So, as a result of the discussion from The Great Ongoing Guitar Thread, another guitar building thread is born!!
Welcome - sit back and enjoy what will surely be 3 or more month process of building a bolt on neck, chambered body guitar of my own personal design… kind of…
So - where to start… ah, yes - the design!
So I began with the standard shape of a Fender Stratocaster traced out onto a piece of poster board in pencil. I figured I’d just play with it by bulging it out a little here, thinning it a little there, until I came up with something I liked.
So after an hour or so, I came up with a shape I liked and made a template of it out of 1/4" MDF board that I got from Home Depot.
Once I got done with the template and was all proud of myself, I ran across this online:
Damn… :mad: I thought I had something original there. Oh well - I’m going with it anyway…
Now the body of this guitar will be made from naturally stained alder for the base wood and will have a 1/4" quilted maple top that will be dyed blue. The alder will be “chambered”, meaning it will have hollowed out cavities underneath the maple top. It will have two P90 style single coil pickups, with 2 volumes, 1 tone, a 3-way switch and a hardtail bridge.
Here’s the template with the chambers, bridge, pickup, neck, and control pockets all mapped out on it:
Now… lets make some sawdust! Here are the two pieces of alder that need to be glued together to create the body - 7.5" x 19" x 1.75":
First, they need to be thickness planed down to 1.5" to accommodate for the 1/4" maple top. So, a few passes through my planer for each and they’re there:
Next, they have to be straight edged on one side so they can be joined together. I don’t own a jointer (which could do this job easily) so I have to be a little creative. I clamp a straight edge to one of the planks and use my routers straight edge to follow it and give me a nice straight cut:
Once I have my straight edges on both planks, I sand them with a sanding block and 120 grit paper to get any tiny little bumps that could cause gaps when gluing. A good test to see if you have a good join is to hold the two pieces together up to the light and see if you can see any gaps letting light through the seam. If not, then it’s all good.
So once my seam passes this test, it’s on to gluing. Here’s the hi-tech tools you need for this step.
Finally found a use for my ASCAP membership card. Anyway, there’s nothing really complicated about this step - just slap some wood glue on the straight edges, spread it out with the card, push the pieces together, and clamp them up:
The seam looks darker in that pic because I had just wiped the excess glue off. Once it’s dried and sanded, it won’t be as noticeable. I’ll let this sit for 24 hours before I take the clamps off.
Next, I’ll sand the body blank smooth and route the chambers…