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#1
So I build a guitar out of cheap internet parts a couple of weeks ago, and the idea popped into my mind: Let's make a guitar from scratch. So I did some searching and stuff on the internets for wood pricing and stuff.
Now I've decided to build a guitar from MDF, I chose it because as it's my first body i'm going to cut myself, it should be easy to handle and cheap.


Now it isn't going to be one of these vintage classic LP's, but something more suited for Metal
Picked up the MDF today, and screwed up a bit on control cavity, so I guess i'll keep this piece of wood for practice.

Now, I need help:

What pickups should I put in? Something suited for metal and rock.

What finish? (I happen to know an Airbrusher, who can do some airbrushing for me, so you can really suggest everything)

Also no more comment on the MDF, I'm going to use it for now.

Picture, of the routing for the cables from the Pickups to the Control cavity (done inside, before I glue the 2 pieces together)

Glueing:

Finished sawing:
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
Last edited by pinguinpanic at Aug 26, 2007,
#2
Isn't MDF like... particle board? I couldn't imagine it being ideal to work with.

If you want to go Seymour Duncan's, apparently the Duncan Custom in the bridge and Pearly Gates in the neck is a great setup.
The more you know, the less you understand.
last.fm
#3
Quote by Insolent
Isn't MDF like... particle board? I couldn't imagine it being ideal to work with.

If you want to go Seymour Duncan's, apparently the Duncan Custom in the bridge and Pearly Gates in the neck is a great setup.


Yeah, if that's what I think it is, sanding would be pretty difficult. I'm sure MDF is particle board.
#4
Yes, it's patricle board, but like very compressed, it is more dense then wood, and it looks like wood, only it hasn't got any grain or anything.
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
Last edited by pinguinpanic at Aug 17, 2007,
#5
i wouldn't imagine mdf would be very good for sound, i'm sure itd be dull cos theres no grain. my personal advice would to be to practice your routing and templates and measurements on it.

better than screwing up a piece of lovely wood.
#6
To put it bluntly it will have next to none sustain, and barely any tone (wood-wise), I say use it to practice shaping the body, but dont go any further, dont actually fit the neck and electronics.
#8
Ok, so MDF is bad? But exactly how bad is it? Will it have that much effect on the sound? Give a percentage or something, because I know 80% of sounds depends on amp, but what about wood?
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#9
why not just use alder? thats what im thinking about using...relatively cheap, easy to work with, nice solid-body tone and no filler required...plus if its your first time to do it (like me) you might as well start with something standard
#10
The point is I can't get any good wood for a good price around here (the netherlands), I'm going to have to pay 130 euros for that.
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#12
^USD, thats the thing. Shipping something as large as wood overseas will lead to BIG shipping costs. I have no experience with MDF, but the general rule is the less pieces of wood a guitar is made of the more sustain, since its a particle board A.K.A. thousands of pieces of wood glued together, it will have very little sustain if any. Since the big characteristic point of a LP is its sustain, your guitar will sound nothing like an LP.
#13
it won't have any sustain, if you can't afford wood. other matterials can also be used, electric guitars made from steel can be bought, if you want to try that.

however your idea of mdf might work if you try this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp8rM3LvBc4

(the tubes inside the guitar, don't know if it will work
yoyoyuyo

Guitars.........................Amp.................Pedals (getting new)
Ibanez S470................Laney VC15.....Boss DS-1 (it's bad)
PRS SE Soapbar II
Ibanez aw15 acoustic
#15
I would stay away from MDF, not only because of how it may sound. but MDF is pain the work with, the dust is bad for your health, it doesn't hold screws well, it is very heavy and a pain to finish. On top of that, for the price of some MDF in the thickness you need, you could easily buy a more traditional tonewood.
#16
Quote by dave293
I would stay away from MDF, not only because of how it may sound. but MDF is pain the work with, the dust is bad for your health, it doesn't hold screws well, it is very heavy and a pain to finish. On top of that, for the price of some MDF in the thickness you need, you could easily buy a more traditional tonewood.



pinguinpanic, what about Pine, do you have those for cheap there?

The original 50s Fender Esquires were made of Pine!

PineCaster in Action - Click here.





Or, what about using the wood from a solid barn door?

#18
Quote by Ippon


One thing on pine.. Be careful using stuff bought from a hardware store, often it's not properly dried.
#19
I just hope for your sake that the MDF is strurdy enough, and that you don't make a neck out out it either. cause lord knows that stuff cracks extremely easily...unfortunately
Seb, D.T.U.D....!~R n' Fn' R~!
#20
or you could use mdf....and just put a ferenandes sustainer pickup in it and never turn it off
I actually do have schizophrenia, so stop making fun of people who have it.

