy the look of the guitar. 🙂
I opted for the EMG Pickups 81/85 set as I currently have the 57/66 set in my PRS 20th Anniversary SE Custom 24. Obviously, I had the guitar routed for a Floyd Rose, so after doing some work for my friend Eligio Tapia of Crepuscle, we actually traded some of his old ESP E-II Arrow black hardware while he upgraded it to gold hardware.
So after nearly seven months, I ordered the neck from Warmoth, which had a 6-week lead time. I decided to go with a matching flame maple veneer headstock and an all-black neck, just to switch it up a bit. The wait was 100% worth all my friends asking “how’s the Warmoth going?”
After the neck came, it was time for assembly. I started out by painting the pickup cavity with shielding paint. I decided to also paint the entire tremolo cavity with paint as well; I wanted this guitar to look really mean and gritty, and very intentional. I installed the EMGs with the solderless system, using a Switchcraft 3-blade switch. A good friend of mine from D’Addario helped me out with some Planet Waves Auto-Lock tuning machines, which were actually a breeze to install. The whole parts process was fairly straightforward. The only trouble I had during the build was the jack mounting hole was too small to fit the jack, so once again, my colleague Lewis Santer used one of his custom tools (quite literally a piece of sandpaper around a round shaped bit) to sand out the interior of this cavity. The fit of the football jack plate was almost too wide for the side of the guitar, but it thankfully wasn’t too much trouble to get into place without compromising the end result.
While installing the Floyd Rose nut, I realized I somehow miscalculated the size I needed and therefore had to order the correct one. However, the new nut was still a bit too tall for the fretboard (especially after measuring with a digital nut slotting gauge), so I took the height down a little bit with my old nemesis, the belt sander.
For the rest of the custom parts, I got them from a variety of places. The neck joint plate you see here is a fantasy style image I found on Pinterest of a lamia creature and consequently commissioned a laser engraver on Reverb to recreate the image for me. I love how subtle details on the neck plate can change the whole personality of the back of the guitar, having done something similar with my Mermaid Strat.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Matt Harami of Haramis Musical Hardware at Winter NAMM 2017, where I realized that I could get custom knobs for the guitar to match the color aesthetic. He wasn’t 100% sure he could get the desired result I wanted but I think he was being too modest – the finished result is amazing!
The finishing touches to the instrument were a trip through the Plek and a set-up. While cleaning the fretboard, I noticed some small bits of glue leftover from when the frets were pressed in (at no fault of Warmoth, they were very minuscule), so I carefully chiseled them off. My skill with a chisel has improved immensely in the last three years since I started working on guitars so I was very proud of not taking any wood off.
In the end, I had my friend Tomm help me install the strap locks and do some miscellaneous tasks here and there with the build so thank-you very much Tomm for helping me get this project completed! I may eventually add a waterslide or a custom truss-rod cover but in the meantime, I am very content with this beautiful instrument.
Neck & body: Warmoth Soloist body w/ Arcade neck (Wizard profile, maple neck w/ebony fretboard, MOP sharkfin inlays, 6150 SS frets)
Tuners: Planetwaves Auto Trims
Pickups: EMG Pickups 81/85 set + solderless install system with Switchcraft 3-way blade switch
Bridge: Floyd Rose Original
Engraved neck plate: FSR Custom Shop
Knobs: Haramis Musical Hardware
Plek’d and set-up on 8/16/17