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#2622000 - 08/23/14 03:58 PM rolling your own guitar
hurricane hugo Offline
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So...I was trawling eBay last night, and I found this:

eBay

Now...usually, hurricane hugo + tools = disaster, but this looks like maybe something I could handle, with perhaps a bit of help from a couple of friends. Who's built/assembled their own guitars?

How hard was it? Would you do it again? Any advice?
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#2622009 - 08/23/14 05:46 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: hurricane hugo]
picker Offline
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I've done a few for myself, and if you like building stuff, it's fun. The hard part is putting on the finish, if you want the usual glossy lacquer guitar finish. But there are other options you can go with, like oil finishing. It isn't glossy, but it protects the wood and doesn't look too shabby.

Putting them together isn't that hard, really, if you can solder connections and maybe drill a few pilot holes for screws.
After you get it assembled and working, I'd take it to a tech to get it set up right, maybe get the frets leveled, etc.

Good luck with it. Just remember, once you do one, you might get the bug to do more...
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#2622026 - 08/23/14 08:02 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: picker]
desertbluesman Offline
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I have built guitars from parts, let me give you a link that may surprise you.

http://byoguitar.com/Guitar_Kits/Guitar-Kits.aspx

It ain't too awful hard but it takes a hand that can do fine work.
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#2622040 - 08/23/14 09:09 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: desertbluesman]
Larryz Offline
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I have never tried to build a guitar from a kit or from scratch. I have exchanged parts and made repairs and adjustments, but that's about it...Wishing you the best of luck Hugo, hoping you not only have fun with the new project, but also find great joy and satisfaction in making your own guitar! twothumbs

ps. I looked at the Ebay link this morning and it looks like quite a project. At first I thought it was a 7 string bass with double truss rods on the bottom and a 7 string fretless bass on top. Then I noticed the tremolo cut out on the bottom, so I'm guessing in the dark as it being a 7 string guitar on the bottom (perhaps a baritone) and a 7 string fretless bass on top? Or did they just leave out the frets? I think I might try something a little easier if I was doing my 1st project... idk


Edited by Larryz (08/24/14 08:05 AM)
Edit Reason: ps.
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#2622074 - 08/24/14 06:20 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Since I usually go through a half-keg of nails before I nail one straight, I do as little of this kind of stuff I can get away with. This sort of thing ISN'T my forte, so I'll gladly pay extra for something to be done correctly. There are some "handy" things I can do OK, and some I never need bothering with. After all my years, I've learned my limitations. It's easier on my peace of mind, AND my pocketbook!
Whitefang


Edited by whitefang (08/24/14 06:21 AM)
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#2622088 - 08/24/14 08:04 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: hurricane hugo]
Winston Psmith Offline
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@ Hurricane Hugo, there's a lot more work to be done on that body, before you have a working guitar. The routing is done for you, but none of the drilling; two bolt-on necks, with no holes in the necks, or the body? No holes for Volume & Tone pots, or Pickup switches? Cutting two nuts for it is no task for a beginner. Also, while it appears to be set up for double truss rods, there are no truss rods in sight? $200 might not seem like much for that body, but you'll wind up putting a lot of money into hardware for it, and you'll be somewhat limited in your choice of hardware by the dual 7-string design. Unless the seller includes a detailed list of specs and measurements, you'll make yourself nuts finding the right-sized parts for that thing. If it isn't cut to any industry-standard spec, good luck finding any parts for it.

Finally, much as I love oddball instruments, two 7-string necks, with one of them fretless, seems to be pushing it.

I have slightly more confidence in my wood-working abilities than you do in yours, but I wouldn't want this to be my first D.I.Y. guitar project. The Carvin Bolt has gotten consistently high marks, it's all pre-drilled, and it comes with everything you need except the tools; parts, pickups, the works. It costs more than the blank body, but again, it's the whole package. If you really want to build your dream axe from the ground up, check out Guitar Fetish for cheap bodies and parts, or Warmoth, if you want more variety and more choices.

