Build your own guitar?

TheDrJFever

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I've built three so far. All bolt on necks and mainly Fender style. I'm getting the itch to build a V from scratch though. It's not that hard if you're using prefab stuff (body, neck). The finish part is the one I consider the hardest part of the build. Hardware is easy, it's the sanding, filling, sanding, staining, lacquer, sanding, lacquer, sanding, sanding, buffing, sanding, buffing, stripping it all off and starting over... yeah, that's the hard part.
 

soulman969

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I've "assembled" a few Teles for friend from parts they've selected and significantly rebuilt a couple of my own but I'm no luthier with the tools or ability to build one from the ground up. Here's a few pics.

blackie.JPG
An Esquire with a very lightweight Paulownia body, maple soft "V" neck and a Cavalier Lion bridge pickup with vintage '50s wiring.

blackie2.jpeg
A partially finished double bound Tele awaiting it's neck and 4-way wiring. The pickups are Wilde Keystones from Bill and Becky Lawrence. It ended up being sold as is without the neck but completed otherwise to Eddie Van Halen's guitar tech when Van Halen was in Denver on a tour.

cvc1.jpeg
My own favorite Tele which began life as a Squier CVC. All that's left of it is it's Alder body. Everything else has been upgraded from the neck all the way down to the pickups, 4-way wiring and hardware. The LPB Nashville type Tele in the background was another conversion project of a '95 Tele and the Blonde one is a '51 Nocaster type conversion of an ash body '06 Tele w/CS Nocaster pickups, 4-way wiring, and a vintage style bridge.

goldbronze.jpeg
Another of my personal Teles as a work in progress. It's another FSR CVC Tele in a limited edition finish. It has a similar looking but new neck, new pickups, upgraded wiring and hardware and a Babicz FCH Bridge. It's very similar to a G&L Blues Boy and quite bold tonally with higher output.
 
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soulman969

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Has anybody here done built one? Either a kit or from scratch? I'm getting the temptation to build a body myself and just use a bolt-on neck.
Do it brother. Just decide what body style you like and go from there.

Parts are easy enough to come by from a huge list of sources as are pickups. It's a blast to watch something come together by virtue of your own work and then the satisfaction of fine tuning it all setting it up, plugging it in and playing your own work. And it's fun to do as well!
 

Noodling Guitars

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Has anybody here done built one? Either a kit or from scratch? I'm getting the temptation to build a body myself and just use a bolt-on neck.
Yes, I've built a few teles. Not from scratch though, only kits and with parts. It's a very fun process with the only caveat being that you really need to learn about the different part sizes before buying.
 

28 Flathead

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I've built three so far. All bolt on necks and mainly Fender style. I'm getting the itch to build a V from scratch though. It's not that hard if you're using prefab stuff (body, neck). The finish part is the one I consider the hardest part of the build. Hardware is easy, it's the sanding, filling, sanding, staining, lacquer, sanding, lacquer, sanding, sanding, buffing, sanding, buffing, stripping it all off and starting over... yeah, that's the hard part.
That definitely IS the hard part, but you got me laughing this morning because it couldn't be more true.
 

Darkness

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I have in my mind that I want to pick up a bolt-on neck and build a body from scratch. I blame @BGood because I play my LP Special so often and constantly stare at its simple construction. I have some good wood working tools, I'm sure I can find templates for how to route the cutouts for pickups and such. I could probably just pull my pickups and trace theirs.

The wheels are turning.
giphy.webp
 

Lancpudn

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I went the easy route & just assembled a strat type guitar out of parts off the ebay, I bought a strat body that had a good set of pickups/wiring already done, The paint job on it wasn't anything great. I bought a cheap Chinese strat neck from China which turned out to be very good indeed for the price of £25 :thumb:

Even got my username in Fender script made off ebay :thumb: Still got it, I made a mess cutting the new nut too deep, Still not got around to sorting that out.

yGK33dXl.jpg


SXph9val.jpg


S0Kblxwl.jpg
 

Digger

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Thought about it one time but accept that I don’t have the woodworking skills. I’m better with metal.

Even though I haven’t attempted to play guitar for some years I’m missing the Casino I gave to my Granddaughter. I loved that guitar!

There’s no logic in that is there?
 

phonepi

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I designed and built some, but I have been helped for the woodwork and the finishing job. Some are from scratch, some are resurrected derelicts, some are transformed leftovers...

