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JVM
post Jun 12 2007, 03:12 AM
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Dun dun dun.

Okay, so I've decided I want to eventually build my own guitar. By eventually I mean probably not this summer, but by the end of next summer maybe? There's a whole lot I need to learn before I just dive into it. So I thought I'd ask the help of you knowledgeable GMC'ers. Some of my absolute favorite guitarists have build their own axes. For example; Brian May and Eddie Van Halen. Aside from just building it to get the dream tone and playability for my personal tastes, I also think it's worthwhile for a guitarist such as myself to learn the inner workings of his instrument. There's a lot I don't know about wood types, electronics, and plenty of other aspects of the guitar.

So I guess, for now it's a learning experience. If anyone has tips, links to informative sites, etc, lemme know cause I'm going to be reading up for a while. Thanks smile.gif


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JVM
post Jun 12 2007, 05:32 AM
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If anyone else is interested, I've found some nice sites. First of all, if theres any basic stuff you don't know, www.howstuffworks.com is always a fun site. Covering everything, but say you want to know how speakers work, or how a pickup works, or whatever. Pretty good site for general knowledge.

www.guitarbuild.com looks to be a pretty comprehensive type. I dont think I want to actually cut a body etc, probably just buy a premade SG body for example, if possible. But if you want to know about how to actually make your own thing it looks like you could find out here. Even if not it'll tell you what wood types are good among many other things, so you know what to look for.

http://www.dr-lex.34sp.com/guitar/index.html <- has some nice info


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MickeM
post Jun 12 2007, 07:39 AM
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I'm on your track though it won't probably happen any time soon for me due to other projects at home. Like rebuilding our garage into part living area with a sauna, toilet and shower, bedroom and walk in closet. Which includes adding 24 sq meter of concrete foundation. And when that is done I'm building a roof terrace with glass sliding doors. Pretty much will take all summer.
I think I'm gonna charge myself like $8 (about 50 SEK) an hour of my own money (it's cheap labour) and buy a new guitar when everything is finished... maybe a guitar kit laugh.gif

Anyway, here's the kits I've found. There's one more which I seem to have forgot to add to favourites. It's called Saga, I'm sure you can find it.

Warmoth
See the tutorial
Luthiers
Carvin (see guitar kits)


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JVM
post Jun 12 2007, 07:52 AM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Jun 12 2007, 12:39 AM) *
I'm on your track though it won't probably happen any time soon for me due to other projects at home. Like rebuilding our garage into part living area with a sauna, toilet and shower, bedroom and walk in closet. Which includes adding 24 sq meter of concrete foundation. And when that is done I'm building a roof terrace with glass sliding doors. Pretty much will take all summer.
I think I'm gonna charge myself like $8 (about 50 SEK) an hour of my own money (it's cheap labour) and buy a new guitar when everything is finished... maybe a guitar kit laugh.gif

Anyway, here's the kits I've found. There's one more which I seem to have forgot to add to favourites. It's called Saga, I'm sure you can find it.

Warmoth
See the tutorial
Luthiers
Carvin (see guitar kits)


Oh man, that's gonna be some tough work tongue.gif

I really like the SG body shape, which I guess due to Gibson's snobbiness you can't just buy (at least that's my impression, someone please prove me wrong biggrin.gif). So my options if I want an SG shape are to buy a used body off ebay or something, which I would probably have to get the finish taken off (not sure about that) considering I want my friend to do a custom finish for me, or buy a friggin' block and have it cut out. Or just buy a cheap epi or something I guess.

[edit] but yeah, I don't want people to ask me about the guitar and I have to tell them "oh yeah, I built it from a KIT", much rather say I either cut it out myself (which would be cool but its a bit daunting and I would think probably more expensive) or say I built it from parts of other guitars. My whole goal is to build a unique, kickass tone machine that I'll be satisfied with for years, for around the price of a midrange guitar (7-900 limit I guess). My Tele goes for about 800+ retail, but I got it used with a trade in for about 200.

So the pickups I've chosen (burns trisonic pickup and seymour duncan SH-5) add up to around $160, I may change my mind on them but I don't think the price will go up or down much. So I guess I could buy a cheap epi SG or something for $150-200 and replace the pickups and most of the other parts, refinish the body and go... or something.

This post has been edited by JVM: Jun 12 2007, 08:16 AM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 12 2007, 01:55 PM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Jun 11 2007, 10:12 PM) *
Dun dun dun.

