#1
So just out of curiosity would making a strat for someone like me (someone who never used a solder or replaced a pickup) be really hard to do? I dont mean make the body or the neck, that can be bought. also does it end up cheaper or about the same then a already assembled guitar?
#2
soldering isn't too hard, use 60/40 rosin core solder with lead
sand the backs of the pots if you have to in case the solder doesn't stick
and tin everything prior to soldering

those would be my three biggest tips soldering. Diagrams are pretty easy to come by seymour duncan has a bunch of them on their websites for most common builds without going nuts.

as far as building goes a cheap do it yourself strat kits about 200 dollars (american/canadian) in north america. However guitar fetish has a bunch of bodies and necks. The most challenging part building from scratch is painting and fretting flawlessly. You learn a lot doing so. My friend and another famous builder Paul Reed Smith of PRS guitars both will agree it's around the same 200 dollars to make a guitar without getting into pickups and all.

how i learned was from beat up starter guitars and guitars already broken the mindset being what is the worst i could do with local guitars on craigslist people gave up on.
#3
shouldn't have to sand he back of the pots, providing you know how to solder. practice first, it really isn't too hard. Diagrams are relatively east to follow too.

buy decent parts, or it will come back to bite you in the arse..
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No.


Well, technically it could be done, but only in the same way that you could change a cat into a hamburger. It's an unpleasant process, and nobody is happy with the result.
#4
the rock bottom cheap pots I see from time to time you have to sand them which is never fun it's because of this coating they have on them. Assuming someone practiced a bit and doesn't over heat the low end pots I can see it going well. the worst is when the guys use the soldering iron like a glue gun.

with a DIY guitar though as in do it yourself project kits this bass one my friend got recently his guitar tech really had to go to work on it to make it playable to fix like a neck dive issue and all on it. But of course as we know a 200$ project kit even if you put expensive hand wound pickups , the most american pots and capacitors we've ever laid eyes on and all it's still mostly cheap materials like basswood and agathis. Not to say the guitar will sound good or bad right away based on materials alone of course as some people defend basswood like their first born children (especially ibanez players in experience) but the DIY projects good sound is as much of a concern as what kind of picks we use playing them. At the end of the day as long as you have fun and learn right?

If I had a lot of money to kick around I'd get a warmoth body/neck but we pay for what we get. This isn't to say that all DIY project kits are horrible though just this bass DIY one my friend got the neck and no business being on the body.

strats are very easy to wire, the only thing tricky is the selector switch if you have any troubles with them though you know where to find an answer.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jun 23, 2015,
#5
Quote by brenton393
So just out of curiosity would making a strat for someone like me (someone who never used a solder or replaced a pickup) be really hard to do? I dont mean make the body or the neck, that can be bought. also does it end up cheaper or about the same then a already assembled guitar?


pre-made kit with no fretwork to do? just sanding and assembly? not too hard at all. imo, swallow your pride and use a wipe on poly finish. paint just weights too much anyway and it's a pain in the ass for a first timer to deal with. just live with a woody looking guitar until your next one when you've mastered applying lacquer with a spray gun.

cheaper? no. i built my first electric guitar 30 years ago and it sure wasn't cheaper then either. lots of people think this: if i make it myself it'll be cheaper? -no. if i buy a pos and upgrade it'll be cheaper? -no. cheaper then what exactly?

nobody is cheaper then a volume manufacturer then another competing volume manufacturer. just make the guitar because you want to. the payoff is the bragging rights and the power of accomplishment.

fwiw, i used to work in an aerospace switch factory. sanding through plating and conversion coatings is super easy if you use a dremel and a medium grit wheel. takes 2.5 seconds to grind a patch down to bare metal for a good solder bond. our assembly ladies were the high priestesses of soldering. from space shuttle controls to F16 trigger switches, to arming devices, etc.. nothing was difficult for them. ime it's a good trick. works for grounding to bridges as well.
Last edited by ad_works at Jun 25, 2015,
#6
Quote by ad_works


fwiw, i used to work in an aerospace switch factory. sanding through plating and conversion coatings is super easy if you use a dremel and a medium grit wheel. takes 2.5 seconds to grind a patch down to bare metal for a good solder bond. our assembly ladies were the high priestesses of soldering. from space shuttle controls to F16 trigger switches, to arming devices, etc.. nothing was difficult for them. ime it's a good trick. works for grounding to bridges as well.


To add to this individual's point (I have personally soldered things that are up in space right now), getting a good solder joint requires an iron with a suitable tip at the necessary temperature and good quality flux. In fact, the biggest single influence I have seen to determine suitable solder quality is good quality flux (I have used it in addition to the core flux that come in the solder itself).
#7
Quote by brenton393
I dont mean make the body or the neck, that can be bought. also does it end up cheaper or about the same then a already assembled guitar?


No. It won't be cheaper, it won't be better (unless you're already a very experienced tech with a shop and you're not if you're asking the question). It will be more expensive in part because you're buying things at full retail in ones and twos, where a manufacturer is buying them at wholesale in hundreds or thousand-unit lots.

Even if you buy the highest quality neck or body, you'll still end up trying to figure out things like fretwork (Warmoth necks, for example, come with the frets inserted but not leveled, crowned or polished), neck angles and shimming, finishing (unless you buy everything finished), soldering (unless you buy loaded pickguards), and assembly. You'll buy tools you need just once (unless you start building more guitars), etc.

And as you build it and lose patience, you'll take shortcuts that will compromise the guitar along the way, and when you decide to sell it, you'll get far less money for it than whatever you put into it.

It's like building a car from a kit. You either want to build a car or you want to drive one. If you want to drive one, buy one off the lot. If you want a hobby that will take you some time and if you like the constant tweaking and don't have a timetable for it to be done, feel free to build one. And if you build one (and if you have no experience), be prepared for it to be a disaster, and be prepared to deal with it if that's the outcome.
#8
True, it will be more costly than buying one already built of the same parts quality.

However, what you learn will be worth something to you and might help you become more skillful in building and/or setting up guitars. Another route is to buy a cheaper one (or second hand one) that needs setup and/or parts repaired/replaced and learn on that. I have set up guitars for friends, and made them play so well for them it was astonishing.

Remember that a guitar is only wood, woodworking workmanship, parts, and set up. Careful wood selection, workmanship, and time spent adjusting and setting up the guitar is (ideally)what you pay for in high-end instruments. At least some of that can be done by yourself on a cheaper guitar and make it better (rivaling the name brands in some cases).

The best reward will be less dependence on guitar shop technicians, for at least the simple adjustments.