I got up and decided to do some work on an old guitar I built that I never used. 15 minutes later I had a half inch of thickness cut off (it was a ridiculously thick guitar) and was running it through the drum sander.

This gets pretty addicting.

Anyway, My first build played pretty decently it was just way too thick and way too heavy. I decided to thin it down and recarve it. I also decided that since it was made of some pretty decent looking wood that I would remove the seafoam green finish and give it a sunburst type finish with a clear plexi pickguard (I had some plexiglass lying around from a previous project.)

I'll post some pictures of this and maybe point out some of the mistakes that I made my first go around.

Any questions let me know, its a fail safe method if you secure the template to the headstock well. Good luck!
I haven't read the whole thread so I'm not sure what your plans are on how to actually do the construction so I'll give you a few tips.

The first thing you want to do before you do anything is get 1/4 MDF

The second thing you want to do is adhesive your headstock plan onto the MDF

After that you'll want to cut out your headstock design on the MDF

Once you have done that and have sanded/refined the MDF template to the appropriate size youll need a router bit with a bearing on the top.

You trace the MDF template onto the headstock and rough cut about 1/16- 1/4" outside of the line (this obviously can vary a lot. You really dont have to be close to the pencil line at all. you DO NOT want to cut inside of the line.)

EDIT: This rough-cutting is with a bandsaw

I use double sided masking tape to secure the template to the headstock. You can do whatever you are comfortable with as long as the template can not move. practice and make sure it doesn't.


Do some sanding and you are finished.

This is the way you should do 100% of cutting when building a guitar.
Best way to do the shaping of the headstock is bandsaw and then router. Make sure you have a good template made for use with your router and that it is securely fastened to the headstock (obviously.)

I have no idea how to apply decals effectively and perfectly. I did some experimentation with this back in the day but never really came up with a good way to do it. I usually inlay a logo now.
I'll take some higher quality photos outside tomorrow. The neck joint is a little bit on the small side and looks even smaller than it is because of the bevel in the transition between the body and neck. With that being said, though, I see this as a non issue structurally and am almost certain that it will hold up.

This build was a little bit of an experiment and a little bit of a departure from my previous builds but I like to change it up.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do for my next project if I choose to build a guitar later in the summer. Maybe I'll be daring and do an acoustic build. I made so many jigs for acoustic building a year or two ago and never got around to it. Plus, the ladies love acoustic guitars.

Hello people,

It's been far too long. It was a truly eventful year to say the very least. I'm not sure how many people are still around from the old days, but I'm back (for now at least) and I come with a newly finished build in the books. Some of you might remember the curly spanish cedar SG that I was building earlier. Well it is now up and running pretty well.

Here it is:

A couple of things need to be straightened out with the electronics and setup, but it is pretty much finished.

What do ya think?
Maybe a late response, didn't bother reading the whole thread. You're going to have to rough it up with some 400 grit and then spray some gloss clear on top. Most satin finishes are chemically designed to be satin and even when buffed appear satin. When you're done spraying you're going to have to go through all of the wet sanding and buffing steps but it wont be too difficult because of the smooth base (previous layer of poly) that you sprayed on top of.
Wow, I still haven't correctly wired this thing up. I know what I'm gonna do when I get back from school.
Quote by Invader Jim

carousel: looks alright to me. symptoms sound like you have a short to ground somehere in there. use an ohm meter to test all the connections when you think you fixed it.

What do you mean by I have a short to ground somwhere in there? How would I fix that. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to electronics.

Can anyone spot anything wrong here. I'm not getting anything at all when I plug it in. I'd greatly appreciate anyones help.

could I post a pic and have one of you look for an error in the wiring?
could someone please hook me up with a wiring diagram for 2 humbuckers a three way, 2 tones and two volumes. I have a red wire that is the hot wire, a bare wire and a white wire (golden age pickups from stewmac)
I'm very excited to get finished as well. I need to work on the wiring a little bit more. I hope I have it done tomorrow.
The SG is ALMOST complete. I have to work out a few flaws in the wiring and set it up but that is all.
I like the eagle idea for an f hole and a 12th fret inlay.
alright I'm leaning towards the thinline tele. I've never made one before and I love teles. Now I need ideas for an f hole cutout. I dont want to go standard f-hole. I want it to be in the shape of something. I also need ideas for hardware, inlays etc. I want it to follow some sort of theme.