Failing that, I'd look for a couple of cheap Squiers to cannibalize, just for practice. The beauty of Leo's design is that you can dis-assemble, and re-assemble, a Strat with a Phillips-head screwdriver and a soldering iron. Used Squier Affinites go for $60-80 at GC, less at yard sales and pawn shops. Be forewarned - you can still wind up spending more money to upgrade cheap guitars than they'll ever be worth to anyone but you. I quit experimenting when I realized I could always buy something better than anything I would build up from a beater guitar, or a blank body.


Edited by Winston Psmith (08/24/14 08:08 AM)
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#2622090 - 08/24/14 08:10 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Winston Psmith]
hurricane hugo Offline
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Yeah, I asked the seller if the fretless neck's fingerboard was completely unfinished, and what kind of wood it was. Got the answers this morning: yes, and rosewood. I'm gonna have to pass on that particular guitar project. Too bad, really - I've wanted a fretless guitar and a 7-string for a while now; this would've been 2 birds 1 stone, definitely.

I have a friend who's a master carpenter; he's also a guitarist himself, and he's done work on instruments for himself and a couple of other people over the years. I would've asked him to guide me through things before I ever dropped the $$$ on it...and I definitely would've left the Floyd Rose install job to a full-time pro.


Edited by hurricane hugo (08/24/14 08:13 AM)
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#2632489 - 10/08/14 10:59 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: hurricane hugo]
hurricane hugo Offline
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Strongly leaning towards installing this on my Barden-equipped Tele sometime this winter: http://www.awesome-guitars.com/1-products-055.htm
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#2632495 - 10/09/14 12:08 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: hurricane hugo]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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That IS intriguing.
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#2632554 - 10/09/14 08:12 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
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Keep us posted if you decide to pull the trigger. The Barden's should sound great as they are, so it will be interesting to see if all those switches and 88 tones can improve upon them...
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#2632561 - 10/09/14 08:25 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Larryz]
Sharkman Offline
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Over on the Carvin.com forums, there is a builder's forum, for those who buy the Carvin unassembled guitars and build them. The link is: http://www.carvinbbs.com/viewforum.php?f=16&sid=4333e985c88f8e25681f3a7d07cef9fc and it is filled with all sorts of great advice from people who have personal experience building guitars.
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#2632584 - 10/09/14 10:26 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Larryz]
hurricane hugo Offline
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^ thanks for that! smile

Originally Posted By: Larryz
Keep us posted if you decide to pull the trigger. The Barden's should sound great as they are, so it will be interesting to see if all those switches and 88 tones can improve upon them...


Will do...and y'all should check out their site. They carry similar products for other types of guitars.


Edited by hurricane hugo (10/09/14 10:27 AM)
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#2633282 - 10/13/14 05:22 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: hurricane hugo]
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Nice!
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#2791166 - 07/17/16 04:09 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Bluesape]
hurricane hugo Offline
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Bumping this for the DIYers, and bringing something new - noiseless springs! http://www.fu-tone.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=74
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#2791168 - 07/17/16 04:25 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: hurricane hugo]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: hurricane hugo
Bumping this for the DIYers, and bringing something new - noiseless springs! http://www.fu-tone.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=74


That's a cool option, but I'm not completely sure that I'd want to eliminate interaction between a Strat's springs and pickups!
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#2791191 - 07/17/16 09:33 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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I've never had a problem with spring noise on any of my Strats. I guess I just don't play loud enough LOL! cool
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#2791262 - 07/18/16 09:17 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Larryz]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
I've never had a problem with spring noise on any of my Strats. I guess I just don't play loud enough LOL! cool


Right, this is a problem for some people? I mostly use Wilkinson style trems on solid bodies, & Bigsbys on archtops & I've never felt that spring noise was something I was even aware of.
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#2791267 - 07/18/16 09:36 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Scott Fraser]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Originally Posted By: Larryz
I've never had a problem with spring noise on any of my Strats. I guess I just don't play loud enough LOL! cool


Right, this is a problem for some people? I mostly use Wilkinson style trems on solid bodies, & Bigsbys on archtops & I've never felt that spring noise was something I was even aware of.