Okay, so I've decided I want to eventually build my own guitar. By eventually I mean probably not this summer, but by the end of next summer maybe? There's a whole lot I need to learn before I just dive into it. So I thought I'd ask the help of you knowledgeable GMC'ers. Some of my absolute favorite guitarists have build their own axes. For example; Brian May and Eddie Van Halen. Aside from just building it to get the dream tone and playability for my personal tastes, I also think it's worthwhile for a guitarist such as myself to learn the inner workings of his instrument. There's a lot I don't know about wood types, electronics, and plenty of other aspects of the guitar.

So I guess, for now it's a learning experience. If anyone has tips, links to informative sites, etc, lemme know cause I'm going to be reading up for a while. Thanks smile.gif


I'm no wood working guy, so I could never do this (although I could handle the electronics aspect a lot better). Just wanted to say I admire your aim - its a little like a Jedi Padawan constructing his own lightsabre before he becomes a full Jedi smile.gif

Please keep us updated I am very interested to hear how this works out.

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Jun 12 2007, 02:11 PM


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MickeM
post Jun 12 2007, 02:01 PM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Jun 12 2007, 08:52 AM) *
but yeah, I don't want people to ask me about the guitar and I have to tell them "oh yeah, I built it from a KIT", much rather say I either cut it out myself

There's always the option to lie lie and lie some more laugh.gif


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JVM
post Jun 12 2007, 07:19 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jun 12 2007, 06:55 AM) *
I'm no wood working guy, so I could never do this (although I could handle the electronics aspect a lot better). Just wanted to say I admire your aim - its a little like a Jedi Padawan constructing his own lightsabre before he becomes a full Jedi smile.gif

Please keep us updated I am very interested to hear how this works out.


Yes, exactly! laugh.gif If I do have it cut though, I would probably see how much it would cost to have someone do it professionally for me or something. The electronics I'm fairly confident about to do myself, so we'll see.

You can just take a guitar with a finished body and kind of, refinish it right on top can't you? Then again, the SG's are set in necks I think, so that might be a problem.

QUOTE (MickeM @ Jun 12 2007, 07:01 AM) *
There's always the option to lie lie and lie some more laugh.gif


Aw, now I just wouldn't feel comfortable doing that rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by JVM: Jun 12 2007, 07:20 PM


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Scott Gentzen
post Jun 12 2007, 07:46 PM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Jun 12 2007, 06:19 PM) *
You can just take a guitar with a finished body and kind of, refinish it right on top can't you? Then again, the SG's are set in necks I think, so that might be a problem.


The Epiphone SG's aren't.

http://picasaweb.google.com/bradsucks/GuitarPainting

(not my site, not my project but I like his music)


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JVM
post Jun 12 2007, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE (Scott Gentzen @ Jun 12 2007, 12:46 PM) *
The Epiphone SG's aren't.

http://picasaweb.google.com/bradsucks/GuitarPainting

(not my site, not my project but I like his music)


Thanks for that link cool.gif


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JVM
post Jun 12 2007, 10:31 PM
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So, at the moment (likely to change at any time tongue.gif) the plan is to get an epiphone g-310 SG. Has an alder body, mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard. So I guess the idea would be, get it, detach neck, dismantle electronics, sand down or refinish (?) on top of the retail finish, install the aforementioned seymour duncan in the bridge position, and burns trisonic in the neck (which would be a single coil sitting in a humbucker slot).

So I guess for materials:

*Epiphone G-310 SG: $199.99
*Seymour Duncan SH-5 humbucker (or other): ~$73.99
*Burns Trisonic single coil: $84.00
Total: 357.98

Other possible costs:

*Having some dudes professionally install my stuff for me biggrin.gif: $???
*New accessories (pots, knobs, anything that looks cheap on the epi): ~$25-50
*New Finish: $???

Any flaws?


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JVM
post Jun 15 2007, 02:08 AM
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Hah, Micke, I know you mentioned this site and I skimmed it over but it looks like I missed the main part of it (I feel stupid now tongue.gif) http://www.warmoth.com/guitar/bodies/vinta...m?fuseaction=sg

has a nice selection of SG shapes! Sweet. Looks like it's going to cost a bit more though.


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Scott Gentzen
post Jun 15 2007, 05:38 AM
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Not necessarily an SG shape, but this is what I'm thinking of playing with. Ed Roman's been mentioned somewhere here before.

http://www.edromanguitars.com/newsite/guitars/kits.htm

He has some real interesting custom guitars. The kit guitar starts at like $130 but can be extensively customized.


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radarlove1984
post Jun 16 2007, 10:20 PM
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I'd be careful about buying the Epiphone SG for just the body. Some of the really cheap ones (like mine) have more plastic on the body than wood.

I think it's a slab of plywood coated in plastic with a gloss finish on top to make it look good.

