Page 1 of 7
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#1
Edit: Pictures on page 4!!!

As most of you have noticed, I've been trying to build a guitar for a while now. It looks like I'm finally going to have the time and money soon. This will be my thread for all my questions. There will be many questions, and many of them will lead absolutely nowhere, so bear with me. This is my first time ever doing anything remotely like this, so I'll be asking a lot of opinions as well as technical questions.

My inspiration for this project is the new Ibanez RGA321. It's basically a normal RG body with an arched top.

Wood
I'm going to buy a prerouted soloist body from warmoth. I'll have a mahagony back with a flame maple top. I'm pretty much set on the body. I'm still considering my options for the neck. It'll either be mahagony, maple or rosewood with either a rosewood or ebony fretboard.

Finish
This is a picture of what I want to do with the top:


I'm still undecided about the back color. It depends partially on the wood I end up with for the neck. I would either do just a clearcoat on both the body and neck, a solid or stain blue or black on the body and clear neck, or a stain blue or black on the body and neck. Opinions and suggestions are welcome. I'm going to tape off the side of the maple top to look like mock binding (you'll just see the uncolored wood).

Electronics
It will be an H/S/H pup configuration. I'm pretty much set on a Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge and a Seymour Duncan Alncio II Pro in the neck. Don't know about the middle yet, but I'm not really worrying about it until the finish is done (which will be at least a month, probably more). I'm going with one volume, one tone, and a five-way switch.

Hardware
All chrome. Gotoh 510 wrap arround bridge, standard Gotoh 3x3 tuners, either black speed knobs or chrome dome knobs.

Here's my first round of questions:
1) For the burst top finish, is it best to use water or alcohol based stains or should I try to get nitrocellulose aerosol cans in colors and do it that way? If I go with the nitro cans, where do I buy them (the only place I found only ships in the UK)?

2) What kind of tone would a rosewood neck with an ebony fretboard give me. Would it match well with the body wood and pickups I'm using?

3) What would you recomend I do as far as finishing the back and neck?

4) Are the Seymour Duncan "zebra" pickups black and white or black and creme?
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
Last edited by mnbaseball91 at Apr 27, 2005,
Mascot
UG Addict
Join date: Jul 2004
894 IQ
#2
Theres another thread floating around on the first page called "neck finish" or something, and people said they true oil or gunstock oil for finishing.



Thats what the zebra looks like and its more of a creamy white to me. Sort of a aged white, but not to the point where its yellow.
AlGeeEater
Luthier
Join date: Oct 2004
212 IQ
#3
1)alcohol based is best IMO. www.reranch.com has an article on it.
2)I know that ebony is more snappier then rosewood, but if you're playing distortion and thru a lot of effects it doesnt really matter.
3)Clear the back if its mahogany, and leave it natural.
4)Um, cant answer, but you can specify if you want black/white or black/ cream
'Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose despondency and laziness make them give it up as unattainable.'
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#4
Thanks to both of you. I've played guitars with ebony fretboards so I've got a pretty good idea of what that'd be like, but I have to idea what to expect from a rosewood neck.
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#5
Update time: I think I've decided on a Rosewood/Ebony neck. It will look something like this: http://www.warmoth.com/showcase/sc_guitar_necks.cfm?type=guitar&start=1&menuItem=7&itemNumber=wn388&subMenuItem=0&subMenuItem2=0&neckWood_filter=20,21,22,23&fingerboardWood_filter=0&nutWidth_filter=0&orientation_filter=0&backcontour_filter=0&scallop_filter=0&radius_filter=0&filters=true
although not that exact one. I'll use a clear satin finish on the neck.

The back and sides of the body will be finished in reranch's "ice blue metallic."

Comments on that?

Oh, and sorry for the double post, but hey, it's my thread!
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
CorduroyEW
UG's pickup winder
Join date: Nov 2004
3,349 IQ
#6
Originally posted by Mascot
Theres another thread floating around on the first page called "neck finish" or something, and people said they true oil or gunstock oil for finishing.



