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#1
OK, at the moment I'm thinking of making a guitar. Even though I might not even start buying materials until (at the latest) the end of the year (because of time and money restraints), I thought I might as well put this up here.

I want to make a Les Paul style guitar. I mainly play metal and rock, but I'd like the guitar to have nice cleans should the need arise (e.g. I need to perform for music class). I've thought of doing a more radical styled guitar but the Les Paul is a pretty versatile guitar that works for any style of music.

Since this is very early in the project, I've still got plenty of time to get suggestions, advice, criticism, etc.. My grandfather's friend is a guitar builder (it's not his profession, but my gramps is a guitar player and this bloke made him a Les Paul that sounds great.) so I'll be sure to grab some advice from him.

Edit: as posted on page 3, I've changed the specs significantly; it'll no longer be a through-body or be made of swamp ash, here are the specs to date:

Les Paul style w/ set-in neck

Neck/Fretboard:
-Mahogany neck
-Rosewood fretboard
-24 3/4" scale length
-22 frets (undecided, probably 22 but 24 a possibility)
-Trapezium inlays (dot or trapezium, undecided, whatever's easier I guess)
-12" neck radius
-set-in neck

Body:
-Mahogany body with maple top
-flat top
-aged white finish
-possibility of black/cream binding

Electronics:
-2 volume, 2 tone pots, three-way switch
-Stevens' Design pickups (it's an independent brand, I've listened to various clips and they sound great. I'm gonna go for a "Rocker" set, which is endorsed by Jake E. Lee. The website is at http://www.sdpickups.com.

Hardware:
-Tune-o-matic bridge and stop-bar tailpiece
-black "hatbox"/"speed" knobs (this may change to gold)
-either chrome or nickel hardware, whatever I can find
Last edited by kenan6346 at Dec 5, 2008,
#2
KK here's some more questions, I'm thinking that the neck is going to be the hardest part to make; I'm going to go with a typical gibson neck with a headstock at 13 degrees. My questions are: how do i get the headstock like this, how do I put a truss rod in and how to I measure out the frets? Also, on a different subject, what pickups do you think would be most appropriate for the music I play?

Finally, considering this is the first time I will have done this, I have very few tools that are needed; I don't think I even have a working power drill. What essential tools do you think I should get?

Cheers

Edit: Since I'm only 16, do you think I'll be able to get the tools myself? Thanks again
Last edited by kenan6346 at Jun 8, 2008,
#3
for bridge you could use a passive EMG or a seymour duncan for your shred needs
for your clean needs, put a P-90 in the rhythm pickup
basically, a similar layout to the Gibson BFG (minus the killswitch) is definately what you should aim for
im planning a similar project to yours and that layout is what im gonna use
I don't need a signature to tell you I don't need a signature!
#5
Well I'm probably going to be playing stuff with distortion most of the time. Should I just go for the EMG 81/85?
#8
Quote by -MintSauce-
EMG 81 & 60 FTW.

Don't bump more than once in a day, otherwise you'll rack up warnings and get banned

USE TEH PAYTENTS


KK thanks .

What is "USE TEH PAYTENTS"?
#9
I really suggest buying the neck, I'm building a guitar myself and the body is rather easy (I built one with no experience at all) but the neck took like 95% of all time of the build and it didn't turn out really well.
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Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
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#10
Quote by pinguinpanic
I really suggest buying the neck, I'm building a guitar myself and the body is rather easy (I built one with no experience at all) but the neck took like 95% of all time of the build and it didn't turn out really well.


I reckon I might, because while I want to be able to say I built the guitar from scratch, I still want the end product to be good enough for regular use; I'm going to be putting a fair amount of time and money into the project, so I don't want to screw it up

Where do you suggest I buy a neck from? I hear that warmoth is quite expensive, so should I just look out for parts on ebay or something?

Thanks

P.S. is the guitar you're referring to the one with the link in your sig?
#11
I'm gonna make the guitar a string through with a tune-o-matic bridge, and I'm wondering which one of these I should get?: link.

They're the ferrules. I'm going to be going for chrome but I don't know whether to get "GSF1C" or "IG87". I'm not going to be buying a body from there; I'll be making that myself, but I will buy the bridge from there. Thanks
#12
Quote by kenan6346
I'm gonna make the guitar a string through with a tune-o-matic bridge, and I'm wondering which one of these I should get?: link.

They're the ferrules. I'm going to be going for chrome but I don't know whether to get "GSF1C" or "IG87". I'm not going to be buying a body from there; I'll be making that myself, but I will buy the bridge from there. Thanks


IG87 for the front of the guitar.
GSF1C for the back of the guitar.

