So I'm gonna start my first guitar build. I don't have all of my wood and hardware in as I will be acquiring it as i move along. I will have a maple body/neck which I most likely will get from my great uncle or something like that.

Right now I am thinking about doing a Kramer Baretta with some sort of custom painted graphic which I will figure out later. I might possibly put in a rail humbucker in the neck position, but I might get lazy and just go with the slanted bucker in the bridge position.

Right now the biggest thing is deciding whether or not I want to buy a template or not. I could just use one of the multitudes of strat templates floating around and modify it for my needs but I would kind of prefer actual Baretta specs on this. So if any body has any ideas concerning this or knows where I could purchase plans I would be very thankful.
Last edited by 1010 at Apr 10, 2009,
A maple neck is good, but a warning about the body... I've heard maple's sh!t heavy, so depending on your back and strength, you may want to consider something else
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No, I'm cool with a heavy guitar, and quite aware of how heavy maple is lol
I could, but I think I'll get the wood first and then decide what to do after testing how heavy it is.
This is a good start but what kind of tools do you have?
Hearing about a pair of great boobs is like hearing about a really cool bug or lizard as a kid and you just gotta see it.
For tools my dad has a electric planer, a table router, various saws I'll need minus a band saw which I think I will be able to use the school's.

And for Truth_05 I will answer that with an update on the wood. My dad called my great uncle or whatever about 30 minutes ago. I will be able to get some rock maple, black walnut and whatever I want for free as long as he has it. My original plan and still standing one is to paint the maple one up with some custom graphic such as the Kramer guitart series. If possible I will also be getting some figured walnut which I will be using for a build at a later date.
An all maple guitar is going to be hella bright.

As far as design is concerned, get the berreta design onto some paper, transfer it to a mdf, cut it out and you have your self a template.

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Thanks, and with the sound I've been listening to some demos and such of the 85 reissue which is solid maple, and I really like the sound hence why I want to make mine out of sokid maple lol.
Oh no, I have been thread hijacked. But its looking pretty good imo.
and believe it or not maple is a tad bit heavier than walnut
Just don't buy wood from lp addict if you want to start soon. His post office sucks.
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You could just make the guitar thin, or chamber it and put a top on if you wanted.

exactly what I'm doing on my explorer build.
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I won't be able to start for 3 weeks because thats when I'm going to go get wood. Until then I might feel like putting up pics of preparation such as the practice neck I'm building or what not.

Also when i go I am getting maple, walnut, and I can get whatever else I need for free provided my uncle has it. Anything else I should look for, he said he had some cherry, is that any good as a tonewood?
Quote by 1010
Oh no, I have been thread hijacked. But its looking pretty good imo.
and believe it or not maple is a tad bit heavier than walnut

Really? I always thought that walnut was one of the heaviest woods. Oh well lol.
You should make it all walnut!! Good luck with this. I'd keep it heavy for resonance sake. Les Paul Customs are heavy as **** and no one has ever complained about those.
Cherry is awesome.
Just grab as much wood as you can, and save it for later builds.
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That was the plan. Get enough for about 3-5 builds so that I can either save money or have more to spend on hardware and electronics.
Finally got my wood. My uncle was nice enough to finish cutting the bodies out before he sent them to me so now all I need to do is routing.

Went with walnut first, still have a maple body ready but don't really want to do anything with that until I have proper painting equipment and tru-oil is by far easier to apply.

I was going to build a neck as well but now I'm thinking I'll just use the neck from my yamaha pacifica and refret it with larger fret wire. Probably build a neck sometime this summer when I have more time/money.
If you go with the Walnut body, please don't paint over it... Walnut looks very sexy with an oil finish! Also cherry is one of those overlooked tonewoods and it finishes oh so nice. Some acoustics are mass produced with cherry sides but I don't know of any electrics.

I'm currently laying the groundwork for starting a neckthru ML or a Flying V with a walnut body, cherry neck, and not sure on the fretboard
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Not painting over it, thats what the oil if for. And I didn't manage to get any cherry because I ran out of time so maybe another day.

Pics will be up as soon as I figure out how to use my camera and post them.
Pics up
It was so easy I feel like a retard for not knowing how.

Theres a couple of knots in the back but I really don't mind as the one will get cut out with the contour and the other is in a place that will get pretty banged up anyways.
That's very sexy! Pity about the knots though... Still, that front+oil finish=
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In a weird way I like them. Its not like my first guitar is going to be an absolute masterpiece and it adds a sense of uniqueness that can't be copied.

Or maybe I'm just trying to put a positive spin on a negative thing. Either way I hope to have routing done in next couple days.
^i agree, im in the final stages of my first build and its not perfect, but at least my mistakes i learned from, and the flaws kinda show it was hand made. not pumped out of a assembly line.
Didn't get as much as hoped done today. Didn't get started until 'bout 4 and it took me until 7:30 to get most of the cutting on my routing template done. Then it started getting dark and since I was outside it also got cold so I had to call it a night.

For a minute there I thought that template wood was the actual body. I was about to scream at you for routing through the entire body.
Even if you didn't progress much, you progressed, and that's always nice.
will someone carry me across ten thousand miles under the silence
I took a fair bit of time getting used to the scroll saw, I should have been able to start routing tomorrow, but as long as I get off my lazy ass to do it it will be monday at the latest.
I started the routing today. I got my pickup/control cavities done but I decided to wait for everything else. I wasn't confident on my neck pocket or my bridge routing template. If anybody has suggestions on good ways to get these then they would be much appreciated.
Also it occurred to me that my jack routing might be off and I would be safer waiting until I actually have one so that I know I'm not taking to much off.

Anyways, here is my progress.
For the bridge, you can get routing templates off Stewmac that work pretty well, for the neck pocket, just measure 10000000000000x and then cut.

Did you freehand those routes?
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No, my templates were just that messy. I have them posted if you look up a couple posts if you don't believe me. Thats kinda why I didn't trust them for stuff that could actually affect the playability of the instrument. These will be covered by a pickguard so appearance doesn't matter as they just need to fit all my electronics.

And I was hoping to avoid spending any more than I really had to. But if thats the best way to do it I don't see why I would compromise playability to save a bit of cash.