For the past three plus years, TK has been custom fabricating various projects for artist Andrea Zittel at A-Z West. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the work that we don’t take the time to get good photos. AZ recently gave us some great photos taken by photographer Jessica Eckert for the Andrea Rosen Gallery. All furniture designed by Andrea Zittel, built by TK Smith.
Welcome to the New Year! Through the holiday’s and into the new year, T.K.’s been doing overtime in the shop working on his new guitar pickup. He wants it to sound like a cross between a Stratosphere and a Charlie Christian, his two favorite pickups, and it’s constructed like a Bigsby. He has talked about this for years! T.K. still has a ways to go until he’ll be happy with the final product, but we’re hopeing to have some production units for sale by summer. Stay tuned!
I’ve been moonlighting the past few months doing custom inlayed pickguards and name plaques. If you’re a serious musician I don’t think there’s a better way to get your name out than having it on your guitar or instrument.
It’s also a known fact that my pickguards and name plaques will help promote record sales, and to boost show attendance through brand recognition. Ha Ha!!
My inlay jobs are 100% crafted by hand. So if you’re a serious musician drop me a line and have me build you a custom guard or plaque. You can see some of my recent inlay projects here.
We’re now offering lacquered 5 hole Garolite pickguards for teles. They’re $45 plus shipping. For those of you that care what the backside looks like, yes, they have the correct over spray ring. If you’re interested in a custom pickguard, you can see some examples here.
I haven’t had much time to work on this thing in the last few weeks, but I have made some progress… I found a really nice piece of kiln-dried maple for the neck and I cut out the pickguard and armrest out of .125’’ thick garolite. Since I don’t gig that often anymore, I wasn’t going to put my name on this guitar, but the giant pickguard was just begging for some kind of advertisement. Here are a few pics…
This was a project that I did a few years back, nine to be exact, that took more time than money. I saw a picture of Walt Rose’s ’27 T roadster in the book “The American Hot Rod” when it came out. I knew that I wanted something similar for my roadster pickup. The foundry patterns were made using 1’’ thick poplar, polyester body filler, and 3/8’’ aluminum plate.
I made the posts longer than needed and cut them down a ½’’ to ¼’’ at a time until I was happy with how it looked. Here’s some photos of the process.
For the last few years I’ve been pretty good about not taking on any new personal projects as I whittle away at the list I currently have. I’ve been making some progress, but last month while in San Diego a friend said I could have this old Kay if I wanted to do something with it. I took a quick look and said “sure, I’ll take it!” Its a late 50′s Kay model K-161 with a screwed up neck and no hardware. I’ve always wanted to build a neck from scratch but never really had a good reason to do so. Now I do! I want it to look like a guitar Paul Bigsby would have modified.
Last Sunday it didn’t take much to get the finger board off, and the dovetail joint apart. I also made a couple of pick guard patterns. This proved to be a little tricker, trying to hide the existing holes and still look Bigsbyish. I plan on using a pair of my pickups that I’m working on, the vibrato I had in my parts stash. I’ll post as I make progress so check back from time to time. Here’s some mock up photos. I’m leaning towards mock up #3.
I’ve been getting a few request to do pickguard inlay lately. It’s kind of nice to get a job that I can do while sitting down listening to music. I’m currently on a Bill DeArango kick, great stuff, his rolled off tone and rapid fire guitar solos make me crazy! Anyhow, as for the pickguards, each letter is hand drawn and cut out using an old Delta scroll saw. They’re then carefully traced on to the pickguard and the negative area is cut out for a nice tight fit. The letters are then glued in place, sanded flush, covered with 4 to 5 coats of nitrocellulose lacquer, and rubbed out to a high gloss finish. If you need any inlay work done, contact us for a quote.