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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#1
Ok, so here's my contribution. I was inspired by dogismycopilot's thread to write about my own project, so here goes. I'm also building a JEM/RG copy from scratch. In my case "from scratch" means that the only thing made by someone else is cutting the fret slots, which is going to be done by my guitar building teacher since he has very accurate tools for this. Basically it will be a RG with some JEM features such as the lion's claw and a JEM style input jack. No monkey handle though =)

Here's some specifications I've come up with so far:

- body : one piece basswood
- ibanez lo-pro edge floating trem and top-lok III nut
- neck : maple/mahogany/maple laminate with AANJ, similar to wizard II but maybe a bit thicker
- ebony fretboard with jumbo frets, only side-dots and something nice inlaid at 12th fret
- gotoh tuners
- double action truss rod
- Seymour Duncan pickups

All hardware in black, haven't decided about other colours just yet.

Current state:
I have all the wood I need, and the bodywood has been planed down to 45mm (I'll be using metric units all along). Neck pieces are waiting to be glued. I have an almost complete template for the neck pocket/pickup cavities/trem cavity.

I'll be updating regularly but this project will take some time since I only have a few hours per week for this because at the same time I'm writing my master's thesis at the university...

Would it be better to add pics to my profile or straight here?

P.S. I'm not a native english speaker, so sorry for the occasional bad language.
the_random_hero
UG's Fabricator
Join date: Apr 2006
2,483 IQ
#2
Your English is pretty much flawless (heaps of members here have worse grammar and spelling than you, so don't worry about it ).
It sounds like an awesome build - for pictures I'd make a free Photobucket account and link them from there (it's the code that starts with [IMG]).
Having a guitar building teacher sounds like a good approach for a first-time builder - are you doing some luthiery school or something similar?
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
BFun
Keyboardist in disguise
Join date: Dec 2006
341 IQ
#3
pics straight here plz lol. or both.

sounds like a neato Idea, go for a custom paintjob if ya can.
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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#4
Quote by the_random_hero
Having a guitar building teacher sounds like a good approach for a first-time builder - are you doing some luthiery school or something similar?


Well, it's a kind of guitar building course. We have 3 hours of time reserved from a local school's wood workshop with pretty decent tools. The teacher has his own company and has been making and repairing guitars for over a decade. Since he has a company, he can buy stuff like wood and hardware in large amounts and ofcourse cheaper than normal, which he can then sell to us. It's a win-win situation really, he gets a little profit and we still get our stuff cheaper than straight from some shop.

Here's a try with the images, my single-piece basswood: (I'm using Picasa and I already had a free web-album )


And here's my almost ready template for the front cavities:
Last edited by jenrg at Sep 26, 2007,
the_random_hero
UG's Fabricator
Join date: Apr 2006
2,483 IQ
#5
Quote by jenrg
Well, it's a kind of guitar building course. We have 3 hours of time reserved from a local school's wood workshop with pretty decent tools. The teacher has his own company and has been making and repairing guitars for over a decade. Since he has a company, he can buy stuff like wood and hardware in large amounts and ofcourse cheaper than normal, which he can then sell to us. It's a win-win situation really, he gets a little profit and we still get our stuff cheaper than straight from some shop.

Here's a try with the images, my single-piece basswood: (I'm using Picasa and I already had a free web-album )


And here's my almost ready template for the front cavities:



Hmm, I don't think you can directly link to your web album - you have used the right method for adding pictures though. When I went to the picture itself, I had to download it before I could view it.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#6
Here's a link to the album:
http://picasaweb.google.fi/janne.nummi/GuitarProject

I don't know why picasa makes you to download the image if you use a straight link, but if I use a link that shows the image in the album, it won't show in the thread and instead people will have to click the links to see the images. So, I think I'll use straight links for in-thread images.
bluezombie
Marchello B. Beaulieu
Join date: May 2007
2,930 IQ
#7
Good luck jenrg, it always inspires me to someday learn to build my own guitar, when i see people make builds from scratch up!
Guitars:
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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#8
Ok, here's some new pics of the project. I have now finished the template for the frontside cavities and began making a template for the body outline. I'm making the templates of 12mm thick plywood which I think is adequate. You wouldn't want to ruin your body because of a warping and bending template would you?

Here it is, bandsawed and waiting to be routed to final shape. I'm using my old RG body as a model and routing with a copy router bit (with a bearing in the bottom) to copy the shape to my template.


I also began making the neck. As I told earlier, it'll be a 3pc laminate from maple and mahogany. The mahogany stripe in the middle is 16mm thick. Laminates are 70mm high which will allow the 13 degree tilted headstock to be made straight out of the same block of wood. I know this is an ultimate waste of wood but I didn't want any seams to the neck. I think at least 2 necks could have been made out of this amount of wood...

