#1
Ok, for my DT AS levels, we can make what we want, so i thought i would make a guitar, starting from a block of wood or whatever, and shaping it etc. before sticking pickups and all that stuff in it.

So, what's the best way to go about this, what materials will be best and how long should it take?
#2
It will take a very long time. My first guitar took over two years. If you can stay on top of it, and not get frustrated when you make mistakes (you will make mistakes), you could probably do it in a couple of months. You'll probably have to spend a couple hundred dollars on the hardware and stuff, and the proper tools to make it. It is a very difficult project, but if you pay good attention to detail, and ask for lots of advice (I recommend www.projectguitar.com as a very useful resource), you can succeed, and make a very nice instrument, and have alot of fun in the process.
#4
1. If you have access to a full shop (or one with the tools you'll need [Band Saw, Planer, Jointer, Router, Drill Press]) you won't have to worry about tools.

2. The best way to go about it is to read build threads and tutorials for about three months before attmepting a build.

3. If you're not going to clearcoat and will instead tung oil it or something, it can take as little as a month or two. This is assuming you don't have any setbacks and work on it just about every single day.

4. ???

5. PROFIT!
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
#5
Is there something that goes in a step by step manual of how to make a guitar? I know there's the starter pack but I mean something more like
1. Making the Body
-Kinds of Wood
-How to make the shape
-Tempelates
-etc
2. Wiring

and then it takes you through the steps.
There be no shelter here.
#6
The next version of the GBC Starter Pack will be arranged like that, I believe.
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
#7
Ok thanks guys - Unfortunatley i don't ahve 3 months to look at threads on building them, i have to start the designs soon to make sure i will ahve a chance of finishing. I ahve access to all the tools mentioned above, and maybe 2 hours 30 a week for it, along with and hour at lucnh every day if and when i need it.

What are the main things i am going to need to watch out for to start with then?
#8
CENTERLINE!!!
I can't stress this enough, draw a centerline and stick to it. The centerline is your God from now on, and you WILL be faithfull.
Get a pre-made neck, Axesrus do decent enough ones, making one can be hell if you dont have the maths right.
The centerline will (duh) run down the center of the neck, neck pocket, and across the body. Work the shape out around that. There is NOTHING worse than routing a neck pocket thats off center (appart from a cat knocking your new guitar down a well).

Make sure you mesure everything, then check it, measure it again and check it twice.
Decide on a scale length, and how many frets your neck has will influence this.
Work out the routing details, is it a H/H, H/S/S. H/S/H, or an S/S/S pickup layout? If you want more pups, you'll need a longer scale length, and this will give you a slightly brighter tone, since the strings stretch further (The Fender/Gibson difference in action).

Bascially, thats the tip of an iceburg. Ask questions like crazy, either here, or anywhere you can. For AS leval i think they'd be happy if you spewed out somthing that vaguly resembled a guitar, but there's not a reason in thw world why you cant present a godly piece of kit, then shred their faces off with it.

OH, and a word on body shapes, if you havn't sorted one already, there's something to be said about the classics. Stick to a well known current design, and put your own spin on it. For example, a telecaster chape but with an Iceman lower horn. Could be interesting, no?

Good luck.
I can do no wrong, for I do not know what wrong is.

The Gear:
Squire 50th Stratocaster (Pimped Out)
Gibson SG Standard
Tuxedo Telecaster Terror (Own Build)
Nameless Les paul
Marshall MGFX 100 Combo
Last edited by BucketheadBoy90 at Sep 10, 2009,
#9
Quote by BucketheadBoy90
CENTERLINE!!!
I can't stress this enough, draw a centerline and stick to it. The centerline is your God from now on, and you WILL be faithfull.
Get a pre-made neck, Axesrus do decent enough ones, making one can be hell if you dont have the maths right.
The centerline will (duh) run down the center of the neck, neck pocket, and across the body. Work the shape out around that. There is NOTHING worse than routing a neck pocket thats off center (appart from a cat knocking your new guitar down a well).

