THE BODY This is where your guitar starts to take shape. After you have finnished your design you will need to trace it onto the wood that you are going to use for the template or body. A solid blank of tonewood that you can get from online retailers like Catalina Guitars can run anywhere in the price range of $70 to $250 depending on what wood you use. Some people will tell you that different wood will produce a different tone. While this is true in some cases like the crisper higher pitch tone of Mapel and the warmer fuller tones of Mahogany, you probably won't be able to tell the differnce between using a lower grade wood versus a higher grade more expensive wood. The only time that I would splurge and buy expinsive wood is if I was going to use a clear finish on the body and all the other parts of the guitar were going to be high end quality parts. For my project I didn't have a lot of money, much less the expensive tools to work with to produce a result that I would want to break the bank on.

MAKE YOUR OWN BODY BLANK Another neat trick to create your own body blank for $10 is to get a 3/4" thick peice of Birch Plywood that comes cut into a 4' by 2' board. Simply cut out two rectangular sections of the board that will accomodate your desing and wood glue them together. Be generous with the glue to make sure there aren't any spaces between the boards when you press the two together, clamp and stack weights on top of it so the two peices are joined firmly and let dry overnight. This gives you a a 1 1/2" thick body blank that is rigid and works great for electric guitars. You will have to go with a solid color paint when you finish it but you won't be able to tell the difference between it and the solid wood blank. Plus you'll save a good chunk of change that you can use towards good pickups and hardware. If you want to make the body a little thicker, you can get a 1/4" peice of birch and glue it between the two thicker peices. It's also a good idea to prerout any wire cavities in that 1/4" peice before you glue them together. That way you don't have to worry about drilling them later and ruining the top of your guitar body with the drill.

MAKING A TEMPLATE Once you have traced out your design to the wood you can start routing. I recomend making a template first for the body rout out of 1/4" hard board or something equivalent to that. The professionals use cnc machines to carve and rout the bodies but smaller shops will use templates made from acrylic. The hard board works just fine, but might not last as long. You can also rout the body by hand and forget the template but if you mess up there's no going back so be carefull if you do.
I cut my template with a jig saw and a fine tooth blade to make sure it kept a straight edge. Then i mounted it to the body blank using small screws in the ares that would be routed out later like the neck cavity area and where the pick ups would be. You will want to start routing a bit outside your line or the edge of the template so you can get you router bit to the depth it will need to be at for the ball bearing to follow the template. I use a 1/2"x1" bit with a ball bearing guide on top.I make several passes around the body, lowering the router 1/4" at a time for smooth easy cuts. Once you have made your pass were the bearing runs along side the template, it is much easier to rout and you will end up with a nice squared edge to the body.

ROUTING THE EDGE I like to use a 1/2" round over bit on the edge of the body to give it a nice even curve. You dont have to do this butit is good to round the edges of the body a little bit at least. It's easier to polish the body after you gloss it and you don't risk burning through on those sharp edges.

THE NECK POCKET The next step is to rout the neck pocket and body cavities. For the neck pocket I like to use a 1/4" bit and leave the scrap wood edge around the body to give the router the extra support it needs when routing the neck area. To find out how deep you will have to rout the pocket measure the total thickness of the heal of the neck. Then measure the hieght of the bridge from the bottom to the top of the groove the string will sit in on the saddle and add about 1/8" to it. That allows for the string clearence over the frets. The subtract that from the overall thickness that you came up with when you measured the heal of the neck. That will give you a pretty accurate depth that you will need to carve the pocket down to. Be very careful when you rout the neck pocket! You don't want to make it too big otherwise you end up with gaps between the neck and the body and you don't want to go too deep because it can be impossible to fix. Rout a little bit at a time, and set the neck in each time to make sure you get the proper fit. It shouldn't fit to tight and the pocket should be slightly lager than the heal of the neck because you will have paint accumulation in it which will shrink it a little.

PICKUP CAVITIES Same basic thing here. Be careful routing as you don't want to go outside you lines. The pickup rings tend to be thin along the outter edge, so if you go outside you lines it will look like there is a hole in the body of the guitar once you fit the rings on. Determine the depth that you will need for the pickups you are using. This is usually based on the length of the mounting screws. You will need enough room for them to fit. I use a 1/4" bit for this as well. You can use a template if you want but I do it free hand because any imperfections will be covered by the pickup rings.

