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> Create Your Own Guitar - Worthwhile?
Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 29 2009, 11:02 PM
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I've been thinking about creating my own guitar from scratch (not a build-kit, but actually creating your own body, neck, etc.) for a while now. Timewise, it will probably take me forever, given that I hardly have any time left to do it, but that's not my main worry.

I'm worried that if I spent an x amount on the parts (wood, tools, pickups etc.), I'll end up with a guitar that sounds like 1/2x in stead of 2x and therefore will just be fun to look it, but I'd never play it. For example, I have a EUR 800 Schecter C-1 Classic, which I really like (soundwise and playability vs the cost), but if I spent, say, EUR 400 on material for building my own guitar, I'll be lucky if it sounds like a EUR 200 guitar, in stead of getting close to the Schecter.

No matter how proud I'd be to have created my own guitar (as a unique object), I'll probably end up never playing it. And that to me is not worth it.

Does anyone have experience on this matter? I'd love to hear your experience or thoughts on this; and possibly prevent me from going down a path that is leading to nowhere smile.gif
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Adrian Figallo
post Dec 29 2009, 11:11 PM
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hey bro, i made one guitar in the past, was trying to make a copy of my main strat, bought a wilkinson tremolo, lockig tuners, dimarzio pickups and electronicos, dunlop jumbo frets etc etc.

It sounded great, that's true, but the playability was AWFUL, then i realized than i'm not a luthier, i'm a guitar player biggrin.gif

So i replaced the neck with a warmoth one, better but still... never got close to my strat.. so i take the electronics and parts out and sold the wood.

For my point of view, is not worthy AND it's not cheap biggrin.gif


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Boson
post Dec 29 2009, 11:17 PM
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One day I would like to create my own guitar. Warmouth looks the place to go for main parts.


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Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 29 2009, 11:18 PM
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thanks for the quick reply, Adrian. At this moment, you are confirming my fear... smile.gif
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Alexiaden93
post Dec 29 2009, 11:20 PM
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QUOTE (Rik Veldhuizen @ Dec 29 2009, 11:02 PM) *
I've been thinking about creating my own guitar from scratch (not a build-kit, but actually creating your own body, neck, etc.) for a while now. Timewise, it will probably take me forever, given that I hardly have any time left to do it, but that's not my main worry.

I'm worried that if I spent an x amount on the parts (wood, tools, pickups etc.), I'll end up with a guitar that sounds like 1/2x in stead of 2x and therefore will just be fun to look it, but I'd never play it. For example, I have a EUR 800 Schecter C-1 Classic, which I really like (soundwise and playability vs the cost), but if I spent, say, EUR 400 on material for building my own guitar, I'll be lucky if it sounds like a EUR 200 guitar, in stead of getting close to the Schecter.

No matter how proud I'd be to have created my own guitar (as a unique object), I'll probably end up never playing it. And that to me is not worth it.

Does anyone have experience on this matter? I'd love to hear your experience or thoughts on this; and possibly prevent me from going down a path that is leading to nowhere smile.gif

I believe Brian May may have some experience on this matter... wink.gif



For detailed information you could check ExpertVillage's channel on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/user/expertvillage

Search "how to make a homemade electric guitar" and all of the videos should be available. Now I know ExpertVillage may or not be helpful, but at least give it a shot... ^^

Good luck with making the guitar, and I hope this helped smile.gif


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Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 29 2009, 11:23 PM
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QUOTE (Boson @ Dec 29 2009, 11:17 PM) *
One day I would like to create my own guitar. Warmouth looks the place to go for main parts.


I've checked warmoth.com. That would indeed provide proper parts when it comes to body and neck (my main worries when creating by myself all from scratch), but I'd have to agree with Adrian, it is definitely not cheap. Just a body and neck that I like is already almost $1000... sad.gif So all in all I might end up with something like $1500 on parts...
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Alexiaden93
post Dec 29 2009, 11:28 PM
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Oh man, never mind Expert Village... biggrin.gif





After reading the topic title I realised that you only want to know if you should actually have a go at it... Sorry xD Anyway... xD

This post has been edited by Alexiaden93: Dec 29 2009, 11:37 PM


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Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 29 2009, 11:41 PM
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great info, thanks! Listening to Brian May is indeed very inspiring... cool.gif And the vids help. Those are the reasons I'm thinking about doing it, and there are reasons like Adrian said that make me hesitant... smile.gif
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Staffy
post Dec 29 2009, 11:46 PM
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I will definitely say yes to that - but only IF you are prepared to devote a lot of time and efforts (which was the reason I turned it down and saved it for my retirement days....) I built some Warmoth and others with great result though.... I've some books on the topic in the old day's, can't remember their name, if I can find them I will post it here.

