Great Guitar Build Off 2020 – My round up of the submissions.


Firstly, if you don’t know what this is then it’s a good natured competition between various online maker people – each tasked with taking a Crimson Guitars kit guitar and turning it into something special. The results of each to be auctioned off for a charity of the maker’s choice.

Visit the Great Guitar Build Off page for more details and specifics on voting, bidding and donating:

And now the official entries are out in the great guitar build off and I thought I’d write this whilst waiting for coats of finish to dry (Chestnut Products Acrylic Sealer and Acrylic Lacquer – both excellent products*).

I haven’t decided who my favourite is, but I have some thoughts. If you think I’m totally wrong on anything – then I’d love for you to shout at me in the comments – or in the comments section of the video I made on the topic

So lets talk about the entrants.

We have Ben Crowe of Crimson guitars. I think this entry suffered from being so close on the heels of his previous build, the Cyberpunk 2077 inspired guitar. We’d had time to watch, nurture and love that one. This new one was in our lives for such a short time! I think I got more and more dismayed the more he stained the body – I enjoyed the cathedral like shots of the guitars internals when it was first cut up.

Next we have Tamar Hannah of 3×3 Custom. I’ve been aware of her videos and previously enjoyed the guitars she’s made before. I wasn’t expecting her to draft in Sam from DIY huntress for another great acrylic, or was it epoxy pour, I was expecting something joinery related… and we weren’t let down there. Bonus points for not just accepting the mistake and actually redoing the mismatched sections.

Matt and Chris from Texas Toast – who were a large part of the heart and soul of this competition. And they went bonkers. A three necked guitar, one of them might even be a sitar. Of course there was fabric involved, but this time on the neck. I’ll be disappointed if Matt doesn’t make some of his short-short shorts out of the rest of that gold number. They certainly proved they weren’t just going to assemble and decorate a kit.

Philip McKnight next, who by all accounts knows his gear. He took a PRS style kit and handed it over to experts in bling – going by the Instagram shot it’s going to be ridiculously loud. Which is great, because I’m never a fan of the boiled sweet sickly colours of normal PRS guitars. All a bit showy to me.

Next, Brad Angove – Angove with a silent R. He’s been open all along and courting people into the cause. And without a bandsaw has come up with a unique design of his own. Of course he’s going to be showcasing both his metal scratch plates he sells and a shiny top coat. To the point he even ripped off the first paint coat just before the videos were due!

Jimmy Diresta. Not a lot to say here. I think it was very much him thinking “Oh crap, I’ve got a day left. How can I Jimmy Diresta up a guitar in a day?” So he did! Set fire to it, and wrapped it around with a steel band. I believe this was a homage to the traditional black Les Paul colouring with a white binding. Rather than just acting like a maniac 🙂

Dan Thomson. A man who kept his cards close to his chest and they reveal it with a sly grin and humour. The guitar, not his chest. That’s private. …and we got a bass, a bass with a beautiful carved and subtly coloured top to match his charity of choice.

Finally on this list. I think. Is Derek from Big D. I’ve followed most of his videos because there’s so much to learn on staining and finishing guitars to a professional standard there. Whilst it didn’t blow me out of the water… it was… it’s like when you visit your favourite restaurant and have your favourite meal off the regular menu. You get what you want and it tastes lovely. Just… don’t lick the guitar.

* Affiliate link, but also something I do use.

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