Guitar 39 – “Salmon Spawning”
Completed May, 2012
Body Size – 16″ lower bout
Scale – 25.5″
Top – Sitka spruce
Back and Sides – Indian rosewood
Neck – Honduras mahogany
Fingerboard – Gabon ebony
Nut and Saddle – bone
Binding – Birdseye maple
Purfling – Birdseye maple
Headstock veneers – rosewood
Soundhole Rosette – Red glass ring with arcs of red and green glass dots
Fingerboard inlay – “Salmon Spawning” made of stained glass, mother of pearl and abalone
Tuning machines – Schaller M6 gold
Finish – lacquer
I built this guitar for myself. I needed a new guitar to show off, and I liked the salmon inlay I did on Guitar 38 so much that I decided to do it again in a larger version. Here in Southeast Alaska we live in a sockeye salmon culture. Every summer these beautiful fish return by the millions from the open ocean and head to the rivers to spawn. In the salt water they are bright silver, but up in the rivers they assume their brilliant red and green spawning colors.
A view showing off the Indian rosewood back and sides.
The soundhole rosette continues the spawning salmon theme. Six arcs of salmon eggs of varying sizes surround a ring of red glass.
Creating the “Salmon Spawning” inlay.
After all the inlay pieces have been cut out and fitted together, they are laid out on the fingerboard and the perimeter is scribed. A Dremel mini-router is used to cut a cavity exactly the shape and depth of the inlay.
The inlay has now been separated to expose the fret slots.
Epoxy mixed with ebony dust is used to glue the inlay. It also fills any small gaps.
Here is the finished inlay.
Tracy Spring, a wonderful performing songwriter from Bellingham, WA took “Salmon Spawning” on tour in the summer of 2012 while I was building her new guitar. This guitar is very responsive with great clarity and bell-like harmonics.