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GABarrie 05-22-2011 05:48 AM

My First Build
Well I'm currently teaching my wife to play guitar, and it's her 30th birthday next year so I've decided I'm going to build her a guitar as her present, nothing like a hand crafted guitar to say "I love you". Money is quite tight at the moment as we have just had our first child as well and I got made redundant, so this is probably gonna be a slow build until I get a new job. Slow or not though, her birthday isn't till next May and this thread is really just to keep me motivated.

Anyway, about the guitar:

Body: SS shape, 3 peice body, made of ash in the middle of 2 pieces of mahagony for a light colored stripe down the middle. Going for a transparent purple finish so you can see the different woods.

Neck: Being my first build I'm probably gonna buy a pre-made neck with paddle headstock and not faff around with making a fretboard. Maple with rosewood fretboard. Haven't decided on a headstock shape yet.

Pickups: Not sure on brand/models yet but going for tele style wiring, single coil neck pickup, probably with the chrome cover like on tele casters, and an angled hotrail mini-humbucker (switchable) in the bridge position.

Wiring/Controls: Going for a basic 3-way switch might go for a LP style toggle instead of the fender style selector, neck, both, bridge. Vol and 1 Tone, push pull vol pot to split the humbucker. Seen some nice transparent strat style knobs I might order, or i'll just go with chrome tele style knobs as I'm doing all the hardware up in chrome.

Bridge: going for a (chrome) fixed tune-o-matic style bridge with strings going through
the body.

Hardware: All chrome. Lockable tuners.

On top of all this I'm planning on not using a pickguard to show off the different woods. In order to do this I'm gonna route all the cavities in the back of the guitar and cut a cover and set it in to the back.

And for good measure... a mock up drawing of what I hope it will look like:

Boysie8 05-22-2011 06:33 AM

I'll look forward to seeing how you get on, the mockup looks pretty cool.
I should warn you though that there is no known cure for guitar building - once you get the bug, you'll never shake it.
I'd definitely recommend checking over some of the build threads on this site (and others), there are so many little tricks that you'd just never think of yourself.

LeakyFlask 05-22-2011 07:05 AM

I gotta say, that is one amazing gift.

GABarrie 05-22-2011 07:07 AM

I've been looking to build for years, I've got the bug without having built one yet :D already planning my second build (one for myself) teehee that way if I see any good deals along the way I may pick up extra

GABarrie 05-22-2011 07:15 AM

Originally Posted by LeakyFlask
I gotta say, that is one amazing gift.

She's worth it :D even the legwork trying to find tonewood suupliers that sell 6" offcuts so I'm not paying for loads of excess wood

Spreadsheet 05-22-2011 09:06 AM

Why have all the controls so far behind the bridge?

Otherwise, I think it'll be a great job when finished.

Doonan 05-22-2011 09:38 AM

looks good. does your wife like SS shapes? theyve always seemed so.. metal-ish to me. unless your wife likes metal. and ss shapes. in which, case nice :D

also you said youre not going to use a pickguard so you can show off the wood which i think is a good idea. if you do end up using one though you could always use another nice bit of wood. something that complements the other piece.

anyway, i look forward to following this over the next year :D

BreeBreeMiikey 05-22-2011 09:53 AM

If you are going for the tele sound...I recommend using an ashtray style bridge.

GABarrie 05-22-2011 11:14 AM

The point of having the controls so far back is simplicity. My wife is never likely to play anything where she needs to swap settings quickly in a song, or even between songs as she primarily plays flute in any of the worship bands she plays in. So having the controls back behind the bridge puts them out of her way.

My wife quite likes the shape, it might end up a little more rounded but she picked out my RG for me cause it looked nice (fortunately it plays and sounds nice too).

Not really going for the tele sound, just the 3 way selector really, simplicity again. I could probably leave out the push pull humbucker split but I'm leaving it in incase she gets anywhere serious with lead.

GABarrie 05-28-2011 04:47 PM

ok, so a few updates for people who are interested.

The wood for the body is on order and my supplier is kindly planing it to thickness for me free of charge of the weekend.

The shape has undergone a revamp after setting my wife down with a collection of guitar bodies and designing a shape somewhere between a PRS single cut and the Ibby Halberd, when I've got the sketch right I'll upload the updated version.

I've also started a "skills work" piece, converting an old strat I learnt on to a hardtail with similar specs to the build, to give me experience with finishing, fitting the bridge and sorting the through body strings, test the setup out, also planning on scalloping the fingerboard and refretting it but thats not stuff i'm gonna need for this first build. I'll post pics of the conversion too :)

GABarrie 05-28-2011 07:22 PM

ok, as promised the updated plan

EDIT: you may have noticed I've chosen the pickups for it -.-

Boysie8 05-29-2011 08:03 AM

Wow, thats quite... radical. I have to say I preferred the RG-style design, though obviously my opinion isn't as important as that of your wife. I'll definitely be interested to see how this one comes out.
I threw some DiMarzio pickups in my tele build (Twang Kings, if I remember correctly) and they have an amazing sound.

GABarrie 05-29-2011 12:41 PM

I like the RG too, but not my guitar so gotta do what the wifey wants :D

xadioriderx 05-29-2011 03:22 PM

shoot, i guess youll just have to build the original plan next :haha:
im in my first electric build now too, its QUITE a project. hope you have more/better tools than i do!
i can tell you, you will be thinking up ideas throughout this whole project, and will end up wanting to try them all out on like 100 different guitars... im planning years in advance already =p

GABarrie 05-29-2011 07:52 PM

Already got my first 5 builds planned out :D

Actually I have next to no tools whatsoever but two of my band mates are carpenters with home workshops so I've got a bit of help :D

xadioriderx 05-29-2011 07:56 PM

ohh lucky lucky. ive got a 3 inch belt sander, a router with about 3 bits, one chisel, a jigsaw, and an exacto knife. thats about it =p

GABarrie 05-30-2011 03:45 AM

I have a Dremel... :D looking at getting some more kit for luthiery though, wouldn't mind making them to sell eventually

xadioriderx 05-30-2011 03:55 AM

ohh yeah i have a dremel too! ive used it a little but beware, dremel cutting discs + wood = burnt wood!
spins too fast and has no torque. i did use the sanding bits a few times, but for wood stuff dremels dont seem to work well =(
my mother says one of my uncles has wood working tools my great grandfather left behind years ago, and is going to get them for me. i have NO idea whats there. it could just be a few chisels, or it could be a gold mine =D
anythings better than nothing though! i just make whatever tools i dont have for now. so far its worked okay (knock on wood)
i definitely am hooked on the building thing, glad im not the only one!

GABarrie 05-30-2011 07:33 AM

reading through your thread... you ahve the af75 in trs too? :p

-MintSauce- 05-30-2011 07:38 AM

If you're going any inlay work, buy one of these for use with your Dremel:


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