THE CONTROL CAVITY Routing the control cavity is just as important as the neck pocket but with a couple more steps. The best thing to do is to cut out the plastic cover. Trace the pattern that you came up with for it on the plastic then cut it out with a jig saw. Use a fine tooth blade to prevent the plastic from chipping and will also yeild a smoother cut. Once this is done, take your template and reverse it, trace the patern on the back side of the body. Next set your router to a depth that is the same as the thickness of the plastic plate and rout the cavity working out to the line you drew. I do this free hand since the first cut is too shallow for a template. Be careful when you do this and test fit the plate you cut to make sure you get a goo fit. Then you will draw another line about 1/4" along the inside of the cavity you routed out, leaving extra room in areas for the screws you will use later on to secure the control plate. Rout this area out in the same way, working out to the line you drew. When you start to get close to the half way point in the wood start to think about how much wood you need to leave at the bottom. Usualy 1/4" is good but make sure you are careful! I miscalculated once and ended up going all the way through the body. Bad experience.

<p>Hello everyone. My name is Tyler. I need to install a new tuning system on my Jackson electric guitar. As of right now, it has the Floyd Rose tuning system installed... How do I install a new tuning system, and what kind of setup should I use?</p>
you don't NEED to use the string locks on the neck if you don't want to...<br><br>BTW it's a locking bridge not a tuning system.<br><br>as to tuning one string messing with the other strings' tuning, you can &quot;block&quot; the tremolo...with a wood block. wedge a fittingly sized piece of wood on the outside of the tremolo base under the back cover, on the side opposite of the springs. some people will also advise additionally using all 5 tremolo springs with it (loosen the 'claw' screws to keep the bridge level). tah-dah, now you can tune strings independently.
<p>That's just the same as manufacturing. I'm more of a fan of cigar box diy instruments.</p>
<p>GuitarDiyDude to anwser your question locking tuners lock your strings down so they stay in tune when you do bends unlike regular tuners where they have a problem of going out of tune when you bend your string when you are doing licks and bending strings!! Mini tuners is what gibson come out with its like tuning for dummies,you select standard tuning and strum all 6 strings and it tunes all 6 simutaneously for you!! So i hope thathelps you,Guitargod6666!!!!!!</p>
<p>I am interested in making an electric guitar and I was wondering what a locking tuner does that regular tuners don't. Ideally I would go for some Tronical tuners (they make Gibsons 2015 mini e-tuners) but the cost &pound;275 odd pounds. They make them for strat style as well if your interested:</p><p><a href="http://www.andertons.co.uk/guitar-parts/pid33170/cid708/tronical-type-c-for-fender-guitars.asp" rel="nofollow">http://www.andertons.co.uk/guitar-parts/pid33170/c...</a></p><p>Thanks</p>
Total cost????
Did you run a ground to your bridge on these? I'm doing a p90 setup. I'm using shielding paint but didn't know if it were necessary to ground as well. Don't really wasn't to have to drill that hole. <br><br>Also, BVB, this should work for bass as well.
Hey. Do u think that I could use this tutorial for a bass and just us bass neck, strings etc...
<p>Thanks for this, tons of useful info! </p><p>I've been trying to make a ceramic guitar body but I'm not sure how to pre-plan for wiring and electronics. Any suggestions? Attached are pics of my 'sketch' attempt. I've made a mold so the shape will be relatively the same. </p>
<p>Hi Matt,</p><p>I have made dozens of molds and tooling parts over the years. What I would do with a ceramic part is insert flexible tubing where the wiring would go. then I would pull it out after the part was made.</p>
awesome, thanks for sharing
<p>How do you do kind of like a Zebra pattern for the guitar.What do you mix on with the paint?</p>
Very good instructable.<br /> I build this one myself when I was 15. I wasn't alowed to buy one, so I asked my parents &quot;what if I build one myself?&quot; They said &quot;OK&quot;, but they thought I couldn't do it. Man, were they wrong... :)<br />
<em><strong>AWSUM GEETAR DUDE!</strong></em>
<p>email me to a killer supremely awesome guitar dude!!! &quot;vampire guitar&quot; j. ghostr@shaw.ca </p>
How much round about did that cost you? I have a guitar but I get bored easy and it'll be nice to actually build one myself
