#1
i was thinking about how satisfying it is to build stuff from scratch with only the power and brawn of your bare hands and simple tools.

I was thinking about building an Explorer, but like a really raw one...a massive thick slab of mahogany like 2 1/2 - 3 inches thick with a big fat ol' mahogany neck with a nice ebony fretboard. And a raw finish like a Gibson Melody Maker but without the actual paint. And then some distressed chrome hardware and a set of Bareknuckle WarPigs for massive fat riffing

I was wondering how hard this would be with hand tools like handsaws, hammer and chisels, hand sanding ect.
#2
it's entirely possible to do using only hand tools, but some parts will take much more skill.

..but 2.5 to 3 inches thick of mahogany?

first, that's pretty damn thick for any guitar.
second, mahogany's pretty heavy.
and thirdly, explorers are big and heavy in general.

add all those together and you're going to have a really, REALLY heavy guitar.

REALLY.
#3
Very, very hard. I tried to build a guitar once, and I had extremely limited tools. Most of the work was done by hand.

Don't even bother trying this man. You'll only waste material, money, and effort. It is very labor-intensive to go at this even with the tools I had at my disposal, much less with no power tools at all.

If you think you can handle it, then by all means prove me wrong.
#4
Quote by james4
it's entirely possible to do using only hand tools, but some parts will take much more skill.

..but 2.5 to 3 inches thick of mahogany?

first, that's pretty damn thick for any guitar.
second, mahogany's pretty heavy.
and thirdly, explorers are big and heavy in general.

add all those together and you're going to have a really, REALLY heavy guitar.

REALLY.


ill call her the spine crusher
#5
Quote by Invader Jim
Very, very hard. I tried to build a guitar once, and I had extremely limited tools. Most of the work was done by hand.

Don't even bother trying this man. You'll only waste material, money, and effort. It is very labor-intensive to go at this even with the tools I had at my disposal, much less with no power tools at all.

If you think you can handle it, then by all means prove me wrong.


true...ill take that advice

i might just have to make the spine crusher with power tools
#6
damn that sounded awful. i'm not trying to discourage you, just trying to save you the heartache and misery that i experienced.

i've since given up on that build completely until i win the lottery and can get good tools. i really do hope your build goes much better than mine.
#7
Quote by Invader Jim
damn that sounded awful. i'm not trying to discourage you, just trying to save you the heartache and misery that i experienced.

i've since given up on that build completely until i win the lottery and can get good tools. i really do hope your build goes much better than mine.


well im gonna try and do as much by hand but still use power tools...ill save my totally hand built for another time

hopefully ill still be around UG by the time i finish. Im the last one out of my group of friends that hasnt been perma banned on this site
#9
Quote by Invader Jim
sounds like you need new friends


this


but cutting a body with a coping saw would be very difficult
Gear:
Ibanez RG4EXQM1
Fender Jazz V
Yahama Pacifica 112
Acoustic B200h
2 custom 1x15 cabs
Vox AD30VT
too many pedals
#10
wow there is so much chuck norris and lumberjack in this thread. You must have more hair on your body that 35 normal men put together. I bet you wear nothing but plaid cutoff shirts and nut hugger blue jeans and carry an axe with you at all times.

Douglas Spad with EMG 81x's
Epiphone LP jr. with EMG 89 split coil, alot of upgrades
Rig:
Power conditioner, Hush, ART Quadra/FX Reverb (all 3 in a rack), Peavey XXX, 2 Mesa 4x12 cabs.
#11
Quote by sk8freakrt
wow there is so much chuck norris and lumberjack in this thread. You must have more hair on your body that 35 normal men put together. I bet you wear nothing but plaid cutoff shirts and nut hugger blue jeans and carry an axe with you at all times.



GetOut... Now.

Read the rules my friend, well, you aren't actually my friend...
..I was watching my death.
#13
sorry? i ready this line:

"i was thinking about how satisfying it is to build stuff from scratch with only the power and brawn of your bare hands and simple tools."

and almost thought he was trolling us with the amount of lumberjacked-ness.

anyway..ill make an on topic post...

It would be really cool and probably very gratifying to build a guitar this way, but with out power tools i dont see it coming out as nicely as you probably want it to. it most likely wont play as nicely and you wouldnt like the look of it either.
Douglas Spad with EMG 81x's
Epiphone LP jr. with EMG 89 split coil, alot of upgrades
Rig:
Power conditioner, Hush, ART Quadra/FX Reverb (all 3 in a rack), Peavey XXX, 2 Mesa 4x12 cabs.
Last edited by sk8freakrt at Nov 27, 2009,
#14
Hold on a second...
You want to make a strat, and to make a strat...
You need to route the edges...
And to route, you need a router...
Am I Right?
If you do plan on rounding the edges without a router, My condolences to you.

