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#1
WARNING: Massive pictures ahead!

Alright my first build! I've been planning to do one for a while and making decisions has taken up most of the time, although there are plenty of decisions yet to be made. As the title says, my dad and I are building a firebird replica, with some changes.

First off, unlike regular firebirds, this won't be a thru-neck build, because neither my dad nor I are experienced enough in guitar building to attempt such a thing. Instead we plan on making this a bolt-on guitar.

We plan on making this in the style of traditional firebirds with the raised center, a la I, III, V, VII and pretty much any other firebird except the studio. Which is funny because we are using studio plans in this build. :P

Planning on getting a neck from All Parts, does anyone have any reviews of their necks that they would like to share? It looks like they make decent necks but we would like other opinions.

On with the pictures...

24"x24"x2" slab of mahogany and the template


plans


circuit diagram (may need help with this later, not sure yet)


wood planed, sanded and prepped for glueing


raised center section


glueing 2 of 3 sections together (all 3 at once was too hard to get into place)


3 of 3 sections


after glueing


We have now hit a road block because of our lack of band saw, so the search continues. Next post might be delayed because we are working on this at our cottage so we can only work on it on weekends, and of course, the band saw issue.
Last edited by RIP_bonham at Jun 29, 2010,
#2
Ya brandon sucks

But on another note it looks good, coming along nicely, hopefully you get a bansaw soon!
In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.


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Last edited by Metallicaxp at Aug 26, 2008,
#4
Ya we have a really good jigsaw, and we considered it but we're untrustworthy of it because once a jigsaw starts to get off a little, it doesn't get any better easily.
We might have to use it though. We'll see.

A little bit more info about the build:
-Plan on using 2 full size humbuckers (not mini buckers), unsure what kind as of now
-All Parts Mahogany neck with 22 fret rosewood fretboard, paddle headstock, to be shaped like firebird head.
-If we find one for cheap, Bigsby B5 or B50 tailpiece.
-Solid white finish done in a traditional gibson style that lets the grain show through.

Any suggestions for humbuckers? I was thinking something cheapish but with a little more output than traditional PAFs.
#5
yeah do NOT use a jigsaw i tried yesterday...jigsaws cant even handle hardwood very well
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#6
Quote by AngusJimiKeith
yeah do NOT use a jigsaw i tried yesterday...jigsaws cant even handle hardwood very well



your jigsaw sucks, mine powers through mahogany/walnut/maple no problem. 8/4 and everything. haha. then again mines a bosch, and those are total tits.


a tip for gluing in the future. you get much better holding results if you clamp each individual piece down to a flat surface isntead of putting clamps over the glue joints, just what ive found from personal experience.
#7
ya my jigsaw might be able to do it, but i dunno...

and about the gluing, we would have done that, but the center section of the guitar is raised on both the top AND bottom, so putting it on a flat surface would have messed that up. we had to clamp shims to it and it was a real pain, but it turned out pretty well imo
#8
oh word, whatever works then i guess! hey man check out the new contours on my guitar. youre gonna want an angle grinder when you see, its so damn smooth haha. you gonna build the neck on this one?
#9
no its gonna be a pre built bolt on. we discussed building one, but its our first full build (my dad has built bodies before, but not whole guitars) so were gonna play it safe.
i keep asking it everywhere, but does anyone have any opinions on allparts necks? they sell a nice looking mahogany/rosewood paddle that we were thinking of getting. or if anyone has other sites they would recommend that would be helpful too.

EDIT: i dont know if it would really be worth it to buy the grinder thingy at this time because the firebird only has one contour on it... how much are they roughly?
Last edited by RIP_bonham at Aug 26, 2008,
#10
allparts necks are MIJ, I believe. they should be pretty good.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
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Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
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Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#12
theres a mahogany with rosewood angled paddle neck that we were gonna get so then we could do the firebird style head.
but we also thought that if we could find it for cheaper somewhere else that a maple angled paddle neck would be awesome cause ive never seen a firebird with a maple fretboard before...
so many decisions...

