Has anyone built a guitar?


13noon
New Member
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 10
I was going to build a guitar (If you want something done right, do it yourself) and I was wondering if anyone had done it before and if they had any advice.
Thanks

~13noon
# 1
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
Yeah, I've built a couple, what kind of questions do you have or are you just wanting general advice? My first bit of advice is watch out, this can be addicting, I'm getting ready to build another one myself,...... What type of guitar are you wanting to build?
# 2
James8831
Senior Member
Joined: 10/29/01
Posts: 510
woodworking skills(?) were up to it. I want to do it have got the wood, can get necks, can do the wiring,make PUs and basic circuits but CANNOT do wordwork :(

- Like i'm remedial in it,dude.

Plus in the UK it's cheaper to actually buy a fairly decent guitar (Cort,Yamaha,Raven) and customise it...and yes that last sentence is just an EXCUSE for being lazy,as well as being true:)

Tell us what you have built pstring ..


Accuracy,you say? hmm interesting concept..
# 3
Bardsley
Moderator
Joined: 02/04/01
Posts: 731
pfft, woodworking skills, I scron them. This is your chance to make a truly revolutionary design! Seeing as you ar enot constrained by, like, the regulations, dude, you can make soemthing crazyyyy, maaaan. Just attack the hell out of it with sandpaper afterwards.
Note to anyone considering this, do not pay attention to me. I take no responsibility for loss of limbs, life, or (even worse) good guitar wood.
"Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year, it's just not that widely reported".
# 4
13noon
New Member
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 10
I was gonna build the ultimate flying v- two EMG-81's, a Floyd Rose, and two volume and two tone controls. I'm gonna buy a prefab neck just so I don't have to deal with truss rod installation and fretting it, and just build the rest. I need to go to the guitar store and get some measurements off a real v before I finalize my design though. I am not sure I'd build another one, I just kind of wanted a certain guitar that there is no stock model for.

~13noon

P.S. why are guitars cheaper in the UK? like in general or just a couple brands? cause if they make them in certain places I can understand it being cheaper than shipping them to the States.
# 5
James8831
Senior Member
Joined: 10/29/01
Posts: 510
a Flying W, now that's what i'd make :)

:) 13noon .. I think you misunderstood guitars ARE NOT cheaper in the UK , I often moan about how US prices are about the same in dollars as they are here in pounds (£1=$1.55 approx) :O
What i mean was that due to the high price of spares it's cheaper to actually buy a fair quality guitar, say Yamaha Pacifica 112 (£169) or a Dearmond (about £100 if you can find one) and spend say £20-30 customising it than buying the parts, which is approx

£65-neck
£70-body
£20-bridge
£30-scratchplate (inc pups)
£25-machines
£10-variuos string trees,covers,screws etc
£05-postage

= approx £225- for an average strat copy!! - with basic pups. but if you paid around the same in dollars you wouldn't mind so much.


Best of luck with your Luthery, let us know how she goes. :D
Accuracy,you say? hmm interesting concept..
# 6
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
My question for 13noon is do you have any woodworking skills and access to tools like a bandsaw and router? Your idea of buying a neck is a good one, unless you plan on starting a neck factory there is no reason, good necks are cheap and you won't have to make 3 or 4 of them trying to get one right, if I was going to make a V, I'd find a neck with the body stub and glue up my 2 body "ears" on to that stub, I don't think you would want a bolt on neck for a V, the one piece stub and neck take out the danger areas of building totally from scratch. You can probaly find a measured drawing of a V on the web for a few bucks. THE Hardest thing to do well is the finish. BTW what kind of wood do you plan to use?
# 7
Lordathestrings
Gear Guru
Joined: 01/18/01
Posts: 6,242
I have a V made by a company called Odyssey. Its an all-maple neck-thru design, which I find is much better than the set-neck Gibson and Epiphone versions. I can send you the dimensions if you want them. Let me know; it'll take a while to draw it up accurately. Its a job I need to do sometime anyway, because I want to make a hard case for it.
Lordathestrings
Guitar Tricks Moderator

