guitars

WestCoast Arts
272 posts and 17 followers
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Hey everyone,
Anyone have any experience making guitars?
I have a client interested in a carved bass guitar. I was thinking to buy a high end neck/fret board and make the body (mostly to be cost effective but also because I don’t really want to re-invent the wheel so to speak) but not sure… Maybe I’m better off doing all of the components?
This a new area for me so looking for any tips/suggestions. Anything I should be looking out for (especially in the joinery work around the neck/body).
It seems fairly basic but I know that instruments can be touchy things to build.

Cheers!

Angellos

Also…am I better off doing the frets/neck etc as well?

Angellos

if you’re experienced enough to carve then i think your only only issue is accuracy, make and draw a plan and stick to it. neck and body joins have to be exact. the best place to start is things like what hardware the guitar has, this will give you information about the height of the saddle position off the body and thus the neck angle. id also consider buying woods from a tonewood supplier as they will be able to give you advice about which woods to go for and can provide you with cuts for fingerboards etc. they will also be able to provide you with a lot of good information regarding building. frets are the most difficult bit in my opinion, and it’d be much easier to buy components and just assemble it but you wont have as much fun and the results wont be as good..
id recommend “Building Electric Guitars” by Martin Koch as a good bit of reading material, it focuses more on electric guitars and i think would be more relevant to you. i look forward to seeing the results.

Fitz

I play guitar you have to make it right or it want tune all aspect has to be true

jim

Accuracy shouldn’t be a problem. Thanks for the info, I’ll look for that book!
Thanks Jim, I’ve been drumming for about 35 years and have been around enough guitars to know the frustration of a cheaply made one! Drums are similar but much more forgiving.. lol

Angellos

I have made over thirty electric style guitars, most from scratch. A good place to use for a reference for materials is Luthers mercantile limited. http://www.lmii.com getting started with a kit then carving is probably what your wanting to do. An inexpensive place to purchase an electric kit with every component thought out for you is Do it yourself guitars http://diyguitarkits.net you can buy a kit then do your carving on the materials then assemble knowing the components are all there in one package. Most of all have fun doing it! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

I’ve just started my adventures in stringed instruments and let me say that frets are tricky but could you honestly say you built a guitar if you didn’t do the trickiest bit? It’s fun. Have as much fun as you can.

-- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

Thanks… still in designing/quoting stage the it is still up in the air

Angellos

A couple of decisions you will need to make, 1) scale, their are different scales used in fret placement. The two major types are fender and Gibson. 2) their are two different joinery options for attaching the neck, bolt on or, set thru. Each of these decisions has an effect on sound, look, playability, hardware, and the overall appeal to players. Ie; some players will only play on a Gibson scale but could care less about how the neck is connected, but want a very radical curve in the neck profile. When making a custom instrument for someone I usually ask what they are playing now and why, this will give you overall design decisions then you can get creative with various components from their. I hope this helps.

CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

Yes it does, thanks Thorreain.

Angellos