The thing I appreciate the most about being a luthier is not the actual building of a guitar or stringed instrument, but the relationships I build with my clients who eventually become good friends. Jim Mensik approached me last year about building an electric Telecaster style guitar. He loved it so much that he requested a matching Telecaster acoustic guitar and possibly an electric bass for a Tele-trifecta as he called it.
The original electric guitar body was made of Padauk with a highly figured maple top. The neck thru was a laminate of 5 pieces; figured maple, Koa and monkey wood or a type of rosewood.
The acoustic could not have a figured maple top so we selected Bear Claw Sitka Spruce to resemble some figure. The body would be bent and shaped like a Tele using Padauk. Padauk is a very good tone wood. However, the fibers would not bend well for the tight radius required. After failing horribly at bending the sides on two sets of wood for the body I finally contacted Jim and explained the situation. In an attempt to make things right I selected a set of figured Koa wood from my private stash. To our surprise, the Koa took the shape of a tele quite easily. I'm glad we used Koa in the neck of the electric model because we can transition with Koa in this acoustic build.
Continuing the theme of the original guitar, we kept the same inlay pattern of moons and clouds in an art deco design. Perhaps the shapes even resemble planets. The inlay material selected is Mother of Pearl and Abalone.