Guitar build

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1/29/2018 7:01 AM

I call it the Les G. Les Paul body design with SG double cutaway and flat top. Also using a bolt on neck with the Fender scale. It's a bit longer than the Gibson scale and gives a little more room at the upper end. (For fat fingers). Body is basically done but needs another 5 or 6 coats of Lacquer. The neck needs a bit more shaping before finishing.

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1/29/2018 11:22 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/29/2018 11:23 AM

Very cool... I built a Telecaster body like that when I was about 21. I put dual humbucker pickups in it. What kind of pickups you gonna go with?

When I am a retired old man with more time to piddle, I wanna to learn how to put together an acoustic guitar.

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1/29/2018 12:19 PM

Very cool. I'm thinking of building up a Rickenbacker style bass, and I see they sell some kits online that are priced so low, it makes me wonder about the overall quality of parts included. Although I suppose you could pick and choose what pieces to scrap and what pieces to use when it comes down to it, do you have experience with DIY kits? Or is starting from scratch really the only way to go?

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@fiendz.cc

1/29/2018 2:00 PM

Hey thats cool!

Where did you get the dimensions for the cutouts and hole size/placement? or did you start with an existing body?

I was going to have a custom body built, but then i got a cheap fender strat by squire for $20. I decided when i get time i will strip the finish off and put new pick ups, pots, & tuning pegs on it and probably a new bridge.

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1/29/2018 4:26 PM

We will have to start calling you Brian May.

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1/29/2018 4:46 PM

FolkLoar, I'm going with humbuckers but not sure if DiMarzio or Seymore Duncan. And I am a retired (semi) old man so I do have the time. Haven't thought about an acoustic though. We just glued up the mahogany blank for my son's SG. That one's next.

FiendzCC, It's amazing how cheap some of the kits are. I also wonder how good the stuff really is. I went from scratch because I enjoy the building process. I am also going with the better electronics. The only thing I cheated on was the fretboard. For Indian Rosewood it was only $10 more to have them cut in the fret slots. I'm not set up for that yet.

George, I traced out the body from my Les Paul onto the mahogany blank and added the other cutaway. All the cutout dimensions are just taken from the Les Paul and my Strat for the neck. A few variations.

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1/29/2018 6:11 PM

That's going to look awesome.... great work. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

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1/29/2018 6:57 PM

Mr. G wrote:

We will have to start calling you Brian May.

Not even in the same universe, so to speak.

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1/30/2018 1:45 AM

I hope that turns out as you must hope. Guitars are such an addiction. Even for an old drummer like me.

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1/30/2018 4:40 AM

Cool. I don't have the skills to build from scratch so I've thought about buying a Fender P bass kit but and adding custom hardware etc.

Can't wait to see your finished product.

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No Signature.

1/30/2018 6:21 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/30/2018 6:24 AM

I've built quite a few from scratch. I'd recommend joining a forum such as MIMF if you're going to keep doing it or have questions. A great resource and advice from some excellent luthiers. As far as the fretboard goes, having it pre-slotted and radiused is a good way to go until you get set up with the proper tools. I use an excel program to do the math for whatever scale I'm using, adhere it to the board and then cut the slots with a fretsaw and miterbox or a specially ground blade that I use on my table saw.

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1/30/2018 10:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/30/2018 10:15 AM

Fuckup. That first pic is not the same body. That one was a practice piece made from poplar.

Foghorn, That's a good idea. I have a CAD program that will print out the fret layout dead on to scale. Trying to measure and mark on the fretboard could lead to error. CAD comes in handy for other stuff too. I made radius gauges for shaping the neck back that worked really well. I also made a big gauge for pre bending the fretwire. It helps having a background in building machinery and working in thousands.

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1/30/2018 11:35 AM

borg wrote:

Fuckup. That first pic is not the same body. That one was a practice piece made from poplar.

Foghorn, That's a good idea. I have a CAD program that will print out the fret layout dead on to scale. Trying to measure and mark on the fretboard could lead to error. CAD comes in handy for other stuff too. I made radius gauges for shaping the neck back that worked really well. I also made a big gauge for pre bending the fretwire. It helps having a background in building machinery and working in thousands.

The radius gauges work well to establish the curvature at both ends of the neck. After that I use a spokeshave, a good rasp and 80 grit on a block to carve the rest of the neck, check it for feel and uniformity as I go. I use a little hand cranked tool for radiusing the fretwire. You always want to over bend it a little so that the fret ends stay secure. I press my frets in with a one ton arbor press using a brass caul with the right radius. Tapping them in with a hammer doesn't give as consistent results until you've had a lot of practice. Pressing is way easier. I used to just chuck the caul into my drill press but a dedicated arbor press is nicer to use.

