Green Man Inlay Design

3705506498_0960277a97The primary delay of this project has been deciding on the headstock inlay. It has always been intended to be the head of the Pagan symbol Green Man, but I have laboured over the style and design for a long time.

Cyanoacrylate & Malachite GranulesThe inlay substrate will be some form of Green. I have not decided whether this will be cut from reconstituted rock Malachite (like the brand logo will be) or whether to experiment inlaying green rock granules. The method with the grains of rock would entail inlaying a channel into the timber, around 2-3 mm deep, then filling with the grains and back-filling with thin Cyanoacrylate. This is basically a very low viscosity Super Glue that is even ‘thinner’ than water, which will enable it to filter between the grains of rock before setting hard, ready to sand flat. I have not attempted this method before, and can only find vague reference of it’s use.

For the headstock design, I have trawled the internet for appropriate images and played around with minimalising the design ready for inlay. Here are some of the rough works that have not made the cut, to illustrate the basic work method. The finalised design will be much more ornate.

We have decided on an image to work from now at least. This will be edited into a silhouette form and then will go through a post-production stage to add shapes of flora around the edged of the hair and beard/moustache to keep the Pagan theme. Depending on how the resulting design looks, the eyes may be inset mother-of-pearl to highlight the piece.

All images will be inlaid into the black ebony headstock veneer.

Mjölnir at Wunjo Guitars

Mjölnir is now available at Wunjo Guitars, Denmark Street, London.



Autumn 2014 – Autumn 2015MjolnirFull

Model Name: Mjölnir
Color: Clear Shellac
Body Shape: Single-cut Carved Top
Body Material: English Chestnut
Body Cap: Carved Wenge
Body Finish: Satin Shellac
Body Binding: Cream-Black-Cream
Strap Buttons: Chrome Dunlop Flush Fitting Straplok
Neck Type: Set Neck with All Access Joint
Neck Material: 1-Piece Walnut (scarf joint)
Headstock Style: Classic 3×3
Neck Shape: Uber-Wizard “C”
Neck Scale Length: 24.75”
Neck Binding: N/A
Headstock Binding: Cream-Black-Cream
Nut: Brass
Nut Width: 41 mm
Fingerboard: Ebony
Fingerboard Radius: Compound 12″-14″
Number of Frets: 24
Fret Size: Jumbo
Fingerboard Inlays: 3mm Steel Rings
Fingerboard Side Inlays: 2mm Black Dots
Neck Pickup: Bare Knuckle Miracle Man
Bridge Pickup: Bare Knuckle Miracle Man
Controls: Master volume
Pickup Switching: Classic 3-way Toggle
Hardware Finish: Chrome
Bridge: Schaller STM
Tuning Machines: Schaller Da Vinci
Pickguard: N/A
Control Knobs: Knurled Brass Chrome Finish
Switch Tips: Chrome
Unique Features:

  • Black Tahiti Pearl ‘Matt Guest’ Runic Headstock Inlay
  • Owen Jackson hand-made neck
  • Crimson Guitars hand-made body
  • Staggered ferrule, string-though carved-top body

Mjölnir was a project to achieve a guitar that would require no additional adornment other than it’s own figured tone wood. Imparting the spirit of a mythical hammer, I chose a almost entirely chromed finish of hardware to give a feel of steel. I wanted to create a soulful carved-top guitar with maximum tone and sustain; so a string-through body design was an obvious choice.

Originally planned as a homage to one of my favourite classic Metal bands, Manowar, this project was born as I listened to ‘Thor (The Powerhead’ at work. Thor’s hammer Mjölnir was an obvious symbol to base such a guitar on. Initially I had designs to inlay the Sign of the Hammer symbol across the fretboard in Mother of Pearl. However after offering up the designs to the fretboard, there was no acceptable area to apply the inlay without obscuring the image too much or damaging the aesthetics of balance. Inlaying the design on the body itself would have taken too much away from the beautifully figured Wenge top.

Therefore the fretboard was left totally blank. Visually this is beautiful for such a quality piece of Ebony, but this needed to be a work-horse of a guitar. Personal preference is paramount, and in my opinion some indication is required around the higher register of the neck. I decided to add steel-ring inlays, offset to the low E-string so that they were easily visible to the player, but as they are aligned closely with the ‘E’ and ‘A’ strings and are not full dots, to the bystander they are almost imperceptible.