Let's be honest, though : without this help, I would never have ventured into such projects...

hMpgLb-DIY-Guitar-Trio-31-01-2021.jpg


8k9HMb-P1130425.jpg


In the batch, there are two Epiphones :naughty: :

19101705340125019416467933.jpg


WWYXOb-P1160902.jpg


So I must thank my Luthier pals Fred and Clément... :cool::)

P
 

soulman969

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I designed and built some, but I have been helped for the woodwork and the finishing job. Some are from scratch, some are resurrected derelicts, some are transformed leftovers...

Let's be honest, though : without this help, I would never have ventured into such projects...

hMpgLb-DIY-Guitar-Trio-31-01-2021.jpg


8k9HMb-P1130425.jpg


In the batch, there are two Epiphones :naughty: :

19101705340125019416467933.jpg


WWYXOb-P1160902.jpg


So I must thank my Luthier pals Fred and Clément... :cool::)

P
That's all just really great work on your part as well. Your ideas came to light.
 

soulman969

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Thanks for the additional photos. Those will help all of us even better understand your designs and your part in them. Love the work.
 

John

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I've built a few because of a challenge. I don't anymore though. I have way too many other hobbies I play with.
 

soulman969

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I went the easy route & just assembled a strat type guitar out of parts off the ebay, I bought a strat body that had a good set of pickups/wiring already done, The paint job on it wasn't anything great. I bought a cheap Chinese strat neck from China which turned out to be very good indeed for the price of £25 :thumb:

Even got my username in Fender script made off ebay :thumb: Still got it, I made a mess cutting the new nut too deep, Still not got around to sorting that out.

yGK33dXl.jpg


SXph9val.jpg


S0Kblxwl.jpg
Classy. I love the LPB maple neck combination. Very retro.
 

Raiyn

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Has anybody here done built one? Either a kit or from scratch? I'm getting the temptation to build a body myself and just use a bolt-on neck.
Built? No. Modded to the point I may as well have just bought a body & neck? Oh yeah, practically all of them. I just don't do fine woodworking.

It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who likes a solid ground buss.
1637866174594.jpg
1637866197116.jpg

Yours is remarkably straight, what are you using? Mine is 18AWG tinned solid copper that I twist straighten and then shape. I find the tinned wire (mine is old MIL-spec stuff) easy to work with.
 

phonepi

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Yours is remarkably straight, what are you using?

Oh, nothing rare @Raiyn ! Common electrical appliance rigid full-core wire, just as found in DIY supermarkets... In 1mm2, 1.5mm2 or 2.5mm2 section, depending on the need.

Here's the trick - desperately simple - to make it dead straight :

1 - I cut the suitable lenght of wire.
2 - I remove the plastic insulation of it.
3 - I first gently straighten by hand to avoid large bends.
4 - I roll the piece of wire on the bench under a flat plank, just like we did with the modeling clay of our childhood.
5 - That's done, "droit comme un i avec le point dessus" - easy ! :D

And yes, solid ground bus makes the wiring simpler, neatier, and often easier to install and remove.

A+!
 

Raiyn

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Oh, nothing rare @Raiyn ! Common electrical appliance rigid full-core wire, just as found in DIY supermarkets... In 1mm2, 1.5mm2 or 2.5mm2 section, depending on the need.

Here's the trick - desperately simple - to make it dead straight :

1 - I cut the suitable lenght of wire.
2 - I remove the plastic insulation of it.
3 - I first gently straighten by hand to avoid large bends.
4 - I roll the piece of wire on the bench under a flat plank, just like we did with the modeling clay of our childhood.
5 - That's done, "droit comme un i avec le point dessus" - easy ! :D

And yes, solid ground bus makes the wiring simpler, neatier, and often easier to install and remove.

A+!
I thought so. It looks like what we call Romex - a brand of house wiring that had its name applied generically to similar products.

For my wire:
  1. Hand straighten and cut a length of wire about an inch longer than needed.
  2. Insert just enough wire into a variable speed hand drill chuck for a good trip and tighten.
  3. Clamp the other end in a set of locking pliers and hold.
  4. At a low speed, use the drill to twist the wire straight.
et violà
This does work harden the wire a bit, but as you can see, it still bends well for my purposes.
 


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