To be honest, I don't know. It was almost 40 years ago. <br>I only know that it wasn't half as much as a good ready made guitar would have costed me. <br>Later on I bought me a couple of other guitars. Not that my own build wasn't good enough, but just because I happened to love the ones I bought. <br>And to have a spare one of course... :-) <br>One of those, a guitar made by hand by a professional guitar builder, cost me a minimum of 4 times more than the one I put together myself. <br> <br>Maybe you could make a list of the things you need and look around in the guitar shop. You have a good chance of finding all the pieces in a shop that has a repair service. <br>For the wood, you can inform yourself at the local carpenter's. Maybe they have some leftovers they don't use anymore. If you're lucky, you can get that for free. Just check the quality of the wood. Don't use wood that has cracks in it.
Dear Merlin. <br> <br>I will soon build my own guitar (Im 12) and I have a question will the sound change if i make in the wood a hole to hold or carry the guitar and can i do it if i can that how big does it have to be ? <br> <br>Hope to get your replay as soon as possible. <br> <br>Max. <br> <br>
You can build a guitar in any shape you want. <br>Have a look at some of the guitars from different stars around; You'll see many different shapes, some even with a hole in the body to 'carry' the guitar. <br>Make the hole the size it needs to be so your fingers easily fit into it. <br> <br>As you can read in the comment of zenguitar below, it might change the sound. <br>I realy don't know how much that change would be. <br> <br>I have a question for you: <br>You write that you're 12, but your profile says you're 19. <br>Lost count over the years? ;)
Im 15 and i am wanting to build a guitar.. What kind of wood did you use on the body?<br>
Hi there,<br><br>I used Meranti for the body. The neck is made out of beech.<br>Have fun building your own guitar.
Does the shape/material effect the sound?
<br> Just a tiny little bit. Most of the sound is determined by the pickups.<br> If the guitar has a hollow body, the sound is influenced more. Especially if you play with a microphone eventually combined with the pickups.<br> That's because with a hollow body the body acts as an amplifier, not so with a solid guitar.<br> Since this is a solid guitar, the sound influence of the wood is practically zero.<br> The different woods give different looks, that's their main influence. ;)<br>
I'm sorry to disagree Merlin, but the woods used really do make a big difference to the sound of a solid body guitar. Both the neck and body are resonators, the string energy drives the woods which damp some frequencies and use that energy to emphasise the resonant frequencies. That drives the string's vibration through the bridge/nut/fretboard. It's a feedback loop.<br><br>That is why pick-up manufacturers are always careful to explain that their pick-ups will sound different depending on the woods and construction of a guitar. Seymour Duncan (among many others) has written about this a lot, a you can read more on the Seymour Duncan website. You can also study more at the FRETS website, GAL (The Guild of American Luthiers), StewMac, and LMI (Luthier's Mercantile International).<br><br>You are correct, insofar as the pick-up can only pick up the string vibrations. But those vibrations are substantially modified by the materials and construction. In an acoustic the hollow box is the amplifier in combination with the height of the saddle, but the tone comes from the woods by a similar mechanism to that of the solid body guitar.<br><br>Andy
does it make any diference on the finish i want to use danish oil on my first guitar <br>will that change how it will sound
The way a finish can change the sound is when it forms a rigid, hard, shell that damps the vibrations of the woods. So a good finish for a musical instrument is one that allows the woods to vibrate freely but still offers good protection.<br><br>The good news is that an oil finish is a very good option for finishing a guitar, and a lot of guitarists actually prefer the oiled finish on the neck. Danish Oil and Tung Oil are both suitable for a guitar. So if you are happiest using Danish Oil, go ahead.<br><br>One oil finish that many luthiers use and recommend is Tru-Oil, which was originally formulated for finishing gun stocks. It is the oil finish that Luthier's Mercantile carries, and if you Google for Tru-Oil you will find plentry of information about using it on guitars including some very good instructions. And those instructions will help you with Danish Oil as well.<br><br>And congratulations on making your first guitar, I promise you that you will feel amazing the first time you play it. And every time someone says 'WOW!! You made it yourself?' you will feel great.<br><br>Andy
Thanks Andy for the info <br> I am a machinist i plan on making everthing from the body to the pickups even the tuners so this will take awhile but will be fun <br>thanks vern
