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#1
First of all: I know this wont be easy, nor will it be cheap. But this will teach me a ton and help me understand the guitar better.

I've decided I would like to build an electric guitar. (My boyfriends design.) We have decided we will buy the neck pre-made, but we'll be doing everything else ourselves.
I'd like to get the body design finalized so that I can get templates. I will be asking my wood shop teacher questions along the way.But I do have some questions. (please forgive me if they are dumb, remember I'm learning)

1. Does the type of wood I use affect what type of bridge i can use?
2. Where is a good place to get templates made?
3. Where can I get practical, good quality material (ie: wood) that won't be extremely expensive?
4. What kind of wood should I use?



These are the questions I have now. When I research more I'll Blog and add questions. When I start I'll post pics and insight of failures and successes
If you could answer any of these it would be extremely helpful!
#2
1, i dont think the type of wood affects the bridge used.
2, for body templates, i can make you some here
3, idk, look for a local lumberyard, ect.
4, it depends on what sound your looking for. there is a tonewood thread that should aswer any questions you might have.
Quote by Scowmoo




You deserved this, Matt.
#3
1) Not really, unless you're using a Floyd Rose type bridge and an extremly SOFT wood like basswood. With Basswood and Floyd's, there is about a 0.000000079% chance that the mounting studs will get ripped out. (Not a real stastistic). But it's very easily fixed.

2) It depends, what body type are you going for? A standard shape, a modified shape, or a completely original design? If it's completely original, just draw out thte design to scale, trace it onto about 3/4 inch thick plywood or pine, then cut out the inside and use that as a template.

If it's a standard body shape or modified body shape, tell me and I'll be able to get you some templates for free.

3)Well, the cheapest place would probably be you nearest Lumberyard.. But on UG there's some guys that sell wood for extremely good prices with a discount cause you're on UG.
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4) The type of wood you use directly affects your guitars tone. Lets say you wanted a darker tone, you would choose Mahogany or something similar. You want a bright tone? Choose Maple or something similar.. (Maple is heavy as ****). If you want a Neutral tone, there's Basswood, Alder, Ash, Poplar. There is of course, many different types of woods to choose from.

What type of tone are you looking for from this?


Quote by Saint78
Jackal is like 90.

Quote by Jackal58
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#4
1: As long as its hard enough to handle the tension any bridge will work with the wood.

2: Do you mean outline templates or cavity/ routing templates?
If you mean body routing templates already made have a look at Guitar Building Templates
or if you are looking for templates on paper, try guitar plans unlimited

If you are looking for cavity routing templates (eg. Pickup, control cavity) try Stewmac or WD Music

3: Where do you live? Look in phone books/ directories etc to try find a lumber yard or similar. If not, I or someone else could probably link you to a few websites if we know where you live

4: What wood you use depends on what tone you want and what wood you have available.
#5
1. No not really... as stated...
2. The guy who can make you one seems to be a good start... you can also take a picture of a guitar and blow it up in paint... thats how i do it... i love paint...
3. Well if by any chance your from Canada then i must say Windsor Plywood... Not Gary's though...he's a wood Nazi... Other wise in the states i guess whatever your guys' local wood shop is...
4. Basswood tends to be the wood or Shredders, its a lower cost wood, and its a balanced sounding wood with a bit of mids... but it allows your pickups and amp to do most of the sound control. Alder is close to basswood but is a little more crisp sounding and has a bit more mids. It is common in strats along with Swamp Ash, which is a more trebley wood... if my memory doesnt fail me. Mahogany is a nice warm and fat sounding wood when in guitars, one could say it contributes a lot to the les paul sorta sound. Theres many other wood options but those are some of the more common ones.

Just checking your profile and you say your into metal... Now bascially that leads me to say go with basswood... Many different metal guitarist use different types of woods, but Ibanez would is one of the main brands of guitars out there... many people use ibanez... and Ibanez usually uses basswood... So the simple answer is use basswood.

However if you really wanna find the wood for you go and try a bunch of guitars at a music store that are made of different woods but all have humbuckers or single coils, and just listen, if you cant tell a difference just go with basswood because of its lower cost, easiness to work with and its light weight. If you find a wood that you like you have found your answer.

Sorry for wall of text.. i get carried away sometimes.

Good Luck.
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#6
Quote by Ethanb08
However if you really wanna find the wood for you go and try a bunch of guitars at a music store that are made of different woods but all have humbuckers or single coils, and just listen, if you cant tell a difference just go with basswood because of its lower cost, easiness to work with and its light weight. If you find a wood that you like you have found your answer.

Humbuckers or single coils? There is about a million different types of humbuckers and single coils, each one giving a different tone.

