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#1
Ok guys i have almost no experience at all with guitar teching at all, all i can do is raise/lower action, intonation, tune it, and setup double locking trems haha.

My question is, can a guy who knows almost nothing about all of that and nothing about staining, oiling, finishing, gluing blanks, carving, etc make a guitar for his first time for a senior project?

Please give me all information possible, best internet places to buy woods for decent or normal prices, book recommendations, etc.!

I read all the stickys and figured this [might] deserve its own thread, because it covers multiple problems and questions I have, and it is for academics.

Please post all relevant information and recommendations here!

EDIT: I can do some wiring
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
Last edited by Colton165 at Aug 7, 2009,
#3
well what tools do i need; and what do you mean, make a guitar out of scrap wood?
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
#4
he means practice before working on the actual block of wood, buys som plywood or something. tools you'll need essentialy you'll find in the FAQ section. well even tho you dont have experiance, you'll have to start somewhere, and stay on this forum when you run into problems or troubleshoots. BUT make one single thread about your build and ask questions there cause nobody wants 100s of threads all made by the same person
Quote by AmericanParadox
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GB&C RULES


Gear:
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 Fr
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Modded POS Strat
#5
im not going to make 100s of threads haha probably this thread will be active by me until i actually start building on the actual guitar.

plywood builds; so i buy a large piece or two normal sized and glue or whatever.

i think i have all the tools needed; but what do i make the MAIN body cut with
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
#6
Bandsaw.
EDIT: You'll need to use a planer to get it to the right thickness.
Bari Build

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___ \/ ___

Last edited by salsawords at Aug 7, 2009,
#8
I think its at the right thickness, the blank I am looking at is 1 3/4" thick. [2 Piece Black Walnut, 20" Length, 14 1/2" Wide, 1 3/4" thick]

My IDEA for the guitar is a Walnut body with a tung oil finish, Maple Neck with Rosewood fretboard, 27 frets, no inlay work. I guess somewhere near a PRS Custom body type.

But i have a bandsaw; jigsaw, table router, drill, dremel, full set of screwdrivers, full set of allen keys.

I dont think we have a planer; but they cant be too much, right?

Also, how much should a decent piece of plywood to practice on cost? And what kind for practice? Does it matter since i am just practicing cutting and carving it?

Also, what would i use to make comfort contours, like the arm and tummy ones? A belt sander, then fine sand with 80 grain sandpaper, followed by something like 240 grain sand paper by hand or something?

Bear with me guys, im hitting up the libraries tomorrow
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
#9
your plan sounds good.

Stickys are good but you should read a lot of build threads, the long ones have a LOT of good information in them, far more detail than stickys.

Neck throughs are best

Useful tools are: wood saws, planes, spokeshave, rasp, chisel and a straight edge.

Router, electric sander, drill etc...


you will almost defiantly want lots of clamps, for gluing stuff, especially a neck through.

dont use plywood. Its not really good to practise on, pine is better and costs the same...BUT if your using a router then you should practise by making templates


For stuff like body shape and contours you want a spokeshave. It makes less mess and faster, and smoother than sanding.
Last edited by Kramdra at Aug 7, 2009,
#10
Quote by Kramdra
your plan sounds good.

Stickys are good but you should read a lot of build threads, the long ones have a LOT of good information in them, far more detail than stickys.

Neck throughs are best

Useful tools are: wood saws, planes, spokeshave, rasp, chisel and a straight edge.

Router, electric sander, drill etc...


you will almost defiantly want lots of clamps, for gluing stuff, especially a neck through.

dont use plywood. Its not really good to practise on, pine is better and costs the same...BUT if your using a router then you should practise by making templates


For stuff like body shape and contours you want a spokeshave. It makes less mess and faster, and smoother than sanding.


well as far as clamps go will i need one if the blank im buying is a 2 piece already glued and dried?

and ill look into some shavers and those other tools.

also how much does tung oil cost, and how many coats do i need to apply, etc.

probably like, what, 3 coats, with 3 hours of drying between each?

my biggest fear is making a neck from a neck blank, i dont want to mess it up and have it un level or the curve/radius be uneven. also fretting a blank board scares me.

