Hey guys, I'm new to this whole thread-starting thing, so let me know if I'm getting anything wrong Also, sorry about the nondescript title, it's my first thread!

OK, so here's a little bit of background info about what I'm doing. If you want, you can skip the lot and go right to the questions, but I'm hoping you'll read it so that you'll answer my questions in more detail

So I'm a fourteen year old male guitarist, and I'm starting elective woodwork in Year 9 next year (I know, it's a long way off, but the more I know now, the less research I do later). I had this brilliant idea earlier today to use that opportunity to build an electric guitar. Then I realised my current skills with wood aren't that great YET (although, they aren't terrible either), so I've decided to start with something a little bit more mellow. Convert a 100AUD nylon-string Valencia guitar into a vibrant, colourful, authority-defying machine.
Brilliant, eh?
Anyway, I've been thinking about how to go about it, and it's turned into something along these lines (it'll get clearer the more I think about it):

1. Unstring the guitar (of course)

2. Saw the body in half along it's side, turning a killing 10 cm thick body into a slender 5 or 4.5 cm body.

3. (the order of this step is a bit vague) Cut a block of wood - anything will do, I'm not picky at this stage - into the shape of the body and slot it in, stick a truss rod through the neck - any old metal rod, actually - and bolt the neck to the body.

4. Screw the bridge into the body - apparently steel strings destroy classicals, hence the reason for all the bolting

5. Cut away cutaways can't play without access to all the frets, can we?

6. Install pickups and an output jack thing - you know, all that stuff that I know nothing about

7. Install inlays, paint and finish

8. String with light, low-calibre electric guitar strings, lower the action a little and plug in!


I've probably forgotten some stuff, but you get the idea.
You probably also see a million problems in the basic plan, so any corrections, recommendations or (that word meaning stuff I've forgotten, if there is one)'s are very much welcome.

Now, I'm running on a budget, so expensive pickups, wood and inlays are pretty much out of the question, but I found some standard electric guitar pickups on eBay for about two dollars AUD, plus shipping, from Hong Kong.
I'm waiting for the word NO

Any links to trustworthy deals on pickups are very much welcome I'm not picky about tone, with my blown out Silvertone amp, clean is gain, and gain is GAINER!!! Yeah, it's pretty awesome

I play mostly metal and hard rock, and I like the metallic 'bridge' tone, so whereabouts should I place the pickups in relation to bridge and neck?
Chances are I'll read what you say, and then place them where ever my pick doesn't tap them when I play

Any ideas for inlays would be cool (you know, not pearl) I'm thinking polished and cut beach glass. Opinions?

Step three. How would you go about it? Please respond in detail!

Also, supposing I wanted to make the neck narrower and the strings closer together, how should I do it? (please consider the bridge and nut before responding, even though you already have)

I think you are way in over your head.
Technically all you have to do to make it electric is to put a pickup in the soundhole and wire it to the output but you wouldn't be doing any woodworking except drilling a hole.

If you want to do some woodworking, I'd reccomend maybe building a case for your guitar out of wood?
^What they said.

the only way you can do this is with a piezo system. nylon strings arent magnetic of course, so they are invisible to magnetic pickups. putting steel strings on the guitar will most likely rip it apart. nylon string guitars cant handle that kind of tension pulling on it.

long story short: if you really want to bother with this, get a piezo installed. thats the only practical way to go about this.
i think you're all missing the point this is an experiment before i move onto making an electric from scratch, just to find out what tools and skills and whatnot im going to need. so instead of telling me it's pointless and that im in over my head, how about answering my questions?
i already have two electrics and two acoustics living in my house, so don't think i'm doing this because i need a new guitar fun, not work
i admire your imagination and creativity.
and ill try to answer your questions but dude, take a moment and think.

now you said you were going to cut the body in half, and then cut a piece of wood to fit inside the half body of acoustic.
now, if youre cutting a piece of wood in the shape of a guitar, why not just ignore cutting the acoustic in half? because you now have a solid body and putting a big wooden cover over it is going to be ugly (and you wanted it cool looking) and horrible in general.
also im not sure how you plan to do the neck. because acoustic necks dont have a big flat piece on them to bolt on to a neck pocket.

im absolutely all for creating something new and wild, but there is a relatively large amount of problems here man. and it would be honestly better to just build a guitar from scratch.
thats pretty much what everyone is thinking here.

to make the neck narrowed and strings closer together just use a belt sander or something and sand down the sides. you'll then need a new nut blank and file the positions you want into it and a bridge to match (this would be pretty foolish and hard)

when placing the bridge pickups take a look at the other guitars in your house and use that as a guide. (you'll be routing the pickup pockets (and cutting cutaways) which is another reason its pointless to have the acoustic part on it)

$2 pickups from hong kong are obviously gonna sound pretty average. although i just bought some myself lol simply because its ridiculously cheap and i didnt care about the tone.

for the wiring of the electronics, go see the wiring thread or use google.

for all the parts you need you can order them from http://www.luthierssupplies.com.au/
theyre a company based up here on the gold coast but will ship all over australia.
however you can get most bits like bridges and things from ebay for a LOT cheaper. i use luthier supplies for my electronics.

as for the general way of going about building this guitar, i'll recommend once more to not butcher the acoustic and instead just build a new one from scratch. go look at the countless other builds on this forum and see how they did it. get help from your dad or an uncle or a family friend if you need it.

im all for you building a guitar man, its a fun experience. however you gotta think a little more about the practicality of turning an acoustic into a solid body electric.

instead, build a brand new solid body and put a cheap bolt on neck on it.

and if you want an electric/acoustic just do as jim said and put a piezo in it
Last edited by Doonan at Jul 20, 2010,