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Metal Top Koacaster


Silver Supporting Member
This one has been a long time in gestation and it isn't done yet, but it's now playable:


My idea was to build a koa topped Tele with an engraved Zemaitis-style pickguard featuring a Hawaiian tropical lagoon scene based on the old metal National resonators. I couldn't find find the right engraver (long story), and I too have drooled over John Catto's work, but I came upon an artist at a local crafts show who specializes in etched aluminum panels. So I gave her a pickguard and images of what I was looking for, and what you see is what she came back with. Kind of hard to photograph, but it looks pretty cool in person. Other specs are:

Bookmatched koa top
Swamp ash body, bound
Suhr Tele pickups
Callaham bridge
The neck pickup cover is engraved "Aloha"

While the body work went well, I wasn't happy with the neck carve to the point where I decided to scrap it and start over (my second guitar, gimme a break!). Will be maple/pau ferro. Meanwhile, I threw a cheap Stew-Mac neck on there to get the guitar playable. It's bright and twangy, like a Tele should be.

Go Cat Go!!

Hi, I'm new around this parts. That's a beautiful guitar you have made. Your engraver did some really nice work as well. Stunning!

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