Introduction: Build Your Own Electric Guitar! Have you ever looked at a guitar and wondered, “How do they build your own acoustic guitar pdf that? Or thought to yourself, “I bet that I could build my own guitar,” but never actually tried it?
I have built several electric guitars over the years and through trial and error have learned many helpful tips that anyone who might want to tackle this sort of project needs to know before starting out. 2″ Forstner Bit for counter sinking the neck ferrules. Good to have if you need to laminate your own body blank. Trying to build your own neck is difficult and requires more tools that you might be willing to buy. I tend to go with a hard tail type bridge since it can be easily bolted on. These are used to hold the string in the guitar and are placed in small holes drilled in the back.
You won’t need these if you decide to go with a Gibson style bridge and tail piece. You will need pick guard screws for the control cavity cover and other various size screws for pickup rings and truss rod cover. You can use a neck plate instead of ferrules but I like the clean look and tight fit that you get with the ferrules. This depends on the type of sound you want and how much you are willing to spend. Most come with screws when you buy them but if you decide to go with all gold hardware you might want to buy gold screws separately.
These can be bought from many online retailers. Get the style that best fits your guitar design. Uses for volume and tone control you typically need between two and four depending on the type of sound you want. They come in different sizes and values so the best thing to do is look up a wiring schematic online for the set up you want to see what kind to use. I like to use a long shaft input jack. All you have to do to install it is drill a hole.
These come in different styles also. Fender Strats use 5 way switches while Les Pauls use 3 way ones. There are tons of different online retailers and ebay stores that you can find a great deal on parts and supplies, but those were just some of the ones that I have purchased on and been satisfied with their service and parts. NOTE: Do your research when it comes to parts and the quality of the parts you buy.
I like to get feedback and reviews from Harmony-Central. PRE-DESIGN INFO Before you can design your guitar you must know a few important rules to building guitars. The first and most important is “Know Your Scale Length”. SCALE LENGTH What is a “Scale Lenght? The scale lenght is the lenght the string travels between the nut at the top of the fretboard and the bridge at the mid section of the base of the guitar. To determine the scale length of your guitar you would measure from the front part of the nut where it meets the fretboard to the center of the 12th fret on the neck and multiplying that by 2.
DESIGN AND PLANNING It is best to pre-plan your design concept so you can correct any mistakes on paper before you get to the wood and can’t go back. Sketch out some design concepts on paper then, once you have decided on something,lay out a couple of pieces of poster board to draw the body shape out on. You can let you imagination go wild or if you perfer stay with a more traditional design. For this particular guitar I built, I chose to go with a PRS style body design.
PLOTTING OUT THE PEICES Once you have drawn out the shape of the body you can then locate and draw the cavaties that the pickups and electronics will go and set you bridge placement. It is good to know wher the center of the guitars boy is so you can make sure that the pickups and bridge are in good alignment with the neck pocket. For the neck pocket you will want to trace the heal of the neck where you want it to be placed. For this guitar I had to extend a peice of the body to attach the neck to since I was copying a PRS which uses a set in neck. I was using a bolt on and didn’t have much of a neck pocket to work with.
Next, make sure you give yourself enough room in the electronic cavity to fit all the potometers and switches. 4″ of a lip that the control cover will sit on. After your design has been properly plotted out on the poster board you can cut it out with an exacto knife. Make sure you stay as true to your lines as possible so you have a nice clean line to trace once your ready to. Then lay out the template on body blank and trace away.
I like to cut the piece of poster board the same size as the body blank I am using. It makes it a lot easier to line everything up that way. Now you’re ready to move on to the next step. 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.
250 depending on what wood you use. 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. MAKING A TEMPLATE Once you have traced out your design to the wood you can start routing.