When a chunk of wood arrives at Dead Wood, just like it did when Compton lugged the walnut limb into his shop, Booth takes the raw material to a sawmill and cuts it into inch-thick lumber. From there, he uses a band saw to split the stock in half or even fourths.
The thin sheet of wood that’s left gets planed and sanded, then two pieces are book-matched together with glue so that the wood grains mirror each other to form the guitar face.
Booth’s shop is filled with jigs that shape the guitar ribs from wet wood into curved sides using heat, pressure and time. Using a spoke shaver, he whittles down the necks by hand from a 2-foot-long rectangle into a smooth, rounded base for the fretboard.
“I’m real big about not copying people,” Booth said, as he pointed at the double dovetail joint he engineered to create a glue-less connection between the neck and body.