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Advice for Building My First Electric Guitar Answered

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.

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gmoon

10 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.

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saxman42

10 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?

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sugg22saxman42

Reply 10 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.

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mackamitsusaxman42

Reply 10 years ago

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.

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Sunbanks

10 years ago

For one thing do not drop it

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buhdieboy

10 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?

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Juklop

10 years ago

Make it shaped like a dog's face. That would be awesome.

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lancruz

10 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!

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buhdieboylancruz

Reply 10 years ago

the wood for the body would be ( pun) bass the neck would be maple or oak the fretboard would be maple or rose wood make molds of fret face on good neck ( use expensive neck )the neck has to have steel brace rod used 12 hour epoxy to secure it into neck place seran wrap over the good neck then place bondo over the seran wrap then sanwich the bondo with a stip of wood like 2"x 3/4" oak let bondo harden for a few then pull off the seran wrap (while still stuck to the back brace wood stick2"x 3/4") and all imediatly cut the excess bondo from the sides of the hardinging bondo with shape knife or razor while stil semi soft that will gife to a reverse guage to sand the outher new necks rough shape (& glued to back of neck)fretboard to the same fadeing levil for string clamp height proubly the most dificult part of neck construction when the fret boards done leviling then comes fret groove sawing done with micro saw and a sqaure jig tape fret into place with small peice o wood with slith rounded bend first ( slown super glue may be put into grove but first practice on a practice fretboard ( extra)file edeg of fret last ( ie must be few thouosanths wider(fret))
parts here
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies.html

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saxman42

10 years ago

The body shape I designed is a solid body. I basically took a Les Paul shape and added a statocaster-esque cutout above the neck. So it's not too far away from an existing shape. Thanks for the suggestions, too. They're quite helpful.