My little sister started playing guitar a few months ago, and she's starting to enjoy it more and more. Unfortunately, all she has is a crappy First Act with horrible tuning issues, one pickup, and a built in junk speaker. I could pretty easily just go buy her a guitar, but I'd much rather make her one so I can be sure its something she'll continue to play until she outgrows it, and hopefully give to one of her children when she has them.

However, I'm not really sure where to buy the hardware, pickups, etc to make it. Anyone have any ideas? I actually intend on putting decent hardware in it, but the pickups dont really have to be anything spectacular(I'll be giving her my old starter amp to go with it). Im not going to throw several hundred dollars at it, but I'll be willing to spend anywhere up to 300-400 USD if I have to.

The guitar she has REALLY needs replacing, everything about it is faulty and cheap(it doesnt even have a truss rod or adjustable saddles). It was fine when she was JUST starting, but I want her to have something better to learn on.

tl;dr- I want to build my little sister a guitar, where can I buy smaller parts?
Last edited by Pyrofretnic at Dec 11, 2008,
Well, if you want it to be something that she'll keep for years, you may not want to make it too small scale. Otherwise, she'd grow out of it. I'd say build a Jaguar/Mustang. They have a very comfortable 24" scale length. Warmoth carries the neck, but they are kinda pricey. You may be able to snag one on eBay rather cheap.
As for the body, as long as it doesn't already have a bridge, you'll have plenty of options. If it is already routed/drilled for a specific scale length, you're quite stuck.

In my opinion, you would be able to get her a nice guitar that she will enjoy if you just buy one for $300. Although it is quite nice that you are willing to build her one. If you have wood working experience and access to the right tools, then by all means-knock yourself out. She'll really appreciate a custom built from her big brother. Can't say I'd do the same for my little sister, but she just plays piano.
I suppose I should have mentioned I've built guitars before, huh? Lol. Its going to be all from scratch, no Warmoth or anything.

If worse comes to worse and I cant find the parts I need, then I'll buy her one. But I want to do something she'll really remember. Anyone in my family could go buy her a new guitar, but like you said, this is just a step up from that in my opinion.

As for the scale, she's pretty small even for her age(10 before someone asks). She has trouble playing on my Gibson(smallest scale of the ones I have, 24.75"). I'm shooting for a scale length somewhere between that and the mini-squiers. Something she can play without too much strain, but something she won't grow out of too fast. I'll figure that out later, though. I know she's sort of young(which is why im setting a budget), but this is something I'm dead set on doing if at all possible.

What im worried about with regular parts is that things like neck taper, width, or angle would hamper its playability for her, and also that it'd look weirdly out of proportion. I would hate to give her something that I didn't think was as good as it could be.
make your own custom scale of like 20" or 22" and use normal hardware so it doesn't look too out of proportion? it'd be a decent intermediate step, imo
^i think having normal sized hardware might make it look out of proportion, though..

like, the string spacing would end up being the same as a guitar with a 'normal' scale, but the scale would be shorter..
then the headstock would be the same size, to accomidate the tuners..

it could probably still work, though.. I dont think it'd be out of proportion enough to make it look bad..
just that a wider string spacing in relation to the overall siz eof the guitar might make it a little akward for her to play..
You don't really need small scale parts, you just need a smaller body and shorter scale length. A 22" scale isn't that uncommon, match it with some kind of smaller Vox teardrop type body and you are set.
I'd do a duosonic/mustang style body with a 22" scale neck, that wouldn't look alright. As far as the pups and all that goes, the parts on all shortscale guitars is the same 1/1 size that parts on normal guitars is, so, just use whatever you want.
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