I noticed the G-310 you posted says it's "...crafted with select hardwood body..." but doesn't mention a thing about what kind of wood is used.

For the same price, you could get a decent Mahogany body on Warmoth. By the way, I'm planning on making an SG-type guitar this summer too. That's how I know about the Epiphones, I already made that mistake.
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MickeM
post Jun 16 2007, 10:41 PM
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QUOTE (radarlove1984 @ Jun 16 2007, 11:20 PM) *
I'd be careful about buying the Epiphone SG for just the body. Some of the really cheap ones (like mine) have more plastic on the body than wood.

I think it's a slab of plywood coated in plastic with a gloss finish on top to make it look good.

I noticed the G-310 you posted says it's "...crafted with select hardwood body..." but doesn't mention a thing about what kind of wood is used.

For the same price, you could get a decent Mahogany body on Warmoth. By the way, I'm planning on making an SG-type guitar this summer too. That's how I know about the Epiphones, I already made that mistake.

Man... plastic on plywood wacko.gif
I've seen another LP (not Epiphone) that was plywood on plywood on plywood for good body thickness. Gives really bad sustain.


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JVM
post Jun 16 2007, 11:05 PM
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QUOTE (radarlove1984 @ Jun 16 2007, 03:20 PM) *
I'd be careful about buying the Epiphone SG for just the body. Some of the really cheap ones (like mine) have more plastic on the body than wood.

I think it's a slab of plywood coated in plastic with a gloss finish on top to make it look good.

I noticed the G-310 you posted says it's "...crafted with select hardwood body..." but doesn't mention a thing about what kind of wood is used.

For the same price, you could get a decent Mahogany body on Warmoth. By the way, I'm planning on making an SG-type guitar this summer too. That's how I know about the Epiphones, I already made that mistake.


Someone in one of the reviews says it's an alder body. But yeah. I'm probably not going to go that route now.

Overall going the warmoth route would be much more expensive (the body alone would cost the same as the epi, not to mention the neck or bridge or tuners or electronics etc) not to mention I think, much more complex, but I think it'd be the best, so I'm going to read some more on it and probably go that way.

And man I gotta get a job this summer, 'cause when I'm finished with this guitar I need this biggrin.gif


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MickeM
post Jun 16 2007, 11:16 PM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Jun 17 2007, 12:05 AM) *
And man I gotta get a job this summer, 'cause when I'm finished with this guitar I need this biggrin.gif

laugh.gif all these never ending equipment problems.

If it's of any comfort I got similar problems too,... "must have".


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Smikey2006
post Jun 16 2007, 11:21 PM
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I also really wanted to build my own guitar, i went down to my local guitar shop and bought their cheapest electric (50$) took it apart just to see how everything went togther smile.gif i looked up a bunch of stuff and got around to designing a body which i think is wicked smile.gif and bought some mahogany and cut it out smile.gif then realised i had no plane or anything else for shapping it. i hope to restart building this summer, and buying electronics and stuff, i need to steal my schools tech room first though smile.gif was anyone else inspired by that budwise commercial that came out during the superbowl? the silly guy builds the guitar and all the thanks he needs is a bud and to see the guy play it haha. but ill keep you guys posted on how my shaping goes and then ill need advice on electronics and bridges smile.gif no floyd rose allowed hahah i play dropped c :{


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JVM
post Jun 17 2007, 12:11 AM
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Good luck with that smikey smile.gif

Micke, I think I can really get that stack this summer! And maybe build the guitar too. If so, all I'll need is a delay pedal (considering I already have a wah, and the stack doesn't have built in delay apparently) and I'm set dude! Woohoo! Ready to gig biggrin.gif


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JVM
post Jul 16 2007, 11:10 PM
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Okay, time to revive this topic from page four. I'm going to be ordering parts within the next week or two. Decided to go the Warmoth route, I'm going for simple and reliable, mahogany strat body HxS routed tongue.gif

I have a couple of minor details such as nut width and maybe some contour options etc, but overall it's pretty decided. I'll let you know exact details when I order the parts, and I'll provide pictures of the process smile.gif Maybe I can turn it into a mini lesson on how to build a guitar in this manner, perhaps with a little helpful input from others who've done it as well.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jul 16 2007, 11:45 PM
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Not quite the way you're going with this JVM but if you looking to build from scratch then there are a few Guitar Summer Schools that teach the ins and outs and pretty much guarantee that you finish the course with a guitar you've built. I know of one in the UK and I'm pretty sure there is one in NY State.

Also there was a good book on the subject (though there are better ones if you want to build an acoustic - this is the best that I know of for electric) - 'Make your own electric Guitar' Melvyn Hiscock. Think it's still in print.

Cheers,
Tony


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