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1/30/2018 11:41 AM

This is a gorgeous guitar man. Its hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks like you really take a lot of time and make a quality build. I'm excited to see this when its done. I love double cut aways like that too. Reminds me of the look of a Duesenberg Fullerton TV except a flat top.

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1/31/2018 9:00 AM

borg wrote:

Fuckup. That first pic is not the same body. That one was a practice piece made from poplar.

Foghorn, That's a good idea. I have a CAD program that will print out the fret layout dead on to scale. Trying to measure and mark on the fretboard could lead to error. CAD comes in handy for other stuff too. I made radius gauges for shaping the neck back that worked really well. I also made a big gauge for pre bending the fretwire. It helps having a background in building machinery and working in thousands.

Foghorn wrote:

The radius gauges work well to establish the curvature at both ends of the neck. After that I use a spokeshave, a good rasp and 80 grit on a block to carve the rest of the neck, check it for feel and uniformity as I go. I use a little hand cranked tool for radiusing the fretwire. You always want to over bend it a little so that the fret ends stay secure. I press my frets in with a one ton arbor press using a brass caul with the right radius. Tapping them in with a hammer doesn't give as consistent results until you've had a lot of practice. Pressing is way easier. I used to just chuck the caul into my drill press but a dedicated arbor press is nicer to use.

Using a hammer. Over bending a little sounds like a good idea. I wait to shape the back until it's fretted. For shaping I started with a 50 grit belt sander to knock off stock and then worked it in with 80 on a RO sander. Then a block with 100 and 150. Maple is hard as fuck. I have a spindle sander that works well for inside curves. Works great for body contours too.

I just glued up some mahogany for another body and had enough left for a neck. It will be a tiltback style headstock. The body will be pretty much an SG. My son will be doing 90% of the work since it's his guitar.

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1/31/2018 5:23 PM

That's sweet Borg. Can't wait to hear how it sounds.

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2/1/2018 12:04 AM

Have you decided what pickups to use? There are so many to chose from, and guitars being the addiction they are I am interested in your pick!

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2/1/2018 9:27 AM

Mr. G wrote:

Have you decided what pickups to use? There are so many to chose from, and guitars being the addiction they are I am interested in your pick!

Looking at DiMarzio Illuminator. DP 256 and 257. Not decided though. I actually have an old humbucker I bought from Gibson back in '73 or so. I may throw that in the bridge position before I buy new.

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2/1/2018 11:17 AM

Mr. G wrote:

Have you decided what pickups to use? There are so many to chose from, and guitars being the addiction they are I am interested in your pick!

borg wrote:

Looking at DiMarzio Illuminator. DP 256 and 257. Not decided though. I actually have an old humbucker I bought from Gibson back in '73 or so. I may throw that in the bridge position before I buy new.

That old Gibson is gonna sound better than anything else you could put in it. Look into Porter Pickups for your neck pup. They make some quality stuff. Put a set of their H90's in my LP and it really cleared it up. Love their stuff.

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2/4/2018 11:40 AM

Mr. G wrote:

Have you decided what pickups to use? There are so many to chose from, and guitars being the addiction they are I am interested in your pick!

borg wrote:

Looking at DiMarzio Illuminator. DP 256 and 257. Not decided though. I actually have an old humbucker I bought from Gibson back in '73 or so. I may throw that in the bridge position before I buy new.

Donovan759 wrote:

That old Gibson is gonna sound better than anything else you could put in it. Look into Porter Pickups for your neck pup. They make some quality stuff. Put a set of their H90's in my LP and it really cleared it up. Love their stuff.

Do you have a Strat?

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2/4/2018 1:37 PM

borg wrote:

Do you have a Strat?

I do. Why do you ask?

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2/4/2018 7:35 PM

Donovan759 wrote:

That old Gibson is gonna sound better than anything else you could put in it. Look into Porter Pickups for your neck pup. They make some quality stuff. Put a set of their H90's in my LP and it really cleared it up. Love their stuff.

borg wrote:

Do you have a Strat?

Donovan759 wrote:

I do. Why do you ask?

