#1
I figured this could probably do with its own thread, even though it's almost finished. My combined project thread is such a damn mess, especially with all of the broken Photobucket links.

Specs:
  • Shape - Offset SS/Suhr wotsit with chambering, six strings and 25.5" scale
  • Body woods - Sapele/maple/mahogany/maple/sapele
  • Top wood - Bookmatched flamed maple
  • Neck - Three piece maple set-neck with deep tenon and 11-13° headstock angle (I can't actually remember)
  • Fingerboard wood - Very pretty rosewood
  • Finish - Purple stain with 2k or nitro clear (TBC)
  • Other - Red binding, inlay with white and black mother of pearl, bone nut


The body is made from a piece of reclaimed sapele, combined with a mahogany offcut and some flamed maple veneer I had lying around; it was actually started on a very reasonable budget. The hardware is all from Axetec in a chrome finish. Pickups will be an IronGear Dirty Torque and Blues Engine, with the aim to have a guitar that sounds just as great clean as it does distorted.

The steps I have left for the project:
  • Final shaping of the neck and heel access. I can't add a belly carve or anything, because of the chambering.
  • Lots of sanding
  • Staining
  • Finishing
  • Set-up

Dry fit:
Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Glued in:
Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Finish test:
Untitled by S K, on Flickr
#2
And the clamps came off! I've been ill this weekend, so only managed a small amount of progress. I sculpted the heel back and did a lot of work on the neck profile. It still needs to lose 2-3mm of thickness; I've flattened and levelled the back, with a little more to go before smoothing the shoulders. 60 grit paper mounted on a block plane is excellent.
Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr
Last edited by -MintSauce- at Sep 12, 2017,
#3
SHOW FINISHED PRODUCT PLEASE!!! that is frickin awesome love evrything about it. Are you going to Floyd or not to Floyd? Color, binding, shape it is awesome! Good job brother!
#4
I love the purple stain it will look great. just curious and you do not have to share this but, all said and done how much do you end up investing in your builds?
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#5
Quote by Rust_E_Stringz
SHOW FINISHED PRODUCT PLEASE!!! that is frickin awesome love evrything about it. Are you going to Floyd or not to Floyd? Color, binding, shape it is awesome! Good job brother!

Ha! I'll show it when it's finished! This one is having a hardtail. As much as I like the aesthetic of a Floyd, I don't actually do any tricks and they're too much of a PITA.
Quote by bobafettacheese
I love the purple stain it will look great. just curious and you do not have to share this but, all said and done how much do you end up investing in your builds?

Thank you! It really depends. The body wood was all from offcuts, apart from the thick flamed maple top, and I ignore the cost of tools (not that I buy many anymore) or supplies like sandpaper. I really can't remember how much this one was, so here's a breakdown of the next one I'm preparing for:

Body wood - 2 piece black limba £36
Neck wood - 1 piece black limba £20
Fingerboard - lightly striped ebony £7
Binding - fingerboard only £7.50
Inlay - no idea yet
Hardware - £90+ ish for tune-o-matic and standard gear including nickel-silver fret wire and double-action truss rod
Pickups - £80+ for IronGear, Axesrus or secondhand branded 
Finishing - I already have grainfiller, but I'll probably get some nitro spray cans at ~£12 a piece.

Let's call it £250, because I have loads spare stuff to put to use and save pennies. I make sure that I have parts available for preparing drawings and test fits, but I generally don't buy the actual parts until I need them; it spreads the cost out nicely over the months. 

Is that more or less than you're expecting?
#7
Quote by von Layzonfon
And if you paid yourself a 'living wage', how much would that bump the cost up?

It's just a fun hobby, so we don't worry about the countless hours spent making slow progress and overcoming daft obstacles!  
#8
Thanks for the info. At the end of the day you as well as other builders are putting together some amazing pieces of gear. I always play the custom guitar idea route and seeing some of these builds really scratches the itch.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#9
Quote by bobafettacheese
Thanks for the info. At the end of the day you as well as other builders are putting together some amazing pieces of gear. I always play the custom guitar idea route and seeing some of these builds really scratches the itch.

Man, you need to get some tools and start the addiction! My work is too slow to give anyone closure  
#10
Quote by -MintSauce-
It's just a fun hobby, so we don't worry about the countless hours spent making slow progress and overcoming daft obstacles!  

new to ug, hello. nice work on your own build there. i'm looking at getting a custom a little later on but concerned about costs, would you ever consider building for someone else - like a commission? most custom builders will offer high-end hardware and even say no to you supplying your own. there is a lot of decent enough hardware out there to be had without breaking the bank - reducing the cost of a build at the same time - and i've got no issues with fixed bridges, non-locking tuners, etc of this calibre. also played guitars equipped with irongears and factory-made kent armstrong's and compared nicely against big-name pups
#11
Quote by 22-55
new to ug, hello. nice work on your own build there. i'm looking at getting a custom a little later on but concerned about costs, would you ever consider building for someone else - like a commission? most custom builders will offer high-end hardware and even say no to you supplying your own. there is a lot of decent enough hardware out there to be had without breaking the bank - reducing the cost of a build at the same time - and i've got no issues with fixed bridges, non-locking tuners, etc of this calibre. also played guitars equipped with irongears and factory-made kent armstrong's and compared nicely against big-name pups

Thank you for the kind words!

Most full-time builders insist on the high-end hardware and big-name pickups, purely because they're in a position to get them at a decent price (buying in bulk, no VAT, whatever) and can keep the overall standard of the build high as a representation of their work. In a world where reputation is everything, I can understand why they'd be averse to using budget or customer-supplied stuff (unless it's branded and safe). Hardware also accounts for a small portion of the price you're paying; what you're actually paying for is a builder's experience, craftmanship and time, because it's their livelihood. Cheaper hardware might drop the price of an entry-level build from £1200 to £1100. I'm not trying to burn your dreams, but there's a good reason why these folks are careful.

If you're seriously interested in commissioning a build in the UK, I'd recommend you get in contact with Matt Kemp at http://www.kempguitars.co.uk for a chat.
#12
Quote by -MintSauce-
Thank you for the kind words!

Most full-time builders insist on the high-end hardware and big-name pickups, purely because they're in a position to get them at a decent price (buying in bulk, no VAT, whatever) and can keep the overall standard of the build high as a representation of their work. In a world where reputation is everything, I can understand why they'd be averse to using budget or customer-supplied stuff (unless it's branded and safe). Hardware also accounts for a small portion of the price you're paying; what you're actually paying for is a builder's experience, craftmanship and time, because it's their livelihood. Cheaper hardware might drop the price of an entry-level build from £1200 to £1100. I'm not trying to burn your dreams, but there's a good reason why these folks are careful.

If you're seriously interested in commissioning a build in the UK, I'd recommend you get in contact with Matt Kemp at http://www.kempguitars.co.uk for a chat.


hey mintsauce, my pleasure and thank you for the info. i understand what you're saying and kinda come to that conclusion myself but it would be nice to have the option. i have looked at kits but ultimately i wanted that high-end, custom look, feel and name - and i'm happy to pay for it - plus i'll probably make a right pigs ear of a diy kit built guitar anyway (and that;s if i could find the time to do it). i've had a click through to kemp guitars and might get in touch with them - i see they have an 80s jackson influence thing going on which i like thanks
#15
Nice work man. That looks absolutely incredible.

How many guitars have you built?
I just finished my fourth and my workmanship isn't at that level yet. Wondering how much more experience I need
#16
Dude, I still come back to this thread hoping for more pics...MintSauce, come on man, I'm dieing here!
#17
It looks like an excellent piece of craftsmanship. I'm sure we all would love to see and hear the finished product! 

Man, I wish I had some talent as a luthier. I'm probably one of the least handy people I know, haha! 
My crap:

Guitars
Jackson RR3T Limited Edition with Seymour Duncan Blackouts (MIJ)
Jackson JS1-X Rhoads
Jackson PDXT with Seymour Duncan Black Winters
Dean Vendetta XM

Amps
Peavey 6505 MH
Carvin 1X12 Cab

Pedals
Boss TU-3 Tuner
Boss NS-2 Noise Gate
Boss DD-7 Delay
#20
Minor updates!

I didn't take decent pictures of what I spent most of my time doing, which was reworking the neck profile. It's now 20mm at the 1st fret and 22mm at the 12th, in an ESP style thin U contour. I also drilled the tuner holes out from 9.5mm to 10mm and did a LOT of sanding.

Anyway, here's stuff I did take photos of:

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Black base stain:
Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Sanded back:
Untitled by S K, on Flickr

And PURPLE added:
Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

I scraped the binding back a tiny amount, just to clear it up for the photos.

The colour has actually turned out pretty well. I'm sure others could have produced better results with a day's worth of staining at every concentration imaginable, but I needed to be pragmatic about it. The colour will sparkle under clear coat too; I still need to decide whether to use 2k or nitro for that.

Next weekend:
- Back staining
- Grain filling
#21
Lookin' good Minty, keep it coming. You have me biting my finger nails a bit just for the anticipation of what it will look like when finished.
#22
I was really curious about the red with the purple. Gotta say it looks pretty nice. To be honest when I saw the grey transparent finish, after the sanding was done I thought that looked pretty amazing. Loving the progress!
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#23
Quote by Rust_E_Stringz
Lookin' good Minty, keep it coming. You have me biting my finger nails a bit just for the anticipation of what it will look like when finished.

