Guitar Making – Chumcaster

This guitar has a pick guard made of fish that I purchased on my first trip to Chicago in 1981. It was a field trip from the Memphis Academy of Art when I was a freshman. I found them in a cellophane package for around 79 cents. I then took them back to Memphis and put them in a jar and intuitively labeled it #4 with a paint marker. I kept these fish in the shop all these years with people periodically quizzing me as to what the hell they were for. I always replied “They are my number four fish”.

Well, recently they jumped out at me and I laid them up like roofing tile onto a flow substrate with CA glue and vacuum infused them with epoxy. This slab is recessed 5/8″ into the body, making for a very unusual three dimensional vignette. Naturally this instrument became a single pickup Esquire. I have always wanted to come up with a meaningful circuit for this model. I think I found something nice with the reverse three way circuit.

Intuition, simplicity.



The effect is curious indeed.


A routing template is used to create the recess for this extra thick pick guard

The 5/8″ thick slab of fish is embedded into a freshly finished Esquire body



The electronics are installed as a Reverse 3 way circuit wired to a single Lindy Fralin overwound single coil pickup


All setup and ready to play!