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The Birth of a new Guitar

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The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Tue Aug 31, 2004 2:42 am

Well chaps.

As we have a new Forum, with new features and new rules, and nice clean empty forums in which to post, I thought it a good time to start catching up on some of my wackier ideas. Currently I'm very busy, but I want to make time for myself , so this thread will help me motivate myself into prolonged luthier like activity.


After my recent reconstruction of Te Me !'s JEM, I decided that I'd rather like to create a new instrument that played and sounded much the same, as I was very fond of his beast after it's transformation.

In the spirit of community education, I thought I'd document the process in the Guitar forum, for you lot to be inspired by.

What's more I'm going to "Do it on a budget" to prove that it IS possible to achieve great things from small acorns. IF you know what you're doing.


I am no amateur Lord Snowdon, So the Pictures will be Somewhat uninventive, and relatively low res, as I'm not wanting to either fill the SOS servers or My own for this.

I'm also not about to put every other Luthier on earth out of business...... So don't start asking me to repeat the process for you with your own Guitars ;)

Episodes will commence during the next few days.

(Once I've found my Rechargeable batteries for the Digital Camera )

Max
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Stvy » Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:10 pm

Max,

sounds like a winner. I too have been dabbling in the luthiers art. I just installed a Graphtech GHOST and 13 pin midi output jack on my MIA strat. Came out rather nicely. (even if I do say so myself..)

Will you be doing a refret? and cutting a new nut? Two things I am about to do myself..

Cheers

Steve

PS

Wow I probably have more posts than Te me right now! Won't last...
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby D@ve » Thu Sep 02, 2004 10:55 pm

Well chaps.
After my recent reconstruction of Te Me !'s JEM, I decided that I'd rather like to create a new instrument that played and sounded much the same, as I was very fond of his beast after it's transformation.

Are you going to paint in bright pink and green swirls aswell then? ;)

Sounds like a good plan though... :lol:
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:36 pm

I'm currently working on a really fancy finish.

;) These days I REALLY only like oil finishes.... they let it sing .....

So We're working on coming up with something distinctive, I was originally going to make it Burnt Stained Blue Like My own Jem.... but thought, naaaahhhh project for forum consumption wants to be something REALLY special... so watch this space....

Max
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Dave B » Sat Sep 04, 2004 1:13 am

So how much is going to be 'from scratch' and how much based on off the shelf parts?

I mean, can we expect a curt response of 'not now - I'm winding me pickups' in the forseeable future? And should we warn the local a+e to expect jigsaw related injuries??
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby D@ve » Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:35 pm

nah... all you need is a roll of sticky-back plastic, some wood glue and a washing-up bottle!
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:29 pm

I'm Building it MOSTLY from off the shelf, economically sensibly available stuff.... and some private stock parts......

My Intention is for forum members to be able to replicate the idea..... And while I COULD do it ALL form Scratch.... I rather suspect that might be a tad ambitious for many people...

My Point here is to show that the common or garden guitarist, can have a very uncommon guitar for less than a bazillion quid.

Expect first shots middle to end of next week.....

Max
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Stevedog » Sun Sep 05, 2004 4:05 pm

How far you going with stock parts Max??? Prefitted nut , pre drilled bridge position etc??
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Sun Sep 05, 2004 8:17 pm

I'll be drilling and positioning the bridge. And I'll be fitting a locking nut... as it's going to be a floyd rose equipped guitar, BUT the Bridge will be blocked off . I'll be carving solid rosewood to fill the rear cavity and sustain block through rout. (Basically everything I did to Te Me ! 's JEM, which I liked a LOT)

The body is one piece basswood, pre Cut with most routing also done.

it's a rough blank supplied by Woody Guitars via Ebay...

It's Shaped to the Ibanez RG profile. Complete with an all access neck joint.

I'll be fitting a fernandes sustainer system, and some "nice" pickups i happen to have knocking about.... And doing all the electrics with funky option switching.,

I'll be refretting the neck, as it's currently fitted with medium frets with a relatively low nickel content... making them a bit soft for my tastes, and too damn small.

This is also a rough blank Supplied by Woody Guitars. The total cost to me of the Body and Neck blanks was the princely sum of £76. :) I wasn't kidding about doing this on a smallish budget, so others can also follow the idea...