Yup true oil is really good for the neck. You could use to clear coat the whole guitar if you wanted, BUT if you have a rosewood neck you cant use true oil because the oil in the rosewood will stop the chemical reaction that makes the oil finish harden. If it were my I'd probably leave a rosewood neck unfinished.
Still doing business but not taking any online orders.
Last edited by CorduroyEW at Mar 5, 2005,
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#8
Thanks Hate, that's what I had thought. Doesn't Dimarzio have a copyright on creme humbuckers or something crazy like that?

Anyway, I had thought about leaving the neck unfinished like you said corduroy, but wouldn't that make it more vulnerable to warping?
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
CorduroyEW
UG's pickup winder
Join date: Nov 2004
3,349 IQ
#9
Originally posted by mnbaseball91
Anyway, I had thought about leaving the neck unfinished like you said corduroy, but wouldn't that make it more vulnerable to warping?



Rosewood is stable enought that a finish won't really make a differance.
Still doing business but not taking any online orders.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#10
Excellent. Maybe this won't be so hard after all!

Is there a wood that rosewood could be compared to tonally?

Edit: Oh, another question. Since the wood is coming directly from Warmoth, can I skip the wood prep steps (can I skip using grain filler?) and just lightly sand before I start with the finishing?
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
Last edited by mnbaseball91 at Mar 5, 2005,
Mascot
UG Addict
Join date: Jul 2004
894 IQ
#11
Bump. I'll delete this post as soon as someone more intelligent than me has something to say, but I just really like the look of this guitar and would like to see it completed.

Come on mnbaseball91, update this thread! Pictures, and lots of 'em!

Edit : Warmoth says rosewood sounds warmer than maple but with dampened highs.
Last edited by Mascot at Mar 9, 2005,
CorduroyEW
UG's pickup winder
Join date: Nov 2004
3,349 IQ
#12
What would look really cool is a cocobolo neck that is 1 piece (fretboard and all) then an ebony skunk strip down the back. It would give you all the warmth of East Indian Rosewood but with some sparkle in the highs, and a the fact that you won't be laminating a fretboard onto the guitar means you will get a cleaner tone. Plus as an added bonus, after it ages it will look like brazilian.
Still doing business but not taking any online orders.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#13
OK, sorry about the delay.

I went ahead and ordered the wood and hardware from Warmoth a couple days ago. They say it will take about a month to get it to me, but I feel like it'll be worth the wait.

I ended up with a rosewood neck with ebony fretboard (paid a little extra to get a dark piece of rosewood) and the soloist archtop mahagony/maple body. Once I've actually seen the wood, I'll order the finishing supplies from reranch. What I plan to do as of now is a transparent blue finish on the back and sides of the body, the original blue-green burst finish for the top. The neck will remain unfinished.

Hardware wise, I got the Gotoh 510 and standard gotoh tuners. I also got chrome mounting rings that I think will be a nice touch.

Even if I had read your idea before ordering the neck Corduroy, I still wouldn't have been able to do it due to the price (I'm already way over budget). Sounds cool though. I was a little hesitant about the rosewood neck to begin with simply because I've never played something like that, but it's a bolt on so I can always change it if I really want to. Also, it just occured to me as I was typing this that my acoustic guitar is mainly rosewood and I have nothing against the way it sounds!

Again, I won't be able to do any work for at least a month unless warmoth surprises me, but I'll try to find this thread once it comes.


Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome as always.
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
Aioua
UG's Original Pedal Maker
Join date: May 2004
119 IQ
#14
^I've order from warmoth, they say longer than it usually takes... My neck came like 2 weeks early... Of course, I also like about 15mins form warmoth...
Alexander Eagle--> Morley M. T. Power Wah--> Hot-Rod DS-1--> Phase 90--> EHX Small Clone--> Peavey Delta Blues 2x10
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#15
^That's good to hear. I live on the other side of the country, but I actually don't mind waiting because it gives me time to save up for the pickups.