That wouldn't be a controlled test. If you really want to hear the difference the wood makes you need to have both guitars exactly the same, the only difference being the wood, you need to have the amp on the exact same settings, effects etc etc.
#7
all this is very helpful,
and sorry i should have mentioned that above that I'm looking for a darker sound, 'cause I'd love to build a guitar for metal.

I'd also love to make it a 7 string guitar, haha, anything I should know about that?
And I live in Seattle, Washington
#8
You'd need a little bit of a wider neck, a 7 string bridge, and 7 tuners
I'd say either Mahogany or Walnut. Maybe Basswood..


Quote by Saint78
Jackal is like 90.

Quote by Jackal58
Buy stock in Viagra. Imma gonna fuck you in the ass.
#9
I've heard i should use basswood now alot, cuz i want a deep fat tone hahaha
So, new question:P

-Is the body shape going to change the tone?
#10
^Kind of. A body with barely anymass because of the shape won't have as much sustain and could be a little less powerful sounding.

I would go for Walnut or Mahogany. I got mahogany for about $5 a board foot at my local shop and walnut for $6.
#11
Quote by HATECREWofBODOM
I'd also love to make it a 7 string guitar, haha, anything I should know about that?
And I live in Seattle, Washington

First off, I'm from Seattle. I'm not there anymore but I love it up there.
Next building a 7-string is basically the same as building a 6-string but you have to make the body, neck, and headstock wider to accommodate the seventh string. You also have to buy 7-string pickups and a 7-string bridge. So it tends to be a little more spendy.

Quote by HATECREWofBODOM
I've heard i should use basswood now alot, cuz i want a deep fat tone hahaha
So, new question:P

-Is the body shape going to change the tone?


I would use a mahogany but that's just my preference. It isn't very nice on your router bits/saw blades/etc. though.
Body shape shouldn't mess with your tone depending on whether or not you have enough mass. If you have little mass and weight then you tone will be thin and empty. If you have plenty of mass and weight then you will get a "deep, fat tone."
If you post your design then we could tell you if what you have is going to work.

If anyone thinks I am wrong, feel free to correct me.
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Last edited by SavageSyn at Oct 15, 2009,
#12
Quote by guitarcam123
Humbuckers or single coils? There is about a million different types of humbuckers and single coils, each one giving a different tone.

That wouldn't be a controlled test. If you really want to hear the difference the wood makes you need to have both guitars exactly the same, the only difference being the wood, you need to have the amp on the exact same settings, effects etc etc.


Yes your right... perhaps HATECREWofBODOM should make several identical copys of the guitar she plans on building out of each type of wood she has considered using... Then she can keep swapping the electronics and hardware around to each body and play them acoustically through the same amp the same riffs at the same distance from the amp, same position, same tempature, humidity, aripressure, room, and hope absolutly nothing happens to even slightly damage her ears between or during testing... Then make a desicion on which wood was her favorite

But often a controlled test is impracticle...

So just try some basic uncontrolled testing for a slight feel or very generaliaztion of the sound of the woods. There tons of strat shapes out there, or super strat, so go fain on made of each type of wood, then play each acoustically for a little bit, and if they all have on type of pickup try them plugged in and just generalize what you hear, take a guess comparing the acoustic sound and attack to the plugged in sound and attack, take into consideration of what the pickup is doing and the amp is doing for the sound. I think its a much easyer cheaper but obviously less accurate way of checking out different tone woods...

So look at some Ibanez, Schecter and Jackson super strat styled guitars, play them unplugged (important) then plugged in and make a general assumption on how the wood is reacting to the different pickups.

You could also look up what your favourite bands guitarist uses for wood in their guitars...

Sorry if I came off as a prick but one can't always rely on perfect conditions for tests of any sort...
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#13
I didn't mean it like that. What I was trying to say is that you can't just go to a guitar shop and try out a gibson les paul and a fender strat and say 'I'm going to use mahogany because I liked the tone I got from the guitar'
#14
In general, single coils give of a brighter tone and humbuckers give of a warmer tone. There are variances in each but that's the simplified version. If you want a deep, fat tone, which you've stated that you do, then she should go with humbuckers. If you like the sound of the single coil possibly get coil-splitting pickups. It won't give you the exact same sound as a single coil but it is close. Also, if you use active pickups, then you choice of wood won't matter as much because actives tends to produce there one tone which usually overpowers the tone of the wood.
RIP Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan
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My YouTube account:
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My personal gear:
Schecter Omen-6

Questions? IM me (check my profile)

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#15
ok, so I think I will go with humbuckers because i have a strat with single coil pick-ups and i want the guitar I'm designing to have a completely different sound.