EDIT: I used our jigsaw to cut part of the wood before glueing (the curve part in the pictures) and it seemed to cut through it fine, a little slow, and i did start to go off a tiny bit despite taking my time...we'll see nothing much will happen for the next couple days, we're pretty busy around here.
Last edited by RIP_bonham at Aug 26, 2008,
#13
FINALLY!!!

I talked to our school's shop teacher this week, and I'm going in tomorrow with the slab to use the band saw to cut 'er up!
Pics tomorrow if my computer allows me to, she's been kinda slow lately...
#14
Oh gawrsh dang it, my camera's dead and i dunno where the charger is.
I'll have you know though that the body looks absolutely PHENOMENAL! i love it, turned out great.
We have a mahogany/rosewood paddle neck on order from Allparts.com, can't wait for that to show up.

I now realize that I have a couple of questions about certain things on the guitar. One of them is the circuit and the pickups. I posted a picture of the diagram that came on the plans, which I can sort of understand, but an explanation in words would be helpful.
My other question is about tuners. I plan on making the headstock like a normal firebird's, with the tuners on the treble side (reverse style), so I've been browsing around for Sperzel locking tuners and some sites say that they are left handed or right handed specifically. Would it really matter if I bought right hand tuners and put them on the treble side of a head?

So excited!
#15
Also, suggestions for pickups?
I was thinking of some humbuckers that are just slightly hotter than like a standard Gibson pup. Kinda for a more metal sound, but still being able to have the versatility of a standard pup.
I dunno what would be best.
#16
Dude, Duncan SH-6 and a '59 in the neck. Perfect for metal to blues.
Quote by asfastasdark
+1. This man knows his ****.


Walker Rose.
#17
You don't need a grinder it makes things faster but if your only doing one guitar and it has one contour it's not worth it. If the headstock is reversed you want left handed tuners you migt be able to get away with right handed ones but the headstock is left handed so you should get the left handed tuners.
edit: since your using humbuckers all the volume and tone pots should be 500k
#18
Alright got some pics for ya!

There she is, all cut up, ready to be sanded down when I'm not so f***in busy.




Here you can kinda see the raised center section


And my lame attempt at getting a picture of the grain. Really doesn't do it justice.


Good news, I've got a neck on order from Allparts, hopefully it will arrive soon.
Bad news, school is really slowing this project down for me.

Still unsure about which tuners to get, I'm probably gonna bid on a Bigsby B50 trem today, and my dad's friend suggested locking tuners (he has a lot of experience with guitars). The Sperzel lockers look nice, but there's also the route of buying Steinberger gearless tuners. Anybody have any experience with those? Screw-mac sells them and says they're locking but i dunno...

And i browsed around the duncan pups site, the sh-4 actually kinda looks pretty good, and def a '59 in the neck.
#20
i dunno about performance, but the gearless tuners would look great if you're using the firebird headstock design, as it usually has "banjo style" tuners similar to the gearless. either way, if you've got the money, i say try them out (they are locking if you string them up correctly)
#21
ya, that's why i'm considering the gearlesses, cuz they would look perfect on it, but we might have to pass on those cause they are bloody expensive. there's a couple of sites where you can get sperzels for like 50 bucks which is pretty good.
I'm gonna look more a dimarzio pups as well, cuz one of my dad's other friends who plays guitar has been building his own guitars forever, and keeps using the same parts just different bodies, so he's had like, this strat neck and old dimarzio pup that have been in a ton of different guitars and have never failed him.
#23
You don't want to put right handed tuners on because they turn the wrong way. It's actually pretty annoying to tune (I've done it)

Also the location of the peg pressing against the knob's gear is intended to apply the pressure on the gears. If you put the wrong side tuner on, then the peg pulls away from the gear and applies all the pressure on the bushings. This should (in theory) wear out the tuners faster and possibly effect stability if using cheaper tuners.