I have an issue with the G string on mine. It seems to plague certain Strats if you search the internet. It's an overtone or a resonance that makes it sound like shit. Usually somewhere between the 7th and 14th frets. The only answer for this that seems to make sense is not good news. It has to do with the G string, the Fender 25 1/2" scale an the switch from wound to solid G string. The theory is that it's not correctable, unless you go to a wound G. Stratitis it's sometimes called. Do you notice this issue on yours? I'm asking because the neck I'm building has the Fender scale. If this sound shows up, I will trash the project and start over with the 24 3/4 Gibson scale. I cant build a new neck with the Gibson scale for this body because my bridge pup is too close to the bridge. No room to move it.

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2/5/2018 5:44 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/5/2018 5:47 AM

borg wrote:

Do you have a Strat?

Donovan759 wrote:

I do. Why do you ask?

borg wrote:

I have an issue with the G string on mine. It seems to plague certain Strats if you search the internet. It's an overtone or a resonance that makes it sound like shit. Usually somewhere between the 7th and 14th frets. The only answer for this that seems to make sense is not good news. It has to do with the G string, the Fender 25 1/2" scale an the switch from wound to solid G string. The theory is that it's not correctable, unless you go to a wound G. Stratitis it's sometimes called. Do you notice this issue on yours? I'm asking because the neck I'm building has the Fender scale. If this sound shows up, I will trash the project and start over with the 24 3/4 Gibson scale. I cant build a new neck with the Gibson scale for this body because my bridge pup is too close to the bridge. No room to move it.

Got ya. I haven't been a strat guy for long. I have owned two. I now own a 2012 Standard. From my conversations with a national Fender rep, I learned that the electronics were reconstructed from leftover 70's pieces Fender found stored in an old warehouse. So it sounds incredible.

Anyway, since I haven't been a strat guy for long, I have not heard of this issue, so I do not know what overtone you're talking about. Is it anything similar to general overtones you can get on most guitars? Like high pitched ringing? I know that when playing live, this can be fixed by completely cutting one or two very specific frequencies. That might be something to consider if you start to have this issue.

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2/5/2018 6:25 AM

Donovan759 wrote:

Got ya. I haven't been a strat guy for long. I have owned two. I now own a 2012 Standard. From my conversations with a national Fender rep, I learned that the electronics were reconstructed from leftover 70's pieces Fender found stored in an old warehouse. So it sounds incredible.

Anyway, since I haven't been a strat guy for long, I have not heard of this issue, so I do not know what overtone you're talking about. Is it anything similar to general overtones you can get on most guitars? Like high pitched ringing? I know that when playing live, this can be fixed by completely cutting one or two very specific frequencies. That might be something to consider if you start to have this issue.

This is just one discussion on the subject.
Stratitis

There are many others but this one offers a more scientific explanation of what may be causing it.

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2/5/2018 1:23 PM

borg wrote:

I have an issue with the G string on mine. It seems to plague certain Strats if you search the internet. It's an overtone or a resonance that makes it sound like shit. Usually somewhere between the 7th and 14th frets. The only answer for this that seems to make sense is not good news. It has to do with the G string, the Fender 25 1/2" scale an the switch from wound to solid G string. The theory is that it's not correctable, unless you go to a wound G. Stratitis it's sometimes called. Do you notice this issue on yours? I'm asking because the neck I'm building has the Fender scale. If this sound shows up, I will trash the project and start over with the 24 3/4 Gibson scale. I cant build a new neck with the Gibson scale for this body because my bridge pup is too close to the bridge. No room to move it.

Donovan759 wrote:

Got ya. I haven't been a strat guy for long. I have owned two. I now own a 2012 Standard. From my conversations with a national Fender rep, I learned that the electronics were reconstructed from leftover 70's pieces Fender found stored in an old warehouse. So it sounds incredible.

Anyway, since I haven't been a strat guy for long, I have not heard of this issue, so I do not know what overtone you're talking about. Is it anything similar to general overtones you can get on most guitars? Like high pitched ringing? I know that when playing live, this can be fixed by completely cutting one or two very specific frequencies. That might be something to consider if you start to have this issue.

borg wrote:

This is just one discussion on the subject.
Stratitis

There are many others but this one offers a more scientific explanation of what may be causing it.

*Disclaimer* all of what I'm about to say is based on the assumption that the overtone problem you're talking about is the same overtone problem I am talking about. They might be two totally different things. I would have to hear it.

Interesting. I read through a lot of that forum. I would have to hear it still (like a lot of things with guitar), but this sounds like the sort of overtones I tend to find in some of my guitars sometimes. That includes my Strat, Tele, Jaguar, Starplayer TV and Les Paul.

