This week, we thought it might be interesting to take you into our Custom Shop to see how we make your Custom Rambler® Professional Electric Travel Guitar. We will take you through the steps, from selecting the proper tone woods, laying out the guitar, gluing up the body and routing the body to shape. We will show you how we make the necks and fret boards, and a little peek at the paint shop and assembly process.

So, let’s get started. You want a great sounding, great playing, high quality travel guitar and you want the best guitar you can afford. You already know that the Rambler® can be easily disassembled to fit in a briefcase or computer bag for traveling. A Custom Rambler® Guitar or Bass could be the guitar of your dreams. You pick out the wood, the color, the neck shape, the inlay and choose any number of available options.

You decide if you want a brighter or more mid-range sounding guitar. Maybe you like playing a Les Paul, maybe you like playing a Strat. The wood choices are endless, but normally we use either Honduran Mahogany or Swamp Ash for the bodies. Choose Mahogany for the more mid range sound of a Les Paul and the Ash for the brighter sound of a Strat. A flamey or quilted maple top can be used to brighten the sound, and to enhance the visual appeal of the guitar.

Picking out the right tone woods

Looking at wood for a Custom Rambler®

Looking at wood for a Custom Rambler®

Russ Strobel visiting Merrill's Wood Shed in Alva, FL

Merrill’s Wood Shed in Alva, FL

After we select the raw lumber, we cut it to the right size and plane the boards to the proper thickness.

We match the tops and bodies to optimize the look and tone of the guitar.

Rambler® body blanks, cut and planed

Body blanks cut and planed

An assortment of Rambler® bodies, tops and necks

Body, top and neck

Some nice Mahogany blanks that will make a nice Strobel Travel Guitar

Some nice Mahogany blanks

Let’s find some nice Maple tops. Sometimes we have a pretty piece of quilted or flamey maple wide enough for a top. Most of the time, we need to book match two smaller pieces to make the top.

Which set looks best to you for a future Stroble Guitar?

Which set looks best to you?

Gluing book matched pieces together

Gluing book matched pieces

Book matched Rambler® Tops

Book matched Rambler Tops

Picking out the right body blank, top, neck, and fret board to make the perfect guitar.

Ash body, quilted maple top, maple neck Mahogany body with quilted maple top


Ash body, quilted maple top, maple neck


Mahogany body with quilted maple top

 After the wood blanks are cut and planed to the right thickness, we need to glue them up.

Takes a lot of clamps to glue these future Ramblers®

Takes a lot of clamps to glue these babies…

Takes a lot of clamps to glue these babies…

A couple of Mahogany Ramblers® getting glued

A couple of Mahogany Ramblers getting glued

Check back with us next week to see how we cut out, route and shape the Custom Rambler® Travel Guitars…