It can be picked-up by the pickups, their being very close to one another- though I personally always found the ringing, quasi-reverby sounds of a trem-equipped Strat to be part of their charm, both mechanically- and electromagnetically-induced.

Note that Eric Clapton, who could get nearly anything he could ask for from Fender, specifically chose trem-equipped Strats for his signature-models and all others, even though he doesn't use the trem and would also have the trem blocked-in and immobilized; he prefers their sound over that of "hard-tail" Strats, as well.
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#2791274 - 07/18/16 10:03 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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+1 Caevan, Both the Eric Johnson and the Eric Clapton Strats, have special considerations built in with regard to their tonal tastes when it comes to spring issues. I can't hear it with my tone deaf ears LOL! Clapton's Strat has a removable wood block in the spring compartment so that the strings don't move. Jonson's Strat has no spring plate cover. Johnson can tell the number of springs in use blindfolded LOL! Both of them swear by the tonal changes that I can't hear. But, I have never experienced a noise problem. These two artists (and others of their caliber) might be interested in these poly coated springs, but I can pass on them easily. The colors might be cute if used on the Jonson Strat...a black body with red springs would give it that black widow look! cool
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#2791329 - 07/18/16 02:12 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Larryz]
desertbluesman Offline
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I hard blocked the trem on my Agile Strat Clone, because I never use a wang bar on any guitar, but the Agile was cheap enough to try it out, so I pulled the trigger on it and it works fine. I never heard any spring noise from it but it is tonally one of my favorite all around tones on any guitar I own. (Disclaimer I do use a Boss Blues Driver in front of my other pedals to boost and tone control the clone to a more powerful and less bright tone). But with that set up it tonally smokes on both cleans and overdrives. I also put Fender Vintage Noiseless pups in the Agile.
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#2802579 - 09/07/16 09:25 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: desertbluesman]
hurricane hugo Offline
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#2802646 - 09/08/16 06:29 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: hurricane hugo]
Larryz Offline
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^Cute! I'm not too keen on the fiberglass body concept without knowing how it would compare to wood for weight and tonal considerations. I like the looks and the Bigsby. I also like the Tele style set up with a toggle switch (which I have mentioned before on other threads). I prefer the jack on the bottom of the guitar instead of on the face though... cool
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#2802689 - 09/08/16 08:00 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Larryz]
CEB Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
I've never had a problem with spring noise on any of my Strats. I guess I just don't play loud enough LOL! cool


Rock n Roll..... I never put the spring cover on my Strat. 1) I found it easier to string without it on. 2) You can't do pick scraps on the springs with it on.
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#2802697 - 09/08/16 08:26 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Larryz]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
^Cute! I'm not too keen on the fiberglass body concept without knowing how it would compare to wood for weight and tonal considerations. I like the looks and the Bigsby. I also like the Tele style set up with a toggle switch (which I have mentioned before on other threads). I prefer the jack on the bottom of the guitar instead of on the face though... cool


One really, REALLY super-cool guitar that I ran across- and wanted to buy, but someone beat me to it and off to England it went- was an old Supro "Resoglas"-line guitar that had a double-cutaway, hollow fiberglass body with a resonator cone like a Dobro. It was a thin-bodied acoustic resonator model, it didn't even have any pickups in it! Man, a collector would've been upset at the idea, but I really wanted to put a lipstick-tube pickup or two on it...

I think the neck is the more important part of the equation in an electric guitar, than the body...
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#2802832 - 09/08/16 02:34 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: CEB]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: CEB
Originally Posted By: Larryz
I've never had a problem with spring noise on any of my Strats. I guess I just don't play loud enough LOL! cool


Rock n Roll..... I never put the spring cover on my Strat. 1) I found it easier to string without it on. 2) You can't do pick scraps on the springs with it on.


