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rootbeerjuice
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Join date: Apr 2009
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#1
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 at Aug 28, 2009,
the humanity
A Political Man
Join date: Jun 2007
3,177 IQ
#2
wise forum members?

but anywho,sounds epic to me, what's a fireman exactly?
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Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

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basilbrush
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2009
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#4
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 at Jul 7, 2009,
Baby Joel
Join date: May 2008
6,273 IQ
#6
Quote 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: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.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.
dsss guitars
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
381 IQ
#7
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
Dessi
Baby Joel
Join date: May 2008
6,273 IQ
#8
If you are worried about the neck, just put two carbon fiber rods in it.
Last edited by Baby Joel at Jul 7, 2009,
rootbeerjuice
25 is enough, I can even
Join date: Apr 2009
160 IQ
#9
Quote 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: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.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!
the humanity
A Political Man
Join date: Jun 2007
3,177 IQ
#10
fireman is cool.

I might suggest the awesomest neck wood ever- wenge.
Quote 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 by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
Baby Joel
Join date: May 2008
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#11
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.
Schism1985
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#12
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.
rootbeerjuice
25 is enough, I can even
Join date: Apr 2009
160 IQ
#13
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 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 at Jul 7, 2009,
Baby Joel
Join date: May 2008
6,273 IQ
#14
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.
the humanity
A Political Man
Join date: Jun 2007
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#15
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 retarded as I am and snort a few.
Quote 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 by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
Schism1985
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Join date: Jul 2008
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#16
Quote 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 retarded as I am and snort a few.


Wait what?
the humanity
A Political Man
Join date: Jun 2007
3,177 IQ
#17
Quote by Schism1985
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.
Quote 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 by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
rootbeerjuice
25 is enough, I can even
Join date: Apr 2009
160 IQ
#18
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?
Schism1985
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Join date: Jul 2008
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#19
Quote 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 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
rootbeerjuice
25 is enough, I can even
Join date: Apr 2009
160 IQ
#20
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 at Jul 7, 2009,
wiliscool
Call me Deacon Blues
Join date: Oct 2007
793 IQ
#21
No, no, no. Your original wiring idea was fine, and much simpler to use than 3 mini toggles.
Most people call it either a 'neck-on' or 'bridge-on' switch (obviously depending on which pup it turns on).

You just have your basic 5-way and either a push-pull pot or a switch to turn on either the neck or bridge pickup (you choose which, I think neck-on is the most common).

For the coil splitting, you can have one switch/push-pull split both pups.
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wiliscool is just plain dumb
rootbeerjuice
25 is enough, I can even
Join date: Apr 2009
160 IQ
#22
All right, that makes sense. Now to find a diagram for that...

Next item of business: are the bridges from allparts.com any good? I'm ordering the rest of my stuff from there and I don't want to order just a bridge from somewhere else unless I really have to. If they're not good, could anyone recommend a non-trem bridge (and tuners, as well)? And where can I find a cavity cover for a rear control cavity? All I've seen are strat/tele style plates.

EDIT: Just took a look at the pickups I have lying around, they only have 2 wires coming out of them, does that mean they're not splittable? They're the stock pickups from a PRS Santana SE.
Last edited by rootbeerjuice at Jul 7, 2009,
cedricsmods
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Join date: Mar 2006
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#23
Yes, do what Deacon says. You are already used to this system since you already have a guitar that uses it. For the neck-on switch (called an expander switch on your Comanche) you only need an SPST or SPDT, not the DPDT you posted. Here is a cheaper one: http://www.smallbearelec.com/Detail.bok?no=38&sfs=bc0349b3

You will not be able to split 2-conductor humbuckers unless you modify them. If you still want to, proceed with caution: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1144316

You can still do the neck-on switch, and if you want more tone options you could do a phase switch.
wiliscool
Call me Deacon Blues
Join date: Oct 2007
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#24
Quote by rootbeerjuice
Just took a look at the pickups I have lying around, they only have 2 wires coming out of them, does that mean they're not splittable? They're the stock pickups from a PRS Santana SE.

Correct, although there is a tutorial thread on how to convert them to 4-conductor.
Here's the link for that.
Its not the hardest thing in the world to do, but it is possible to ruin your pickups if you're not careful.