EDIT: For 27 or 29 frets, will i need an extended scale, like 28" or 30"?
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
#11
Quote by Colton165
well as far as clamps go will i need one if the blank im buying is a 2 piece already glued and dried?

and ill look into some shavers and those other tools.

also how much does tung oil cost, and how many coats do i need to apply, etc.

probably like, what, 3 coats, with 3 hours of drying between each?

my biggest fear is making a neck from a neck blank, i dont want to mess it up and have it un level or the curve/radius be uneven. also fretting a blank board scares me.

EDIT: For 27 or 29 frets, will i need an extended scale, like 28" or 30"?


1. If you're doing a set neck you need clamps, NOT those ****ty quikclamps.
2. under 10 ten dollars for sure, maybe under 5 its been a while, just a couple of coats will do the job
3. You can buy a board pre slotted and fret and inlay it youself, necks are much easier than fretboards, just practice first.
4. No
#12
I have templates and a pdf of a build, if you're interested. The pdf is step-by-step, but the guy really overemphasizes planning.

Depending on where you live, tung oil is about 12 bicks for a litre.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
#13
no, you dont need a extended scale (unless you want one), it just means that the frets will be closer together.
Quote by Scowmoo




You deserved this, Matt.
#14
so if i wanted a 29 fret board, how much would a rosewood pre-fretted one run me? $90?

and i was thinking about making this 7 string or even 8, but that would be too complex for my first build, but i really want an 8. Ill just make a 6 for now.

I guess ill use a 25 in scale then.

And do you guys think the tung oil is a good idea? Im sure its much cheaper, and still looks nice, no?

Perhaps a maple top? Or am i too inexperienced for tops?

EDIT: Bah a top is more money, ill stick with the oil if it looks good.

DOUBLE EDIT: What is EASIEST for a first build; set neck, bolt on, or neck through.

I would really like neck through but isnt that quite labor intensive and hard?

TRIPLE EDIT: Ill most likely do set or bolt on, i dont have the right length of wood i purchased for neck through. Plus i would like bookmatched wings, and I would probably screw all that up haha
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
Last edited by Colton165 at Aug 7, 2009,
#15
Each style has it's own difficulties. Neck through is no more difficult than any other type, just different.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
#16
well with the wood im looking at, i dont think neck through will be possible, that is where you cut the neck and center part out of one piece correct? if so, then i probably wont.

im looking at this wood in particular:http://cgi.ebay.com/2-Piece-Solid-Black-Walnut-Wood-Guitar-Body-Blank_W0QQitemZ200328947441QQcmdZViewItem

i will probably buy that unless you guys tell me he is not to be trusted, that isnt a good wood; or you find a better deal, but it looks kosher to me
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
#17
That's beautiful. eBay wood is usually pretty okay, just make sure you check thickness.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
#18
Quote by bv310
I have templates and a pdf of a build, if you're interested. The pdf is step-by-step, but the guy really overemphasizes planning.

Depending on where you live, tung oil is about 12 bicks for a litre.

actually im very interested, thank you.

ill take any resources i can get.

PMd

EDIT: thickness is 1 3/4 it says
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
Last edited by Colton165 at Aug 8, 2009,
#19
It's not that hard, I took a class in July, I built a guitar with basically zero prior woodworking experience.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#20
you could always cut the walnut in half to get a neckthrough


Bolt-on/set always have a large heel, you have to cut a good neck pocket in the right place and angle.
With neck through, you don't have to do anything but glue them together, then plane flat after, so for me its far easier and will feel better with no annoying heel.

the walnut is nice! that would cost £80-100 + over here..


For finishing stain and oil is the easiest finish - looks best also
It takes a while to dry between coats (1-6 days if wiki is correct) but its *far* easier not to mess up subsequent layers than sprayed finishes.
#21
It doesn't take that long for oil finishes. I can do about 3 a day.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#22
what do you mean by cut it in half? vertically, horizontally, what?

and after that would i need another piece of walnut or something like a piece or maple or what? for the neck/middle piece that is.

and yeah i love the look of oiled wood.

if i oil it, to i need to lacquer it after or what?

