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This Tele-style instrument is a commission for a local guitar player. It has an alder body with a book-matched flame-maple cap. We wanted to take this traditional instrument in a special direction so the guitar will feature custom-made checkerboard binding, square fretboard inlays, orange-into-walnut sunburst, and Lindy Fralin pickups with a 4-way circuit.

To create the binding, I first made up checkerboard tiles from rosette sticks. I ripped two different sized slots in a solid chunk of Teflon (even super glue is reluctant to stick to this material). After staging my sticks strategically in the Teflon slots, I impregnated the bundles with super glue. After it set, I managed to remove the logs. Then after sanding them, four quarter logs are placed in the larger slot and the process repeated.

I used a small mitre box to cut 2.5mm tiles from the logs. These are then individually tapered in order to negotiate the guitar’s curves. There is actually a hidden inner rivulet of alternating cubes inside the checkerboard.

Below is a slideshow of images detailing the binding process.

8 commments

January 15, 2013
10:18 pm



You’re really not one to take the easy route, are you, Ian? (Not there is any easy route for an inlay such as this).

February 18, 2013
5:07 pm

Ian Westerfer


That is amazing!

February 18, 2013
5:08 pm

Mike Nolan


Holy Smokes! I want to play chess on that….

February 18, 2013
7:48 pm



Wow your talent never seem to end. Lovely work of functional art my friend it was an honor to have met you. Ian You inspire me as always.

February 19, 2013
8:42 pm

Tony Yarus


If I may state the obvious, that is a work of ART!!! Real pretty.

February 20, 2013
1:46 pm

Paul Bergeson


What an amazing piece of work. You continue to be an inspiration to me.
Thanks for sharing!
Paul B

March 11, 2013
6:17 pm

Holy Jesus, that looks labor intensive. Beautiful work

January 27, 2014
12:58 pm

Ben Willard


Thanks again Ian for collaborating with me on this exquisite instrument, I wasn’t absolutely sure what direction I wanted to go, your help and ideas were invaluable in creating this fabulous Tele for me. Ben Willard. P.S. I hope no one orders one like it, I like having a one of a kind instrument. (:

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