#1
WARNING: EXCESSIVE PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTENT. NOT FOR SLOW INTERWEBS.

I finally had a chance to build my own guitar. It turned out kind of shitty, as you would expect from a first build, but I thought I'd share it anyway so others can avoid making the same mistakes.

I built this at home during the summer holidays, and I had to leave for uni before I could completely finish it. I'm hoping to get it done over the christmas holidays.

I didn't have a planer, so I used a router on this jig


Looks ok


I actually tried to glue it up once before, but there was a gap in the body so I decided to take it apart, plane it and glue it up again


Body, neck and fretboard blanks, all made of maple, since it was the only hardwood I could get.
Last edited by sashki at Oct 14, 2010,
#2
Templates made of MDF
Here's something I learned the hard way: For the body, make a thin template (I used some 5mm MDF type stuff) because it's easier to shape them and get all the curves right. Then use that to make a thicker working template.


I cut the truss rod cavity first, then centered the neck around that.


Truss rod installed


It's hard to cut through 5cm thick maple. I did a rough cut by drilling holes and using a circular saw.


Glued on the fretboard. It's a bit thick but it'll be planed down later


Routed body


Corners rounded over for great justice. I know there's a lot of router burn, but I couldn't sand it out. I hope it'll be covered by the finish.


I went too deep when doing the rough cut and ended up with a hole in the cutaway. I cheated and filled it with epoxy and sawdust. Don't tell anyone.
#3
Headstock transition area


Planed the neck to thickness. It's 22mm at the first fret, 24 at the 12th. It'll be thinner after sanding.


Started shaping the neck with a rasp






Getting there


I stole this jig idea from a very resourceful builder who goes by the name of Scatter Lee. You might see him on some other guitar forums. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say that.


First major mess-up: The neck wasn't secured properly and slipped during the radius routing. I ended up cutting too deep.
#4
I planed the fretboard down really thin, then ironed it to soften the glue, and managed to peel it off. Here's the neck with a new fretboard, properly secured this time.


Getting there. Sort of.


Drilled the inlay holes


The inlays are made of a pen cut into circles and filled with a maple dowel


Here they are, post-sanding


Here's the neck so far. I should cut off the end of the fretboard before proceeding.
#5
I used these boards to try and get straight edges for routing the neck pocket.


Took out most of the wood with a drill press, then routed


Yes, it is sloppy. I'll have to fix it later.


I must've slipped during the routing. There's a gap in the side of the pocket.




The line down the back of the body is a gap in the wood. I couldn't get a decent join after 2 attempts, so I just filled it with epoxy.


Fretted by hammering through a piece of wood.
Things learned: it's better to overbend the frets just a bit than leave them underbent. Also, I should get one of those proper brass and plastic fretting hammers for fretting. Using a clawhammer just dents the fret, and hammering through a piece of wood makes it bounce.


Frets filed down to 30 degrees. You can probably see the gaps under some of the frets. I should refret this guitar during the christmas break.
#6
Gluing the nut. Cutting the nut slot was surprisingly hard. It was too narrow, then became too wide. I had to use a shim on one side. That's no good for tone.


Neck bolted on


Locating and aligning the bridge


My drill press was too small to drill holes in the right place, so I had to use this thing as a guide. It didn't help much.


The routing is sloppy, but it'll be covered up.


Major mess up #2: While trying to drill a hole between the two cavities for the pickup wire, I accidentally drilled through the entire body. It was going very slowly at first when suddenly BAM and the drill bit was sticking out the side.


So I plugged it with a dowel and filled it with epoxy. Also I drilled a hole for the jack.


The drill press is really handy for making all these dowels.
#7
Mockup of the body. The pickup is an Axetec Steam Hammer, and the control panel was cut out of a piece of metal I found at the dump.


Painting.


Obligatory foot shot


Right now, it's virtually unplayable. It's in serious need of a fret job, possible even a complete refret and setup. Unfortunately, this is as far as I could get before I had to leave for uni. I'll also add a pickguard.

