Advice for Building My First Electric Guitar

I'm trying to build my first electric guitar. I figured building a neck is not something that I want to get into my first time, so I'm planning on buying a stratocaster neck and fitting it to the body shape I've designed. I'm probably going to use 3 single coil pickups and a typical stratocaster 5 position switch. However, I want to have the gibson style bridge and knobs. Am I in way over my head for my first time? Does anyone have any advice on how to set the neck at the perfect distance from the bridge? I'm assuming I want to 12th fret to be exactly half of the length of the string, but I'm not sure. Also, if you have any other general advice, I would highly appreciate that.

sort by: active | newest | oldest
1-10 of 12Next »
black kujo8 years ago
oh and if you want good wiring Fender style check this out
http://www.fender.com/support/wiring_diagrams_parts_lists.php
its a lion9 years ago
maybe this site can help you out some:
http://www.projectguitar.com/menu/tutorial.htm
gmoon9 years ago
I don't see an answer to your second question--yes, the bridge (center) should be twice the distance from the nut as the 12th fret. On the 'low E' side you might move it 1/8 farther away. More exact intonation adjustments can be made with the 'tuneomatic' bridge saddles... Advice? --Use whatever materials you please. Be more concerned with weight, solid construction, playability and good electrics (pickups, etc.) than with certain types of wood (although don't use softwood, it'll dent too easily.) Off course if you're planning a natural finish, get picky about the wood. --Nothing wrong with a 'wraparound bridge.' You can make a more compact design with one, if you choose. With most 'wraparounds,' you have additional intonation adjustments at the posts, too.
saxman42 (author) 9 years ago
I did a lot more looking today and i picked out the exact parts I'd like to use. If anyone thinks I could do better for the same price, please say so. I'm going to get a fender maple neck :http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bodies,_necks,_wood/Electric_guitar:_Necks/Replacement_Neck_for_Strat.html

i'm also going to get fender vintage noisless pickups: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender-Vintage-Noiseless-Strat-Pickup-Set-100475751-i1127528.gc

There are plenty of misc. parts that I found at stewmac.com but I don't think I need to mention all of those parts. They're just typical potentiometers, a 5 way switch, knobs, and neck tuners. I'm thinking about using a wraparound bridge, but I'm not sure. Is there any reason why I shouldn't?
sugg22 saxman429 years ago
well, if I was you, I would first make a kit guitar (look on ebay) to learn what to do, then I'd buy some cheap stuff for your first guitar. Also, I'm way into distortion, and even if I wasn't, I wouldn't recommend vintage pickups, as they usually come with out housing, and are kind of delicate.
Why not go with De Armond pick ups. You can rescue a De Armond from someone who doesn't like the body weight and get the pickups and switches and knobs for about the same price as you are getting one of the pickups. De Armond is the company who made the double humbucker pickups for Fender for years.
Sunbanks9 years ago
For one thing do not drop it
buhdieboy9 years ago
black laquer ?? clear polyurethan? avoid stain ? befor sawing fret board leave back of neck say 1/16 th " thicker then sand or mill skinneyer if desired after final fretboar shape and sand beware of paints and stains this requires some nessesary aproach orr it will get everywher its not supposed to lol"ps you may know this"! but does the audiance?
Juklop9 years ago
Make it shaped like a dog's face. That would be awesome.
lancruz9 years ago
I have never built one from scratch, much less try to design the body. My assumption is that the body is a solid body too. The suggestion if I were trying to attempt a smiler feet, I would model the specifications of an existing working guitar from bridge to nut for string mount. I believe it should be pretty consistent with all guitars good guitars. At very least you will get pretty close. If you move to far away from the existing specifications, you may run into tension problems with the neck and strings. Good Luck!
1-10 of 12Next »