Okay! I know i have asked a ton of questions about stuff and never shown any improvement or pictures but that is going to change!!! Here we go!!

oh and the piks are massive but i already changed the size in photobucket and it didnt do anything so if a mod can do it for me! or maybe send me a pm so i can learn!!

generic chrome hardware
string thru
set neck
rosewood fret board
24 frets
abalone dot inlays
2 hum
prob just a single volume
maybe mini switches for each pup?

i have no idea what the body and neck woods are but they are hard and strong so im not to worried about it. uhh... thats it?

well first off i got some new tools!!

hmmm.... i wonder whats in there?

ohhh overpriced stew mac stuff!!!!!!!

any guesses as to where this stuff came from??

on to the building!

hmm wonder what could have made all that!!

gluing upp!!! oh and can anyone tell me what kind of wood this is?? all i can say is that its really hard and heavy and ruins about any tool that it comes into contact with.... so i decided it would be great for a guitar!! i know its not oak or mahogany. i have speculated cherry wood? any ideas??

what appears to be half a template!!

template all drawn on. oh and before i get flamed on cause its a butterfly this is for my lady friend!! i figured it will end up on her wall anyways so i can make any big mistakes on it which i already have :'(

my sexy fretboard wood!!

cont. in next posting!!
Last edited by kiaba94 at Aug 10, 2011,

i don't have any pictures of the neck blank butt here is the truss route!! which i royally effed up on..... the bit slipped and dug way deep into the blank.. oh well what can yah do. oh and some obvious discrepancies.. shhh you can see them once the fb is put on!!

the neck more or less close to the final width. ehh.

the headstock i decided on. i need to thin out the headstock about a quarter inch but ill get there eventually.....

thats all ive gotten done so far! as soon as i dig out my uncles drill press ill do some more stuff but this may progress kinda slow for a while.. with in the next week however i will get the fb on with some dot inlays and try to fret it.

okay go ahead and comment and stuff.... be gentle...
im just gunna use some chrome hardware i have laying around and same with the pickups. im not gunna spend alot lol. and she wants it to be blue. but idk if i wanna screw with paint annndd i think the grain is pretty... its still undecided however.
Man take that hand plane back and get an old Stanley from ebay. I bought that HF piece of crap too a few years ago before I knew what I was doing. Its worthless. I got a Stanley made in 1924 for 20 bucks that actually works.
Quote by kiaba94
hello? anyone else?? does anyone know what kinda wood this iss???

What wood? I one pic it looks like oak because of the grain but the darker pics look like walnut. I can't tell on the body... Ash? White oak? Is it heavy? What does it smell like when you get it wet? Oak kind of smells like throw up. Those pics aren't very high res and don't have a lot of color. It might be cherry but the grain looks kind of too dark for that. Where did you get it? You can tell a little better if you wet the wood. Cherry will turn a brownish red. Maybe birch? Kind of looks like birch actually... Maybe beech. Doesn't look like maple. You said it ruins your tools... it could be because you are using HF tools... balsa will ruin those things... No cherry I've ever worked with is very hard on tools. Not like maple, birch, or oak.
Last edited by samhell at Aug 10, 2011,
well i havent reallly used any of the hf tools on it ive used my uncles stuff and it ruins good saw blades and pretty much shatters router bits even moving very slow and taking shallow passes. the body and the neck are both the same wood. idk where my uncle got it but he said i could use it for whatever i wanted. when i got it wet it just turned a light reddish brown and it smelled like olives?? this is some weird stuff...

