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So i started this guitar in october and progress has been slow, working in my woodwork class at school mostly. recently i realized, after mistakes and disatisfaction with my work, that i was no longer building the guitar of my dreams so i bought some new wood and have restarted and its looking sweet. decided to make a thread for tips and documentation and whatever. anyways, specs

Sapele body with flame maple top
warmoth neck- maple with rosewood fretboard
25.5 scale
TOM bridge/tailpeice
3 way switch, 1 vol 2 tone
cream binding
Body shape is my own design of a mockingbird
Planet wave machine heads
SD APH-1 Humbucker in the neck, SH-15 humbucker in the bridge
1/4 inch carve
was thinking a bright red stain for the finish

the original body was just sapele, and i also have a template modeled after it to speed up the build and so i can work more at home
i have had to get a job to fund this but i plan on finishing it by summer

what do yall think?

the body is routed to shape i just have to sand it smooth as it didnt go quite as planned. next is making a template for and routing the neck pocket, as well as routing pup pockets
Last edited by ladna at Apr 19, 2011,
I've never heard of sapele in a guitar before.
Sounds like it would look amazing! I don't know how to resize the pics though ,sorry
it was the only mahogany locally thick enough, and thank you sir
Sapele is used in some Taylor guitars. It's mostly used on the backs and sides. My Koa T5 has it.
so here we go with a few pics..

the original, template, and new guitar lined up

one of the reasons i started over, a router gouge i just couldnt seem to fill

front then back of the good one so far

some bark that made it into the guitar, and will show through once carved. o well i guess

hope those work
Last edited by ladna at Apr 1, 2011,
Make sure that the neck's fretboard radius matches the radius of the bridge's string saddles. A TOM is easy to set the intonation on, but it's harder to modify it to match a fretboard radius. If they don't match, strings will be either too high or too low when trying to set the action.
Also make sure that the neck's scale length matches your TOM's existing location. Buy a neck that fits what you have. Good luck.
i have a warmoth neck with a 10-16 compound radius and a gotoh TOM, how do i figure out the radius of the bridge and would the last fret be 10 or 16 degrees thank you
on stewmac is says with a 10-14.5 compund radius to use 16 radii at the bridge, so you may as well go with that too.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
Alright il research that thank you. I was wondering if the depth of my humbucker cavity routes and the depth for the pup legs really matters or just as long as it's deep enough I'm good

also, how do u guys drill ur jack hole? i cant imagine hand drilling it with as wide a bit thats needed would be the best route.

Last edited by ladna at Apr 5, 2011,
well a bit of an update until next week. pickup cavities drilled out and routed to shape, and bridge post holes drilled. couldnt drill the tailpiece holes because they werent exactly perpendicular to the center line on my template and i dont want to wing it. pics

So I drilled my tailpiece holes today, made a jig to make sure they were perfect. Finished drilling, measured the distance and they are 2.75 inches from the bridge. The plan was for them to be about 2 inches away and the diagram from gotoh said it should be 2.25 inches from the bridge. Problem?
Anyone have any advice? I was thinking I could fill the holes with dowels then take some maple from my scraps and make a patch for them. Or I live with it and find a way to make it work with my carve. I'm not very experienced so a patch would be risky what do u guys think, thanks
The half inch difference is about the same as the tailpiece width. If you fill the holes your eye will be drawn to the plugs by the tailpiece. Visually your guitar is fairly long, so the extra length between the TOM and the tailpiece shouldn't be a big deal. You may just have to recess the tailpiece a little to maintain the proper angle over your TOM.

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Alright thanks the tailpiece piece will be in the carve so il countersink it or whatever so the posts are flat on the wood and hopefully it works out. Update to come
I'm confused. The distance from the tailpiece to the bridge isn't critical if your setup's like a Les Paul's. It's important that the strings don't touch the back of the bridge on the way to the tailpiece.
The distance from the nut on the neck to the bridge IS critical for proper intonation. How could you determine where the bridge needs to be without having the neck installed? Do you understand the term "compensation", or why the bass string is longer than the treble side? Are you sure the neck can be centered on the bridge? To me it's so much easier and smarter to set the bridge's location after the neck's installed.
The jack could be mounted on top of the guitar like a Strat instead of on the side of the body so you would have access to it from the back, like the pots. Don't forget the groundwire access to the bridge or tailpiece.
Good luck.
Last edited by Guitbuilder at Apr 12, 2011,
thanks for the tips guitbuilder, everyones got their own way and hopefully mine is satisfactory, we shall see.

update time, mostly been working on a new template for my neck pocket, trying to get it a perfect fit also drilled out my conrtol cavity ready for routing. a package came today with my pickups and tuners, delivery day is the best kind of day. pics:

planet waves auto trim tuners front and back

Full neck shots and headstock with tuners and pickups

Control cavity and neck pocket just about ready for routing

more pics in a weeks time or so, long weekend coming up hopefully i can get loads done
thanks dude same here, cant wait to play it either!