The issue with building a guitar from totally scratch is of course to get good wood, and the first one You build has to be like a prototype because You will learn of the mistakes that is probably uninvitely when building the first one... The wood can however be found for nothing, an old kitchen table, or visit a local furniture manufactor.... They may as well give it to You... Then we got the tool problem, in order to do it properly You will need some really good machines that are as expensive as the guitar.... a good saw, a router, a precision sander, a compressor for paint jobs etc.

Besides that it's really a matter of beeing extremely patient and do the things properly. There is no secrets in making a good guitar, plenty of info is out there, but You sure need some wood-working skills and the proper tools. If i had the time, I will definitely have done it..... but atm. I rather spend the time on practising... biggrin.gif

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Fran
post Dec 30 2009, 12:02 AM
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I guess building a guitar is quite hard, so it probably won't produce a perfect result the first time. You probably need to build many guitars and go through trial and error to actually craft something worth playing.

So I guess that even if you are really skilled crafting wood if you lack the guitar know-how it won't surpass a well crafted stock guitar. But I guess you will have a great time and end up with something unique on the other hand smile.gif


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Adrian Figallo
post Dec 30 2009, 12:33 AM
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but if u get warmoth + top notch parts, u will end with at $1500-$2000 guitar but to my taste, way way better than a regular $2000 stratocaster or something smile.gif

there's no mistery in making a guitar if u got the wood sliced and painted properly, you just need good taste smile.gif


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Staffy
post Dec 30 2009, 12:38 AM
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QUOTE (Adrian Figallo @ Dec 30 2009, 12:33 AM) *
but if u get warmoth + top notch parts, u will end with at $1500-$2000 guitar but to my taste, way way better than a regular $2000 stratocaster or something smile.gif

there's no mistery in making a guitar if u got the wood sliced and painted properly, you just need good taste smile.gif


Thats definitely true! Agree 100% here!


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Staffy
post Dec 30 2009, 12:44 AM
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QUOTE
I guess building a guitar is quite hard, so it probably won't produce a perfect result the first time. You probably need to build many guitars and go through trial and error to actually craft something worth playing.


Thats true.

QUOTE
So I guess that even if you are really skilled crafting wood if you lack the guitar know-how it won't surpass a well crafted stock guitar. But I guess you will have a great time and end up with something unique on the other hand smile.gif


This one I dont agree to, I think that every skilled wood craftsman can build a guitar - given that he has the exact measures, materials etc., but he cant not set it up properly, that has to be done by a guitar techician.

//Staffay


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NoSkill
post Dec 30 2009, 12:50 AM
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I'll do it someday. I have the shop and the woodworking experience/know-how to do it. I just have to find the motivation, time, energy and get the knowledge-base for luthier component of it. Someday.


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MickeM
post Dec 30 2009, 01:29 AM
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I'm pushing the start of my project infront of me knowing the amount of work in building a guitar. All I got so far is the wood and some electronics, just laying there waiting.

Being accurate and having hours and hours to spend for work on the small details I think most can get it done. It's always the small details that take time, like getting the sanding right. Raising the wood work for a wall and add plaster surface goes quickly. Evening out the joints with a putty spatula and sanding getting it smooth and perfect is what takes time.
Skirting boards never gets down... as you all know.

So I think everyone can make a guitar. The result will more depend on your patience and how picky you are with the end result.
And don't expect to make a bargain. Making your own guitar will be expensive. Would you want to put cheapo parts in it? No.
You can save a buck on the wood but for all the hardware you'll be paying the same as what you pay for each part on a stock guitar from the store if you split the full price on each part.


So what drives you? To have a bit of fun, archiving something in making the best guitar ever. Go for it.