EDIT: to kramdra

also, is his fretboard blank enough to make 29 frets? if not, then is it enough to make 27?

http://cgi.ebay.com/1-Piece-Cocobolo-Rosewood-Guitar-Fretboard-Blank_W0QQitemZ200332474475QQcmdZViewItemQQptZGuitar_Accessories?hash=item2ea4bef86b&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

on a 25.5" scale, that is
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
Last edited by Colton165 at Aug 8, 2009,
#23
If you're using a 25.5" scale, then you need a board that is, you guessed it, 25.5" long. Your frets are going to be really close together with 27 frets on a 25.5".

EDIT: Wait, that's not right. You need the distance from the bridge to the neck to be 25.5". That board would be pretty long.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
#24
Quote by bv310
If you're using a 25.5" scale, then you need a board that is, you guessed it, 25.5" long. Your frets are going to be really close together with 27 frets on a 25.5".

EDIT: Wait, that's not right. You need the distance from the bridge to the neck to be 25.5". That board would be pretty long.

hmm mmkay

i guess il use a 28" scale then for 27 frets.... or for 29 frets... possibly 30"

only question is that will the scale length make it too tense for standard tuning,as a 30" scale, will that be too long for EADGBE? Because isnt 30" a baritone scale?

EDIT: thats what i thought haha, scale is running length of strings correct? i guess ill use a 26" scale just in case haha
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
#25
The fretboard is long enough, 612mm vs ~540mm for a 27 fret (511.5mm from nut to 27).
You probably want 25.5" scale, for 3 more frets they dont get much smaller (10mm vs 8mm). If you were going crazy 36 frets or something, then you would need a longer scale.

this if doing your own slots:
http://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator/

But for an un-slotted, un-radiused fretboard its a bit expensive (about 2x) you might want to get one preslotted, to get the slots right is one of the most important things, though most places only do up to 24 frets :/


You would cut vertically. If your design fits for a bolt on in one peice it will defiantly fit for a neck through

Laminate necks work great. I'm using a laminate of maple/wenge/maple.

some examples:
Laminated neck:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=18289608&postcount=184]

5 peice laminate neck through
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=21025569&postcount=317

neck through V
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=15326276&postcount=288


/goes back to gluing body
Last edited by Kramdra at Aug 8, 2009,
#26
Seven string isn't significantly harder then six, but eight is the point where it gets rather hard to just buy everything yourself and slap it together without fabricating something yourself.

Are you going to be building the neck yourself then, or custom ordering it or something? It's just kind of a pain to find non standard scale non standard fret count fretboards, especially fretted. It won't be a problem if you're building it yourself or if your getting someone else to build it, but you probably arent going to find what you want on ebay. The neck isn't significantly difficult to make, but the fretwork can be a pain if you dont have the right tools. Go with a laminated neck if you are building it yourself. 5 piece necks are strong enough to where while you still include a truss rod, you probably won't ever have to adjust it.

Tung oil is great, but if it's pure tung oil as it should be, it will take a week to dry after you're done with the coats, then you'll have to apply a coat every six months or so just to keep the wood healthy.

And you're going to want sandpaper upto the 2000 grit range for the fretboard (some recommend 4000) And you might want stuff just as high for the body.
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
"If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?"
#27
well i dont know if i can make the neck myself correctly, and i have found fretboard wood, rosewood, enough for 27 or 29 frets

but if i can find someone to slot it for me or find a site to slot boards farther than 24, i will.

ill pu a picture up soon i made with paint over a prs custom 24 that is close o what i want for a neckthrough, but ill most likely make a set neck for first build, not sure.

depends on what you guys think i can do

EDIT: Heres what i [somewhat] want it to look like



pretty crappy job, i know. i dont want a trem either. also of course the extended frets, 27 or 29 IF POSSIBLE, but if i cant do that, then ill buy a pre fretted 24 fret rosewood board.