Warmoth sells tuners for cheap. Go to their guitar hardware section. You can select either side, one at a time. Just pay attention to the diagrams to make sure you get the right direction tuners.

You can check out my firebird build in my signature. I started from those same plans but changed everything. I just wanted a baseline to go from. I dropped the raised center section because that is part of the neck through construction. They glue the body wings onto the raised neck piece with an angled joint.

Also, don't concern yourself too much with the wiring diagram in the plans. You'd be better off using something like a Seymour Duncan diagram.

http://www.seymourduncan.com/pdfs/support/schematics/2h_2v_2t_3w.pdf

http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
Last edited by zeroyon at Sep 22, 2008,
#24
thanks for the tips on the tuners
i looked at warmoth's tuners, and i was thinking of going with sperzel locking tuners, despite those amazing prices, but then i looked at their examples of "left" and "right" tuners, and i just got more confused than ever. they're describing them as left or right side of the head, so by that logic, i should be buying right tuners. but does the rest of the world follow this same logic?
#25
Quote by RIP_bonham
thanks for the tips on the tuners
i looked at warmoth's tuners, and i was thinking of going with sperzel locking tuners, despite those amazing prices, but then i looked at their examples of "left" and "right" tuners, and i just got more confused than ever. they're describing them as left or right side of the head, so by that logic, i should be buying right tuners. but does the rest of the world follow this same logic?

I don't see what's confusing for a right handed guitar with a non reversed headstock you want right handed tuners because it's a right handed guitar thus "right handed tuners". For a left handed you want left handed tuners. You are putting a left handed headstock on a right handed guitar the tuners go on the headstock so you want left handed tuners.
#26
I think it would be better if you would have planed your wood first, instead of gluing it first, since you want to do the raised top. I wouldve glued on a seperate peice of mahogany for the raised top before you routed it, but idk. And on the tuners. This is a right-handed guitar. If your doing a reverse headstock, buy lefty tuners. If not, the right-handed ones should work. I would get the gearless, I think those are the ones with the 40:1 ratio instead of 18:1.
#27
ok, i was just confused because what warmoth considers a "right" tuner is one that is positioned on the right side of a headstock, or what would be a left handed head. but ive got it now :P
nah, we did plan the wood a lot, we got the grain to look as good as we could get it to look, and the whole point of the raised center is that its one whole chunk, not just extra bits laminated on top and bottom. but i see where your coming from.
and ya the 40:1 ratio does sound pretty freaking sweet, but seriously, i could get the original locking tuners, best in the biz if you want, for half price, and they're dead simple to change strings on, or so I've heard. I dunno, tuners aren't really a must have at the moment, we've got the neck on order, getting the neck pocket is gonna be the trickiest part of this job, so we're gonna take our time there.
good news, we also got a Bigsby B50 trem bridge shipping out from somewhere in the states, good old ebay. really excited for that.
#28
Quote by 420 FREAK
I don't see what's confusing for a right handed guitar with a non reversed headstock you want right handed tuners because it's a right handed guitar thus "right handed tuners". For a left handed you want left handed tuners. You are putting a left handed headstock on a right handed guitar the tuners go on the headstock so you want left handed tuners.



You don't see why because you haven't tried to buy tuners from Warmoth. I said pay attention to the diagrams because it is confusing on their website.

Left side tuners go on a proper right handed neck. They say "left" and mean they hang off the left side. Don't use common sense here, just go with what they say.

I've purchased two sets for reverse headstocks and got the right kind both times (right tuners for a lefty headstock)
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#29
Oh damn!
The neck came in today and it is f***in EPIC! thank you allparts!
possibly the most beautiful rosewood ive ever seen.
Im gonna try and get a pic up shortly, brb.
#30
Alright here they are. I couldn't really get a picture of the rosewood grain, but believe me, its beautiful.