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#22
I got the MDF today for 10 bucks, and I started doing some work on it, I already did the control cavity (2 25mm thick pieces, so I cut out the cavity so I didn't have to route it), and I'm thinking of using this material as a test, because I have already screwed up a bit on the cavity, so it was a good thing to start with MDF.

I think I'd just finish this to get some experience with the MDF, and then I'll buy some good wood to make the body again.

So now, I know how crappy MDF really is, let's focus on other points =).
I'll post some pictures later on.
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#23
not only will mdf chip and break extremely easily, it will also weigh a ton and probably hurt your shoulder and back if you play with a guitar made out of it.

sounds like your plan to try stuff out on the mdf is a good one though, no use wasting better wood.

Also, if you want to build a nice guitar, you have to make sure the wood is very dry and will not warp, i mean like has been dried for several years. the easiest way to do this is to just buy wood sold as a guitar "body blank" but you could probably ask your local lumber store for more options, I'm sure they'd have some suggestions.
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Aug 18, 2007,
#24
Poplar's another good inexpensive wood to do builds out of.
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.


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#25
Quote by dullsilver_mike
not only will mdf chip and break extremely easily, it will also weigh a ton and probably hurt your shoulder and back if you play with a guitar made out of it.

sounds like your plan to try stuff out on the mdf is a good one though, no use wasting better wood.

Also, if you want to build a nice guitar, you have to make sure the wood is very dry and will not warp, i mean like has been dried for several years. the easiest way to do this is to just buy wood sold as a guitar "body blank" but you could probably ask your local lumber store for more options, I'm sure they'd have some suggestions.


Let's not forget that MDF doesn't hold screws well. Turn the screwdriver 1/4th turn too much, and you've stripped the hole.

I highly recommend you make the body out of wood. Pine and poplar would would well if you're on a budget. Hell, even plywood would be better.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#26

I did routing for the cables from the Pickup to the control cavity, I also did the control cavity self, I'll glue the 2 pieces together this afternoon.
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#28
It's actually quite okay, but the picture makes it look like it's rear is huge. Still it is mostly for practice tough.

I also glued the 2 pieces together, made pictures during glueing, so I'll upload them later.
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#30
Yes but this is like the top of the downside so it's going "inside" the body, I just drew it to have an idea with drawing out electronics. Also the smoothness of the lines doesn't matter because the shape is going to be sanded in, so it will be smooth anyway, it's not like i'm trying to make something with rough lines.
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#31
wow i think you should ditch the MDF and go with some normal wood this is not going to be a good guitar even if its just a practice build. also its just a waste of time. go with a solid wood its not that expensive..
#32
guys its for practice. i'd rather practice on this partice board then go full out and be like o crap i messed up.
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#33
you probably could use an old barn door as long as it was one peice, brian may ( queen) made his red special out of an old 1800 fire place mantle
#34
even if its just practice its good to know how real wood is to work with mdf is way different
#35
just let him do it
im actually kind of excited to see this because if Cabs are some times mad of MDF then it sound have some sonic properties
do you think you could have a wood neck instead of MDF???
or just go all MDF and do yo thang haha

when you are tuning just be careful... if you hear a slight crack or pop... drop it drop it noW!!!
#37
Quote by Capt. Maxzmus
just let him do it
im actually kind of excited to see this because if Cabs are some times mad of MDF then it sound have some sonic properties
do you think you could have a wood neck instead of MDF???
or just go all MDF and do yo thang haha

when you are tuning just be careful... if you hear a slight crack or pop... drop it drop it noW!!!


And when was you saw a cab made out of alder? Mahogany? Swamp ash? Purpleheart? Basswood? Wenge? Rosewood? Et cetera.

MDF is sawdust in glue. When they sell you a 4x8 sheet of MDF, it usually comes with an extra inch on each side because it is that prone to chipping.

Besides, using MDF to practice making a body out of real wood is like using a photocopier to counterfeit money.

If you're going to make a body to practice on, at least use plywood.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#38
I don't think there will a problem with the body coping with string tension at all.

I wouldn't have used MDF to make a practice body, but it only cost you $10 which would be well worth the experience gained (using routers, templates, etc)
#39
The MDF is easy to work with, I haven't had any chipping or any problems caused by the wood other then when you have the sawdust in your nose it will stay there for the rest of the day.
The neck won't be made out of MDF, I will probably order it.

Anyway, quit nagging about the MDF, because I'm going to use it anyway.
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#40
Quote by pinguinpanic
Anyway, quit nagging about the MDF, because I'm going to use it anyway.

No offence, but if that's the attitude you're going to adopt, why even post on here? It's evidently not to get advice on what you're doing, since you're just ignoring any you do get.
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