So a few months ago I decided I would build a guitar. I am currently studying my A-Levels and looking to go into engineering so I thought it would fit in quite nicely into that field, after all, I want to do engineering because I enjoy designing and building stuff.
Anyway, I finally found the time and money to start my build last week.
I ordered parts and a cedrela body blank last week and it arrived almost instantly.

Heres my plan:
22 fret maple strat neck (possibly with modified headstock)
Cedrela body
Two IronGear Rolling Mill Pickups
LP style bridge
LP style Jimmy Page Electrics (Coil Tapping, Reverse Phase and Series Switches using pull/push pots)

And a picture of my design laid out

My ideas for finishing are British Racing Green with White Racing Stripes (not quite sure how to do any of this yet) or if the wood looks nice when I'm done with it I might just clear coat it.

Thisbuild may take me some time as I only have some evenings and weekends to do it.

I'll keep this thread updated regularly though.

Any hints/tips/advice/comments will be very much appreciated
Last edited by mikej444 at Mar 21, 2009,
thats one fugly shape

also its going to be top heavy
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It looks like an ugly reverse Firebird!
Or a Jaguar.
Nonetheless, this could turn out to be quite interesting. I think I will follow this.
will someone carry me across ten thousand miles under the silence
that shape just looks wrong. strat headstock isnt really helping it much either.

it's a good thing yr looking to be going into engineering cus design certainly aint your thing. then again it's your guitar so only you have to like it and everyone elses opinions are meaningless.

i'd revise the shape and try to do something to that headstock to tie it into the shape of the body. dunno if it'd make a difference but at this point it's better to come up with a bunch of different design options instead of commiting to just one that you might regret sometime down the line.
I agree with you on the headstock, will definately try and change it before it goes onto the guitar.

However (and this might just be me) I actually like the shape quite alot. When I first started the designing I drew out a load of different ideas and narrowed it down from there. Most of them were alot worse than this. In the end I narrowed it down to two. One which looked like a cross between a firebird, a les paul and a telecaster and this one. I chose this because it flowed more and, to me at least, looked right. Maybe I'm just odd. Oh Well

Anyways, I've been cutting this afternoon and have ended up with this

I havn't updated this for a while but I thought i'd add another couple pics of my progress

The current state

Just test fitting a few parts

Planned the electrical cavity, now I just need to find some time to do it

Once the back cavity is done the whole body needs a good sand and then I will test fit al the parts before I move onto finishing.
People may not like the shape, but by golly it should be a unique sounding guitar as well.
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Maybe I'm bizarre too :P, but I actually kinda like the shape. Although the body seems a bit too thick (but maybe that's just me) and it looks like the curve around the neck pocket isn't perfectly flowing ... Am I right ? But very interesting so far.
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Oh yeah: I'm a French-Canadian so excuse my English .
Yeah, your right about all that, the body is quite thick, 45mm (1 3/4 inch) i think, and the curve doesn't flow exactly because it didn't look right when I designed it to for some odd reason. I think it meant that the top horn part was too fat for my liking. Anyway the neck will go in between that and I don't think it will look too bad.
I,m not sure about how it's gonna look with neck in but oh well. Why make it so thick ? I wasn't sure what cedrela was (I'm a french-canadian ) but if it's ''acajou'' like Wiki told me, ain't it gonna be heavy ?
Quote by Dog
You must be able to tremolo pick like a mad man.

Quote by RinestoneCowboy
How the **** do you jerk off?

Oh yeah: I'm a French-Canadian so excuse my English .
Cedrela is a lesser known species of mahogany as far as I know, so yep, likely gonna be a back breaker. I made it that thick because I'm fitting push pull pots in it which are roughly 35mm thick and I wanted a bit of excess just in case, once I've made sure everything fits correctly I'll probably take 5mm or so off the back.
And i'm not that worried about the neck thing, I'ts only my first guitar build, hopefully there will be plenty more to come; if i can find the money.
I love back breakers. And I'm also liking how this is shaping out. I think with some rounded edges, or bevelling, or some top carving, it could look really nice!
will someone carry me across ten thousand miles under the silence
I was waiting until I had all the routing and whatnot done before I rounded edges/added contours etc. I guess I'm just being cautious at the moment with it.
I like it. You may run into some neck dive issues, so be careful not to route out too much wood. Definitely gonna sound good too. I like Irongear pups
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One question. Why have a 24 fret neck and design a body that makes it so hard to reach above the 21st? I don't hate the shape at all, but the ruined access would bug me.
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I sure hope neck dive doesn't become an issue, but we'll have to wait and see. Glad you like IronGear pups, didn't know too much about them but had heard good reviews so decided to check them out too.

Lurcher, I don't find bad access too much of a problem because i have unnaturally long fingers. on my current Ibanez Jet King, the last 2 frets are a little inaccessible to most who have played it, but to me, they are just like normal, I can even hit 2 step bends on them.
However, just to ease this problem a little and add to overall comfort I have rounded the back of the neck pocket off quite alot.
*Observes shape.*


Just a few new pics of how it's coming along

"I always thought the good thing about the guitar was that they didn't teach it in school."
-- Jimmy Page
It's going to be really really interesting seeing how this works out.
Nice even and smooth cuts though.
will someone carry me across ten thousand miles under the silence
Well it's been a while (or a very long time) since I updated this thread, so I'm just gonna throw a load of pictures on here to show all you interested people how this project turned out...

"I always thought the good thing about the guitar was that they didn't teach it in school."
-- Jimmy Page
Brittish racing green. xD (reminds me of!)

Looks pretty jazzy. Not for me though...
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The design really comes together with the paint/hardware on it. Looks good, man!
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I don't like the design, but i must say you did a pretty friggin legit job for a first guitar. Glad it panned out for you!
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It's got the look of a Danolectro, they always have slightly quirky designs. How are the Rolling Mills?

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though it's not my favorite shape, I like it with the pick guard. Good job. Especially for a first.
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