In case you were wondering, that's a vintage Baldwin organ in picture, and we have a vintage Leslie Rotary Speaker Cab in the corner (not in the pic).




This is pretty much the best shot i could get of the rosewood.
#31
Beautiful straight grain on that. You got lucky, man. Nice piece of wood.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#33
Ya, I'm so happy with that rosewood.
I have a question now about the neck joint. We originally planned this as a bolt-on, but my dad brought up the question of what's the difference between bolt-on and set neck, besides the obvious bolt/glue difference. To my understanding, its all about the heel of the neck, but looking at zeryon's firebird build now, the heel on his doesn't seem all that different from a regular bolt-on. Yes it does stick out a good 2 inches extra, but that's only to compensate for the lack of wood on the body from where the heel would be to the neck pickup right?
If you take a look at the pics I've taken, the heel on the neck and the amount of neck joint space on the body is more than on zeroyon's, so couldn't I technically make mine a set neck? and keep in mind that once wood glue dries completely, its stronger than wood itself.
#34
I think it has to do with the surface area of the heel, and the pocket.
Quote by asfastasdark
+1. This man knows his ****.


Walker Rose.
#35
Yeah, you could make it a set neck. I chopped all of the heel off of mine after the glue was dry... making it look like a neck-through.

The tenon is the part that extends under the neck pickup. Just make the tenon length end right where the neck pickup ends and it will be hidden by the pickup. Otherwise you could put a longer tenon on and just use a pickguard or a top to hide it.

I moved my neck pickup right up to the fingerboard so the pickup ring hides the tenon.

The biggest thing you have to worry about is proper neck angle and making it straight. Once the glue dries, its harder than wood. That neck isn't coming off without destroying it. If you don't get it just right, you're screwed.

Happened to me, and I've seen it happen to others.

Bolt on is very forgiving. You can shim the neck to correct angle problems to work out the action correctly, etc...

If you are not sure whether you can get it just right, then consider doing a bolt on for now and make a set neck next time.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#36
hmm, thanks.
ya thats the only thing im worried about is the unforgivingness of glue. the only thing is, my neck doesnt have a tenon, would that still matter?
but if i can make it work as a set neck, im all for it because i hate the big heels of bolt-ons.
#37
Quote by zeroyon
You don't see why because you haven't tried to buy tuners from Warmoth. I said pay attention to the diagrams because it is confusing on their website.

Left side tuners go on a proper right handed neck. They say "left" and mean they hang off the left side. Don't use common sense here, just go with what they say.

I've purchased two sets for reverse headstocks and got the right kind both times (right tuners for a lefty headstock)

I've bought some tuners from warmoth didn't have a problem I don't remember if it was backwards like that when I bought them or not but it really shouldn't be too big of a deal just get the right tuners than. They are using common sense really that's the left side of the head it would just be easier if they had right and left handed ones.
#38
alright, Bigsby B50 came in the mail the other day, so excited for that!
im not gonna post pics, cuz well, its just like every other chrome bigsby b50 out there.
#39
turns out my plan needs to be fast forwarded because i wanted it for auditions for my school's annual rock show, but turns out its like 2 and a half months earlier this year.
its gonna be a fun weekend of sanding for me!
still need to try and decide if i want to make my pre-built bolt-on neck into a set neck...

i actually have LOST the build plans, so i don't have any measurements for the guitar as of now, still looking everywhere for the plans.

will upload pics of the body once ive got it sanded down
#40
alright so my thread is dying, and the build is moving slowly cause I've been SO busy lately.
next time i go to the cottage, I WILL sand the body and post pics of it.
thought of another way to make the heel joint nice and smooth, hard for me to describe, but its a way to make a bolt on smoothish. gonna keep it in mind.
i got my first pup on order from eBay today, a vintage new in box dimarzio SCHB (super clean humbucker) for the neck spot. chrome cover with the dimarzio logo on it, pretty cool looking imo.
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