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Dismal Ax by Dismal Ax - 3M ago

This one is a custom commission I just finished.

Body is four sections of salvaged elm barn rafters, with edges hollowed out prior to joining.

Neck is walnut, with a quartersawn Osage orange fretboard.

Bigsby B5 vibrato tailpiece and Mastery M1 bridge.

Hipshot Griplock tuners.

Pickups are my homespun humbuckers.

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This is another one of the axes I re-did for the show last November.

Here is how it looked originally, in 2015:

And now:

Body is sassafras, with a milk paint finish, lightly sanded back to show the grain.

Neck is maple, with a black locust fretboard.

Bridge plate is made from a small stainless steel serving tray.

Switch plate is made from an electric motor data plate.

Pickguard is Formica.

Tele-style pickups, bridge: 7.5k neck: 7k

Grover mini rotomatic tuners.

Weighs 7.4 pounds

$1750

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Dismal Ax by Gwen Forrester - 6M ago

Fourth in the series of railroad themed guitars for Rail Yard Studios, made from a couple types of mahogany-like timber salvaged from the decking of decommissioned railroad cars.

Another double-cutaway model, with chambered body and arched top, displaying the original tongue and groove joints along the edges, this one with a distressed milk paint finish on the body.

The tailpiece and pickguard are made from an iron strap hinge, and the control plate from a tin utility pole sign.

The New York Central emblem is an antique cereal box prize.

Hipshot classic tuners, handmade brass fixed intonation bridge, two homespun humbucking pickups.

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Dismal Ax by Gwen Forrester - 7M ago

Third in the series of railroad themed guitars for Rail Yard Studios, made from a couple types of mahogany-like timber salvaged from the decking of decommissioned railroad cars.

One of two double-cutaway models, with chambered bodies and arched tops, displaying the original tongue and groove joints along the edges.

This one features a pickguard made from a stainless steel builders plate from the running gear of a diesel locomotive.

Single coil pickups, 9.2k/7.5k

Brass compensated tailpiece, Hipshot tuners.

Weight 7.5 pounds.

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Dismal Ax by Gwen Forrester - 8M ago

Another one I decided needed some more visual interest.

This is how it looked when I built it in 2015:

And now…

Body is sassafras, chambered, with chalk paint over milk paint, and distressed.

Control plates are antique door hardware.

Pickguard is cut from the face plate of a produce scale.

Pickups are my homespun humbuckers, bridge: 8kohms dcr, neck: 7.1kohms dcr.

Weighs 7.2 pounds.

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Dismal Ax by Gwen Forrester - 8M ago

Second in the series of guitars for Rail Yard Studios.

The top on this one is pine bead board with its original green paint, salvaged from the doors of the old railroad freight station in Watertown, Tennessee.

The rest of the wood is salvaged from the decking of decommissioned railroad cars.

Control plates are antique door hardware, pickguard is rusted roof tin, and the tailpiece is an antique cast iron drawer pull.

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Dismal Ax by Gwen Forrester - 8M ago

This is the first of a series of guitars in collaboration with Rail Yard Studios, made from a couple different species of mahogany-like timber salvaged from the decking of rail cars built to carry coils of steel.

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This is one I got bored with and decided to get a little psychedelic with. I made it three years ago, and it looked like this….

So I painted the top pink, and added some more grunginess, but then the pickguard didn’t go with it so well, and so I made a new one for it. Don’t worry, I only use records that have become more or less unplayable. This one was also missing the second disk of the album. I also aged the bridge and pickup covers, and made a new switch plate from an old die-cast metal 45 rpm adapter. Oh, and some vintage Heathkit audio knobs so the controls can be set to the heart of the sun, of course.

Body: Four piece salvaged beech, hollowed
Neck: Bolt on, hard maple, with black locust fretboard
Pickups: Dismal homespun humbuckers
bridge~ 7.3K ohms
neck~ 6.0K ohms
Tuners: Kluson
Bridge: Compensated stopbar tailpiece
Pickguard: Vinyl LP record.

Weight: 7.5 lbs

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This was a custom commission for Robert Hendrick, owner of Rail Yard Studios in Nashville, as a graduation present for his daughter.
All the wood is salvaged from the decking of railroad cars built to carry coils of steel, and he has been using it in some amazing pieces of furniture, along with other big heavy stuff from the railroad industry. I have no idea what actual species it is, but it is a mahogany-like timber from some tropical region of the world.
Since I only use local and/or salvaged woods in my instruments, this was a rather interesting opportunity for me.
The New York Central Railroad disappeared in 1968, into a convoluted series of mergers, with most of the original lines now being operated by CSX, though much equipment still bears NYC reporting marks.

The body is heavily chambered, with a 1/4″ top sawn from the weathered original surface of the plank, and finished with milk paint in a rough approximation of  faded “Century Green”, as used by the NYC in the late 60’s, carrying over into the Penn Central merger through the 70’s.
The pickguard is rusted roof tin, and the NYC emblem is from a 1950’s post cereal box.
Bridge and tuners are by Hipshot, and pickups are homespun by me.

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