#1
I recently found out that you can build your own guitar if you buy the parts and put it together and stuff. My Grandfather was a carpenter and builder, and I have asked him about all the stuff I read about that you have to do, and he gurantees me he can help. The only thing he said he didn't know was how to connect the pickups, the volume switch, the tone switches, the pickup selector, and the input. I don't know how to do that either, so I was hoping someone knew how to help me out. I bought a book that covers all the woodwork and connecting and stuff like that, but it doesn't really help with the electronics. If there are any tools we need, let me know, but my Grandfather has a pretty impressive amount of tools to use. So just lemme know how to connect all that stuff and what tools and parts I will need.

Thanks.
#2
PS

It doesn't have to be like some super high quality way of doing it, this is just a fun thing, just as long as it is functional.
#3
http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/category/wiring_resources_guitar_wiring_diagrams/

http://www.skguitar.com/SKGS/sk/wiring.htm

http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Pickups_and_Electronics/Understanding_Guitar_Wiring.html

For wiring, you need solder and soldering iron, wire cutters and strippers, wire - I'm looking and can't find what gauge, I think around 18-22. Don't forget a ground wire to the bridge.

I use paste flux, can't stand flux core solder. Only a little does a lot of good. Tin everything before trying to solder it together, and use a foam board fingernail file to buff shiny chrome surfaces before soldering. Solder does not like to stick to chrome, a little buffing the surface helps a lot. Use a wet paper towel or natural sponge to clean the soldering iron tip every time you use it, don't try to work under a ceiling fan it cools the iron too much and makes it very difficult to solder.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#4
I do that kind of stuff all the time to the point it was a lucrative hobby to learn the basics.

Pete mentioned a lot of great websites. Seymour duncan is very comprehensive. The tools I agree with too.

a quick trip to the source will do you nicely
a soldering iron start up kit with a stand and all - 30w I like
60/40 lead solder with rosin core is very easy to work with (curious about the paste flux option)
wire cutters for sure in case you got to cut capacitors to size
the walmart pair of scissors fiskars are great for stripping wires and stuff fast
a pair of pliers to yank the old wires off if there is any
22awg wire I use. It's preference
to clean the iron a wet sponge usually , the copper looking steel wool at dollar stores works great to get rid of burnt wires off

I have a ton of blogs about guitar electronics finding the right kinds of potentiometers (volume/tone knobs) to all sorts of wiring mods where you'd be very comfortable soldering.

tips
*a clean iron every time
*apply solder to the tip and spin it around the sponge covering the entire iron
*apply solder to the end of every wire
*apply solder to each contact prior to soldering
*once the contact / wire is soldered put the iron at the top of the contact and push the wire through. Hold the wire there with pliers and count to 5 seconds slowly.

this is a borderline invention of mine to help me wire up guitars. My 3d model in blender I'd patent. But this is basic. I stacked cardboard and drilled a hole through it once I could put electronics in it and they dont move at all.
#5
Tallwood - I've been using paste flux for a long time, used to be able to get it at Radio Shack, now I guess you'll have to check at electronics supply places. It works a lot better than the flux core solder, I could never get that crap to work right.

I got a plastic can around 20 years ago about the size of the condiment cup in your picture but twice as tall, still haven't used half of it. I use a toothpick to put a small dab on whatever I want to solder, for tinning I put a good sized blob of solder on a clean tip and tin, the flux is already on the metal rather than having to get there as the solder melts, and works great.

http://www.radioshack.com/2-oz-non-spill-rosin-soldering-paste-flux/6400022.html#.VPSVhBZg_iw

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Industrial-Scientific-Soldering-Flux/zgbs/industrial/8107037011

I also picked up a soldering stand a while back, a base with a 2 inch magnifying glass and a pair of alligator clips, it works really well for holding loose parts or wire, strong enough to hold pots, small circuit boards like those in effects units, and gets into almost any position you need. Holds two parts together for soldering, definitely worth grabbing if you do any amount of soldering on a regular basis.

http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Degree-Rotating-Solder-Station/dp/B006TNJXDC

You might try craft foam for holding things too. Not for soldering, just keeping them organized same as your cardboard thing. Could use it for tinning pot contacts I guess. Not the soft stuff, the hard foam for flower arrangements. Soft might work too...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#6
I guess you guys kinda assumed I knew what I was doing. I don't, lol. Lemme explain more into detail I guess. I'm lookin' to build like a Stratocaster style guitar kinda. I really like the Ibanez GIO and miKro bodies, so that was kinda what I was looking at for bodies. Remember that I don't have previous experience with really any of this. I was lookin to probably put some sort of single coils on there, maybe like two singles, and one double at the bottom, with a pickup selector, tone knob and volume. Don't care about phasing and all of that. Basically, I want to know, how do I go about buying the parts andhow do I put everything in the guitar and connect it? I really don't know much about pickups, besides the basics and what they do. I know most of the woodwork and painting type stuff, but how do I go about the pickups and the electronics is what I want to know. I would prefer if someone could explain it like as simply as possible.
Thanks,
Chris
#7
OK if you're just starting out, I would suggest a single pickup model to learn on. That makes the wiring lots less complicated. Two single coils and a humbucker is I think what you mean, with the humbucker in the bridge position most likely. That can be done, wiring diagrams are all over the net, but it's a much more complicated wiring scheme.

Also it would depend on whether you want to mount the pickups directly into the body, or on a pick guard. Look at the pickup wiring links above and you'll be able to see the difference in difficulty in the wiring. Diagrams are there for single pickup, all the way to oh crap I'm gonna be here all day...

Soldering is not that hard, if you know a little about it. I like a 30 watt soldering iron, small diameter solder, and paste flux. Basically, you want to start just tinning a wire. Make sure the iron is hot, put a small dab of flux in the wire, melt a blob of solder onto the wire, and watch it follow the heat up the wire and turn silver. Soon as it gets about 1/4 inch pull the iron away and you're done.