Make sure you mesure everything, then check it, measure it again and check it twice.
Decide on a scale length, and how many frets your neck has will influence this.
Work out the routing details, is it a H/H, H/S/S. H/S/H, or an S/S/S pickup layout? If you want more pups, you'll need a longer scale length, and this will give you a slightly brighter tone, since the strings stretch further (The Fender/Gibson difference in action).

Bascially, thats the tip of an iceburg. Ask questions like crazy, either here, or anywhere you can. For AS leval i think they'd be happy if you spewed out somthing that vaguly resembled a guitar, but there's not a reason in thw world why you cant present a godly piece of kit, then shred their faces off with it.

OH, and a word on body shapes, if you havn't sorted one already, there's something to be said about the classics. Stick to a well known current design, and put your own spin on it. For example, a telecaster chape but with an Iceman lower horn. Could be interesting, no?

Good luck.


Thanks a lot, will be helpful. As it is at the moment, i'm only in the research bit, so i have time to find what i want to do and how to do it. And i was planning on an explorer shape, dunno if that is feasible though...
#10
Quote by ir0nmaid3nfan
Thanks a lot, will be helpful. As it is at the moment, i'm only in the research bit, so i have time to find what i want to do and how to do it. And i was planning on an explorer shape, dunno if that is feasible though...


An explorer shape is actually quite simple, it's just the sheer size of it that may seem daunting - it doesn't really have a scooped cutout, and all but the longest side are practically straight lines.
you could even go for the ESP metal explorer body (cant remember the proper name, this is just how i think of them to myself :P) which is basically a standard explorer body thats all straight lines and pointy corners
#11
Quote by ir0nmaid3nfan
Thanks a lot, will be helpful. As it is at the moment, i'm only in the research bit, so i have time to find what i want to do and how to do it. And i was planning on an explorer shape, dunno if that is feasible though...


What you should probably do first, is work out your budget...how much can you afford to put into it?

Yes, your school will supply some materials, maybe even get you some nice maple etc, but they will likely ask for a contribution.

Once you have an idea of budget...buy this BOOK!!! .

Do that soon, before you do anything else. Do it now if you can. It will also help with the write up you will need to do, to go with the guitar.
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#12
Yeah, i have quite a big budget (*my paretns are willing to put a lot to help me do well - win ) so that won't be too much of a problem, and i'll try and order that book tonight.

And i was thinking about the ESP explorer shape - i almost bought on but i go and eclipse instead, so i saw this as a chance to have a go at getting one anyways
#13
Well i have ordered that book, but it may not arrrive for a while, but until then i have to do all the 'situation brief's' for my coursework anyway.

I'm planning on buying in a neck, most likely a bolt on, to keep things more simple.

Hopefully though, with help from here and various other sources, everything should go to plan

(not that i have much of a plan yet )
#14
I mentored a kid who wanted to build a guitar for his senior high school project. We started with an eBay "project" guitar. He likes the old jazz box archtop type, so he found an old Kawaii ES-175 type that needed a lot of work, and all the parts.
His parents gave him an ebay account, he assembled the parts, and we got to work on the reconstruction. He did all the work, refitting the body parts, soldering in the new humbuckers, setup, etc. It took him a few months to finish, but he did a great job and got an"A" on the project. He had enough challenges with this simple type of restoration to complete it on time and within his budget.
My advise to you is to start simple, don't plan a 3 pickup 5 way switched project if you don't know how to solder or read a wiring diagram. Get a good neck, used necks are a gamble. Make sure all of the parts are compatable with each other, like neck fits body socket, neck scale length and bridge location, neck and bridge radius match, etc. Plan each step so you don't have too many do overs. See if you can find a "Guitar Mentor" around that you can go to for hands on help.
Stew-Mac has a book-"Constructing a Solid Body Guitar" by Roger Sminoff that has all steps covered, including making a body and neck from scratch, finishing, etc. that might help too.
Good luck.
Last edited by Guitbuilder at Sep 17, 2009,
#15
Quote by BucketheadBoy90
CENTERLINE!!!
I can't stress this enough, draw a centerline and stick to it. The centerline is your God from now on, and you WILL be faithfull.
Get a pre-made neck, Axesrus do decent enough ones, making one can be hell if you dont have the maths right.
The centerline will (duh) run down the center of the neck, neck pocket, and across the body. Work the shape out around that. There is NOTHING worse than routing a neck pocket thats off center (appart from a cat knocking your new guitar down a well).

