Build Diary - Model M in Cocobolo and Swiss 'Moon' Spruce / by Tom Sands

There’s another beauty of a project currently wending its way through the workshop, and as usual, we wanted to share it’s progress with our followers. This time, it’s a Model M(edium) in Cocobolo and Swiss ‘Moon’ Spruce, complete with ‘Wildfire’ red copper rosette and antique Cuban mahogany for the neck. It’s going to be a cracker.

This guitar is for our friend Peter. He placed his order for this particular guitar after seeing the first ever Model S at the Holy Grail Guitar Show (Berlin) in 2018. This guitar won’t be his first Sands, and having worked with him before we already know lots of useful information such as his playing technique and existing guitar collection. Subsequently, we could put our heads together to work out what was missing from the lineup and how we could fill the gap; sonically, aesthetically and ergonomically.

The Model S in Malaysian Blackwood and Swiss ‘Moon’ Spruce

The Model S in Malaysian Blackwood and Swiss ‘Moon’ Spruce

While the Model S (Swiss ‘Moon’ Spruce and Malaysian Blackwood) was a great fit for Peter, the Sands he already owns is a small bodied guitar - the since discontinued 00. So, it made sense to go for something new, but with all the clarity and oomph of that Model S muse.

Luckily for all involved, Peter is UK based, and so was able to come and visit us in the workshop where his guitar was to be born. We had a couple of guitars in the shop for him to try, and we found that he was most comfortable with our ‘earth tones’ Model M in Redwood and Spalted Maple - especially with it’s comfort micro-bevel.

Peter’s first Sands Guitar - 00 in Reclaimed Railroad Sitka Spruce and T’Zalam

Peter’s first Sands Guitar - 00 in Reclaimed Railroad Sitka Spruce and T’Zalam

The Model M we tried when deciding body size: ‘Carter’ Redwood over ‘Somogyi’ Spalted Maple

The Model M we tried when deciding body size: ‘Carter’ Redwood over ‘Somogyi’ Spalted Maple

In earlier discussions, we had thrown around ideas of working with Cocobolo for the back and sides, and Swiss ‘Moon’ Spruce (like the Model S) for the face. When Peter was in the workshop and we pulled out the set of Cocobolo we had in mind, our decision was made. It’s one of the most vitreous sets of Cocobolo the Sands workshop has ever had - with the looks to go. All the sandpaper in the shop gave a sigh, and prepared itself for that infamous Cocobolo oil.

Peter taking a look at his future guitar

Peter taking a look at his future guitar

The stunning set of Cocobolo we chose, and it’s sister set

The stunning set of Cocobolo we chose, and it’s sister set

So, to the other things to decide - and specifically to the aforementioned ‘wildfire’ rosette. Tom had been saving a stunning red copper patinated rosette for a very special occasion - and since the rich reds of the cocobolo juxtaposed with the pure white spruce would no doubt provide the perfect canvas for the artwork, it was again a very easy decision. The materials all came together so beautifully with this build, all telling a different visual story while weaving a united tapestry of texture, sound and colour in way that will no doubt continue to induce drool for many years to come.

Wildfire Rosette in all glory

Wildfire Rosette in all glory

So that’s the story - we’ll share some photos of the build coming together next week. Please let us know what you think of the material choices, and we always love feedback as to what you personally would change on your own build! Happy Thursday.

A mockup of the final choices.

A mockup of the final choices.

TS <3