#1
I've decided that I want to build a guitar... Not really sure where to start (as the title implies, I've never done this before).

My ideal specs would be a 25/26 fret neck and two humbuckers, with a body similar to the Ibanez or Washburn electrics.

How much do I want to build myself, and how much do I buy? Obviously the woodwork can be done from scratch, but do I want to build the electronics myself? (Pickups are quite expensive...)

What wood do I use? I've seen people use everything from basswood to mahogany, how do I choose which suits me best?

And are there any tips or tricks I should know of before starting?

Halp pls!
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#2
I'm in a similar situation! Sorry this probably doesn't help you much. But yeah I'm modelling mine off an Ibanez style guitar with 25.5" scale length, cheap pickups for now (so I can change them in the future) and basically going to do all the wood, but I'll buy the bridge, switches and knobs etc. I was thinking about winding my own pickups, but as I said I'm buying cheap ones so I can maybe do that in the future. Well I mainly commented because I'm interested in what others have to say!
#3
The best thing to do is to find a guitar you really like, and base it off that. Then just tweak things to your liking.
Why 25 or 26 frets? That is a random number.
Cheap pickups will sound way better and are easier to get than to wind your own for the first time. And if pickup price is a limiting factor, you are going to have a really hard time with the rest of stuff, since that is much more expensive.
#4
So there's no harm in combining guitar characteristics? I might go with the Ibanez look and Gibson wiring.

Quote by EpicGuitarGuy13
I'm in a similar situation! Sorry this probably doesn't help you much. But yeah I'm modelling mine off an Ibanez style guitar with 25.5" scale length, cheap pickups for now (so I can change them in the future) and basically going to do all the wood, but I'll buy the bridge, switches and knobs etc. I was thinking about winding my own pickups, but as I said I'm buying cheap ones so I can maybe do that in the future. Well I mainly commented because I'm interested in what others have to say!


Keep me updated!

I might do a but of experimenting with homemade pickups first... Making humbuckers is likely to be a bit fiddly though.
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#5
www.guitarfetish.com has nice cheap pickups and their hardware is good for the price.
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#6
Quote by Explorerbuilder
Cheap pickups will sound way better and are easier to get than to wind your own for the first time.


Most people that wind their 1st set of working pickups end up with pickups that sound better than similar spec budget brands. You are right about it being easier thou.

The problem with making your own pickups is that it's not actually cheap. A pickup kit from someplace like stewmac or allparts plus a spool of wire is going to cost you significantly more than a set of budget pickups like GFS or Iron gear. Time is also a huge issue. Most people break the wire many many MANY times and each time you do you have to start over. That means 1st coil can take days and use as much wire as 4 or 5 finished pickups. After you get the 1st coil wound you still have to make a 2nd one and then you have to get the humbucker put together without breaking anything so it could easily take a week or more just to get that 1st complete humbucker.
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#7
Quote by CorduroyEW
Most people that wind their 1st set of working pickups end up with pickups that sound better than similar spec budget brands. You are right about it being easier thou.

The problem with making your own pickups is that it's not actually cheap. A pickup kit from someplace like stewmac or allparts plus a spool of wire is going to cost you significantly more than a set of budget pickups like GFS or Iron gear. Time is also a huge issue. Most people break the wire many many MANY times and each time you do you have to start over. That means 1st coil can take days and use as much wire as 4 or 5 finished pickups. After you get the 1st coil wound you still have to make a 2nd one and then you have to get the humbucker put together without breaking anything so it could easily take a week or more just to get that 1st complete humbucker.

Hm. Might just buy the pickups then.

I've just started perusing pots and stuff, how do the resistances work? Is that basically how much change you get from one turn of a knob?
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#8
^that is half of it.

They way a pot responds depends greatly on the DC resistance of the pickups being used so I'm going to try and simply things. Higher resistance pot means more of your treble makes it to the amp but the taper isn't as smooth.

Thinking in terms of effectiveness of volume taper, if you are using a vintage output single coil with a 1m pot the taper between 9 and 10 will be almost like an on off switch. A high output 16K humbucker connected to a 1M pot would have a smooth taper from about 5 up to 10. So it's "safe" to use higher resistance pots for higher resistance pickups but not a good idea for vintage single coils.

In terms of tone, using a 1M pot with vintage single coils will let lots of buzzing through as well as making the top end sound too sharp and ice picky. Lowering the value of the pot reduces the top end buzz and makes everything less harsh. A 16K humbucker already cancels out much of the top end buzz and is a darker pickup by nature making a lower value pot a more reasonable choice for vintage singles while higher value pots are better for high output humbuckers

As a general rule humbuckers use higher DC resistance than single coils which is why 250K is standard for singles while 500K is standard for humbuckers. If you have a particularly bright or low resistance humbucker 250K might be a better choice and if you have a dark and/or high resistance single coil then 500K might be a better choice. 1M should be reserved for pickups with a very high DC resistance pickups.
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#9
The important question:

Do you know how to woodwork and have you woodworked before?
#10
Quote by johnturner9
The important question:

Do you know how to woodwork and have you woodworked before?

Yep, I've created various tabletops and frames from bits of tree, there shouldn't be any problems there - I imagine I'll need a bit of practice with a router beforehand though.
The only issue I have wood-wise is what to actually make the guitar out of.
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#11
Ok, how about truss rods? I'm thinking 25.5" scale length, is an 18"-20" rod be about right?
'Actions speak louder than words' he said. With words.


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