Make sure you mesure everything, then check it, measure it again and check it twice.
Decide on a scale length, and how many frets your neck has will influence this.
Work out the routing details, is it a H/H, H/S/S. H/S/H, or an S/S/S pickup layout? If you want more pups, you'll need a longer scale length, and this will give you a slightly brighter tone, since the strings stretch further (The Fender/Gibson difference in action).

Bascially, thats the tip of an iceburg. Ask questions like crazy, either here, or anywhere you can. For AS leval i think they'd be happy if you spewed out somthing that vaguly resembled a guitar, but there's not a reason in thw world why you cant present a godly piece of kit, then shred their faces off with it.

OH, and a word on body shapes, if you havn't sorted one already, there's something to be said about the classics. Stick to a well known current design, and put your own spin on it. For example, a telecaster chape but with an Iceman lower horn. Could be interesting, no?

Good luck.

To be honest, I disagree about the first part. The centerline is vital, but by no means something you should be too worked up about. Just work carefully and measure twice and make sure everything lines up.
The thing I like to stress is TEMPLATES. Never ever freehand anything unless you really know what you're doing. Use a ball bearing routing bit and making the body is a piece of cake. You can get some MDF templates off eBay. I personally recommend an easy flat top in a common shape. Templates for e.g. a Tele are easy to get. Also if you get good templates, the c/l isn't that much of a problem. Again, it's important, but not something you should be stressed out about (as it being a 'god' or something). Should you mess up the neck pocket it doesn't mean your guitar project is over. You can still fix it (as long as you don't plan on having a natural top finish).
Go as slowly as needed. Don't rush anything, don't do anything you aren't 100% sure of. If need be use google on a thing that you can't work out (e.g. 'Routing truss rod') and you will get a million different forums with pictures and tips.

Also I don't know why so many people are scared of building a neck, it's a bit less static than building a body (shaping the neck), but aside from that it's just following the lines. Now putting the frets in, leveling etc. is tricky, but I personally don't see it as the building process. In the same way I don't consider putting new pick ups in a guitar 'building'. You can make a wonderful, perfect neck, but do a horrid fret job. That doesn't mean you made a bad guitar. It's something that can easily be resolved by a good tech or by practicing. Same way as if your pick ups produce a hum, it's not a bad guitar.

Also, the Hiscock book is the best step in guitar building you can take.
#16
Well i'm getting further into the project now, though i'm still in the research bit we ahve to do for the coursework. But i am also beggining tog et idea's for the sahpe drawn out, but i would like to know - is it any harder to put in a floyd rose than a normal bridge? If so, how much harder?
And the book arrived, so i'm reading through that aswell.
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#17
Its only harder if you can't use a template and a router......other than that are we talking about is it easier than adding a flush mount bridge (non tremolo bridge) or a wraparound alot of bc rich starter models have these bridges a Tom standard gibson bridge or a strat tremolo style (Ie a "wammy bar")
And if so the Strat Tremolo routing will be about the same in many ways.
The Wraparound is generally two holes and its done.
The Flush mount is 4 screws in most cases and eather string throughs or in some cases string thru is not needed as there are bridges avalible that are top loading.
And The gibson style Toms are gernerally just 4 holes but some angle math.
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.
#18
Sorry to bring this back from the dead, but i ahve more questions... I have settled on the body shape (it's a wierd mix of a schecter hellraiser avenger and an iceman....) and i know i am using a mahogany body, maple neck, and probably a flamed/quilted maple top. However, i'm trying to decide on what kind of neck to use, and then i need to work out how to build and attach it.. .So, any advice? I would prefer it to be as easy as possible, without making too much of a loss on tone etc. But i do have limits for how long i can take.... And i'm still looking into getting a floyd rose aswell....
Quote by osXtiger
I cook children who are born out of wedlock on a spit.


CHICAGO BEARS - LA KINGS - USC - BURNLEY FC

GO KINGS!

‎'Senna não morreu, porque os deuses não morrem'

Bruno Senna