i was thinking about my carve today and was wondering how to go about carving the horn. my plan is to step the wood with a router then sand it to the final carve, but when the router is far out on the horn it is really shaky and sketch, so im not sure what to do there, is there a better way to do a carve with limited tools? ive checked out the tutorial on here but thats not really the look im going for

heres a pic of what i hope the carve to look like pretty much

alright so ive got some stuff done, spent most of the past while preparing for routing the neck pocket, making template after template and many test runs. il get more pics up soon but for now i need some opinions.

i took a quick mockup shot and noticed that the body may need some reshaping as this right here doesnt look all that attractive

heres the same pic without the circle and resized for a better view

to me it looks to bulky and round and fat. i liked it when the neck wasnt on yet but now im second guessing it

what do u guys think? what kind of reshaping might i do? i was thinking maybe taking some off the top and left and make it generally smaller but am looking for anyones thoughts, thanks
I'd reshape it in such a way that if you imagined the continued curves of the upper bout and the outer curve on the lower horn they'd be meeting up in the same point... Like this, only more streamlined and smooth, and not as shitty looking:

Hmm interesting, il mess around on paint or something and see what happens, thanks
yea i would definately take it down some. i agree with what pikka bird said as far as how much to take it down. and great build so far looks really great and you seem to take your time and really think out stuff.
ya it seems like a cool concept, if only my computer skills were greater i would conjure up a better sketch, but heres what ive come up with quickly. trying something else out but i worked all night so il do some more tomorrow or something and post for thoughts

and ya after my first body where i sorta realized i messed up in so many ways i really slowed down and planned this one out, i just hope i have enough time in the school year to finish most of the woodworking..

i hope the attachment works, it a png

nevermind it aint workin, il do it tomorrow
Hmm. Are you gonna have just a tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece? In that case I'd put the tailpiece much closer to the bridge..

Also I like Pikka Bird's idea.

Are you a Slash fan? I'm guessing so, by your choice of shape and pickups... keep up the good work, man!
Quote by SleepTalkinMan
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Maybe shape it into like an effed up top strat horn? Or maybe like a mini version of an Ibanez Iceman horn??
Quote by Spaztikko
Imagine the part of the ballsack where occasionally old poo sticks to the pubes and hardens, and you then have to pull out, but as an amp. That's an MG.

Greatest quote of all time?

I think so...
ya i am, i messed up there and drilled the holes to far back, but theyre going to fall on the carve and the posts will be countersunk so hopefully itll all work out, am i wrong?

and yea i am a fan, good call, i tried combining [his] les paul and mockingbird and it didnt turn out perfect but il find some way to make it work, in the name of slash

all cool ideas, i sorta like this cuz it keeps the original idea but doesnt look like shit.
i sorta used pikka birds idea, made a circle in the right horns curve and moved it over and then 'cutout' the left overs.. sorry its an inkscape file, i did my best

not much of a change, hows it?

double post got some pics and an update aswell. since last time ive routed the control cavity and the neck pocket, and done a sketch drilling of the jack hole

control cavity

full shot and length shot

neck pocket

jack hole

and finally i managed to get a post stuck in its hole

and eventually got it out. has anyone else ever had a problem with a maple cap on mahogany and the bridge post holes being barely too small? i used the same bit for both bodies and it worked perfect for just the mahogany, but it seems the maple is grabbing the thready part..

so there it is, time is running out
I think you are removing material from the wrong part. I think you should take material off from the top, maybe flush with the top of the neck pocket. When the neck is on, it just looks like it extends too far.
Mocking birds have a little cutaway on the side with your massive bulge.

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Washburn WG587
Washburn X40Pro
Washburn X50
Washburn HM24
Washburn WR150
Laguna LE200s
Arietta Acoustic
First Act
Valveking 112
VHT Deliverance

ya i was considering that but it would make my carve a bigger challenge so i figured id skip it. heres a few more ideas to throw out there, shaded would get cut off, and the line is my rough sketch of where the carve would start

dont judge teh carve line, i was rushed
Last edited by ladna at May 5, 2011,
I'm really still not feeling that upper bout. It's not the size, it's the bulbous shape it has. Like it's been bumped against something and is swelling up. I feel like I could poke it with a needle and it'd pop, even with the greyed-out area cut off.

edit: I guess that came off a little harsh. It's not meant to be taken that way.
I agree with Pikka bird. The upper bout looks 'bloated', for want of a better word.

Someone posted a pic of matching it to the lower bout, I feel it'd look better shaving off the 'bulbous-ness'.
how bout this? it looks weird once it starts getting smaller and smaller, but here the grey matches with the horn more

Yeah, that's much better. Especially if you make it smooth where it meets the current outline, rather than having a sharp "shoulder".
I think the only answer is a cutaway!
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
^ I'm sure I said something along those line up yonder somewhere
Quote by Spaztikko
Imagine the part of the ballsack where occasionally old poo sticks to the pubes and hardens, and you then have to pull out, but as an amp. That's an MG.

Greatest quote of all time?

I think so...
Alright cool pikka, u guys mean like just make it a mockingbird basically? Or another kind, I'm all out fresh ideas right now lol