I've also been looking at different guitars i want to possibly incorporate (style wise, and sound wise) which would be the schecter c-7, the explorer, and the flying v. (all bad-ass guitars)

We haven't agreed on the final design, so I'm thinking I'll post pics of the crude sketches we have :P and see what ya'll think

PS YOU GUYS ARE SO HELPFUL So please keep the advice coming. I need all I can get before I start this beast
#16
Quote by Scowmoo
You'd need a little bit of a wider neck, a 7 string bridge, and 7 tuners
I'd say either Mahogany or Walnut. Maybe Basswood..

Walnut's a lot like maple, just FYI.
Mahogany or Alder are the way to go for metal, IMO.


Also, I'd recommend using Seymour Duncan's 7 string Blackouts.
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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.
Last edited by oneblackened at Oct 16, 2009,
#17
^I'd say alder over mahogany cause mahogany tends to get muddy with down-tuned metal (In my experience at least), while alder retains its clarity.
#18
ok, well ive heard i should use basswood?
Is alder easier to work with? And ive got poster of Mick (7 from slipknot) with blackouts i would kill to have them
#19
Quote by SavageSyn
In general, single coils give of a brighter tone and humbuckers give of a warmer tone.

Says who?


Basswood would be easier to work with, but it's a lot softer and will dent easy without a strong, hard finish.
#20
^ he said "in general"... and unless every humbucker guitar has a Dimarzio Humbucker from Hell in the bridge I would agree with SavageSyn...lol... In general that is...
For example a Strat with single coils is gonna sound brighter than a les paul with humbuckers...


But basswood is softer and therefore easyer to work with. But that being said that doesnt mean Alder is a particularly difficult wood to work with, your tools will survive it... its not something rediculously hard or oily like purple heart or bubinga.

So you would probably be good with either Basswood, or Alder... they are generally similar and are both pretty easy to work with. Alder would be a little more resistant to bumps and dings. But if your not slamming you guitar around either should be fine.

I once read that Basswood one of the most neutral tone woods and it lets the player make their tone, while alder is still generally neutral but it has a mix of its own tone rather than mostly the player. I ono if it quite works just like that but it may be something to take into consideration.
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#21
Alder's extremely consistent, very easy to work.
Mahogany is a dream to work with, it cuts like warm butter.
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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
Quote by Ethanb08
....I once read that Basswood one of the most neutral tone woods and it lets the player make their tone, while alder is still generally neutral but it has a mix of its own tone rather than mostly the player. I ono if it quite works just like that but it may be something to take into consideration.


-ok (pardon my many questions please)
So what tone does the alder throw into the mix; i want a metal style guitar so in all honesty what wood?

I'm sorry for the trillions of questions!!!
#23
well, chuck schuldiner's stealth's where made of alder, with a x2n, gave him quite a harsh sound.

i would go for alder if i was using something around E to C tunings, but mahogony would work better for lower tuneings me thinks.

have a look at the tonewood thread, theres info on most of the woods there.
Quote by Scowmoo




You deserved this, Matt.
#24
Good luck.
We're still waiting for those sketches you mentioned, i may be able to draw up a cad template for you when you post them


Quote by Saint78
Jackal is like 90.

Quote by Jackal58
Buy stock in Viagra. Imma gonna fuck you in the ass.
#25
I actually prefer maple for a body wood. It's heavy as ****,but totally worth it... and I kinda like the weight. (Then again, I shouldn't talk... I'm 6'3"...)
Anyway, the reason why I like it is because it sustains for days with a nice body shape, and the lows are TIGHT. You throw an X2N, or some blackouts, or an invader, etc. in to that thing and you get the same chugging lows with much more attack and a lot less mud. With basswood, things start getting muddy, sometimes the same can go for alder, depending on the pickups and the amp.

Have fun with this project by the way- I know I had fun with my first. =)

Have a sizzlin' day,
AJ
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#26
Quote by HATECREWofBODOM
-ok (pardon my many questions please)
So what tone does the alder throw into the mix; i want a metal style guitar so in all honesty what wood?

I'm sorry for the trillions of questions!!!


Well its not that its a huge durastic change in the whole tone. I have only heard of this, but its kinda hard to say that Basswood is the neutral wood... because thats like saying water has no taste... it obviously does it tastes like water...

Basswood is just sorta balanced in lows mids and highs, while alder is similar to basswood but has a slight mids boost... and I think it has more "bite" or a quicker attack.

Since you said in all honesty im gonna say Basswood, cause its one of the cheaper of the given woods and it sounds good. Regardless of what style you like Eddie Van Halen uses basswood in his signature guitar, John Petrucci uses basswood in his signature guitars, Joe Satriani uses basswood in his signature guitar, and a lot of ibanez's use basswood and a lot of people play ibanez's... For a first build basswood would be sufficient, and if you like it then you've found a wood you like.

