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Old 07-07-2009, 11:34 AM   #1
rootbeerjuice
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First Guitar Build (guidance from wise members appreciated)

So I've been reading a lot of the building threads in this forum and I've decided to try building a guitar myself. I have absolutely no experience with this kind of thing, but I don't just want to build another strat; I'll try to make something that's (hopefully) interesting and somewhat unique.

Specs (subject to change):

Body Wood: Rosewood (see below)
Body Shape: Fireman Style
24 frets
Set Neck
Fixed Bridge
Neck Wood: Wenge (see below)
Ebony Fretboard
25" scale
Natural

Electronics

HSH pickup configuration
One volume, one tone, 5-way switch, push-pull on the tone knob, 2-way toggle switch

5-way switch will do the standard switching, push-pull will split the humbuckers, toggle will be a neck-on switch for extra combinations.

I will be buying all the needed electronics when I go to the States in a week. What I need to know before then is exactly what I'm going to need, and I'll have to figure out exactly how to wire this. All I already have are the two humbuckers (stock PRS). Also, will all these switching options be too much? I don't want to have to hollow out too much of the body for the wiring.

About the woods: I haven't yet checked out what woods are available here in France, so swamp ash may not be a viable option. If I find some interesting-looking wood, I might use that. My other idea was to make a rosewood body, I see lots of acoustic bodies made of rosewood, but I only ever see it used for fretboards in electrics. Is there a reason for this?

I also have no idea what kind of woods to make the neck out of, I know most necks are maple (why?), but I wanted to do something different. The reason I picked mahogany was because I like the sound of mahogany guitars.

I'm not sure if all the necessary tools and equipment will be available over here, but I'd like to buy them here so that the power/plugs are compatible. What tools and other materials (templates, etc.)will I need exactly? I know I'll need a router, a planer, and some other things, but I'd like a full list so I don't get to a point where I need something and discover I don't have it.

I won't be starting this build until late August or September, but I'll be getting all the parts ready beforehand.

Advice and suggestions for a first-time builder would be greatly appreciated as well!

-rootbeerjuice

Last edited by rootbeerjuice : 08-28-2009 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:36 AM   #2
the humanity
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wise forum members?

but anywho,sounds epic to me, what's a fireman exactly?
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:42 AM   #3
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^It's Paul Gilbert's new custom Ibanez. Basically, a reverse Iceman.

Here ya go:

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Old 07-07-2009, 11:44 AM   #4
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about the wood: Rosewood is too heavy to build your entire guitar from. Don't hurt yourself with such a guitar please.
The reason why Mahogany isn't used for the neck is because it's too soft. The chances of it warping are very, very high. Do not try this
Otherwise, good luck mate

Last edited by basilbrush : 07-07-2009 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:53 AM   #5
rootbeerjuice
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Alright, thanks for the wood advice. I'll keep the hardness of the wood in mind when I go to the lumberyard.

Does anyone think my wiring ideas will be okay, or is it too over-the-top?
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basilbrush
about the wood: Rosewood is too heavy to build your entire guitar from. Don't hurt yourself with such a guitar please.
The reason why Mahogany isn't used for the neck is because it's too soft. The chances of it warping are very, very high. Do not try this
Otherwise, good luck mate

Wrong, and wrong.
Rosewood is a brilliant wood to build with, and has been done several times. You can chamber the body for weight relief anyways. Here's a build that was made: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...ad.php?t=878759 ALL rosewood, not just the body.
And mahogany is quite often used as a neck. Just about every Gibson and ESP is made of mahogany for the neck.

Good luck, and I like the Fireman idea. First time I've seen it done on here.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:12 PM   #7
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Hi,
Just ensure your wood is correctly seasoned, Mahogany may be a little too soft for the neck ( may bend or twist if not seasoned properly).
Take your time when choosing as this is one of the most impotant parts of the guitar.
You need a sound Base.
Good Luck
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:13 PM   #8
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If you are worried about the neck, just put two carbon fiber rods in it.
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Last edited by Baby Joel : 07-07-2009 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby Joel
Wrong, and wrong.
Rosewood is a brilliant wood to build with, and has been done several times. You can chamber the body for weight relief anyways. Here's a build that was made: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...ad.php?t=878759 ALL rosewood, not just the body.
And mahogany is quite often used as a neck. Just about every Gibson and ESP is made of mahogany for the neck.

Good luck, and I like the Fireman idea. First time I've seen it done on here.


Chamber the body? Is that like partially hollowing it out or something? I'm new to all this luthier jargon

And the grain on that rosewood in the link was amazing, much better looking than I thought. Rosewood it is!
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:20 PM   #10
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fireman is cool.

