Pretty senseless, but very happy with the tone of the guitar. Sold my ESP Horizon after hearing it.
Blech, found the issue! One of the lugs on the output jack were touching the shielding paint on the cavity, made the pickups sound weak.
The wrong cut on the pickguard was bothering me so I fixed it. Also finally received the Schaller pickup ring for it, so the guitar now has its final form. Woo.
So with the guitar I built/posted the thread about, from the start the EMG's somehow have much less output than my other guitars.
It has all solderless connections and a new battery, the pickups are close to the strings etc. usual suspects. I even tried going straight from pickups to the output but no difference.
The sound is completely normal after raising the gain, it's just low output. Compare here to my ESP:
Any wiring wizards here have any idea what's causing this? I've never ran across this issue before.
nice job and well documented. Something to be proud of
l’ve built quite a few neck through guitars, but never a bolt on.
Thanks man! Neck through sounds scary, bolt-ons are easy since you can mess the neck but still have the body.
Here's a quick brainless metal clip:
Thanks for the great documentation of your project. Absolutely stunning and super impressive. What talent!
Personally I can do adjustments on my instruments, solder electronics and so on. But wood work and laquer, frets etc. are different kind of animal. Nothing for me. But looking at your project nakedzen is really super inspiring. Thanks for sharing this
Thanks guys! Not much talent needed to be honest! How I proceeded with the build was do maybe one or two things a day that I've studied before hand (youtube, build forums/fb groups) and have a good idea of what I'm going to do. And hide any mistakes with glue/sawdust mix!
Basically almost anything you can fix in some way, usually involves CA glue. :p
Dye+oil finishes are real easy, just rub them on with a old t-shirt and leave to dry. The router is the only thing that's scary to use!
Thanks man! Next one will be with single coils, satin white paint and black hardware.
Test fit the hardware, lined up the bridge and drilled the holes for it.
Already up to the finishing here. Put three thin coats of Crimson Guitars penetrating oil on the body and some beeswax and carnauba wax mix polish.
Three coats of oil on the back of the neck as well, and maybe 20 coats of nitrocellulose lacquer on the headstock. Sanded the lacquer down to 2000 grit, then sprayed two more coats.
Added the string tree, installed the hardware. Done!
Didn't take a whole lot of time, maybe a month. Was a pleasant surprise how well it went, and I already routed the second guitar body today. It'll be a traditional telecaster with single coils.
That looks great! Nice figure on the top.
Color scheme was copied from old locomotives, particularly this one.
Drilled the tuner holes, test fit.
Time for frets! Sintoms bell bronze frets from Belarus. Took a bit of force to cut with my cutters.
Turned out OK, at least there are no sharp fret ends. :p
Except! Disaster the next day, one fret end had raised out of its slot. Had to put some CA glue under the fret and clamp it down with a 10" radius block. Thankfully fixed the problem.
Jack hole drilled.
Dyed the whole neck black, and sanded it back to get the grain black. Then dyed the neck red.
Bought the pickguard from aliexpress, sanded it back to bare wood. Dyed black, then sanded back, dyed red same as the neck. Added four coats of crimson guitars penetrating oil.
Neck and board finally together as they should! Then cut the headstock with the bandsaw to the correct depth (a better quality saw would've helped here to get a straight clean cut!)
Test fitting the neck, it fits! Then I drilled some holes for the fret markers and installed them with some ca glue, then sanded them level to the board.
A lot of sanding and rasp action later, the neck is starting to look more like something usable. I took some cuts from my ESP Horizon neck in cardboard with the profile gauge, and test fit that against my work as I was going along.
The fretboard I bought with fret slots and already radiused to 12" from Madinter. I'm guessing they CNC the fretboards, I could see the marks of the machine on it.
Couldn't finish the story yesterday, so here's (some) of the rest:
Neck routed to the rough outline, had a bit of trouble with routing since I only have a regular desk and some clamps. Had to take a small portion only and then turn the neck and clamp it again in a different position.
Glued the fretboard on, as you can see the glue lifted a huge amount overnight. I borrowed the wife's clothes iron and heated the fretboard and clamped it tight! Actually worked to salvage the neck. Lesson learned, you need to leave the fretboard+neck clamped down until the glue is completely solid, two days maybe.
Testing out the neck pocket fit with the template, seems to fit well. Also finished the body routing and sanding, and dyed the body with Angelus jet black.
Well done, man.
Striking combination of colours and shapes.
I also like that you left some open-graining on the body when many would've just sanded a little deeper.
Thanks guys! Body is sanded down to 360 grit, so pretty far actually. It's because it's dyed and oiled with a thin coat to keep the grain visible. (Vs. if it was paint and lacquer)
First cut the rough shape with bandsaw as close as possible to the final shape. Then double sided tape the template to the body, and route with pattern bit with top bearing to final shape.
Used hand drill to get as much material out before routing. Control cavity turned out pretty good.
Nice. I'm still surprised someone is actually capable of building a guitar. Wouldn't know where to start. Impressive.
Thanks! Not really that hard, as long as you work slow and always think beforehand. Measure, measure, measure, cut.
Especially with a router it's easy to get into a disaster, so you need to do multiple passes and check how much left to go once in a while. And don't lift the router out before it stops turning, ruined a couple spots with a sloppy hit after I was done!
After you have the rough shape, switch to the sander and sandpaper.
World's simplest truss rod routing jig, just a piece of plywood to rest the router edge guide against. Went much better than expected!
I put those mini clamps there to prevent from routing too far and ruining the headstock. Just a small amount of adjusting the width with a 6mm chisel was needed to fit the adjustment nut part.
I'd like to post pics of the process but what's this "blocked image" business?
This is a long one so be warned!
So a couple months back I started to entertain the idea of finally building my own guitars, and now the first one is done! Or as they say it's never finished, only abandoned.
Pics first for the TLDR crowd:
Edit: attached the pics since they were blocked?
25.5" scale, hard maple neck, macassar ebony board, ash body (I believe white ash, it was too cheap for swamp ash), sintoms brass frets, Schaller Davinci tuners, Schaller bridge, Aliexpress copper hardware :D, oiled back of neck, nitro finish on headstock.
Stuff I had to buy:
Einhell bandsaw for rough cuts (pretty terrible saw but works well enough for this)
Japanese shinto rasp (perfect for neck contouring, belly cuts)
Lots of clamps and sandpaper (240, 320, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000 grits)
Random orbital sander from aliexpress (Deko brand, good quality and cost 25 euros)
ELU Mof 177 router from the 80's. Even came with the original manual!
CMT router bits, specifically one long pattern bit with bearing for the body routing, one short pattern bit for the cavities and fretboard, one 6mm bit for the truss rod cavity.
Hand drill and bits (Bosch), 6mm and 20mm Narek chisels, 1.5m long ruler, angle ruler for measuring the neck pocket angle, precision straightedge, cheap needle file set, fret leveling and crowning files from thomann, neck profile gauge from Crimson Guitars.
Titebond Original woodglue
Angelus leather dyes (perfect for deep color, just be careful these are toxic)
Dyes from petsit.fi (good red color from these)
Crimson Guitars penetrating oil for finishing
Boston nitrocellulose lacquer (rattle can, very toxic, use protection!)
Telecaster router template from guitarsandwoods.com
Wood from Madinter.com and GuitarsandWoods.com
Hammer, screwdriver, soldering iron, rubber gloves, earmuffs, safety goggles, coffee maker.
RIP Alexi. Something Wild got me into guitar playing when I heard him at 17-18 years old doing this: