For years I’ve wanted to make a guitar, something I could stand back and say “I did that” Sally bought me a book a few years ago which I devoured, but did nothing about because:

1: I procrastinate
2: I hadn’t really the funds
3: I procrastinate

I downloaded a template I liked and set about sourcing all the bits and bobs, mainly from ebay and some online stores… The body is maple and came in two parts which I biscuit jointed and glued together with ‘Stronger than the wood itelf’ glue. Which, to be fair is true because I glued it to my work bench… But only a bit glued (blush).

image

I altered the template a little to add a larger horn to the top and to add two humbucker pickups in the body. Then screwed it to the blank ready for the jigsawing.

image

If anyone had warned me before just how hard maple was to cut I would have made a nice shelf and saved a lot of hassle. I snapped 5 blades in total and almost pushed my blood pressure over the top. Luckily I had the routing to tidy the jagged mess up. Only that didn’t quite work as smoothly as I hoped.
It all started just fine.. Masses of noise and sawdust everywhere… Then I noticed that things had gone a bit iffy! The nut had come loose on the router bit making the guide bush drop below the template. Great! Now there was a chunk out of the body. An hour later, several chunks and snatches from the router I had the roughest looking guitar in the whole world.

Hour after hour I spent filing, planing and sanding to get it into some kind of guitar shape.. My hands and arms ached like hell. I even had Rosie doing shifts to help out.

image

Until finally, things started to fit together.

image

For some reason I’d decided on ‘through body strings’, so off to the father in laws and his handy pillar drill went I… And came home with holes drilled in the wrong place… So I had to redrill it.

image

And fill it to make it right ish. The holes ended up a bit wonky, but I can live with that.

image

I’ve always liked candy apple red as a colour.. Probably from my youth when American custom cars were all the rage. So candy apple red it would be. Sanding, priming, filling and more priming, then a whole can of gold basecoat went on.

image

A can of the candy went on next, but it wasn’t quite enough. Being a transparent colour it takes a lot of building up to get the depth of shade right.. Ebay purchase and a four day wait later I finally got the last of it on.

image

Rosie liked it anyway.. Though she wasn’t impressed with the two cans of laquer that needed polishing…

By now most of the bits had arrived for the build though the post office held things up by not letting me know that my pickups had arrived and needed signing for. Which led to a poor communication rating for the seller because he wouldn’t answer any of my emails. I had to make a couple of on the fly changes to things like pickup mounts and bridge… Oh and I made a cock up with the pickup switch selector, I only bought one I couldn’t find a wiring diagram for!

image

The build went well with just a couple of minor adjustments to the scratchplate to fit the pickups and to the channel where the knobs and switches sit. All that was left was to string it up and plug it in.

image

image

I just need to learn how to play now……………….

Advertisements