12 string arch-top guitar

Early 6 string and recent 12 string guitars

I’ve recently built my first 12 string guitar in a while, quickly followed by a second.  The first is shown above, along with my original 6 string arch-top from 1981.

My 12 string is the same basic guitar I’ve been building for many years, but there have been a few changes.  The trim is black binding with birdsfoot and black/red/black trim round the soundboard and red/white/red purfling round the back and sides.  The bone saddle is now a wider single piece saddle fully compensated for the octave strings.

I’ve always been intrigued by 12 string guitars.  Like many others, I had  cheap one in the 60s (or in my case, a part share in one).  But I couldn’t really get to grips with it and sold my share; it really is a different instrument from the 6 string and has to be approached as such. Good 12 string players can make it sound magical; it seems to me part of the the trick is learning what to leave out as compared with 6 string playing.

In Hiscox Artiste case



Side showing black binding with red/white/red purfling

Gotoh 510 tuners – the best


Fully compensated 12 string saddle