The Maphis SN 013 - Bill Bartlett


 Featuring 3x3 Headstock's, Violin Tailpiece and Bigsby Tremolo

Selecting and sizing wood. 5A Curly Maple for body, 5A Curly "Hard" Maple for the necks.

Laying out the letters in Photoshop - more nudging is needed

Letters cut out and placed to check fret positions.

Letters lightly glued to substrate for dice-dot drilling on mini-mill

Headcap inlay pattern segments are glued to MOP slabs for rough cutting.

After rough cutting, each piece is hand finished

Finished segments are fitted and tack-glued into position on rosewood headcap's, ready for tracing and inlay. All inlay pockets are hand cut.
Note: different end flowers - special request by Bill

Some may have noticed the 'block' style lettering on the headcap's, more reminiscent to Joe Maphis's original

Truss rods and dual carbon-fiber rods have been installed in both necks. All inlays have been completed on both necks. The fingerboards and headcap's are not glued on at this point.

Headcap extension are glued on, the head shape is cut and head thickness is established.

Before gluing the head cap, I hand cut the triple binding rabbet in both the headstock and cap. The guide-wheel router won't fit in these tight areas. Note the locating pins in the headcap. They are positioned where the tuners will be drilled These will keep the cap from sliding (skating) around while being clamped. The 'M' will cover the longer rabbet. This is done to provide a starting slot for the binding. Holds it in place.

The 'M' will be glued in and leveled with the headcap.

The necks are coming along nicely. 2 of the body pieces are shown. The back plate on the right and the 1 1/2" stock the rim will be cut from on the left. Rim will be appx. 2 1/16" thick with binding.


The body carve on the exterior starts with a guide line 'cove' bit to establish edge thickness


The interior starts with removal of material in the center areas where the body is flat on both sides. then the spoon plane is used to take away material on the slopes. This part isn't that much fun.



The same process of carving is used on the top plate as well.


Body interior is given a coat of clear lacquer as a moisture barrier before being glued together.