Saturday, February 15, 2014
Beetle Kill Electric and how it got started
This one is just about finished. It has a couple of Gibson pickups (490 R and 498T) and should shred. This guitar features a walnut neck and body, ponderosa beetle kill blue stain top and ebony fretboard and headstock. Background: In 2008, I was working for a Natural Resource Management team conducting forestry projects in Colorado’s front-range forests. The Ponderosa Pine trees are one of the main inhabitants. The main objective was to remove pine beetle infected trees. I spent about six months with a chainsaw in hand and pine pitch stuck to my face and clothes getting to know this material. Not many guitar builders get this kind of opportunity to work with trees at this early stage. The Ponderosa has some beautiful characteristics: The grace they possess in occupying space in a healthy forest, the sweet aroma, and the way the bark on older trees has a rich red color. Bacteria associated with the Pine Beetle leaves the wood with “blue stain” adding another element to perk my interest in creating an instrument out of it. And it is satisfying when you can use a regional material, really creating a Colorado guitar. I was able to find a nice piece locally and began to plan the beetle kill electric.