I might suggest the awesomest neck wood ever- wenge.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:22 PM   #11
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Yep, chambering the body is essentially hollowing out the body to relieve weight. Also, with such a warm wood like rosewood, this would make it sound just so so sexy.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:36 PM   #12
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To answer your question about the wiring being "too over the top", I think that your plan sounds completely feasible but I'm not sure what the point of the 2 way toggle switch is if you already have a 5-way switch. What you could try instead of a 2-way toggle + a 5-way switch is having 3 mini toggle switches, 1 for each pickup.

This way you could select any pickup combination you want without over complicating your control cluster.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:38 PM   #13
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I like the wenge idea, that's one hell of a sexy wood, and it looks like it'll go well with the rosewood. Isn't it usually used for basses, though?

And how exactly would one go about chambering a body?

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schism1985
To answer your question about the wiring being "too over the top", I think that your plan sounds completely feasible but I'm not sure what the point of the 2 way toggle switch is if you already have a 5-way switch. What you could try instead of a 2-way toggle + a 5-way switch is having 3 mini toggle switches, 1 for each pickup.

This way you could select any pickup combination you want without over complicating your control cluster.

First of all, thanks for answering me!

Next, the two way toggle switch would serve to let me use all 3 pickups, or just the neck and bridge, depending on where the 5-way switch is (one of my guitars has one for that purpose, along with a 5-way switch). And it seems to me that your idea would be more complicated, although I'm new to this stuff, so I'm probably wrong.

Last edited by rootbeerjuice : 07-07-2009 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:42 PM   #14
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Wenge is often used in guitar necks as a laminate. It isn't quite as common as maple or mahogany to be used in guitar necks, and it's mainly used in bass necks for the extra stability and colour.
You chamber a body by using a router. Basically, you route out huge holes, and then cover them (If you so wish).
What I'd do is make the guitar with a rear mounted cavity (Like a Les Paul, control cavity is on the back), and just make it huge. This will also allow for cool wiring mods you may want to do, like built in distortion and stuff.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:42 PM   #15
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it's used for basses because of Warwick being a bass only company, they are the main wenge users.

there is no tonal problem with wenge- must warn though- it is heavy. and can give you some crappy splinters that hurt and will make you sleepy if you're as ******ed as I am and snort a few.
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Originally Posted by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote:
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HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


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Old 07-07-2009, 12:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the humanity
it's used for basses because of Warwick being a bass only company, they are the main wenge users.

there is no tonal problem with wenge- must warn though- it is heavy. and can give you some crappy splinters that hurt and will make you sleepy if you're as ******ed as I am and snort a few.


Wait what?
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Wait what?

I took a vent for the saw to the face and went with it blasting that crap at me.

I received splinters in my right nostril as a result.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #18
rootbeerjuice
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Alright, I understand the chambering concept now (my PRS has a rear cavity, I'll use that as a reference).

I don't know if I'll chamber it if I'm using wenge, though. The total weight, as long as it's not ridiculously heavy, doesn't bother me, but I don't want the guitar to have a super heavy neck and a light-ish body.

These problems will be easier to think about once I actually start the build, though (I think). Right now what I need is essentially a shopping list. I know I need a router, a planer, sandpaper, and the electronics, what am I missing?
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rootbeerjuice
I like the wenge idea, that's one hell of a sexy wood, and it looks like it'll go well with the rosewood. Isn't it usually used for basses, though?

And how exactly would one go about chambering a body?

EDIT:

First of all, thanks for answering me!

Next, the two way toggle switch would serve to let me use all 3 pickups, or just the neck and bridge, depending on where the 5-way switch is (one of my guitars has one for that purpose, along with a 5-way switch). And it seems to me that your idea would be more complicated, although I'm new to this stuff, so I'm probably wrong.


No problem, and you're not necessarily wrong I think you're just unfamiliar with what I'm talking about. I think the 3 toggle switch set up is called a "Super Strat" wiring, and It's actually more common (and simple) than you would think. GFS even sells a kit for it:

http://store.guitarfetish.com/whmoofpesuki.html

The 3 toggle switches allow you to turn on the pickups in any configuration you want (neck/mid, neck/bridge, neck/mid/bridge, neck only, etc.). I've actually never heard of the wiring set up you described, so I could be wrong as well but if I was in your situation I would just go with 3 mini toggles instead of a 5 way as well as a 2 way switch.

In the end it's all up to you, but I just thought you should know that there may be a simpler way to achieve what you want from your guitar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the humanity
I took a vent for the saw to the face and went with it blasting that crap at me.

I received splinters in my right nostril as a result.


Lol alright, I thought you like... intentionally snorted sawdust or something
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:47 PM   #20
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All right, I need to place my order for electronics soon. Would 3 of these work for the toggles instead of buying the $60 kit Schism1985 linked to? Also, for the pots, would this one be okay for the push-pull tone and this for the volume?

Sorry if they're stupid questions, I did some research, but I want to be absolutely sure.

EDIT: Also, is a jack plate mandatory? Or will I be able to cope without one?

Last edited by rootbeerjuice : 07-07-2009 at 03:56 PM.
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