To save money. No way. The tools alone will cost you a small fortune. And you have to have more tools that you can imagine at the first thought. And buying cheap tools isn't a good investment either.
Better to have a long time to spend and get little by little when you need it. And expect the project to be a long one smile.gif

Spite my less incouraging words I hope you will get on with it biggrin.gif I'm just longing to get started with mine... Time is what I lack atm


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Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 30 2009, 09:45 AM
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thanks for all the replies; really helps putting things in perspective. A quick summary (that is now in my head smile.gif :

- don't underestimate the time and tooling you will need to get this done
- better to make sure you have time to build multiple, given that the first one will be more of a practice one
- it's not cheap, though should be a lot of fun creating a unique object
- a good way of starting out might be to get the individual parts from warmoth and build yourself one hell of a guitar for around $1500-$2000 (and get a luthier to do the final setup). Advantage here is that I do not require to purchase some woodcrafting tools etc. Slight disadvantage here is that I would have to buy existing shaped parts, which makes the final result less unique

Oh man, my hands are really itching to get started... But, I believe I will have to go down the warmoth road first, given that that way would be worth the investment (no screw ups on the quality) and if that tastes like more, get my own tools and start building my own creations (indeed may be once I reach a certain pension age smile.gif ).

thanks all!
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kaznie_NL
post Dec 30 2009, 10:26 AM
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Hey Rik, why don't you do some trying first? To see how everything works? Just get some old wood, no matter where from, like from an old table, to build the body? Just try that first, to see whether your wood working is good enough. Also, if you watch the videos Alexiaden send, it's important to have the right tools, like a router.

I say, try on a cheaper basis first, because in that way you prohibit any unnesecary expense on expensive woods and then not really liking to build it....

On the other hand... Warmoth parts will make sure you don't have to do all the routing yourself wink.gif


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Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 30 2009, 10:37 AM
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Well, I think the real issue is not the costs of the wood, but the investment in the right tooling. So for me, there really is no cheaper start first smile.gif. But you are right about the trying though. Once I'll do the actual investment in tooling (if, i.e.), I'll most likely start with building a guitar for my daughter biggrin.gif Not the most expensive parts in it, a color she likes, etc. She's not as picky as I am... That would be good practice. And then start creating my own.

That's also why Warmoth may be a good start for me. No special tooling required and still end up with a (hopefully) great guitar.
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Staffy
post Dec 30 2009, 11:54 AM
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QUOTE (Rik Veldhuizen @ Dec 30 2009, 10:37 AM) *
Well, I think the real issue is not the costs of the wood, but the investment in the right tooling. So for me, there really is no cheaper start first smile.gif. But you are right about the trying though. Once I'll do the actual investment in tooling (if, i.e.), I'll most likely start with building a guitar for my daughter biggrin.gif Not the most expensive parts in it, a color she likes, etc. She's not as picky as I am... That would be good practice. And then start creating my own.

That's also why Warmoth may be a good start for me. No special tooling required and still end up with a (hopefully) great guitar.


Hmmm, if You not shall have any expensive parts why buy Warmoth??? There are other brands that are a lot cheaper if You shall use just some common cheap hardware. Setting bad hardware on a Warmoth is really like spraying a Rolls Royce with some paint found at the gas-station..... Putting together a Warmoth is a piece of cake, and will be done in an afternoon, and You will get a totally top-notch guitar that is comparable with the most expensive Fenders/Ibanez (with bolt-on necks). The reason that I dont play mine so often is that it's really a shredding-guitar with stacked pickups, flat fretboard/jumbofrets and low action, and I'm more into the bluesy/jazz thing... Otherwise it's a killer..... But You can get exactly the parts You need from Warmoth, even beautifully laquereed... biggrin.gif

//Staffay


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Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 30 2009, 12:09 PM
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sorry for the confusion... smile.gif

I meant, that once I decide to build my own guitar from scratch (i.e. not using warmoth body/neck/etc.), it will be done using cheaper parts, given that it will be a practice build. Once I would get the hang of it, I'd use more expensive wood, hardware, etc.

But of course, if I would go for the Warmoth option, it would be done using some proper hardware to match the overall quality of the body and neck provided by Warmoth.
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