#1
gonna build a Les paul type guitar for my dad and hopefully post my progress on here

specs would be something like

mahogany body (body blank £40 or less)
24 frets (25.5 inch scale)
spalted maple top
black hardware and binding
floyd rose/kahler type tremolo
EMG's (already have them)

so, i have a couple of questions

i was wondering are there any floyd/kahler style trems which are cheap AND good? i'm running on a tight budget (under £50 would be ideal)

i'm aiming for ultimate fret access so what can i do to optimise it?

bolt on or set neck?

neck through possible?

can i buy a neck ready for glueing in (if so where from?)?

If i say routed out a neck cavity for a bolt on and GLUED it in, would this work (if yes would i be able to sand the back of the body down so that it has as good fret access as a neck through?) ?

is there anywhere i can get templates for the body and neck relatively cheap or preferrably free?

where can i get spalted maple from?

my dads a car mechanic and a general handyman so i can get hold of most tools

help would be much appreciated
zak.
#2
Last edited by metallica92 at Apr 19, 2008,
#3
- You get what you pay for. There is no such thing as cheap and good. Either you spend more money and get a good bridge, or you go cheap and put up with a **** bridge, one or the other.
- Speaking of money, £40 for the body blank? Really? I would suspect that's pretty low-grade mahogany you're working with then.
- For higher fret access on an LP, the common thing to do is to curve the back of the neck/body join on the lower (cut-out) side. Warmoth do this on their LP bodies - check the Warmoth site for picture examples. It doesn't actually help that much. Vintage put a small second cutaway above the neck, just about big enough to fit the average thumb in. If you were to combine these two methods, you might get some decent fret access. I really wouldn't advise you bothering with going for the full 24 fret access though. I personally have fairly long fingers and don't have a problem with the fret access on LPs anyway, but even I wouldn't try for 24 frets. Even for my freaky big hands, 22 frets is a stretch; I imagine 24 would be nigh-on unusable even if you made the aforementioned adjustments.
- I'd actually go for a bolt-on neck. When you're building it yourself, you can take the extra time to make sure the neck join is secure. A good bolt-on join will provide just as much sustain as a set neck will (if not more). I wouldn't bother with neck-through at all. Somewhat more effort, and though it can marginally increase sustain, it takes away tone. I have never found it to be a worthwhile trade off; set or bolt necks are always better, in my opinion. Yes, you could construct the guitar like a bolt-on, but then actually glue it in like a set neck. You'd still need the bolts to be in there though, and you probably wouldn't be able to get it down to neck-through levels of access. A plain bolt-on would be a better way to go.
#4
hmm I think you need to do a lot more research before starting this, but I will try to answer your questions...

I dont think you will get a GOOD floyd rose for any where under £150 ish in the UK

Optimising fret access is a bit of an open ended question, I mean you could just not have a lower horn if you really wanted lol

Bolt on, set neck, neck through all possible, YOU have to choose which one for what ever reason

For a les paul I suggest set neck (as thats how they're designed so you'll get the closest match that way)

DONT glue a bolt on neck into a bolt on cavity, it will break.


You seem to be cutting costs, this isnt really advisable, as the guy above says, you get what you pay for, wood can warp, split or have other defects, hard ware can wear out very quickly etc etc. It is possible to build a cheap guitar, but for a first time builder with next to no links to the great deals hidding away its unlikely.

for everything theres www.stewmac.com


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Last edited by Absent Mind at Apr 19, 2008,
#6
Please read my above post

As far as that wood is concerned, I can see at least 3 or 4 knots in it, thats a bad thing (stops vibrations or something) and its a two peice, which makes it cheaper. Personally I'de always prefer 1 peice blanks.

With ebay you cant tell the specific species some times, or how kiln dried it is. Just because it says kiln dried mahogany doesnt mean its good quality guitar worthy wood.


Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
#8
Not always best, but overall good quality

you can hold it head and shoulders about the 'un named' brands of hard ware that you find on ebay because they are a respectable company and they have to sell quality hard ware.

They also sell stuff like gotoh bridges and tuners, and spertzel tuners, etc top of the range stuff used on expensive instruments.


Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
#9
for the templates, any idea where i can get them?
i have the basic idea of building it down but some video tutorials would be ace
#10
Your not going to be able to go cheap and build a really nice custom guitar. A cheap bridge is just that cheap. 50 pounds british is like 25 bucks here which is pot metal chinese bridge prices. I dont know of anywhere that sells ready to go glue in necks. And glueing a bolt neck probably wont do very well. The beauty is being able to adjust the neck later bit hard to do if its glued in. And upper fret access on a LP kinda defeats building a LP. A neck thru Lp is possible but not very easy if you do a carved top. And a thru neck is gonna be 200 us or more so alot more in england. And also maple tops arent something that come to cheap either. So you may want to increase your budget or aim lower. Car mechanics tools dont cross over very well to wood working and guitar building.
#11
Quote by Tackleberry
Your not going to be able to go cheap and build a really nice custom guitar. A cheap bridge is just that cheap. 50 pounds british is like 25 bucks here which is pot metal chinese bridge prices. I dont know of anywhere that sells ready to go glue in necks. And glueing a bolt neck probably wont do very well. The beauty is being able to adjust the neck later bit hard to do if its glued in. And upper fret access on a LP kinda defeats building a LP. A neck thru Lp is possible but not very easy if you do a carved top. And a thru neck is gonna be 200 us or more so alot more in england. And also maple tops arent something that come to cheap either. So you may want to increase your budget or aim lower. Car mechanics tools dont cross over very well to wood working and guitar building.


What kind of currency converter are you using... last time I checked a brittish pound is worth way more than a US dollar...
#12
Quote by Tackleberry
Your not going to be able to go cheap and build a really nice custom guitar. A cheap bridge is just that cheap. 50 pounds british is like 25 bucks here which is pot metal chinese bridge prices. I dont know of anywhere that sells ready to go glue in necks. And glueing a bolt neck probably wont do very well. The beauty is being able to adjust the neck later bit hard to do if its glued in. And upper fret access on a LP kinda defeats building a LP. A neck thru Lp is possible but not very easy if you do a carved top. And a thru neck is gonna be 200 us or more so alot more in england. And also maple tops arent something that come to cheap either. So you may want to increase your budget or aim lower. Car mechanics tools dont cross over very well to wood working and guitar building.



i can up the budget by quite a bit after selling my amp and other guitar, don't worry it WILL be good

stewmac says £83.13 for mahogany neck and body blank

maybe another £50 for a spalted maple top?

so add another £150ish for a kahler or floyd

£50 for tuners, truss rod, glues and binding and other stuff

total of just under £350

and the tools i have ARE just as good for woodworking, as far as i know airtools etc will work on wood and if they don't i can always use the schools stuff
#13
Quote by Alexbear
What kind of currency converter are you using... last time I checked a brittish pound is worth way more than a US dollar...


yeah i would have thought it would be around the 100 dollar mark

edit: found an OFR for under £100
Last edited by metallica92 at Apr 19, 2008,
#14
(yeah tackle got it the wrong way around its £50 = $100 but even so hes still right in what he says)

Where have you found an OFR for under £100???


Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
#15
Quote by Absent Mind
(yeah tackle got it the wrong way around its £50 = $100 but even so hes still right in what he says)

Where have you found an OFR for under £100???


used, from an uncles old jackson which he's selling for spare (went a big crazy at a gig lol)

its an 80's one, but i still need a locking nut and trem claw and springs etc

i really REALLy wanted it in black, any way of getting it black? would spray paint work?
#16
not really, the paint would wear out after a while

you could get it specially painted, like how they do alloys and brake calipers on cars etc.

Its called anodizing I think, and is sure to be expensive.


Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
#17
i guess i'll just have to see if i can sell it for a bit of a profit or maybe trade it with someones

might just go for the schaller floyd rose, about £130 on stew mac because when i add on the cost of the locking nut etc i may aswell just get a new bridge, schallers are made in germany like the old floyds so i assume they are of the same standard.

i'll start the project as soon as i get all the funds (£300 or to you yanks $600), i hate having unfinished things lying around
Last edited by metallica92 at Apr 19, 2008,
#18
as far as the template goes, you can find SOME cad drawings on the internet although they arent great. what I did was I found a picture of the guitar i wanted (LP double cutaway), put the picture onto a projector, measured the neck pocket (warmoth body) and traced it onto a piece of paper. the other stuff (knob placement, pickup placement etc) has all been done in-process so i know exactly where everything goes once it's assembled.

i'd build a bolt on personally. first builds are tricky and to make it even more difficult would be like trying to run a marathon with no training in weighted shoes. dont overkill yourself with having to fit a tenon or having to glue sides of a neck thru together and then find out your neck angle is wrong for the bridge you want to use or whatever...

i personally like bolt ons. you can get decent fret access with the right heel contours and if you make the neck yourself and for some ungodly reason it breaks, cracks, warps etc, you can always replace it

edit: anodizing is mainly used on aluminum. if you have black hardware and it's made of steel you can get a black oxide kit. i forget how much it was when I saw it but it was a hobby kit of like 3 bottles of chemicals or something... although that was a number of years ago...
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Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

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#19
Yea my conversion was the wrong way. But anodizing only works with aluminum and spray paint comes off chromed steel really fast.
#20
oh btw trying to peel chrome plating off of steel sucks LoL
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#21
i've been looking at the various styles of LP's about and i really like the look of the ESP-Eclipse body, the sharper and slightly larger cutaway looks really cool imo, how different are they? on stewmac all i can find are plans for a 1959 les paul