Plus if you continue to build more guitars you can always make one out of alder or mahogany or any other wood later on. Unless you want a wood soon to be extint or illegal to sell, then act now. I saw a dead almost useless log of Ebony about 4 feet long and half a foot in diameter selling for about $1500 CAD at a windsor plywood in Edmonton. I call it almost useless cause it had cracks everywhere and it look like it had been dead and laying on the ground in Africa for quite a while.

Anyways good luck and get some doodles of it up, I'm getting twitchy...lol
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#27
Hey everyone, got people askin for the body designs. My boyfriend and I are stuck on two,
His, and Mine. I have pictures up, really rough sketches so please don't give me shit on my drawing ability
anyways his is wayyyyy complicated lol (his has lots of sharp corners and stuff) and mine is smooth.

He doesn't like mine 'cus it's not symmetrical. So VOTE ON IT!!! which one do you guys like best? (yeah i know his is guna win lol )
#28
Am I missing something? I see no pics...
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Quote by Shinozoku
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#30
Its cool.

Out of those two, I like this one better, kuz it doesn't have a penis sticking out the bottom.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009
Quote by Shinozoku
You have a walnut stop sign banjo-tar signed by MAB

˙ןooɔ sı uosɐǝɹ ןɐǝɹ ou ɥʇıʍ ƃıs ɹnoʎ uı ʇxǝʇ uʍop ǝpısdn ƃuıʇʇnd
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You deserve an Awesome Award for Awesome People.
Seriously.

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#32
In my book, no. Because its functionality is lost in all those spikes. Don't get me wrong, a good pointy design can be really nice, but I think that one needs a little more planning put into it.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009
Quote by Shinozoku
You have a walnut stop sign banjo-tar signed by MAB

˙ןooɔ sı uosɐǝɹ ןɐǝɹ ou ɥʇıʍ ƃıs ɹnoʎ uı ʇxǝʇ uʍop ǝpısdn ƃuıʇʇnd
Quote by Scowmoo
You deserve an Awesome Award for Awesome People.
Seriously.

Stop Sign Guitar? HELL YES!
#33
Yes, yes it would, but the spikes are hard to make-I'd make something like a Jackson Warrior or an Ibanez Xiphos.
Word of warning - Guitars are harder to make than you'd assume at first.
Long hair is a pain in the ass in a woodshop-I'd know, I have hair down to my shoulder blades. Be sure to wear a hat or tie your hair back, or do both.
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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.
#37
lol, it is. I've seen a pic. Anyway, you seriously will need to tie back your hair. I had a REALLY close call routing out pickup cavities one time, and my hair isnt all that long.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009
Quote by Shinozoku
You have a walnut stop sign banjo-tar signed by MAB

˙ןooɔ sı uosɐǝɹ ןɐǝɹ ou ɥʇıʍ ƃıs ɹnoʎ uı ʇxǝʇ uʍop ǝpısdn ƃuıʇʇnd
Quote by Scowmoo
You deserve an Awesome Award for Awesome People.
Seriously.

Stop Sign Guitar? HELL YES!
#38
Quote by blindsagacity
lol, it is. I've seen a pic. Anyway, you seriously will need to tie back your hair. I had a REALLY close call routing out pickup cavities one time, and my hair isnt all that long.

This. Be ESPECIALLY careful around routers. They're really powerful.

DO NOT PUT YOUR FINGERS ANYWHERE NEAR THE MOVING BIT, and DO NOT LIFT THE ROUTER UNTIL THE BIT STOPS.
Current Gear:
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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.
#39
i understand the safety aspect im taking metal fab, and i wana take welding tech and wood shop lol but yeah, ive already had some close calls with a horizontal band saw, a finger break, a spot welder, and a sander.

yeah im a bit of a klutz. so my boyfriend would probably ban me from anything he thinks ill hurt myself doin (which may be everything)
#40
Quote by oneblackened
This. Be ESPECIALLY careful around routers. They're really powerful.

DO NOT PUT YOUR FINGERS ANYWHERE NEAR THE MOVING BIT, and DO NOT LIFT THE ROUTER UNTIL THE BIT STOPS.


This very much so... I havnt had any incident but of all the tools I used on my first build the router was probably the most dangerous, cause it spins fast, and if your using a table router you cant see it... which can be dangerous.

However looking at both designs If your gonna go with something pointy maybe go wtih alder or mahogany...rather than basswood cause as everyone and myself have been stating it is softer and more prone to dings or breaking at the point parts.

Im gonna have to go with your design though... it looks like it would be less painfull to play...lol

Heres my take on it in paint:

Pot, Toggle Switch, Pot, and the Jack... cause I dont know where to put it on the side. But thats just the way I see it...
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