You need a set of both.
#14
I'm going to go with an EMG 81 in the bridge and an EMG 60 in the neck (saw/heard a couple of demos and thought they sounded good). Stupid question, but can you only get them in black?
#15
No.
They come in black, white, and ivory (cream).
Epiphone Les Paul goldtop (EMG 81/85)
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Fender Telecaster MIM
Epiphone SG Special
Jay Turser JT200 Serpent (GFS Crunchy Rails/Crunchy Pat)
Dean V-Coustic
Ovation Celebrity
Bugera 333-212
Crate Blue Voodoo 120H
#16
Quote by kenan6346
I reckon I might, because while I want to be able to say I built the guitar from scratch, I still want the end product to be good enough for regular use; I'm going to be putting a fair amount of time and money into the project, so I don't want to screw it up

Where do you suggest I buy a neck from? I hear that warmoth is quite expensive, so should I just look out for parts on ebay or something?

Thanks

P.S. is the guitar you're referring to the one with the link in your sig?

No it's not the guitar in my signature, I haven't posted the build yet. The one in my signature was made from parts ordered at ebay so I only needed only to screw some screws.
I think buying it at ebay would be the best because buying a new neck is insanely expensive. You could also try making a neck, but that really takes a lot of time and kind of made me lose motivation because it took so long (that in combination with waiting for a bandsaw and with moving inbetween)

The most important thing is to plan and measure everything well, if you try doing something fast, you will do it wrong.
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#17
^^thanks for that advice, I think I'll just buy a neck because I want this guitar to be usable .

I reckon a gibson-like guitar would look weird with a bolt on neck, how hard is it to do a set-in neck? Would I have to get a neck made specifically for being set-in?

Quote by truespin
No.
They come in black, white, and ivory (cream).


Thanks, I'll reckon I'll go for black or cream (probably black coz they're easier to get)
#18
Do a neck thru. This is my first guitar and I am doing one. It really isn't that bad once you get the wood! Use veneer's or tops to get that amazing color you want and then you'd be able to put some serious (although possibly ugly) tone wood under that! Just my 2 cents.
#19
Quote by ESP_Shreder
Do a neck thru. This is my first guitar and I am doing one. It really isn't that bad once you get the wood! Use veneer's or tops to get that amazing color you want and then you'd be able to put some serious (although possibly ugly) tone wood under that! Just my 2 cents.


+1

Neck-through seems okay for a first build, because you don't have to worry about stability or how to mount the neck. Also, if you're worried about the neck angle, you can raise the whole neck/fingerboard section, then recess the bridge.

I might have already said that, but I cba to read through.
#20
I understand that a neck-through neck is when the sides of the body are just glued to a really long neck. Would it still be possible to have a natural finish like the one in the picture at the beginning of the thread?

Edit: not set through, neck through, sry
Edit2: would this be the right sort of neck if I wanted to make a neck through guitar?
Last edited by kenan6346 at Jun 13, 2008,
#22
Well, since no one has suggested tools, I'll go head and state some essentials.

Every workshop, regardless if your making furniture or sheds or guitars needs a drill press, a jointer, and a band saw. Those are three indispensable pieces of machinery. You are also going to need clamps, a good set of wrenches, a good set of files, a soldering iron, a good set of screw drivers, and a rubber mallet. At the very least. Wire cutters, channel locks, and some needle nosed pliers are also good to have.

And chisels.
#23
Quote by imgooley
Well, since no one has suggested tools, I'll go head and state some essentials.

Every workshop, regardless if your making furniture or sheds or guitars needs a drill press, a jointer, and a band saw. Those are three indispensable pieces of machinery. You are also going to need clamps, a good set of wrenches, a good set of files, a soldering iron, a good set of screw drivers, and a rubber mallet. At the very least. Wire cutters, channel locks, and some needle nosed pliers are also good to have.

And chisels.


Thanks a lot for that list, it'll come really handy when I start gathering materials . Unfortunately I don't think I have a a drill press, jointer or band saw (my uncle or gramps might thou ). Would they be too hard to pick up, and do they cost that much?

I know I have a soldering iron, an uncountable amount of screw drivers, a rubber mallet, wire cutters and various sized pliers. I probably have some wrenches, files and clamps around the place, but I don't know what a channel lock is.

Thanks

Edit: also have chisels
#24
Good machinery costs a good deal of money, as much as a good guitar. I suggest that if your gramps has the machinery, you use it. Especially since you are so young. A whole workshop setup would cost at least 1200 dollars with low end equipment.