I first started noticing it about 3 or 4 years ago. At first I thought it was something wrong in my signal chain. The more I researched about it, the more common I found "ringing overtones" to be for all guitarists. It isn't necessarily a certain guitar or type of guitar that does it (even though its more common it strat/tele type guitars).

If you play live into a PA, a professional audio engineer can pinpoint which frequencies they are and cut them (no more than one or two or you start to lose fullness to your sound). This is incredibly common in the professional industry and the most common fix is altering the EQ.

Depending on what combination of gear I'm using to play live, I will recommend for the engineer to listen in on my guitar and find the ringing and cut it in the EQ. This is a very non-evasive fix and actually helps your guitar to sound more full in a mix because you're getting rid of a piercing overtone dominating your signal. Obviously, when playing in a room/bar with just an amp, that isn't a reasonable fix. I choose to just ignore the overtones when practicing, or Mic myself and practice with IEM's and cut the frequencies myself.

All this being said, I would try the build as you're doing it now. Being that it is hand built, you might not even come close to having the same issue. If you do, try some of the easy onboard fixes people recommended in the link you sent. You could also try Graphtech saddles and see if that helps at all. Not sure if it would make a difference.

Sorry for the book. I'm a guitar nerd.

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2/5/2018 6:58 PM

Donovan759 wrote:

*Disclaimer* all of what I'm about to say is based on the assumption that the overtone problem you're talking about is the same overtone problem I am talking about. They might be two totally different things. I would have to hear it.

Interesting. I read through a lot of that forum. I would have to hear it still (like a lot of things with guitar), but this sounds like the sort of overtones I tend to find in some of my guitars sometimes. That includes my Strat, Tele, Jaguar, Starplayer TV and Les Paul.

I first started noticing it about 3 or 4 years ago. At first I thought it was something wrong in my signal chain. The more I researched about it, the more common I found "ringing overtones" to be for all guitarists. It isn't necessarily a certain guitar or type of guitar that does it (even though its more common it strat/tele type guitars).

If you play live into a PA, a professional audio engineer can pinpoint which frequencies they are and cut them (no more than one or two or you start to lose fullness to your sound). This is incredibly common in the professional industry and the most common fix is altering the EQ.

Depending on what combination of gear I'm using to play live, I will recommend for the engineer to listen in on my guitar and find the ringing and cut it in the EQ. This is a very non-evasive fix and actually helps your guitar to sound more full in a mix because you're getting rid of a piercing overtone dominating your signal. Obviously, when playing in a room/bar with just an amp, that isn't a reasonable fix. I choose to just ignore the overtones when practicing, or Mic myself and practice with IEM's and cut the frequencies myself.

All this being said, I would try the build as you're doing it now. Being that it is hand built, you might not even come close to having the same issue. If you do, try some of the easy onboard fixes people recommended in the link you sent. You could also try Graphtech saddles and see if that helps at all. Not sure if it would make a difference.

Sorry for the book. I'm a guitar nerd.

Thanks for the info. Really, it helps. I will record some stuff now that I put the Strat back together. I restrung it and did a little neck tweaking. It sounds great clean. When I add some crunch it turns to shit. It does the same thing on the Crate and the Marshall practice amps. It is a MIM Strat so I'm not looking for perfection. I'll try to record some stuff tomorrow and put it on soundcloud so I can post it here. If not tomorrow it will be later in the week.

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2/6/2018 10:25 AM

borg wrote:

FolkLoar, I'm going with humbuckers but not sure if DiMarzio or Seymore Duncan. And I am a retired (semi) old man so I do have the time. Haven't thought about an acoustic though. We just glued up the mahogany blank for my son's SG. That one's next.

FiendzCC, It's amazing how cheap some of the kits are. I also wonder how good the stuff really is. I went from scratch because I enjoy the building process. I am also going with the better electronics. The only thing I cheated on was the fretboard. For Indian Rosewood it was only $10 more to have them cut in the fret slots. I'm not set up for that yet.

George, I traced out the body from my Les Paul onto the mahogany blank and added the other cutaway. All the cutout dimensions are just taken from the Les Paul and my Strat for the neck. A few variations.

I bought some Duncan P-Rails to go in a cheap guitar. Haven't had a chance to put them in yet but, Ty Tabor brags on them. That's a pretty good endorsement in my mind. Anyway, your build is looking as good as your Floyd covers sound. Keep digging.

BTW,,, Hey FolkLoar, have you been to one of the last Tuesday of the month jams at my buddy Dana's house?