But what if I drop it? I might drop it, because I'm a dropper.
Quote by bobafettacheese
I was really curious about the red with the purple. Gotta say it looks pretty nice. To be honest when I saw the grey transparent finish, after the sanding was done I thought that looked pretty amazing. Loving the progress!

Thanks, dude! The flame wasn't really filling me with confidence until I sanded that black layer back. The grey did look pretty awesome with red binding, but I have to see the purple through!  
#26
Quote by Rust_E_Stringz
Ok Minty, are we gonna see anything this weekend?

Only very minor! The back is stained and the purple grain filler is in. I need to get sanding sealer on next weekend and scrape the binding back properly:

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

I'm quite tempted to sand the top back just a smidge, and then apply a diluted purple wash to the top. It might make it pop a little better.

Next steps:
- Sanding sealer
- Binding
- Clear coat
- Shielding paint
- Stuff

Edit: The dried stain looks dull now, but it'll sparkle under clear.
#29
I made some more progress this weekend. I wanted to upload it last night, but I was busy seeing Metallica. You know how it is.

After lots of thinking, I decided that I could do better on the top. I lightly sanded it back with 600 grit paper and then hit it with a coat of 50% purple stain.

Light sanding:
Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Left is before, right is after:
Untitled by S K, on Flickr

I also scraped the binding back and started applying 2k clear coat. This was after four coats, and how I've left it until next time:
Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

The temperature isn't great for 2k, so I'm going to take it slow. I anticipate wet-sanding out lots of runs.
#31
Minty, looking good. Can't wait to see that purple once you put the clear coat on. I'll be off the net in the coming weeks for a good while. Good luck with the rest and I'll be sure to check back once I'm able to get back on. Cheers!
#32
Quote by xnameisonx
Man this just gets prettier and prettier.

I surprised myself with that purple! The extra attention made a huge difference.
Quote by Rust_E_Stringz
Minty, looking good. Can't wait to see that purple once you put the clear coat on. I'll be off the net in the coming weeks for a good while. Good luck with the rest and I'll be sure to check back once I'm able to get back on. Cheers!

Thank you! I'll get more on this weekend and then it'll probably be hanging for a couple of weeks before I can wet stand anything. Fingers crossed for a finish before the end of the year!
#33
Quote by -MintSauce-
I surprised myself with that purple! The extra attention made a huge difference.

Thank you! I'll get more on this weekend and then it'll probably be hanging for a couple of weeks before I can wet stand anything. Fingers crossed for a finish before the end of the year!


awesome looking guitar! still would be great to have you build me a guitar but i went ahead and ordered my custom. not as sweet looking as that flame maple but i'm sure it'll be awesome too  
#34
Quote by 22-55
awesome looking guitar! still would be great to have you build me a guitar but i went ahead and ordered my custom. not as sweet looking as that flame maple but i'm sure it'll be awesome too  

Nice work! What have you ordered, and where from?

A few coats of clear went on this weekend. I won't be back for two weeks, but that should give it time to harden for wet sanding. God knows I'm going to be smoothing a LOT of runs and orange peel.
#35
Quote by -MintSauce-
Nice work! What have you ordered, and where from?

A few coats of clear went on this weekend. I won't be back for two weeks, but that should give it time to harden for wet sanding. God knows I'm going to be smoothing a LOT of runs and orange peel.

ordered a dc3 from matt kemp in the end - thanks for the tip. his choice of finishes was awesome and the body shape is a bit different to the guitars i have now. looking forward to seeing how yours turns out - that purple is amazing!!!
#36
Quote by 22-55
ordered a dc3 from matt kemp in the end - thanks for the tip. his choice of finishes was awesome and the body shape is a bit different to the guitars i have now. looking forward to seeing how yours turns out - that purple is amazing!!!

Sweet! Matt makes excellent guitars. I hope you told him I sent you  
#37
Quote by -MintSauce-
Sweet! Matt makes excellent guitars. I hope you told him I sent you  


yeah, love his style, read some good reviews. i did mention you and ug to matt but he says he doesn't post here anymore.
#38
Did some wet sanding this weekend. I also had to hit every side with a heat lamp before I could do anything, despite having left it to cure for a week; unfortunately, 2K doesn't like the ambient temperature and humidity in the UK right now. Here's the guitar covered with gunk:

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

I started applying another coat of clear, but the can spluttered and ran out almost immediately:

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Untitled by S K, on Flickr

Good times. I have some more on order.