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 8
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
To answer James, I've built a Strat-o-monster, that has kind of evolved over the years into a experiment always in progress, probaly one day I"ll paint it yellow and call it Swiss chesse. I have a tele style that is my attempt at doing a tele my way, mahoghany body w/curly maple top, rear rout control cavity, no control plate, no pick guard, I use a LP switch instead the fender type, Fender Original Vintage pu and a strat pu in the neck , a Carvin neck with ebony fretboard, no string trees needed, reshaped the headstock, carvin tuners (great&cheap) used aniline dye and nitrocellulose laquer for the finish,,kind of looks like a Tom Anderson. I agree with you about buying a cheaper used guitar and modding it, thats what got me started, I had a Westone Concorde, of course some rat stole it , next thing on my agenda is a Lap Steel from scratch, my two favorite things combined woodwork and guitars, keeps me off the streets and home at night, well when your broke where you gonna go anyhow
# 9
educatedfilm
Registered User
Joined: 08/10/01
Posts: 882
I'm suppoused to be making my own giutar... but under supervisoin of some mega profesional geezer.... I live in the uk, but i can say it'd be cheeper to biuld what i want instead of buying it.. being lefty an' all, and I want to biuld a rickenbacker/ 335 hydbrid (rickenbacker body, 335 pickups and electronics types...), which would cost me in four figures... but for about £250 it'd be enough... I'm hopefully gonna biuld the neck (i'm worried about fretting but my teacher guy says it's easy when your supervised)...

Which reminds me... ANyone found guitar plans on line? (i've found one with plans for a flying V, and some jackson/ esp type guitars at http://guitarbuild.virtualave.net/ and even a telecaster)..

anyone find a rickenbacker design e-mail me PLEASE!!!! the lesson that i join up is on wednesday, and i need a rickenbacker body/neck plan, so i can order the wood and stuff..... I've got some measurements from the officail rickenbacker site, but that's not really enough... I mean it tells me how much wood i would need... but i need to find a plan, cos if i order the wood, and i end up with no plan, I wouldn've wasted my money...:(

Jarviss who used to come here fairly often wsa going to biuld a guitar, but he's not been back in a dogs age... I've seen him on someother forums, but that was ages ago...
(sorry about the long post)
# 10
James8831
Senior Member
Joined: 10/29/01
Posts: 510
Originally posted by pstring
well when your broke where you gonna go anyhow


I know the feeling well, pstring.

Ta for posting the info on the guitars you've built - a talented and busy individual.

I've just finished doing a Strat copy, all that involved was rewinding the neck pup, hacking a bit of the headstock,some minor wiring and a DIY(ish) preamp and that is just about my technical limit..and I still managed to fark up the headstock... Oh well..

Cheers. :D


Accuracy,you say? hmm interesting concept..
# 11
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
A guitar addict and his money are soon parted, hey James how did you get into pick up winding? Have you built any type of winder, etc... whats the scoop? BTW, Educatedfilm, I'll be on the look out for some plans, but I think it's going to be a tough search

[Edited by pstring on 02-22-2002 at 12:26 AM]
# 12
James8831
Senior Member
Joined: 10/29/01
Posts: 510
pstring - I got into it accidentally and after seeing some idiots from my old college do it on a tv programme - hell if they can do it....


Gosh,where do i start??..well, a little about mine..
Cheap telecaster copy..wouldn't play right.found the bridge placed way over scale .. moved the bridge to the right place..and in my delicacy in taking the bridge pup out i broke a connector. "oh,darn" i said :).

Looked up pup specs on the web.
http://www.provide.net/~cfh/pickups.html... this sort of thing.

Panicked at the thought of 7-8000 winds of VERY thin wire. Bought the nearest gauge wire at local store [40 gau],due again to the low money factor, wound until i filled the bobbin - by hand!! Took 2 and a bit days!

Most of mine are low impedance [about 1k or less ]- although i have gone up to 4k using a cordless drill and infinite patience - which means you do have to either really whack the amp up or use a signal boost..i find they sound great through a simple preamp. Lower impedance pups seem to have a great singing tone and resonance and beleive me i can still get a great tele snarl on the bridge pup.