Also, you should check out the Ultimate Guitar Wiring thread for any diagrams.

EDIT: Beaten to it, oh well.
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SomeoneYouKnew
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#25
Quote by rootbeerjuice
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.
Except for the extra depth needed for the push-pull, you'll require less room than a stock Fender. You don't have to use a jack plate. You could put the jack on the pickguard.
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Last edited by SomeoneYouKnew at Jul 7, 2009,
Shinozoku
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#26
About Wenge: Bass players are a lot more adventurous than guitarists when it comes to using different woods, what's why you see so much more padauk, wenge, ovangkol, bubinga, and other woods in basses. Wenge is a lot like rosewood, but more porous, so when finished naturally it has a more satiny smooth feel.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
rootbeerjuice
25 is enough, I can even
Join date: Apr 2009
160 IQ
#27
Minor update:

Got some parts (for free!) at my guitar store. Pics tomorrow, if I can find a camera. It pays to know the workers, especially when they know where all the junk is kept. So far I've got:

A broken-off headstock with tuners
A wraparound bridge/tailpiece (missing both screws) with mismatching gold posts
2 wooden knobs
A 500k pot
Cheap plastic nut
Strap pins
5 way blade switch (missing that little plastic cap)

I realized soon afterward that the pot wouldn't work, as it appears to be a short shaft pot. Is it still possible to use it, given that I will be doing a rear mounted control cavity?

I still need to order an SPDT toggle, a push/pull pot (and possibly another normal one), a jack, and a jack plate, as far as parts go.

I've found a fairly cheap pre-slotted ebony fingerboard (25" scale as well!), and a wenge neck blank. I have yet to find rosewood that isn't incredibly high quality and expensive, but I'm still looking.

Another thing: I came up with a headstock design that I like, here's a crappy MS Paint mockup:


I was thinking of rounding out the bottom, to make a "flame".

I hope I start moving more quickly soon, I'm going to start looking for tools after the weekend.
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#28
Quote by rootbeerjuice
I realized soon afterward that the pot wouldn't work, as it appears to be a short shaft pot. Is it still possible to use it, given that I will be doing a rear mounted control cavity?
Yes.


I wouldnt use the plastic nut though, get a graph tech one.




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blindsagacity
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#29
^this. its worth the few extra bucks.
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EmilGD
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#31
That paint mockup of the headstock makes me think "pacman" lol

Good luck with the build!
blindsagacity
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#33
I'm guessing the headstock's supposed to look more ibanez-3x3-ish? Like curvier and rounded?
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rootbeerjuice
25 is enough, I can even
Join date: Apr 2009
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#34
Well, it will retain the pointyness at the top, but the bottom will be rounded, and the sides will kind of curve into the points at the top, if that makes sense...

Here's a visual reference, think this with two points instead of seven:
blindsagacity
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#35
I think it would succeed in looking flame like if it were to have at least 3 points, just my opinion.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009
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You have a walnut stop sign banjo-tar signed by MAB

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Kramdra
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2009
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#36
Im not sure if they sell one-piece wenge blanks, but it may be worth using 3 wenge laminates just becuase the way it loves glue. This is when the splinters stop and it becomes awesome. But one piece would look better
guitarcam123
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2008
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#37
splinters won't stop if you glue 3 pieces of wood together
rootbeerjuice
25 is enough, I can even
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#38
Alright, as promised, pics of my new junk (possibly huge pics):

All of it laid out on my bed

Close up of the pot I was wondering about

Bridge

Tuners


Quote by Kramdra
Im not sure if they sell one-piece wenge blanks, but it may be worth using 3 wenge laminates just becuase the way it loves glue. This is when the splinters stop and it becomes awesome. But one piece would look better


The blank I found was one piece. I'd actually prefer a one piece blank for the looks, but if 3 laminates are cheaper, I'll definitely go that route.

Quote by blindsagacity
I think it would succeed in looking flame like if it were to have at least 3 points, just my opinion.


I see what you mean. I'll see if I can fit another point in there...
Last edited by rootbeerjuice at Aug 29, 2009,
blindsagacity
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#39
Oh, oh God. What did you do to that poor Ovation?
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You have a walnut stop sign banjo-tar signed by MAB

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guitarcam123
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#40
he got the headstock with the tuners for free. it says earlier in the thread