I'm actually very impressed with Warmoth so far. I was a little upset that they wanted extra for a dark piece of rosewood as I felt it was expensive enough already, but they made up for it by going through my order and making sure everything fit correctly. It turns out I had ordered the wrong screws (I needed two short and two long but had ordered four short) and the wrong mounting rings. It was nothing major but they saved me some hassle.
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
Mascot
UG Addict
Join date: Jul 2004
894 IQ
#16
Hmm, those Warmoth people sound pretty nice. What's the total price coming out to be?
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#17
It depends how much I spend on pickups but it will probably be in the $1100 range. I'm going all out - I could have done it for much less money fairly easily, but I want this to be a really good guitar, not just a project.
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#18
While I'm waiting, I may as well start thinking about pickups. I'm pretty much decided on a Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro in the neck, but I'm not sure what I want for the bridge and middle yet.

As far as the bridge goes, I want sort of a Def Leppard meets Randy Rhodes type tone. Something crunchy with clarity, but very powerful. The leading contender right now is the Dimarzio Super Distortion. I had also considered a Dimarzio Evolution and a Seymour Duncan Custom.

I'm pretty much clueless as to what I want in the middle postion. I really don't know the first thing about single coil pickups. I want to be able to use it for jazz runs and such - it will be clean 90% of the time. I don't want it to be too twangy but I want it to have a little punch. Also, I want to cap the price at $55 (ebay is fine).
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
acdc101
pft
Join date: Jun 2004
295 IQ
#19
^ Texas Specials are great single coils.
LastFM
my deviantART
Quote by saintjimmy99
thank you kindly. now feel free to put a quote from me in your sig that says whatever you like.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#21
Awesome. I think I had read that at some point but I don't think I was paying much attention to it when I did.

I'm still looking for suggestions since I can't make any decisions for awhile anyway. Keep 'em comming!
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#22
Next question (and a pathetic attempt to keep my thread from dying before I get my supplies):

How do I mount the middle single coil pickup so that it isn't so much lower than the ring-mounted humbuckers?
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
Calum_Barrow
(the return)
Join date: Apr 2004
1,255 IQ
#24
^ yup, simple as. or you can lower the HBs to match it.
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#25
Alright. I'm sure I could have figured that out once I had all the stuff in front of me, but it would have been bugging me for three weeks. Thanks.
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#26
Last night I realized the exact tone that I want out of my single coil pickup - Buddy Guy's tone. Obviously I can't get his exact tone, but based on that, does anyone have any pickup recomendations?
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
so-far
UG Member
Join date: Apr 2004
10 IQ
#27
Hey if you want Buddy Guys Tone your best option woudl be lace sensor gold pickups wich is what Buddy uses.
I've Run Every Red Light on Memory Lane
godofshred
petrucci's homeboy
Join date: Aug 2004
1,211 IQ
#28
thems thins is amazings's! lol..really..if you want a sharp..bluesy tone use them..but to get buddy's sound youl need toput a 25db bosster in there with them..thats whats on his sig. and it sounds great!..happy to help!
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#29
^Damn it! Him and Clapton both!! I wouldn't mind building a strat with a mid boost in it, but I don't see my self putting it in this guitar. I guess I'll have to save my sudden blues obsession for next time.

Edit: Ok, I've looked into the gold lace sensor and I like what I see (and the price too!). Just a couple things:
1) Are they any different than normal single coil pickups? They'll fit my sc rout, right? (sorry, I know nothing about single coil pups)
2) I was hoping I could get a black pickup, and it doesn't look like they make these in anything but white. Is there a way to change the color or a cover I could put on it?
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
Last edited by mnbaseball91 at Mar 21, 2005,
Mascot
UG Addict
Join date: Jul 2004
894 IQ
#30
I don't believe that Lace Sensors have a detachable cover, so you're pretty much stuck with the white unless you plan on painting it or something along those lines. But if you ask me, white pups look really nice.
Calum_Barrow
(the return)
Join date: Apr 2004
1,255 IQ
#31
^ you can get black Laces too. and they do the "Holy Grail" ones that are just like single coils with the open pole pieces.
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#32
Just a quick update: I went down to guitar center to pick up some fretboard oil, and while I was there I bought my neck pickup, a Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro. They took $10 off, so that made me happy. So now I have my first piece of the guitar in my hand. Still no tracking number from Warmoth so I assume they haven't shipped the stuff yet. While I was at GC, I asked about Lace Sensors and a Dimarzio Super Distortion, but they didn't have any Lace Sensors and they didn't have the non f-spaced SD in black.
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#33
I've found several Lace Sensors with black covers on ebay so I'll probably get one of those when the time comes. Should look sweet - black pickups with chrome rings around the humbuckers.