"But Sashki," you say, "Why did you post a guitar that wasn't finished?"
And my reply is: So I can necrobump this several months later, to everyone's joy.
I hope some of you might find this slightly informative. I apologise for my cynicism.

Thank you for reading.
#8
i like this thread. *high five*
My Gear:
Schecter Hellraiser FR Special.
EpiG400 lefty w/Dimarzio X2N/ Irongear Hot Slag
Peavey 6505+112 (head)
2x12 Cab w/ WGS v30 / gt65
GFS Tuner
TS-9 (Keeley ish mod)
Dunlop GCB-95 Wah truebypass
ICP Gstring Decimator
#9
looks good, i'd see if you can get a '72 custom pickguard with a route for one humbucker and then cut out a space for the control plate. love those inlays by the way
Ben

GEAR:
Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Deluxe
Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar
Blackstar ht-5 head
Blackstar ht-408 cab
Landola V72 Acoustic
Seymour Duncan Woody SC

Quote by lolometer1
Wanna be sex buddies?
Quote by housemd
nope.
#10
Wow this is amazing, it may not be perfect like you said, but to me that Looks awesome, great job!
#11
It turned out kind of shitty... Right now, it's virtually unplayable... possible even a complete refret and setup...


You sir, are a ru-tard.


That's my nice way of saying this is a very nice looking instrument so far. Unplayable for who? God? Just cause of those tiny little spaces? Psh. Nothing a good dressing/crowning/whatever it is you do with real frets won't fix.

Also, freakin awesome idea with the pen.... mind if I steal it >_>?
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas
#12
Quote by Tone Deaf
You sir, are a ru-tard.

That's my nice way of saying this is a very nice looking instrument so far. Unplayable for who? God? Just cause of those tiny little spaces? Psh. Nothing a good dressing/crowning/whatever it is you do with real frets won't fix.

Also, freakin awesome idea with the pen.... mind if I steal it >_>?

Actually, it's unplayable because some of the frets are so high that you get the same note no matter where you put your fingers. Sometimes you don't get notes at all and the strings just rattle against the frets.

Also, what's a ru-tard? A russian retard? How did you know I was russian

Thanks for the kind words, anyway.
#13
No no no! haha.. I didn't mean anything ethnic. It was a reference to a movie called "The Hangover." A guy in it called somebody a "retard" but he put the emphasis on the second syllable and made it sound like "ruTARD."

And I actually see what you mean now. I thought you meant that in the picture you could see space in the slot beneath the fret, not under the brim of the fret itself.. Maybe not a complete redo, just work on the few affected? Some more hammering or super shaping?
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas
#15
Quote by Denthúl
Looks pretty good

Won't that sound incredibly bright though, being all maple?

Yeah, that's what I thought. However, I didn't have much choice with woods.

Also, I played an ESP George Lynch model, which was all-maple, and a Godin that had a maple center with poplar wings. Although they were bright, they weren't harsh and cutting and had some pretty decent low end. Also, the pickup I'm using is supposed to be pretty bassy sounding.

The thing is, I've only been able to play it on the one string that doesn't rattle, and only through my Pathfinder 10 amp, which makes all guitars sound the same, so I can't really tell how bright it turned out.
#16
it looks fairly decent, a good fret job and it'll be good

My questions:

Why didn't you make a build thread instead of posting all the pics at one?

How did you make the dowels with the drill press?


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RBY CYOA
#17
Quote by MonkeyLink07
it looks fairly decent, a good fret job and it'll be good

My questions:

Why didn't you make a build thread instead of posting all the pics at one?

How did you make the dowels with the drill press?

Because I didn't know how long it would take to finish. I don't like threads that leave you hanging ("hanging by a thread" pun goes here).

Dowels are pretty simple: cut a piece of maple with a square cross-section, use a rasp to cut off the corners, then lock it into the drill press, turn it and hold a file against it. Stop every now and then to check the diameter. You can also sand it while it's turning.

Another way is to drill a hole through a fairly thick piece of metal, rough-shape the dowel and then hammer it through. I tried this, but I didn't have any thick enough metal pieces, so the metal bent and the dowel didn't go through.
Last edited by sashki at Oct 14, 2010,