Soldering two parts together is very similar, tin each first, put a small blob of solder on the iron, touch it to the parts. Work quick, letting it sit there can overheat parts. Practice on a few pieces if scrap wire just tinning them then soldering them together before touching your guitar.

To see how to mount the pickups, the best way I know of is to take the pick guard off a strat and see how everything is put together. I'd bet you can look it up online too.

Parts. Single coil pickups take 250K pots, humbuckers take 500K. Usually Audio taper for volume and linear for tone. a Capacitor is usually used in the tone section, most common value is .022uF.

Do some looking around online for guitar building, the pickup links above, sites with good setup info, and do some studying before you start. There's way too much involved to get even the beginning covered in a post or two here. It's not just putting it together...the neck sits in a neck pocket that has to be the right distance between nut and bridge to get decent intonation. It also has to be deep enough to let the strings sit above the pickups, (which are still adjustable) and let the standard bridge assembly have the adjustment room you need for action. And straight inline withe bridge and pickups. Pickup cavities have to be routed, and not too big so a pick guard or pickup ring will cover the routing.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Parts can be found online, once you know what parts you need. Bridge, nut, tuners, pots, pickups, pick guard or pickup rings, truss rod cover if it's not included on the neck, strap pegs, I'm probably missing a few things.

http://www.allparts.com/guitar-parts

http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=11968461

http://www.stewmac.com/

and of course ebay. Google for guitar building, you'll find loads of info.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#8
Quote by Paleo Pete
OK if you're just starting out, I would suggest a single pickup model to learn on. That makes the wiring lots less complicated. Two single coils and a humbucker is I think what you mean, with the humbucker in the bridge position most likely. That can be done, wiring diagrams are all over the net, but it's a much more complicated wiring scheme.

Also it would depend on whether you want to mount the pickups directly into the body, or on a pick guard. Look at the pickup wiring links above and you'll be able to see the difference in difficulty in the wiring. Diagrams are there for single pickup, all the way to oh crap I'm gonna be here all day...

Soldering is not that hard, if you know a little about it. I like a 30 watt soldering iron, small diameter solder, and paste flux. Basically, you want to start just tinning a wire. Make sure the iron is hot, put a small dab of flux in the wire, melt a blob of solder onto the wire, and watch it follow the heat up the wire and turn silver. Soon as it gets about 1/4 inch pull the iron away and you're done.

Soldering two parts together is very similar, tin each first, put a small blob of solder on the iron, touch it to the parts. Work quick, letting it sit there can overheat parts. Practice on a few pieces if scrap wire just tinning them then soldering them together before touching your guitar.

To see how to mount the pickups, the best way I know of is to take the pick guard off a strat and see how everything is put together. I'd bet you can look it up online too.

Parts. Single coil pickups take 250K pots, humbuckers take 500K. Usually Audio taper for volume and linear for tone. a Capacitor is usually used in the tone section, most common value is .022uF.

Do some looking around online for guitar building, the pickup links above, sites with good setup info, and do some studying before you start. There's way too much involved to get even the beginning covered in a post or two here. It's not just putting it together...the neck sits in a neck pocket that has to be the right distance between nut and bridge to get decent intonation. It also has to be deep enough to let the strings sit above the pickups, (which are still adjustable) and let the standard bridge assembly have the adjustment room you need for action. And straight inline withe bridge and pickups. Pickup cavities have to be routed, and not too big so a pick guard or pickup ring will cover the routing.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Parts can be found online, once you know what parts you need. Bridge, nut, tuners, pots, pickups, pick guard or pickup rings, truss rod cover if it's not included on the neck, strap pegs, I'm probably missing a few things.

http://www.allparts.com/guitar-parts

http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=11968461

http://www.stewmac.com/

and of course ebay. Google for guitar building, you'll find loads of info.


Thanks Dude, this seriously helped. I'll send everybody a pic of the finished product!
#9
also for single coils there is some cheap ones on guitar fetish which is a site that comes up a lot. On ebay the double rail pickups are great because they give you the power of a humbucker but look like single coils .... here's the good news... no hum in isolated positions.

and thanks for the heads up about paste flux. I may check it out if I've got a new build on the way. Going to experiment with mids scoops.

thankfully you've got a pickguard to work with you won't need that cardboard thing. If all the electronics are out here's some tips I can put into words. I'm thinking of doing a youtube series (i know how original)

*everything on the back of the potentiometers is ground
*you can have more than one bead of solder for ground , even if the bead is very far from the original one they will still work. This is why on seymour duncan diagrams you see them do two beads
*use heat shrink tubing if you are working with 4 wire pickups, electric tape is ok but the heat shrink tubing is professional results.
*a good connection stabs through a wall of solder completely you applied prior to sodlering in a wire and then you pull the iron away and keep the wire there and count to 5 slowly. Try to yank the wire loose with a little bit of force and if it is still there move on.

so if you have a selector like this you can strip much less wire. solder the ground wires from the diagram for the pickups to the metal portion of the selector that is smooth and then put a wire to any ground on your guitars volume /tone ground. I had a Hamer 27 fret and the volume is like a good 2-3 inches away from the selector so inside the control cavity that is a accident waiting to happen. I have lots of other wiring tips and explanations for electronics if you are interested to the point you can make stuff from scratch.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Mar 3, 2015,
#10
Solder joints.

Good - Shiny, smooth and silver.

Bad (cold) - grey, lumpy, ugly.

Don't even need to pull, if it's shiny and smooth it's good. Grey and lumpy, do it over...after it cools. Be quick, heat is not good for parts, especially capacitors.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...