I mean i can stand 24, but since i dont want to make a 7 or 8 string as first build, Id like some extra range; and i dont really have any guitars with extra range on the high end

thats if its neck through; i mean i can take a full walnut body with maple [set/bolt on] neck, doesnt matter, but which ever is easier for me

possibly buy another 1 piece walnut plank and make a 3 piece neck through walnut?
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
Last edited by Colton165 at Aug 8, 2009,
#28
hate to double post, but this site says they make their pre slotted boards with excess frets, and you cut off the excess.

http://www.allenguitar.com/fretbd_pre-slot.htm

so if i order a fretboard from there [rosewood], what radius would be good for the guitar?

their "martin" 16 in radius? or the 12 in gibson radius?

the martin scale is some crazy 25.364" or something; gibson one is 24.75"

so which would come with more frets slotted?
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
#29
16 radius will be really flat.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
#30
what is a standard Ibby radius? 14" or 16"?

im really used to flat radii on Ibbys but i think on this guitar I'd like the 12", but was wondering if it would come pre slotted with the 29 as in the picture.
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
#31
I think it's 14 on their Wizard necks. I prefer the 9 of Strats.

Your best bet is to wmail the company before you order and ask them about the board.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
#32
Yeah ill do that.

But what about the scale length? Its predetermined? So if i want a 25.5 but the Gibson style is 24.75", ill have to go with that?

EDIT: man what did you use to design that strato-goddess build template
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
Last edited by Colton165 at Aug 8, 2009,
#33
Quote by Kramdra
you could always cut the walnut in half to get a neckthrough
he said he doesn't have enough neck wood, whether he can cut the body in half or not is irrelevant.

Bolt-on/set always have a large heel, you have to cut a good neck pocket in the right place and angle.
With neck through, you don't have to do anything but glue them together, then plane flat after, so for me its far easier and will feel better with no annoying heel.

Imo neck through would be harder. can you tell me how you would plan the neck flat with the body AFTER it is glued in? And a set neck and bolt on can have a heel just as small and comfortable as a neck through. Could you also tell me how you would cut out the body shape once the neck is already glued in? It would be much harder to cut out the body with the big neck sticking out and getting in the way all the time.

Bolt on is the easiest for a beginner and like I said they are not limiting for fret access, they can have the same and if not better fret access than a neck through.
#34
A strat and an Iceman template. I still have all of the templates from the thread, if I haven't already offered.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
#35
Quote by bv310
A strat and an Iceman template. I still have all of the templates from the thread, if I haven't already offered.

I meant like the program used to make it.

And ill probably go with bolt on im guessing.

Sorry for all my questions; but heres some more for you to answer [sorry!]

1. What tools MUST i need?
2. Since i am using somewhat good woods [If that ebay wood doesnt look good, TELL ME! I dont want crappy woods!], and most likely mediocre electronics and hardware at first, do i need to buy the tuners i intend to have on it forever now? Because some have different holes, etc.
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
Last edited by Colton165 at Aug 8, 2009,
#36
1: Bandsaw, router & drill press/ hand held drill for the body and if your making the neck your going to need a whole heap of other tools = rasp, spokeshave, fret file etc etc

2: Most tuners use a 10mm diameter hole, just buy cheap tuners with the same sized hole as the expensive tuners you plan on buying later.
#37
MS Paint
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
#38
Ok, and I am unsure about making my own neck...

I mean necks from say, warmoth are super expensive and if i order a 27 or 29 fretted boars, then I would have no clue what kind to order

also is that wood good because i dont want ****ty woods. i can handle ****ty hardware and electronics for the time being
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
#40
Quote by guitarcam123
walnut is a nice wood.

Check it out in the tonewood thread

yeah i knew that but guessing by the price i didnt know if it was good quality, mediocre, or low.

i figured body woods would be expensive as hell after looking at warmoth
My last.fm
Quote by OMMad
i've always found pop to be harder to play than metal... especially shred metal... it's just really fast tremolo picking and the occasional palm mute... and the only chords you have to worry about are power chords...
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