EDIT: oh its heavy as hell... and very very hard. doesnt dent at all. its like 5/8ths the desity and weight of ironwood.
Last edited by kiaba94 at Aug 10, 2011,
oh and ill look into getting a stanley plane. i got that hf one for like 6 bucks so im not complaining. but i definately need to invest in some higher quality stuff.
went to the store and got some drill bits a legitimate rasp and a chisel set. already managed to gash my hand with the chisels. oh well. should finish shaping the head stock today and drill tuner holes along with inlaying the fret board.
Did your uncle say why he got it in the first place? To build cabinets or something? Might be cherry. From your pics I'm thinking its birch or beech though... Birch kind of smells like olives I guess... birch is also hard and heavy and somewhat hard on tools. Maple will have more of a sweet smell. Does it turn black very fast when the tools start to heat up and burn it? There is olive wood but its pretty expensive and the grain doesn't look like your pics.
oh yeah it gets real hot and turns black almost instantly a power tool touches it.
Well then I'm sticking with birch for now. Its similar to maple so it will be a brighter sounding guitar. Might need to roll back the tone knob when you play it.
alright cool. thank you so much. i havent been able to go to my uncles the last few days so little to no progress to report. however i should get somthing done by next monday.
okay!! little to nothing to report, however i have decided im going to make it a semi hollow because i think it would look and sound pretty good. sooo here is where you come it!! if anyone would like to i need some help designing the soundholes!!! any suggestions?
this is sick, Ive always wanted to build my own guitar but could never muster the courage to start. As I have no idea where i would haha. subscribed.
Thank you all for the help i really appreciate it. That helps me alot in trying to figure it out. and thanks so much mad. i lurked around ug for years before i got to courage to start and ive screwed up alot actually but if everything went perfect i wouldnt of learned anything.

so yay for school starting and making the already slow build progress even slower. hopefully ill have some kind of updates next weekend :/
well its been a while and i havent been able to do a whole lot... its slowed down because i like a good tool to cut out the body shape etc... however i do have something to share with yall!!

I had expressed some interest on cl about making guitars for people and here is an email conversation i had with one person. i hope you enjoy while i rip him a new one


"exile": What makes you a luthier?

"me": what exactly do you mean? like my qualifications?

"exile": Where did you get your education and experience in luthiery? (oh and notice he spelled Lutherie wrong even though he went to some special school for it.)

"me": Im all self taught. i have learned from my own stupid mistakes and from kind people with great tips on the internet.

what exactly did you have in mind?

"exile": I am a luthier. I graduated from Roberto-Ven. And there is no way you are a luthier from watching you tube videos. Do every one in Houston a favor and stop calling your self a luthier. Your just some kid hacking up wood and hoping it works. It takes a lot more than a few videos to be a luthier.

(heres where it gets really good, and in the first paragraph i took a few liberties in the fact that i have done a gfs and am currently on my first real build but shhh.. )


I may be a kid but I'm not stupid and I don't just "hack up wood" and hope it works. I do extensive research and I have built two perfectly playing and good looking guitars and i have put a lot of time, money and effort into doing this. I would really appreciate it if you didn't just make asinine assumptions about me because I cant afford to go to some fancy school for Lutherie like you can. Everyone has to start somewhere and its people like you that crush other peoples dreams and aspirations.

How do you think the first people to make guitars did it? They didn't graduate from "Roberto-Ven" or the fancy equivalent. In fact Leo Fender went to a junior college for accounting and then he taught himself everything he could about electronics and he never took a single course in college. He then went on to meet a man named Clayton Kauffman who had worked for Rickenbacker and they then opened the K & F Manufacturing Corporation. A little bit down the line he created the esquire and then the story from there is pretty apparent. he never took a single course to build guitars. Does that mean that he built bad playing guitars or that he was some "kid hacking up wood"?

Lets take another look at someone who with no formal schooling created an amazing guitar and is still to this day very famous. Les Paul created arguably one of the most iconic guitar shapes known today, and it all started with experimentation in his apartment with absolutely no "formal" schooling. He was just a musician want to make a better instrument. Do you see any kind of trend here because I do.

Furthermore I could show you quite a few people around today who have build beautiful and great playing instruments with no "formal" schooling. I think its time for you to step down from your mighty high horse and open your eyes. Just because you went to Roberto-Ven you are not better than every one else. all that means is that you came from a better situation and could afford to go to a specialized school like that. I would love to go do that but you know what, I would much rather invest in tools and other items so I can actually make guitars because I know I will not be able to afford a lutherie school any time soon.

Thanks have a great day and i truly hope I changed your perspective.

