Author Topic: How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*  (Read 46974 times)

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Offline Martinus

  • Aka Maeglamor
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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
(*assuming the builder has the skills necessary to execute said task.)

Ok I started this a few weeks back, been building it on my fridays off uni with a guy I know, it's his A-level project for technology.

Please excuse the photo quality, I'm no artiste. ;)

The body; 2 pieces of ash cut to the general shape of an Explorer:


Different angle:


Back showing cavity cover:


Cavity for controls and wiring:


The cover of the cavity; a piece of ebony cut from waste:


The neck, still needs a truss rod channel routed. Also a piece of wood known as 'purpleheart' for the fretboard, pretty dense wood and a great colour IMHO.




Partially cut head stock with drilled machine head holes (tuners):



UPDATE: Well it's been ages since I posted this thread and I'd forgotten that the images were hosted on HLP's old server so I've re-uploaded them and relinked everything. Lost a few photos for some reason so I had to make a few minor edits. Every now and then I get a message regarding this and, rather than simply put another web-page up, I thought it would be nice to send people here to HLP as the replies, to me, made this such a fun write-up. :)


« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 01:09:25 pm by Martinus »

 

Offline Martinus

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
Pickups, bridge (Gibson style tunomatic), neck plate, control pots and other bits and bobs. (sorry, loads of chrome and a flash is a bad mix :D ):


Fretwire, vernier calipers, pickup routing jig, fretboard radius guide:


Tools:
Router - guitarmakers best friend
Junior hacksaw for cutting fret slots
Razor saw for precision cutting
Block plane for levelling the fretboard
Coping saw for cutting the headstock shape etc.
Standard diameter fret file
Deadblow hammer with rubber and plastic faces for seating the frets
Spokeshave used to raduis the back of the neck
3 clamps (probably not enough)
Half round file
Set of scalpels and blades
Assortment of sandpaper
Ultra fine wire wool (used when spraying the guitar)
Radius block for the fretboard (12 inch radius in this case)


And the one thing every budding luthier needs for a worry free job; the mighty Kenya hoodie! (I am now unstoppable!):


I'll try to post more photies as I progress. :nod:
« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 12:23:38 pm by Martinus »

 

Offline Petrarch of the VBB

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
Warning. Don't wash that hoodie. I bough a Mr Stabby t shirt and all the colour came out in the first wash.

 

Offline redsniper

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
you need to shave
"Think about nice things not unhappy things.
The future makes happy, if you make it yourself.
No war; think about happy things."   -WouterSmitssm

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Offline Taristin

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
:lol:

Awesome!

I love the hoody, too!
Freelance Modeler | Amateur Artist

 

Offline Martinus

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
I've been too busy. :)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2007, 09:07:11 am by Maeglamor »

 

Offline phreak

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
:yes:

the headstock looks sweet
Offically approved by Ebola Virus Man :wtf:
phreakscp - gtalk

 

Offline Joey_21

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
I love it! Never attempted building a guitar, myself, but I sure like to play them. :D

 

Offline phreak

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
Maeg, what kind of pickups are you using?
Offically approved by Ebola Virus Man :wtf:
phreakscp - gtalk

 

Offline Martinus

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
PhReAk, I'm using a set of Kent Armstrong high output humbuckers. He makes great pickups and you don't pay the excessive prices that the likes of DiMarzio or Seymor Duncan charge.

The head is taken from a BCRich design, I told him to design his own (you practically have a blank canvas as long as you take the position of the machine heads into consideration) but he wanted that one. Personally I think it's brutal (and not in the Lister Red Dwarf meaning), I like flowy curves. :nod:

Oh and Mik, I eat much fibre so that doesn't happen to me. :D

Joey, I'd advise that you take a bunch of classes in woodwork and that you start humble. Trying to build a twin neck gibson on your first attempt is a recipe for tears and frustration, the strat style one I built was a really good choice; it has a bolt on neck, so if you make minor mistakes you can somewhat adjust the neck to body angle.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2007, 09:07:32 am by Maeglamor »

 

Offline Joey_21

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
What color are you going to paint the body? IMHO - satin black or a wineish red would look pretty sweet. :yes:

 

Offline Martinus

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
I'm leaving that up to him so I'm not sure at this point, I was always a fan of wood finishes so if it were my choice I'd just spray the thing with clear lacquer.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2007, 09:07:53 am by Maeglamor »

 

Offline Setekh

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
Wow, awesome... love the willpower shot, too :D You so have to show us how it comes out looking. Would be even better if you show us how it sounds, too. ;)
- Eddie Kent Woo, Setekh, Steak (of Steaks), AWACS. Seriously, just pick one.
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Offline Martinus

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
Today I have been mostly... Routing!

First of all I had to build a jig so that I could flatten the fingerboard..




A truss rod in all its simplistic glory. I dismantled it to illustrate how simple it is.


And back in one piece:


Basically what I have to do is route a channel in the neck to install the truss rod. The truss rod must be effectively flush with the top surface of the neck. Here you can see me placing it so that I can mark out where the truss rod channel will be routed.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 12:28:42 pm by Martinus »

 

Offline Martinus

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*

The router bit; luckily I have one that is exactly the right diameter to cut a channel for a standard width truss rod. These things are bloody dangerous when you set them going.


No matter how sure you are it never hurts to to a test run, here I've routed a shallow channel on a piece of MDF and as you can see the truss rod fits it quite snugly.


A side runner for the router; since the piece of wood I'm using for the neck is square I can use the guide along the edge of the neck block and ensure the truss rod channel is straight.


Here's the finished channel after routing. Notice that the top end is narrower, I use a smaller bit to cut this so that it looks tidy where the truss rod adjustment nut leaves the neck.


...and fitted, not a hitch either (touch wood ;) ).


Now all I have to do is clean the mess up before my dad kicks my arse. ;)


More soon if you're all still interested.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 12:27:18 pm by Martinus »

 

Offline Sandwich

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
Wow.
SERIOUSLY...! | {The Sandvich Bar} - Rhino-FS2 Tutorial | CapShip Turret Upgrade | The Complete FS2 Ship List | System Background Package

"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline Gloriano

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
:yes: Wow

Quote
More soon if you're all still interested


I'am:nod:
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When in despair I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won; there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.- Mahatma Gandhi

 

Offline pyro-manic

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
F'kin right I am! An explorer is next on my list of "awesome axes I need to get". :D

Oh, and I want to hear this when it's done - get it through a good amp and record it for us!

And a question - do you do requests? I'll pay you to build me one if it sounds good.... ;)
Any fool can pull a trigger...

 
How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
Hehe, I love the commentary.

 

Offline Martinus

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How to build a guitar in many, many easy steps*
Thankyou guys. I'll be cranking my amp as soon as it's in playing shape, "All knobs to Germany!" as my mate says (think about it; we live in Ireland. ;) ).

As for the requests Pyro, to be honest, this is something I do at my leisure, for fun. It would generally take me a long time to get this far but since someone else is involved I've had to crank this guitar out as fast as I could reasonably do it. If I was building it by myself, for myself it would take ages. Also it's a heck of a lot more expensive than buying a guitar (generally) when you build it yourself, factories can save a lot of money in mass production.

As I told Sandwich on MSN though; once you've built one you really want to have another go. It's addictive. :nod:
« Last Edit: May 07, 2007, 09:09:14 am by Maeglamor »