Here are the laminates:


And here they are being glued together. Like many others, I used Titebond. Also note the pieces of paper, they are there because Titebond between metal and wood is likely to colour the wood. The surfaces will ofcourse be planed but better safe than sorry...


...and here's what it looks like at the moment. The marking is there to show which way the pieces go and also if the parts have moved during gluing. I've removed the excess glue from the other side.
qotsa1998
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2007
815 IQ
#9
looks good. See if u can get some neon-colored pickups or covers. those light-up JEMs are pretty cool. See if u could do a base coat of white and a splatter job of those neon colors. That looks awesome. Basswood is rly soft fyi, so try not to bump it into stuff alot, or it dings easily.
jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#11
Quote by qotsa1998
looks good. See if u can get some neon-colored pickups or covers. those light-up JEMs are pretty cool. See if u could do a base coat of white and a splatter job of those neon colors. That looks awesome.

I'm not much into neon colours but thanks for your opinion anyway, I'm open to suggestions =) I was thinking maybe some kind of coloured lacquer, so that the wood grain would show through, and then maybe have it fade to black towards the edges.. but I'm not sure how difficult that is to accomplish. White base coat and some kind of swirl would also be kinda cool but that also seems a bit tricky to do. I mean I don't have an awful lot of time to spend sanding it down and starting all over again if it doesn't look the way I wanted..

Quote by qotsa1998
Basswood is rly soft fyi, so try not to bump it into stuff alot, or it dings easily.

Heh.. tell me about it. It really is easy to get marks on this wood. I like basswood because it's quite light. Exactly the same reason why some say it 'doesn't sound good'. Well, it's a matter of personal preference isn't it? Other thing about basswood is that it's rather plain looking. I mean for example flamed maple top would be much nicer with a see-through paint/lacquer.

About the selection of pickups, any suggestions anyone? I know this has been discussed in other threads too... I play a lot of different kinds of stuff, from blues to metal and I've been thinking on getting something like the following (Seymour Duncans):

neck: SH-2N
middle: SSL-4
bridge SH-5
jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#12
Got the first part of my hardware order today, Gotoh tuners, top lok III and stuff. There was one minor detail though... the dealer didn't have a black lo-pro edge bridge in stock, so I'll have to wait until december for it... crap. Anyway, tomorrow I'll have my weekly guitarbuilding session, really looking forward to it.
tubab0y
old skool user.
Join date: Dec 2005
1,326 IQ
#13
Unless you're some kind of guitar speed-building demon, I doubt you'll need the bridge until december anyways. Looking good.
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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#14
Quote by tubab0y
Unless you're some kind of guitar speed-building demon, I doubt you'll need the bridge until december anyways. Looking good.

I guess you're right. It would have been nice though to have it so I could have test-fitted it to see if the cavity routing went ok.

So now I have routed the body front cavities, everything went ok so not much to say about it. Doesn't look much like a guitar body yet, but I think it's easier to do all the routing while the plank is still uncut.


I had a bit of bad luck also, the surface planer was broken so there was nothing I could do with the neck as I don't want to plane it by hand...
admbwr
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2007
1,621 IQ
#15
man why have i missed this thread , this is awsome.
very neat templates, only one question though,
the wood you are using for your body has knots init, whats the deal ?
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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#16
Quote by admbwr
man why have i missed this thread , this is awsome.
very neat templates, only one question though,
the wood you are using for your body has knots init, whats the deal ?

Do you mean this image?


It's not my bodywood, it's the template plywood. The bodywood is not even cut yet since I like to route the cavities first. After taking that photo I had to redo the template since I had cut it too small. Always remember not to cut too close to drawn lines
powermetalg
UG Freak
Join date: Aug 2007
635 IQ
#17
Looks nice... Id say put some emg style covers on it and paint (or have someone paint) a mural that covers the pickups and everything... maybe have it go up the neck. Ive got it have zues (not sure if thats spelled right but hes a greek god) throwing a lightnig bolt up the neck and each of the bolts angles could be fret markers. That would be awesome. Probably more elaborate than you want to go but would be nice.

Also your english is better than most peoples and probably mine.
roast
UG Addict
Join date: Oct 2005
1,885 IQ
#18
Sweet build. Interested to see how this goes. Whoever thought of a mural, thats a nice idea. Could be cool to have a picture on the front of the guitar, over the pickups. I wouldnt do it all over the body and the neck though, the grain on the wood is too pretty!
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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#19
Quote by powermetalg
Looks nice... Id say put some emg style covers on it and paint (or have someone paint) a mural that covers the pickups and everything... maybe have it go up the neck. Ive got it have zues (not sure if thats spelled right but hes a greek god) throwing a lightnig bolt up the neck and each of the bolts angles could be fret markers. That would be awesome. Probably more elaborate than you want to go but would be nice.

