This instrument stayed as a work in progress in my mind for the longest time with ideas being scribbled out on a various pieces of paper off and on for many years taking many forms before landing on a final version and becoming my main instrument. 


The plain mahogany back and sides were less flashy but more sturdy pieces I used to test the structural integrity of the instrument design in my first attempt instead of using any high dollar exotic woods one would be accustomed to seeing on a custom build. Quite honestly, was almost certain it would explode under all the tension after stringing it up.


The slightly figured spruce top was to short in length to extend the length of the top so I improvised a piece to finish the extension. I've since then made improvements to that feature as seen on the 12String below.


All the black features are ebony including the trim, 3 sound hole suns, fingerboard and truss rod cover, bridges and tailpieces. 

(More background stories on this instrument coming to the blog soon.)










The 12 STRING is in a way the little sister to the 27 STRING. All the same features except for the absence of three bass and the twelve smaller harp strings.


The large quilted figure in the mahogany is really set off by the hand rubbed oil finish.


Since I didn't have a spruce top long enough (yet again) to span the length of the top

I compensated this time by using the same mahogany from the back and sides to complete the hollow arm.


The purple heart wood for the trim, bridge, tailpiece, fingerboard, truss rod cover and the abstract feather design cross banding I used for strengthening the back of the bass side peghead proved to be more of a challenge than I had 

anticipated which nearly caused the loss of the project because of its density and unwillingness to bend.


This is the first instrument I've done with layered "S" Back Bracing; a style of bracing I developed by sheer accident.

(More background on this instrument also coming soon to the blog.)



PHOTO by Robert David Farmerie

Copyright © 2017 Keith Medley Music,

All rights reserved.



PHOTOS: Keith Medley

PHOTOS: Jimmy Stratton

Making Instruments Out Of Music 




T: 615-389-5234