I never had a problem with the string changes on my Strats while threading the strings through my cover plates. It just depends on how well your vibrato is set. I do have to take the cover plates off to change the batteries as I run active EMG's on all 3 of my Strats. It's a lot easier to remove the cover plate than having to remove the whole pickguard on the EMG set ups. As far as those pick scrapes (scraps), I've never seen or heard that being done LOL! But +1 It's Rock n Roll baby! thu
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#2802833 - 09/08/16 02:49 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted By: Larryz
^Cute! I'm not too keen on the fiberglass body concept without knowing how it would compare to wood for weight and tonal considerations. I like the looks and the Bigsby. I also like the Tele style set up with a toggle switch (which I have mentioned before on other threads). I prefer the jack on the bottom of the guitar instead of on the face though... cool


One really, REALLY super-cool guitar that I ran across- and wanted to buy, but someone beat me to it and off to England it went- was an old Supro "Resoglas"-line guitar that had a double-cutaway, hollow fiberglass body with a resonator cone like a Dobro. It was a thin-bodied acoustic resonator model, it didn't even have any pickups in it! Man, a collector would've been upset at the idea, but I really wanted to put a lipstick-tube pickup or two on it...

I think the neck is the more important part of the equation in an electric guitar, than the body...


I almost bought a full metal jacket (aka: chrome Dobro/resonator) back in '72 but opted for the LP Deluxe instead, as they both felt just as heavy to me! I felt the Dobro needed a pickup too LOL! If they can make a guitar that sounds good out of metal, why not fiberglass? Reminds me of a 57 Chevy vs. a Vett! I'm guessing the fiberglass would work out but I [wood] have to hear one 1st. I understand those aluminum guitars sound really good too these days!

For me, the necks are more about feel than sound. I think the electronics (i.e. switching, wiring, pots and pickups) make the big difference for me on the sound of electric guitars. I do hear a difference in solid vs. semi vs. hollow body guitars, even with my deaf ears, but I can be fooled LOL! I hear the composite acoustics they are making sound nice too these days. One good thing about switching from wood to other materials is that we might just save a few trees! cool


Edited by Larryz (09/08/16 02:56 PM)
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#2802902 - 09/08/16 08:39 PM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Larryz]
Jr. Deluxe Offline
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Travis Bean were aluminum guitars in the 70s. Somebody famous used them but i forgot who. There other aluminum guitars as well. And clear lucite guitars also. Lap steels were bakalite, bowling ball material. Lots of non wood guitars over the years.

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#2802999 - 09/09/16 08:30 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Jr. Deluxe]
CEB Offline
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Most Beans were Koa. I've seen a Cherry one that was really sweet. They had aluminum through body necks. The first Kramer guitars and basses were also aluminum neck guitars. Gary Kramer and Travis Bean were in business together starting Travis Bean guitars. The two split and Gary started Kramer.

A lot of famous guys played Travis Beans and early Kramers. This post seems like a good excuse to post a Stanley Jordan video. grin


Edited by CEB (09/09/16 08:31 AM)
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#2803000 - 09/09/16 08:34 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: CEB]
CEB Offline
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#2803001 - 09/09/16 08:35 AM Re: rolling your own guitar [Re: Larryz]
CEB Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
Originally Posted By: CEB
Originally Posted By: Larryz
I've never had a problem with spring noise on any of my Strats. I guess I just don't play loud enough LOL! cool


Rock n Roll..... I never put the spring cover on my Strat. 1) I found it easier to string without it on. 2) You can't do pick scraps on the springs with it on.


I never had a problem with the string changes on my Strats while threading the strings through my cover plates. It just depends on how well your vibrato is set. I do have to take the cover plates off to change the batteries as I run active EMG's on all 3 of my Strats. It's a lot easier to remove the cover plate than having to remove the whole pickguard on the EMG set ups. As far as those pick scrapes (scraps), I've never seen or heard that being done LOL! But +1 It's Rock n Roll baby! thu


This guy liked to do that sort of nonsense. grin

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