Also, the curvey things would take forever!
..I was watching my death.
#15
i was thinking about doing a body with just a chisel, hammer, handsaw, rasp and sandpaper if i was up at camp for a long period of time.


and a twist drill.
#16
Quote by timbit2006
Hold on a second...
You want to make a strat, and to make a strat...
You need to route the edges...
And to route, you need a router...
Am I Right?
If you do plan on rounding the edges without a router, My condolences to you.

Also, the curvey things would take forever!


are you high?????

i said EXPLORER jeez how on earth did u get strat from EXPLORER its got more letters and only an R in common
#17
it should be quite posible, but, how might you rout for the pickups? or neck joint?
Quote by Scowmoo




You deserved this, Matt.
#18
Man, my telecaster is mahogany, and its a telecaster right. It is aprox 2 inches wide. 1.9 inches wide.

It weighs 6 kilos, its heavy even when you are sitting down, and that is what i weighs without hardware. Just think about it. If you have a guitar that weighs 10 kilos or so, you cant play standing.
#19
how big are you man? actually if you just get a wide strap, it won't be so bad. Like one of those 6 inch wide padded ones.

It would be very satisfying, but i'd imagine it would be pretty hard to do... if you've got the time, I'd say go for it!
#20
**** the nay sayers!

if you have the patience and skill with the tools, do it. How do you think they used to build acoustics, or violins and violas, etc. before there was electricity?

Do it and prove these fools wrong...
#21
Quote by TheBackHouse
are you high?????

i said EXPLORER jeez how on earth did u get strat from EXPLORER its got more letters and only an R in common


Oh, sorry 'bout that.
Theres lots of threads going on... So, lot of guitars being built.
Explorer still does need routing.

Are you planning on doing a Gibson Explorer, or an EXP Explorer?
If you are doing an EXP explorer, there's lots of routing.
..I was watching my death.
#22
I wonder, If you mean ESP in which case, how exactly would there be more routing than a gibson?

In any case, even 2 in is really thick, especially for mahogany, although you could maybe find some way to chamber it. Also, the routing could be done maybe with some sort of chisel, but it would take many, many hours, and it would be amazingly easy to screw up.

It's possible, but you better know what you would be in for.


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RBY CYOA
#23
you could cut your piece of mahogany in half, make a neck through (so you don't have to worry about a neck pocket), and have a massive pickguard so you don't have to worry about bad routing. that's what i'd do...
#26
Quote by MonkeyLink07
I wonder, If you mean ESP in which case, how exactly would there be more routing than a gibson?


Look at pictures.
Much more forming(?) required.
Look at the upper horn it isn't just flat like a Gibson Explorer.

Also, the edges have a larger route on them, and isn't more of just a rounding the edges thing. I believe the ESP Explorer would be 10x Harder to cut, due to the roundness of its shape.
..I was watching my death.
#27
Okay, well I was thinking he would use a saw for the outside, I was thinking about the routing for pickups/neck cavity, in which case, would probably be the same, or really close.


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████████████








RBY CYOA
#28
If you have access to power tools, bandsaws etc... use them. You're going to have plenty of "doing it the hard way" time with all the things garage builders have to do the hard way because it's the only way available. Sanding and planning are going to take you quite awhile as it is.
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
"If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?"
#29
metal-matt i routed out a pickup cavity a few days ago using a spade bit to drill out a portion of the cavity, used chisels to knock and scrape it all out, and for all intents and purposes, it will work perfectly for what I wanted to do. keep in mind I was simply adding a pickup to an existing junky guitar I owned and the wood was so soft I'm pretty sure it's made of cardboard.

I'm sort of in the same boat as op. I'm attempting to get into guitar building, but live in a condo where space, and obviously noise constraints are an issue. even using a rasp seems to just reverberate around and probably causes a hell of a racket for any neighbors. I bought a router, and want to use it so bad, but the combination of being new to routers and hearing how fucking loud it is makes me apprehensive about using it just yet.

The ironic thing about trying to do 'professional' looking builds with hand tools is that you end up spending a small fortune on these old school tools to the point where unless you are concerned about noise, you should definitely just buy a router and a bandsaw or something. However, there is a video series on youtube of a guy living in a apartment in japan who had to build everything using hand tools because of paper thin walls and I must say he did quite a good job and used some very interesting tools to complete his guitar. as far as cutting out a body being really tough goes, I think too many people are just lazy and think that if you spent a few hours cutting out a body using a coping saw, bow saw, or hack saw, it just 'takes too long' and just abandon it completely. a few hours is not that long in the grand scheme of life. In the video I mentioned, I think it took the guy 30 minutes to cut out his body using a bow saw, which all though is certainly much longer than the few minutes it might take with power tools, is really not that long if this is your hobby and you spend your free time doing a passion project.