The neck is a one-piece English Walnut, commissioned by Owen Jackson. This was one of two necks I sourced for the Thorn Project, so this has a very petite 41mm nut and Wizard profile. The guys at Crimson Guitars expertly took this bolt-on style neck and adapted it for a set-neck construction in Mjölnir. The neck-joint is a very comfortable all-access type, allowing fretting up around the second octave very natural.

I have yet to find superior pickups available in comparison to Bare Knuckle‘s. This time I chose a Miracle Man humbucker set, aiming for a slightly more trebly tone for achieving the ferocity of pinched harmonics. As will be apparent from my existing portfolio, I am not a fan of tone pots. I believe you can achieve all the tonal variations from the placement of the available pickups and choice of amplifier without masking the pure sound of the guitar/pickup combination. I opted for a single master volume pot in this case to limit the number of controls that would hide the beautiful Wenge grain.

Mjölnir body

Mjolnir carved topI had this project commissioned by Crimson Guitars in Dorset. As this will be a clear shellac finish ultimately, the importance of quality figured timber was paramount. The carved dark Wenge top will be in stark contrast to the lighter, golden English Chestnut body once the French Polishing is completed. Featuring Bareknuckle Miracle Man calibrated humbuckers at the heart of the body, all other hardware will be in matching Chrome finish.

See Mjölnir being carved in the Crimson Guitars workshop



Raven Projects : Muninn (1 of 2)

Spring 2012 – Spring 2014

muninn-frontModel Name: Muninn
Color: Anthracite
Body Material: Swamp Ash
Body Shape: MG/CR Raven
Body Finish: ‘Clear Wudtone’
Neck Material: Rock Maple
Neck Style: 3×3 Headstock, oiled finish
Neck Shape: Modern “C”
Scale Length: 24.75”
Fingerboard: Tear-drop/full scalloped maple
Fingerboard Radius: 10″
Number of Frets: 22
Fret Size: Jumbo
Full-body String Nut: Black graph-tec
Nut Width: 42 mm
Fingerboard Inlays: N/A
Side Inlays: Black dot
Neck Plate: N/A
Pickup Configuration: HB-HB
Bridge Pickup: EMG HZ4
Middle Pickup: N/A
Neck Pickup: EMG HZ4-A
Controls: Master volume, coil-splitting push-pull
Pickup Switching: 3-Position blade:

  • Bridge only
  • Bridge & neck
  • Neck only

Bridge: 6-Saddle, twin-pivot modern style floating tremolo
Hardware Finish: Black
Tuning Machines: Gibson ‘Tulip’ style
Pickguard: N/A
Control Knobs: Black speed-knob
Switch Tips: Black
Unique Features:

  • Custom abalone headstock inlay
  • Tear-drop’ scalloped fingerboard from frets 1 – 11
  • Fully scalloped fingerboard from frets 12 – 22
  • Coil-split function, changing humbuckers to single-coil
  • Machine-thread neck insert for neck-mounting
  • Fender locking strap buttons
  • Treble-bleed wiring modification

Originally planned as a single, unique design and build, I managed to get a good deal purchasing the timber and ended up with two Swamp Ash body blanks.With two potential builds, I decided to theme along the lines of Norse mythology primarily as I wanted to create a transparent black, natural finish that would enhance the figuring of the Swamp Ash grain, but also because it seemed cool. The inspiration for this colour effect was a Raven’s wing, so I decided to theme the builds as Odin’s Ravens, Muninn (memory) and Huginn (thought).The body design was the result of many long hours in consultation with Chloe, aiming for a contemporary mix of Les Paul and Super-Strat body styles whilst keeping our own unique twist. The right horn was finished with a bevelled edge for a sword-edge like emphasis and was cut deep to allow easy access to the high fret area.This guitar was designed to look and feel sharp and edgy, and so I felt it needed a very fast action. The scalloping process was arduous but worthwhile, and has resulted in a super-slick experience, excellent for both 80’s style shredding and hard SRV style blues-bends. Frets 1 – 11 have been scalloped to a tear-drop profile to allow easier bar-chord playing, while frets 12 – 22 have the more traditional full scallop made famous by artists such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. High output passive pickups have been used to give an appropriate darkness to the sound, whilst keeping smooth tones in the Humbucker configuration. Pulling the Volume knob up into position splits the coils resulting in single-coil configuration, for a sharper more vintage sound.

” Huginn and Muninn Fly every day
over the mighty earth.
I fear for Huginn that he may not return,
yet more I fear for Muninn.”

– Odin, translated from Old Norse

Follow the design and build diary of Muninn…


Muninn Diary

The build process of Muninn progressed at a slow but steady pace. The lack of a designated workshop can sometimes be challenging…