eds1275 2012-04-02 - 2:13pm

Building a solid body electric guitar!

This will be my second build. The first one was a playable instrument that suffered from serious tonal deficiency disorder - I literally made it out of junk wood when I was a teenager, to see if it was possible. It looked pretty good. It was a semi-hollow guitar sort of like an es135 but with a flat top and back. Made of 2 pieces of 3/4 plywood, and 2 of 1/4 for the top and bottom I basically just traced the shape of the guitar onto the plywood and then retraced it inside an inch, so the sides were very thick. A strip of veneer around the edges, a squire neck on it plus a few junk pickups from a Vantage guitar. I've been looking but can't find a picture anywhere.

This new one is more serious. I am a fairly accomplished woodworker - my weaknesses lie in finishing technique but I think I'll get a spray gun for my compressor and do a bunch of practice first. I picked up some slabs of oak - not really a sought after tone wood, but for $30 I got enough to build 2 guitars! Looking into the wood store these pieces would have cost me maybe $200. The price WAS right!

I will be building one guitar and my friend will be building another. My design is original, he will be making a telecaster copy. Before you go telling me how much my oak guitar will weigh, let me remind you of my username - I played that double neck for many years, with no complaints.

My guitar will be a battle axe design, but different from what you normally see. The problem I have with most battle axe guitars is how symmetrical they are! Mine is cartoony, the blades are different sizes and shapes. I plan to have "blood" all over the lower blade, as well as "rust" and some chipping from a long day of cleaving through armor.

It will have a single pickup in the bridge position [undecided, but possibly an emg81] and a single knob for volume control. No frills. I think I have decided on this bridge from Stew-Mac, mostly because of the unique shape.


I'll be using my favourite tuning pegs on this, the Grover Midsize Rotomatics! I MAY be tempted to try the [more expensive] planet waves ones though.


I'm linking here to help me remember as well.

For the fret markers I'll be using dots off to one side. I thought of doing something grander but... maybe next time. I will however be doing my own frets and slotting my own fingerboard. 22 jumbo frets, if it works out doing bends will be like ice skating.

So here I have started a thread on it which will help keep me motivated, and for documenting purposes. I will say that many people think I have lots of skills - my answer to that is most people say things are too hard/impossible and don't try. I do have some other projects on the go right now [building 2 arcade machines, a jukebox, and a photo booth] plus planning a wedding, so this build will be slow. I will be posting some pics when progress happens though.

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