Change of plans as far as the finishing is concerned...

I've been told by several people that the blue-green burst I was so in love with looks like an old piece of hard candy (or a lolipop, as one person put it). The more I look at it, the more it seems that they're right. I've decided to forget the green and just go with transparent blue (not a burst). The back will likely be matched the color of the neck, although light tan or transparent blue haven't been completely ruled out yet. I'll have to see how the actual piece of wood looks.

Since I'm using water based dies and an oil based grain filler, I assume I'll have to apply the grain filler after the die to avoid splotching. Is this correct? If so, does that mean I'll be using the sand and sealer after both the grain filler and the dye, directly before the clear coat?

If all of that is correct, will I want to use the sand and sealer on the maple top, which will not need grain filler, before or after the water based dye is applied?

Edit: Also, when they say to sand with the grain, that means the length of the guitar (from the strap button to the neck joint), right?
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
Last edited by mnbaseball91 at Mar 30, 2005,
HopePoisoned
UG's Rack Head
Join date: Mar 2005
304 IQ
#35
or as your one that line, here's another finish to consider:

http://www.jacksonguitars.com/gear/gear.php?op=2&partno=DKMG_Dinky

might be a little "dreary" or off what you're looking for, but it's kind of similar to the finish you first wanted and it doesn't look like hard candy

cheers


and PS i thought the original finish you picked out was wicked, i think it would look better than transparent blue IMO - it doesn't rly look like hardcandy or a lollipop IMO
-Mike
Last edited by HopePoisoned at Mar 30, 2005,
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#36
^I actually really like that Jackson, but I'm trying to get away from the hard rock/metal look for this one so my next one can be an all-out metal machine (I'm thinking neck-thru, RG shape, and a FR Speedloader). Anyway....

I haven't officially ruled anything out yet, but a single color top would deffinatly be easier to do and it'd cost me less. I guess I'll wait and see how the wood looks.

Anyone else have opinions on the finish?

PS, the guitar would look something like this PRS except that it'll have the ebony fretboard, the RGA shape, chrome hardware, flame top - not quilted, and I'm thinking deffinatly use a darker shade of blue.
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#37
Bump, but only because I'm afraid this is going to get completely lost before my stuff comes - and that wouldn't be good.

Comments are still welcome.
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
SlipAway
Shiggidy Shwhat?
Join date: Aug 2004
328 IQ
#38
This should look awesome when it's done. Can't wait to see some pictures..
My Gear:
Agile AL-3000 Prestige
Custom Made Electric
Oscar Shmidt OE-30 w/ Bigsby
Ibanez V70cent Electric Acoustic
Carlo Robelli CW4110 Acoustic

Mesa/Boogie F-50 Combo
Boss DD-3
Boss PH-3
mnbaseball91
The Dude
Join date: Aug 2004
1,030 IQ
#39
Can't wait to have something to take pics of!
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
SlipAway
Shiggidy Shwhat?
Join date: Aug 2004
328 IQ
#40
^^
Lol..I hear ya man...but hey..the longer it takes to finish (or get the parts), the more you'll appreciate it when it's done...
My Gear:
Agile AL-3000 Prestige
Custom Made Electric
Oscar Shmidt OE-30 w/ Bigsby
Ibanez V70cent Electric Acoustic
Carlo Robelli CW4110 Acoustic

Mesa/Boogie F-50 Combo
Boss DD-3
Boss PH-3