Also, add a router the the essentials.

these are channel locks


also, add slip joint pliers to the list

#25
^oh ok. I don't think he has a router, are they pretty expensive too? Any chance I could just hire one or something?
#26
Most hardware store will let you rent one, yes.
#27
there are other methods where you dont need a bandsaw or a drill press ( ive never really needed a drill press to be honest)
im going for a jigsaw, and neatening up the edges with templates for my router.
hand saws and whatnot are essential for making a neck though
EPIPHONE LES PAUL
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#28
I say band saw and drill press because use can use a drill press as a drum sander and for other boring applications and you can use a band saw as a belt sander. Also, a band saw is a lot easier to use than a jig saw imo because of the thicker blade. Furthermore, you can rip and cross cut with a band saw, which you can't do with a jig saw. Band saws, routers, jointers and drill presses are the most versatile tools a craftsman can have

If this is a one off thing, yeah, don't worry about the machinery. If this is something that he wants to get seriously into, those are the essential machines.
Last edited by imgooley at Jun 14, 2008,
#29
@imgooley: it is gonna be a one-off thing, meaning I might make more instruments in the future, but at this point in time I have no intention of being a luthier.

I'll see if I can just rent the equipment, if not I'm pretty sure I can find a way
#30
^like I said, if you have a family member with the tools, use them. Also, if you have a shop at school, see if you can't work something out there. Probably be best for you too, as you will have someone experienced to help you if you need it.
#31
Quote by imgooley
^like I said, if you have a family member with the tools, use them. Also, if you have a shop at school, see if you can't work something out there. Probably be best for you too, as you will have someone experienced to help you if you need it.


Yea I think my uncle and gramps have heaps of tools as both are involved in the construction industry, I don't know if they'd have a wood router but it's worth a shot asking them.

Also my school has a shop (of sorts). It's only for boys who do elective shop work but I might be able to work something out.
#32
Quote by imgooley
I say band saw and drill press because use can use a drill press as a drum sander and for other boring applications and you can use a band saw as a belt sander. Also, a band saw is a lot easier to use than a jig saw imo because of the thicker. Furthermore, you can rip and cross cut with a band saw, which you can't do with a band saw. Band saws, routers, jointers and drill presses are the most versatile tools a craftsman can have

If this is a one off thing, yeah, don't worry about the machinery. If this is something that he wants to get seriously into, those are the essential machines.


he speaks the truth, having acess to those machines would be ideal, but like me i dont have nor can afford machines like that, so i was suggesting alternatives.

a router though is absolutely essential
EPIPHONE LES PAUL
IBANEZ S SERIES CUSTOM
VOX AD30VT
#33
Quote by admbwr
he speaks the truth, having acess to those machines would be ideal, but like me i dont have nor can afford machines like that, so i was suggesting alternatives.

a router though is absolutely essential


Or a router bit in a drill press, and plenty of patience.
#34
Does anyone know where I could get some templates to print?

Edit: and to clarify, a 25" scale would mean that it is 25 inches from the point the strings leave the nut to the point they reach the bridge, correct?
Last edited by kenan6346 at Jun 14, 2008,
#35
i would put a duncan jb in the bridge
jackson dk2 2008
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#36
Quote by kenan6346
Does anyone know where I could get some templates to print?

Edit: and to clarify, a 25" scale would mean that it is 25 inches from the point the strings leave the nut to the point they reach the bridge, correct?


Yes, and the distance from the 12th fret to the nut and the bridge should be half of that.
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Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
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Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#37
Quote by hans the lefty
i would put a duncan jb in the bridge


Any reason why?

Edit:
Quote by pinguinpanic
Yes, and the distance from the 12th fret to the nut and the bridge should be half of that.


Thanks for that, so nut to bridge is 25" and 12th to nut or brigde is 12.5", cheers
#38
Quote by kenan6346
Any reason why?

Edit:

Thanks for that, so nut to bridge is 25" and 12th to nut or brigde is 12.5", cheers


Technically, it's 25" from nut to intonation centre.. a straight line through the bridge, that's perpendicular to the centre line of the fretboard. If you're using a ToM, which I guess you would be, you might want to consider installing the bridge at a slight angle. Most people/companies slap the ToM across the intonation centre, with the bass side towards the rear, and the treble side towards the nut. ToMs have pretty limited saddle adjustment, compared to most bridges, so you often find that you can't intonate perfectly within that range, with the bridge straight.

I hope that made sense :\
#40
you can use it for anything
jackson dk2 2008
hamer xt sunburst qt
epiphone g400
peavey vk212
morley p wah
behringer pb1000
dige bm
big muff ny
behringer dc 9 comp
member of the Jackson/Charvel Owners Club

£8.50/58fund for a ROCKTRON HUSH SUPER C PEDAL
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