I swore I wasn't going to mess around with any more guitars until I'd thinned the current herd somewhat, but I was at a local Woodland Festival last week and couldn't resist picking up this lump of spalted beech. It was disgustingly cheap and I should be able to get three or four bodies out of it.

I fully intended to just squirrel it away until I had the time and space for building more guitars, but now it's in the house it's playing on my mind and I know I won't rest until I get cracking.

By some small way of justification I'm going to dismantle a couple of previous projects in order to keep costs and stock levels to a minimum. It may yet be a while before there's any real progress as I'm still really in the planning stage, but I'm itching to start cutting wood.

Here we go again...
That grain pattern is bordering on orgasmic. No wonder you can't sleep at night. Would love to see what comes off this
'It takes 100 guitar players to change a light. One to change the light and 99 to stand around pointing, saying..."Yeah man, look...I can do that too"...'

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Builds & Refurbs
Hondo 780 Deluxe
Gibson Studio
Epi LP100
Hey, Phoenix, it's been a while.

I have decided my first build from this slab will be based on my Vintage VH51FR, which itself is Vintage's take on the Ernie Ball Music Man Axis/EHV or Peavey Wolfgang. I picked it up for a song on ebay as "not working" because some numpty had wired the jack terminals together - it's now one of my favourite guitars.

Anyway. Here's the intended blank.

I am dismantling a previous build to save on costs (never liked it much anyway), and there will be a few key differences. Basic specs are as follows.

Neck: 24-fret, 25.5in scale
Pickups: Iron Gear Hot Slag (B) + Rolling Mill (N), direct mounted to body
Bridge: String through hardtail
Controls: 1V, 1T, 3-way selector

The neck presents a bit of a challenge. While it's the same scale as the one on the Vintage, it's a couple of frets longer and has a considerably shorter heel, so I'm going to have to get creative with the body shape in that area.

Unlike my previous builds, I'm not designing in full 3D but trusting that Inkscape will be adequate. So far I've had no problems getting accurate 1:1 print outs from it, even when tiling an A2 sized drawing onto A4 sheets, so I'm not expecting any problems.

Previously, pretty much the first thing I've done on a build is shape the body. This time I think I'll start with the neck pocket and work out from there.

I'm also planning on having a go at binding on the body, if I can get a router bit sorted cheaply enough.

Finally, the wood itself is very variable in density with some of it being very light and porous, so I'm going to have a bash at building up a fairly thick clear epoxy coating on it.

Just waiting on a few parts and some free time before I get started.
I now have everything I need bar the binding, which should arrive in the next couple of days, so here's a quick mock-up.

On the subject of binding, I popped into my favourite local tool shop to see if they had any fine rebating router bits. The best they could offer was going to set me back about fifty quid so I had a closer look at what I already have when I got home.

Turns out I have a 0.5" trimmer and a 9mm one. {12.75 - 9}/2 = 1.875mm rebate which should be just dandy for my 1.5mm binding. We shall see, but it looks promising.

Took advantage of the good weather today to make some progress.

Roughly shaped to my template (made previously) with a hand saw.

First pass with the router.

Fully trimmed.

Round-over on the back.

Binding recess on the front.

And the front routs complete - neck and pickups.

It could be worth keeping the cavity natural, and using a piece of clear perspex as a cover plate.

The build's looking awesome so far, man. Will be checking back for updates for sure.
Last edited by juckfush at Nov 3, 2015,
Quote by juckfush
It could be worth keeping the cavity natural, and using a piece of clear perspex as a cover plate.

I think the black paint is for shielding.
Looks great so far.
Is there anyone who makes clear conductive paint or tape for that cavity?!
Quote by WeZ-84
Looks great so far.
Is there anyone who makes clear conductive paint or tape for that cavity?!

There is, but it's considered a national security item (it may or may not be used for stealth aircraft and other vehicles) and you can't know about it. Your mind will be wiped of this conversation within the next 30 seconds.
Quote by juckfush
The build's looking awesome so far, man. Will be checking back for updates for sure.

Quote by dspellman
There is, but it's considered a national security item...

Don't worry, it's plenty pretty on the outside and by the time that cavity is full of pots, switches and wires it won't look nearly so nice.
Big update to finish this one off.

I did the binding.

And found that the rebate I'd routed was a little deep. So I whizzed round the profile with my router to level it off. Unfortunately I managed to do this...

But I managed to fix that pretty well. I then gave it a few coats of epoxy resin and while it stopped the pale parts from being so soft you could press your finger into them, it also made them quite orange. It also had a tendency to do this...

And this...

So in the end I shot it over with a can of poly which really helped level it out.

The white smudges are where I filled in a couple of divots with perfectly matched filler, which of course didn't darken like the wood.

And I just finished final assembly this morning. Thanks to the colours darkening it's not quite a striking as I'd hoped but it's still pretty nice.

Sounds like a frustrating build.

May not have turned out exactly as you wanted, but I like it.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Sounds like a frustrating build.
They all seem to be, but that's just part of the fun. Also, the fact that I've never done anything the same twice means that everything I've built has been a learning process to some degree. It's all good.
nice looking guitar.. What pickups and what is the wiring like, push-pull pots for coil-split and what tuners did you use (Grover, Gotoh, Schaller), what is the bridge?
I have Washburn guitars 'Maverick Series' and bass 'Bantam Series' and a few pedals and amps, but man I wish to have more patience and drive practicing my playing, if it's equal to the modding itch, then I'm golden.
Oh, yeah. Specs.

Pickups are Iron Gear: Rolling Mill neck and Hot Slag bridge.
Wiring is 1 volume, 1 tone, 3-way and push-pull for coil split. (like this)
The bridge is this one. I've used it on a couple of builds now and I really like it for a hardtail - very comfortable.
The tuners are these (top of the list, with "modern" heads).
The neck is something I picked up off ebay a few years back. Again, salvaged from a previous project.

Here's a couple more pictures.

The pickups were from a previous build and were plain black. I thought zebras looked better on this but wasn't about to splash out on more pickups, so I just faked it with white electrical tape. Cream would have been better but at zero cost, who's complaining?

If the filler didn't show up quite so badly that repair on the binding would be barely noticeable.

Control cavity cover is hardboard. At the moment it's a snug enough fit to just wedge in there. If it works loose I'll fit some little magnets.