I'll also be Scalloping the last few frets as well. to demonstrate the principle... and replicate the Mk1 JEM .


I'm still debating routing out a monkey grip hole....... I'm inclined to not bother....

Both the body and neck are unfinished blanks... So the whole finishing process for the Oil Finish and pattern I intend will also be documented.

I bought them from Woody Guitars on Ebay.... But I had the advantage of going round and picking exactly which ones I wanted... I'll document this process as well.

When I refret it, I'm giving some thought to doing a custom inlay on the neck to complement the body graphic design I'm using.

Should be fun.....
I have to get a few Studio installs and mixes out of the way first... then I'll start in earnest.


Max
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby .. » Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:25 pm

make it out of liquorish (interesting spelling I'm sure)
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Dave B » Tue Sep 07, 2004 9:29 pm

If we are going to go down this route, is it worth a few of us forming a self-help group? I'm exceedingly tempted by this idea and am working on the principle that I'd be the absolute, bare minimum knowledge base-line for this kind of project.

So, anyone else in???

Ironic really - loads of WoodyCustoms on ebay the last few months, last night : nothing!!
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:54 pm

I have the guys Phone number and address Dave, and he's based in Epsom... which isn't all that far from you... we could do a trip down there sometime and pick out a body and neck... and you could describe the process in plain english... coz My write up is starting to look like techspeak central.

:frown:


(I have been writing stuff in a word processor to try and hang it all together in some semblance of order and logical progression....

I'm also waiting for My artist daughter to finish the Graphics for it... )

Max
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:58 pm

BTW unless you're really on a skint budget, I would'nt actually recommend the guitars ready made... the bodies and necks can be pretty good, but the hardware is distinctly lack lustre, and the factory simply has no idea how to put them together PROPERLY....


So buy the parts as spares and build them yourselves...

Max
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby D@ve » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:36 pm

WOT!!! Isn't it finished yet?!? :lol:

I'll have to come round on day soon when i'm back from my hols Max... I'm quite intrigued about all this DIY guitar making malarkey...
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Sat Sep 11, 2004 1:00 am

SOME of us have to work for a living.... :frown:

Your Sweater is currently taking up valuable studio space matey..... ;)

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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Dave B » Sat Sep 11, 2004 1:23 pm

Max,

Next obvious question : where do us plebs buy guitar parts from? If I now have a supplier for bodies and necks, what about the trem and the pickups? Any suppliers you can recommend who do direct sales to Joe Public?

I'm curious so that I can start pricing up what I'd need and then work out over how long I'm going to build this baby...

(Plus I PM'd you about a possible interesting alternate body - still up for the trip to Woody's though. I'll give you a buzz in the week so we can compare diaries.. )

Cool thing - I'm getting a lot of support from my boss as he built his own from scratch (!!) a few years ago. My kinda boss.... :)
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby D@ve » Sat Sep 11, 2004 5:53 pm

Max,

Next obvious question : where do us plebs buy guitar parts from? If I now have a supplier for bodies and necks, what about the trem and the pickups? Any suppliers you can recommend who do direct sales to Joe Public?

I'm curious so that I can start pricing up what I'd need and then work out over how long I'm going to build this baby...

(Plus I PM'd you about a possible interesting alternate body - still up for the trip to Woody's though. I'll give you a buzz in the week so we can compare diaries.. )

Cool thing - I'm getting a lot of support from my boss as he built his own from scratch (!!) a few years ago. My kinda boss.... :)

Warmoth parts perhaps? At least for the body and neck... I've heard the quality is good and the prices seem fairly reasonable...
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby D@ve » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:30 am

Dave,

Probably something else that has to be bunged into the total price of the guitar build are some specialist tools to do the job properly (some of which i doubt come cheap!!!).
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Re: The Birth of a new Guitar

Postby Dave B » Sat Sep 18, 2004 3:14 pm

Dave, hope not ... but I know people who have built before, so maybe some blagging might ease that burden.

Otherwise, just picked up a lovely hand made Ibanez shaped body, routed for H-S-H and with a Roland GK2 pickup already built in from Ebay. Time to chat with Max about going to look for necks...

Exciting ... isn't it! :bouncy:
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