Also your english is better than most peoples and probably mine.

I like the god of thunder idea, that would definitely look good. I just don't think my mad guitar building skillz are enough to accomplish that keep in mind that this is my first guitar and I'm learning things as I go...
powermetalg
UG Freak
Join date: Aug 2007
635 IQ
#20
Quote by jenrg
I like the god of thunder idea, that would definitely look good. I just don't think my mad guitar building skillz are enough to accomplish that keep in mind that this is my first guitar and I'm learning things as I go...

Yeah I know... Im building one aswell. Not quite s involved as yours (I bought my neck and if I remember correctly your building yours) but I thought it was just a cool idea and you might have an incredible painter in your family. However you do it it will kick ass... unless you do that neon pickup cover idea (no offence to who suggested that) but I find them incredibly ugly.
jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#21
Quote by powermetalg
unless you do that neon pickup cover idea (no offence to who suggested that) but I find them incredibly ugly.

Actually I'm not sure if I'll put pickup covers in it at all, I might just use a pickguard.

I've made some progress during the last week, not much but at least something.

Here are the back cavities partially routed: (BTW, the red stain is blood. I guess everybody shoud shed some blood, sweat and tears in making their guitars )

...and the neckwood planed:

I'm quite pleased about what the maple/mahogany combination looks like =)
Next thing will probably be cutting the 13-degree angle for the headstock and routing the cavity for the truss rod.
ECistheBest
Makes Pedals for YOU!
Join date: Jul 2006
1,824 IQ
#22
u have nice workspace... its awesome. the body template seems a little fat though. or is it just me?
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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#23
Ok, here's some pics of this week's building session. I finally got the body template routing done. A little sanding and I can route the body itself to exact shape using this. In fact, now that it's well done I could make a few if I wanted

The next pic is just a detail of my jack cavity. One guy was surprised to see how thoroughly I had marked it beforehand... I think this is pretty standard, I'm used to measuring everything at least twice and do quite accurate markings, it makes all the drilling/routing much easier. I wonder how he does it.

And the neck... I still didn't have enough time to route the cavity for the truss rod. Well, I guess it's better to do it slowly than spend the next week covering up for the mistakes made in a hurry... I've already marked the centerline, headstock angle, nut position and truss rod location so the next time I can work on the neck.

This is it for the week or so. I'll be posting more when I have something to show.
admbwr
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2007
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#24
awsome man, can wait to see this finished.
have you thought about putting a top onto it ?
like quilt ?
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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#25
I have but I don't know if I'll do it. If it would be possible to apply a thin (1-2mm) layer of quilted maple for example, and it wouldn't cost too much, I might consider it as an option.
dogismycopilot
I'd like a recount
Join date: Mar 2007
2,270 IQ
#26
INSPIRED BY ME!?!?!! Wow, i love you! I made a buncha ****-ups on my guitar. Im starting over, but i finally found some paint and i will use the old mucked up body as a test subject. Ive been busy with school and girls recently and i havent had a lot of time to work on my "fun" stuff.
dogismycopilot
I'd like a recount
Join date: Mar 2007
2,270 IQ
#27
Edit to my last post. I was thinking of doing exactly what you did for the template, having everything cavity wise on one, and then the rest of the guitar on the other. How did you anchor down the template when you cut out the body shape? Ive been taking my time and moving from clamp to clamp trying not to move the body too much. Did you trace an RG to get your pattern?
jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#29
Quote by dogismycopilot
Ive been busy with school and girls recently and i havent had a lot of time to work on my "fun" stuff.

It's good to spend some time with other stuff too, especially with the girls
Quote by dogismycopilot
How did you anchor down the template when you cut out the body shape? Ive been taking my time and moving from clamp to clamp trying not to move the body too much. Did you trace an RG to get your pattern?

My patented Template Workflow goes like this:
- I traced my old RG 570 body to get the pattern to the plywood
- bandsawed the plywood roughly to shape
- clamped the template on top of the body with four clamps leaving some space for the router on one side
- with a copying router bit (with a bearing on the bottom that follows the shape of the body) routed that part of the template to exact shape
- moved the next clamp to where I just routed and so on all the way around

For me, four clamps did the trick just fine, the teplate stayed where it should. I could also have used some double-sided tape in between to make sure the template wouldn't move but I decided not to.
If using a perfectly good body as a guide (like in this case, my RG) you want to put some tape to the outer edge of the body (where the router bit bearing touches) for protection if you don't want any scratches on it.
Also, you have to be extremely careful while routing the horn's outlines to keep the router level since there is very little support for the router.

