|Ricardo Sanchez, with an in-progress, three-toned guitar body. Photo by HispanicNashville.com|
Ricardo Sanchez of Nashville taught himself how to make guitars. Let me repeat: he makes guitars. Self-taught. Wow.
Ricardo is a friend of ours, so we placed an order with Ricardo Sanchez Guitars. It's an electric guitar with a custom Tennessee/Chile design (scroll down for photos). When we went to pick up the brand-new instrument, I asked him a few questions about the whole process. This is what he told me.
|Nearly half of the vinyl covers on Sanchez's wall at home are by the classic Christian rock band Petra. Sanchez and I are both fanboys of Petra, actually; the first music I ever owned was their "Not of This World" cassette tape from the Logos bookstore in Green Hills. (Did I mention that some of the original members are touring under the name "Classic Petra" and are playing the Hard Rock Cafe this May?) Photo by HispanicNashville.com|
|The Ryobi machine cuts the shape of the wood. Sanchez's uncle picked up this machine for his guitar-making nephew. Photo by HispanicNashville.com|
|They bought a sander (on the left) to smooth the edges. Photo by HispanicNashville.com|
|Glued, cut, and sanded. Next comes either staining, or priming and paint. Photo by HispanicNashville.com|
|Car paint is more resistant, so that's what Sanchez uses. For smaller quantities, spray cans are called for. Photo by HispanicNashville.com|
|This is the guitar my family will own. Only the red and white coats of paint have been applied. Photo by Ricardo Sanchez.|
|Our guitar after the blue paint has been added. The neck is the only part of the guitar that Sanchez still buys partially preassembled. The design is something my wife came up with - a combination of the flags of Chile and Tennessee. Photo by Ricardo Sanchez.|
|The luthier himself, testing out the final product next to an array of effects pedals. Photo by HispanicNashville.com|
|We asked him to sign it; we have an original! Photo by HispanicNashville.com|
|In the hands of its proud owner. Photo by HispanicNashville.com|