Sounds good Vern. I can make truss rods and pick-ups but need to get my machining skills up to speed before tackling tuners and bridges etc, although I am very tempted to learn in the future.<br><br>Being a machinist will be a real advantage for you. The woodwork on guitars is actually pretty basic, but has to be very accurate. Many years ago one of my luthiery teachers described it was working wood to the tolerances usually found in engineering. <br><br>If it helps, Schaller have very accurate drawings of all their hardware on their website. You can also get very good drawings of all Gotoh parts as well, but theirs are harder to find (hidden in the parent company's site and I can't recall the full details). It is worth having a look at those, and pay attention to the way the tuning posts are shaped. That radiused section turned into the post is important , it really helps lock the strings firmly.<br><br>Best of luck and I promise two things. There will be frustrations along the way, but once you are finished it is deeply satisfying.<br><br>Andy
This is true, i made a guitar out of MDF to test this and it sounded terrible
yes different densities in the wood can give different tones
man i wish i could thumbs up this comment!
Very nice. I love wood finished guitars so much more over painted.<br>So much fun to build instruments<br>
&nbsp;SIX PICKUPS!<br /> <br /> I can't even begin to imagine about what that would sound like but I'm sure it would be awesome.
Actually there are only three. They are humbuckers. The white ones I bought, the black one in the middle I made myself with little magnets and thin copper wire (0.2mm&sup2;). The magnets I got out of relays that were no longer used from an old telephone central.<br />
did you actually make your own pick-up??
Yes I did. It's the middle one with the black top.<br> It's not that difficult, but you have to find the right materials.<br> <br> I used a 4 mm thick piece of hardwood to make the base.<br> From twelve relays that came from a no longer used telephone central (many, many years ago) I recycled the magnet shafts (about 4 mm diameter and 3 cm long).<br> I drilled two lines of six holes (it's a humbucker) in the wooden base right at the center of each string and put the magnets in.<br> One row of magnets were put in with the north pole up, the other row with the south pole up.<br> If you cant drill the holes to be just a tiny bit smaller than the magnet shafts, you can apply some glue to it to make sure the magnets are in the holes very tight. They have to be unable to move.<br> The top of the pick-up I made from a 3 mm thick piece of plastic in which I drilled the same holes as in the base to fit the magnets through the plastic. Same goes here about the fitting in the holes.<br> Then I wound very thin (0.02 mm diameter) laquered copper wire around a couple of thick nails that had about the same size as the magnets.<br> These nails I had placed in another piece of wood at the width of the outer magnets.<br> Some 4000 windings go into one spool.<br> Some tape was applied to cover and fasten the copper windings.<br> The second spool was wound in the opposite direction.<br> Next I placed the two spools over the magnets and connected them so that they were connected as serial spools.<br> The start and end of the complete spool went through a 1mm hole in the base and were secured with a drop of glue in the hole.<br> <br> You have to be carefull not to break the wire while winding a spool. If that happens, you have to start over. The spool needs to be in one piece for the best results.<br> <br> I used two ballpoint springs and a couple of metal screws to attach the pick-up to the front plate of the guitar.<br> The screws drive into the wood directly. I drilled a smaller hole and tapped wire in it. Because it is hardwood this works.<br> The springs and the screws make it easy to adjust the height of the pick-up to the strings.<br> <br> That's it for my mini instructable.<br> I don't have any pictures of the works because it was so long ago and instructables.com didn't exist at the time. As a matter of fact there was no internet, nor personal computers at the time either.<br> But I guess everybody understands what I have written here.<br> I bet you can find more info on humbuckers and how they work on the internet. I found my info in some electronics books at the time.
&nbsp;you should put out a pickup making instructable.
That's excellent!!!<br />
This is sick! <br>I love everything about it. Good job Merlin. :)
i herd about some british dude forging aluminum cans&nbsp; to make the guitars body or whatever its called&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; i admire the british culture
Well, maybe he's into soft metal rather than heavy metal... ;-)<br />
lol nice one
<p>If you did build a guitar out&nbsp;of aluminum cans, than why don't you post a pic of one?</p>
I never stated to have build a guitar out of aluminum cans.<br /> Please read the comments and replies in the correct order.<br />
Sorry&nbsp;but you did say &quot; I sure did m8.&quot;
That was about the guitar in the picture I posted. At that time there was no mentioning of the 'canned' guitar...<br />
Sorry but you did say &quot; I sure m8.&quot;

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