- A Self-Taught Luthier


I know this has nothing to do with my build but i though yall at here at ug would get a kick out of it.
Sorry to say but... I wouldn't call myself a luthier after never having built a guitar from scratch either... But that said, I'm sure you're perfectly competent at all the other stuff that someone would have a luthier do, set ups, electronics, and such. I guess I just wouldn't use that term.
this is where the term "amateur luthier" comes into play. even then i have a hard time calling myself that, im just finishing up my first full build. and even then i bought a preslotted fretboard. maybe "amateur luthier hobbyist" is even more fitting because i dont do it for a living, and its been all for myself so far.
i know but i never claimed to be a "luthier" untill the end cause i was pissed and wanted to make a point. lol. but i mean i just felt the need to tell him off. idk i know im not anywhere near as good as i should be and i have a ton to learn but he had no right to be an ass.

anyways. im going to continue with this build and i really hope to have it done soon.
People are just idiots. Dont even listen to them.
The other day on youtube, somebody commented on one of my videos. It said something like

"why dont you just go buy a cheap 50$ used dean on Ebay? its better quality and you wont be wasting your time. Quit wasting your time making something stupid and work on your house or something"

You have no idea how angry that made me. I do this for a living... And he tries to tell me a 50$ crappy made in china dean is better than mine? Psh. Dont listen to people...
i do agree, who cares what other people think. i do strongly believe in accurately representing yourself though. i have no idea what started the conversation really. as long as youre up front and all, then who cares what other people think.
even if you buy a guitar of the exact same quality as your own build, itll never match the personal value that goes with it.
exactly and i feel as though no that i have made a few realllyy stupid mistakes i wont be doing that again and my next build will be alot better. and i havent really had time to work on this build...

i did however spray primer on my gfs explorer cause i decided to refinish it. so thats taking some time.
i know its been a while but i got the rough profile for the neck cutout on my friends bandsaw and now i need to spend a few hours rasping at it.... this wood is so damn hard.... its a pain in the ass.hopefully by next weekend ill have it kinda close to being done. *crosses fingers*

also i am kinda trying to decide what to change the body shape to... i no longer wanna make it a butterfly... i am thinking i might try out a semi hollow strat?
Quote by kiaba94
also i am kinda trying to decide what to change the body shape to... i no longer wanna make it a butterfly...

Aww. The butterfly was cute. Besides, I just did this

and those holes would look weird on a strat...or would they?
haha idk im on the fence for the body shape, but i do kinda like those sound holes.
wouldn't work exactly like that... but something similar like this maybe

Epiphone Les Paul Plus Top
Jet City JCA5212RC (SLO Modded)
Ibanez WD7 Wah
Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive
TC Electronic Flashback Triple Delay
TC Electronic Trinity Reverb

Kevin chilcott - royal guitars

been messin around in inkscape today. playin' around with a prs 22-24
shape so its less Phat in the ass.
if your interested.
hmm.. i like that too.. i guess whenever i get done with the neck ill think on the body some more! and thanks for all the suggestions its helping alot. also the royal strat is pretty cool.
well. the wood i decided to use is a complete pain in the ass to carve... i have spent at least ten hours carving the neck and its still only like 45% done... and i ended up filling a hole where the truss slot went to far and a couple other mess ups with some epoxy type substance and i am debating whether or not to scrap it and start over. i will post a couple pics in a minute.
heres one:

heres another:

Edit: sorry for the big piks... its late and i cant be bothered to resize them atm.
what do yall think? after i finish carving will the neck be useable? i am planning on a solid color finish so the filled spots will not be seen.
I'd be a little leary about it being weak where you've filled it in with putty, but it looks like it'll probably be fine.

How are you carving it? It shouldn't take 10 hours to carve a neck. I've only carved one (I bought a neck for my first build, but tackled carving a neck for my second), but it only took me about an hour. I carved the profile into a small (about 1/2" long) section of the neck at each end with an aggressive half-round file (so I'd have something to base my carving of the rest of the neck off of) and then carved out everything between with a flat-bottomed spokeshave. From what I've seen that's gotta be the best way to do it.

If you don't have one already, you can get away with a $15 ebay/amazon.com spokeshave if you look into how to set it up/etc (when I got mine, a $15 chinese pos, it needed a lot of work. I had to file out the mouth, flatten the base, flatten the blade bed, etc - But after a little work on it, it does a great job now) otherwise a more expensive piece will start off better. But no matter what, keep the blade razor sharp and don't set it too aggressively. I got into a bit of trouble when I did mine because I didn't sharpen it (it came fairly dull) and I had it set too aggressively and ended up with a lot of chatter marks to clean up with sandpaper.
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