I may be building a winding machine if funds permit Jason Lollar has bits/info for building your own pups and winder- but be careful if you order the bobbins, [he sent me all tele neck bobbins,instead of what i ordered, but maybe i wasn't paying attention to the order?]. His bobbins consist of just a top and bottom plate, but he has specs on his site for building these.

http://lollarguitars.com/cgi-bin/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=LGP&Category_Code=PUP

I only bought the bobbins as i'm not very good with my hands.

I'm possibly going to build a winder out of two drill stands
attached to a soild peice of wood for the base - i thnik this is the cheapest place to start...you can add a mechanical counter,which you really need..unless you can calculate the speed of your drill and then time it.

The following place is a great site to start for general pup info..just follow the pup links, if they work.

http://www.intermusic.com/defaultfeaturearchive.asp?FeatureType=TUT

I found solding 40 gauge wire a great way to learn how to solder:D


BTW the 4k neck single on my strat copy sounds dandy in comparison with the alleged Kent Armstrong bridge pup [6k] i put in......
Accuracy,you say? hmm interesting concept..
# 13
13noon
New Member
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 10
I have a router, band saw, radial arm saw, compund miter saw, joiner, ad infinitum. I do quite a bit of woodworking and quite a bit of guitar playing, and finally they intersect. I was going to buy a neck that has a fourteen inch extension and then add mahogany wings to the side of it. I had to make some compromises to the design to make it easier for the routing (the bridge routing I'm still having done by a pro). I am worried about the finish, especially since the neck is going to attached when it comes time to paint it. I would like to get the specs and dimensions for that v, I'm not sure about the lengths.

~13noon
# 14
educatedfilm
Registered User
Joined: 08/10/01
Posts: 882
"BTW, Educatedfilm, I'll be on the look out for some plans, but I think it's going to be a tough search"
thanks p-string... yeah i know it's gonna be tough to find... I may have to get my teacher to have a look round for me... he knows someone who's built a rickenbacker copy, but i foolishly said i could get one, and he could save him self the bother.. nearly 2 weeks later, and i got nothing...
# 15
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
13 noon, it sounds like you are on the path, yeah the problems of dealing with the neck being attached when finishing just add to the "joy" of finishing, finishing is just so tedious, good luck and I hope it turns out great
# 16
pstring
Big as Elvis, Baby
Joined: 11/29/01
Posts: 899
Hey James, interesting links you put up, pick-up bulding is something I plan to give a whirl, I read what you said about the pick-ups you have wound, I think there is something to be said for lower output pick-ups, it got me to thinking about the comments usally written about vintage guitars and the claims usally made about how the old p/u's were handwound and how extra windings were probaly put on a few, well if thats true, then how many got out that were underwound? Makes me wonder, also I always liked the sound of ZZ Topps early records, that old LP really barked, the Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates is supposed to be a copy of that p/u, and I noticed it puts out like 6Kohm, normal PAF about 8K, Hmmmm ? This plays with the Leo side of my brain, Cheers!
# 17
James8831
Senior Member
Joined: 10/29/01
Posts: 510
Underwound EVERY motherlovin' time man!

..and you can always tweak 'em up with a preamp or fx box.

Beleive me when I say that little 1k single coils can SING.
:)

BTW Dearmond/Guild aint fools in using 2k coils either....

Much luck and patience in your winding.

Cheeerio. :D
Accuracy,you say? hmm interesting concept..
# 18
Offnote
New Member
Joined: 03/08/02
Posts: 6
Be Warned guitar building is one of the most addictive ways to ruin your social life and stuff
... but it's GREAT, I'm pretty sure that after you've built your first guitar you can walk in any guitar store looking at ... lets say a PRS thinking... nice work...but iwould've... ;)

# 19
BlooDHounD
New Member
Joined: 03/10/02
Posts: 1
yeah so that's what he does ALL the time:P I would'v done... and they should have... and that will ruin your social life even more:P
Greets, BlooDHounD
# 20