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2/6/2018 10:59 AM

borg wrote:

Thanks for the info. Really, it helps. I will record some stuff now that I put the Strat back together. I restrung it and did a little neck tweaking. It sounds great clean. When I add some crunch it turns to shit. It does the same thing on the Crate and the Marshall practice amps. It is a MIM Strat so I'm not looking for perfection. I'll try to record some stuff tomorrow and put it on soundcloud so I can post it here. If not tomorrow it will be later in the week.

For sure. I'm looking forward to hearing some sound clips to confirm we're talking about the same thing. I have a pretty busy schedule between work & playing, but if I get time this month, I'll record some clips with and without the EQ adjustments so you can hear what I'm talking about.

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2/6/2018 11:36 AM

borg wrote:

FolkLoar, I'm going with humbuckers but not sure if DiMarzio or Seymore Duncan. And I am a retired (semi) old man so I do have the time. Haven't thought about an acoustic though. We just glued up the mahogany blank for my son's SG. That one's next.

FiendzCC, It's amazing how cheap some of the kits are. I also wonder how good the stuff really is. I went from scratch because I enjoy the building process. I am also going with the better electronics. The only thing I cheated on was the fretboard. For Indian Rosewood it was only $10 more to have them cut in the fret slots. I'm not set up for that yet.

George, I traced out the body from my Les Paul onto the mahogany blank and added the other cutaway. All the cutout dimensions are just taken from the Les Paul and my Strat for the neck. A few variations.

wreckitrandy wrote:

I bought some Duncan P-Rails to go in a cheap guitar. Haven't had a chance to put them in yet but, Ty Tabor brags on them. That's a pretty good endorsement in my mind. Anyway, your build is looking as good as your Floyd covers sound. Keep digging.

BTW,,, Hey FolkLoar, have you been to one of the last Tuesday of the month jams at my buddy Dana's house?

No.. I keep saying that I’m going to. I see Dana all the time at Ronnie’s Body Shop. It’s hard for me to get away with three kids under 10, but I want to! This year for sure grin

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2/9/2018 6:13 AM

Donovan759 wrote:

*Disclaimer* all of what I'm about to say is based on the assumption that the overtone problem you're talking about is the same overtone problem I am talking about. They might be two totally different things. I would have to hear it.

Interesting. I read through a lot of that forum. I would have to hear it still (like a lot of things with guitar), but this sounds like the sort of overtones I tend to find in some of my guitars sometimes. That includes my Strat, Tele, Jaguar, Starplayer TV and Les Paul.

I first started noticing it about 3 or 4 years ago. At first I thought it was something wrong in my signal chain. The more I researched about it, the more common I found "ringing overtones" to be for all guitarists. It isn't necessarily a certain guitar or type of guitar that does it (even though its more common it strat/tele type guitars).

If you play live into a PA, a professional audio engineer can pinpoint which frequencies they are and cut them (no more than one or two or you start to lose fullness to your sound). This is incredibly common in the professional industry and the most common fix is altering the EQ.

Depending on what combination of gear I'm using to play live, I will recommend for the engineer to listen in on my guitar and find the ringing and cut it in the EQ. This is a very non-evasive fix and actually helps your guitar to sound more full in a mix because you're getting rid of a piercing overtone dominating your signal. Obviously, when playing in a room/bar with just an amp, that isn't a reasonable fix. I choose to just ignore the overtones when practicing, or Mic myself and practice with IEM's and cut the frequencies myself.

All this being said, I would try the build as you're doing it now. Being that it is hand built, you might not even come close to having the same issue. If you do, try some of the easy onboard fixes people recommended in the link you sent. You could also try Graphtech saddles and see if that helps at all. Not sure if it would make a difference.

Sorry for the book. I'm a guitar nerd.

borg wrote:

Thanks for the info. Really, it helps. I will record some stuff now that I put the Strat back together. I restrung it and did a little neck tweaking. It sounds great clean. When I add some crunch it turns to shit. It does the same thing on the Crate and the Marshall practice amps. It is a MIM Strat so I'm not looking for perfection. I'll try to record some stuff tomorrow and put it on soundcloud so I can post it here. If not tomorrow it will be later in the week.

Donovan759 wrote:

For sure. I'm looking forward to hearing some sound clips to confirm we're talking about the same thing. I have a pretty busy schedule between work & playing, but if I get time this month, I'll record some clips with and without the EQ adjustments so you can hear what I'm talking about.

Sent you a PM.

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