Right now I have a bit of a problem with the cavities on the back, or actually the recesses for the cavity covers. As they are only 3mm deep, I can't make a template with a copy router since 3mm is not enough for the bearing and I also don't want to try my luck freehand. With trem cavity this is not a problem since it has only straight lines but the control and jack cavities... Suggestions anyone?
dogismycopilot
I'd like a recount
Join date: Mar 2007
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#30
Thanks for the advice. I have a router table, and i guess ill use my big bits with a bottom mounted bearing to tackle the piece of wood. Thanks again!

As for the small things to rout, i would suggest using a dremel tool with a router attachment. Some luthiers make the fretboard markers with it. It has great precision and is very easy to maneuver. I dont know if they have anything like that over there. If you dont want to buy one of those (they can get expensive) stack many pieces of wood on top of each other as a template. It should be easy seeing as the cover cavity that you are trying to cut is rectangular right? Make it so the template is really really think, like 2inches.....I guess in your case about 5cm.
admbwr
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2007
1,621 IQ
#31
i still think you should go with some really high grade quilt maple top on this, it would look so sexy, transblue, white binding.... oh wait im just describing i dream i have for one day lol
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IBANEZ S SERIES CUSTOM
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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#32
Heh.. maybe a thin veneer of quilted/flamed maple would do the trick. I guess it would be flexible enough to bend on the armrest. I think I'll ask my teacher if he has it, as that would be the cheapest place for me to get it. I don't think I'll put a binding on it, maybe a fade to black towards the edges or something.
jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#33
Quote by dogismycopilot
As for the small things to rout, i would suggest using a dremel tool with a router attachment. Some luthiers make the fretboard markers with it. It has great precision and is very easy to maneuver. I dont know if they have anything like that over there. If you dont want to buy one of those (they can get expensive) stack many pieces of wood on top of each other as a template. It should be easy seeing as the cover cavity that you are trying to cut is rectangular right? Make it so the template is really really think, like 2inches.....I guess in your case about 5cm.

I have a dremel tool I borrowed from my cousin and I've been thinkin on getting a router base for it from stewmac and a couple of bits of various sizes. I want to do an inlay on my fretboard also (no idea yet what kind, but not just simple dots) so it would be a good investment. They sell the dremel original router base here in finland too, but it's quite expensive and they say it's not as good as the stewmac one (it'll be cheaper even with shipping costs and 22% VAT )
dogismycopilot
I'd like a recount
Join date: Mar 2007
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#34
Hmm. Well i guess i'll have to wait in anticipation to see the new pics, and the progress so far. Good luck dude.
jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#35
Another week gone and time to post some new pics. This time I routed the truss-rod channel, cut the headstock angle and did some routing on the body also.
The MOP pieces I ordered have arrived too, the side dots for the fingerboard and 1 ounce of 1.5mm thick pieces, here's one:


I also made a bit of a mistake while routing. Somehow I managed to route the truss channel about 0.7mm too deep. Luckily this wasn't a problem since there was enough wood so I just planed the 0.7mm off the surface and that was it.


And a closeup (bad focus):


Meet mr. Truss Rod, sitting tight in his own little channel.


Headstock angle. Looks like crap straight after bandsawing.


Here's the routing I did for the body. I made the recess for the trem cavity cover. I don't have a pic of the cover in place but trust me, it fits like a glove!


Next week I'm gonna get my fingerboard with sawn fret-slots. Soon it'll be time to do some serious inlaying...
admbwr
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2007
1,621 IQ
#37
very nice, very neat and precise work.
i can't wait till you cut the body out judging on how neat your routing is, its going to be awsome.
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IBANEZ S SERIES CUSTOM
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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#38
Quote by admbwr
very nice, very neat and precise work.
i can't wait till you cut the body out judging on how neat your routing is, its going to be awsome.

I haven't got into that just yet, but I also expect it to be quite neat. This week was all neck. I have sanded the headstock (I just love that belt-sander... ) and cut the neck to shape with a bandsaw, not much else. Goin' slow...

Here's the headstock sanded:


...and the neck cut:


There's also my reference neck (wizard) and the new fingerboard blank.

Old and new headstock. Bad luck with this since the new one is just a couple millimeters too narrow and I have to glue some more maple to the sides.
admbwr
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2007
1,621 IQ
#39
i see you using a 14 degree headstock angle , is that what ibanez use ?

very very nice neck.
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jenrg
JEN Customizer
Join date: Sep 2007
537 IQ
#40
Quote by admbwr
i see you using a 14 degree headstock angle , is that what ibanez use ?

very very nice neck.

Well, I measured my old neck and calculated the angle and ended up with 14 degrees but I've also seen 13 degrees mentioned somewhere. By the way, you got me into seriously thinking about putting a top on this one I know a guy who has different kinds of wood about 10mm thick, like flamed mahogany, black alder and stuff. I hope I get to see the stuff next week to decide if they're suitable for making a guitar top.