Ashley’s Signature Decal

Since I’m calling Ashley’s guitar the “Ashley Kingman Model” I wanted to put his name on it somewhere. I tried out a few options but they all seemed too obvious—I was looking for something subtle.

That’s when I remembered that Ashley has gotten many famous guitarists to sign the back of his guitar’s headstock. He has autographs from Scotty Moore, Les Paul, Paul Burlison and others on there, so it seemed only natural to put Ash’s signature in the same place on his new headstock. Here’s how it turned out.

Building Ashley’s Bridge

Because the top of Ashley’s guitar is flat, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to use a standard Bigsby bridge, which has a curved base that fits the top of archtop guitars. After doing some research I determined that Bigsby supplied Magnatone with unique bridges. They had a slightly thicker base, were flat on the bottom and were stamped “MARK V”. I decided to build a custom base out of aluminum and outfit it with a real Bigsby saddle and thumbwheels. Here’s how it turned out.

 

Ashley Kingman Model Progress: Part IV

Moving right along, this gallery shows the neck getting profiled and the finish going on. My buddy Lee Jeffriess gave me a lesson in applying a traditional varnish finish. Lee’s an expert at French polishing and restoring antique wood finishes. We decided to go with varnish to give the guitar that old school “Bigsby” look.

Ashley Kingman Model Progress: Part III

Here’s my third gallery of photos from Ashley’s build. This gallery shows the neck getting it’s fingerboard, inlays and frets. The neck and body meet for the first time, and if you look closely, you’ll notice that I went back and added two more dots on the fingerboard (per Ashley’s request) before I installed the frets.

Ashley Kingman Model Progress: Part II

This is my second gallery of photos showing the progress of Ashley’s guitar. Here, I’ve begun making the neck for the guitar. There are a lot of steps involved in making the neck—this gallery shows about half of them.

Ashley Kingman Model Progress: Part I

Here’s my first gallery of photos showing the progress of Ashley’s guitar. It begins with a photo of the raw lumber (or tonewood) I started out with—and takes you through several steps of construction.