Edit: Also, their is something about the curly spanish cedar that makes me want to just keep building curly spanish cedar guitars. I may want to make it curly spanish cedar.
Here's the deal. I have no idea what to do for my next project (and last project for a while.) I think I would like to incorporate different woods into this one like I did with my SG, but I'm not even sure of that. So, if everyone could throw around some idea's it would be very helpful. Oh yea, i should probably mention that I have to be able to sell it so I'm not going to be doing anything that would make it unsellable.

joel-I'm based in the USA. The selling price is negotiable, I really don't have a firm price set at all.
Rusty Chisel- I believe the chuck I used is called a "stebdrive"

I just mount a long skinny square piece of wood, and I turn the end of it and cut the knob off when I'm finished. Then I use the center hole from the turning to drill the holes with a drill press. You know what though, I do have a one way talon chuck. That would make my life a little bit easier.
When I sell it I'll include both lol.
I did not. I'll do it tomorrow.
^ definitely not if he thinks mahogany is too expensive lol.
or just inlay big V's and T's in curly spanish cedar. Thanks for the idea!

I made the top knob of the three way switch in curly maple as well.
hahaha, you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly. Just use cheaper parts for your first guitar.
Tone is altered much more by hardware and craftsmanship than by wood.
Quote by inkandlead
WHat kind of cedar is this? Spanish Cedar is actually a nice tonewood for solid bodies. It is actually a for of mahogany if I remember correctly.

Spanish cedar is a type of a mahogany. It's not very expensive either. That may be a good alternative to mahogany for you. Some spanish cedar smells terrible though. Their is a HUGE difference between spanish cedar and cedar (red cedar.) What you have most likely is regular cedar.
Basswood is probably a little bit warmer than alder. It's cheap too.
If youre looking for warm go with mahogany.
I retract my statement about the cedar. I just checked the hardness and apparently it is rated the same as poplar. I honestly didn't think that was the case. I say go for it.

I still would try to get my hands on some poplar or any other cheap wood
I wouldn't go with cedar. If you're going to build something use wood that is hard enough. Cedar is too soft for electric guitars. It'll dent too easily, be flimsy at the neck pocket, etc. All of the parts are under a lot of tension.
If you're looking for a cheap wood to use go with poplar. It sounds great, looks decent (if you get a piece with no mineral streaks) and is one of the easiest woods to finish. Not to mention a body blank should set you back no more than 5-6 bucks if you buy raw lumber.

Don't get me wrong you CAN use cedar. It probably is not the best choice though

Nope, it has a TOM bridge. The intonation would be way off.

Also, about the knobs. I could inlay MOP letters T and V. I think that would be pretty original and i think it could look pretty decent.

hah, i understand. thanks guys.

Making those knobs was a pain. I turned them on the lathe and drilled all of the holes. It must have taken me 2 hours to make them. That probably is because I don't use the lathe often and I kind of suck at turning. Oh well, definitely worth doing. I think the little details can make or break a guitar.

So now I'm just gonna be waiting around for a few parts. I need ideas for another project. I think I'm hooked again after that little break I took. I wish that I would've made this lefty. Sucks not being able to play something you built.

I cut the pickup rings down. They look about 200x's better. Best decision of my life.
I like the green man. If you like it I say go for it! You just sprayed that on for a mockup kind of thing correct? It looks like you have some sanding left to do.


I spent so much time making knobs and PUP rings. I need to order some electrical stuff. should be finished fairly soon though! Mock-up.

the pickup rings look so much worse in the pictures for some reason. I dont know, I kind of like the oversized look. I'll ponder it for a day or two though.