Making a parts guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by riverastoasters, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

    Mar 1, 2005
    Planet X
    If you've ever built a parts guitar, was there a tricky part? Or is it straightforward? Seems like if you want the simplest version of it, you can order the parts (with finish), install the nut, hardware and pickups, bolt it together, and set it up.
  2. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I'm going to be making my first parts Strat, using a USA Custom Guitars neck & body. I'm buying the hardware and pickups and having it all put together by a luthier for $40/hour. He should be able to do a great job for $120, which is well worth it to me to have it first class. Considering the cost of all the parts it's very reasonable. Of course, if you're into doing the work yourself, then that's another thing. I'll let others reply to that.
  3. baald

    baald Member

    Dec 15, 2004
    west side of the east bay
    nut was the hardest part for me. i know warmoth will now cut nuts on necks you buy from them; dunno if usacg will. Also, if you get the body/neck from the same source, you can rest assured that the neck attachment holes will be dead on; if mixing and matching, you might have to do that part yourself, which may be hard or not depending, eg on your woodworking experience and tools (my wife got me a drill press for christmas :)
  4. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    The hardest part for me is that I procrastinate so much, that by the time I've finished a parts guitar, I've changed my mind several times, and had to buy several things twice. And I end up buying parts from all over the place that weren't designed to go together too, so things don't tend to just bolt together.

    If you're building something very standard, everything should be a piece of cake.

  5. Gary Ladd

    Gary Ladd Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    Control Room
    Here's a lil' luthier trick I learned...

    Put beeswax on all screws the first time you put them in ;)
  6. 1-Take-Wonder

    1-Take-Wonder Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    The ATL

    Marrying the neck and the body is pretty crucial. I got lucky with my first tele project, only needed a small shim to get the neck angle right, the neck is a little deep in the pocket and the angle a little shallow...but the sustain and tone is right on so I don't want to mess with it...decisions decisions.

    You may not need the woodworking tools, but you never know what problem you're going to need to solve until its in front of you. The pieces aren't as Lego-like as you might imagine.

    The tele body I bought showed up without string through holes. Without a drill press, you may have to settle for a different design...with a drill press its a quick fix....You have to decide if you like working with these things. Its probably not a good way to just save money. It will be frustrating if you're not into the craftsman side of it.
  7. HeeBGB

    HeeBGB Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    I built a Warmoth Strat about two years ago. The honeymoon is over and I still love this guitar! The ONLY thing I regret is not getting a fatter neck profile. I got the Warmoth Standard thin profile. I had it painted at Lays Guitar and relic'd. They sent me back the parts and I put everything together and had a Luthier friend cut the nut and any fret leveling that was necessary. I don't think any WAS BUT i asked him to check it anyway.

    Here is a pic

  8. HHB

    HHB Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    East Flat Rock NC
    I'm doing this as well, gonna make a strat clone w/ parts from USA custom as well. I've worked on a scillion bolt-on guitars over the years so the finish is my only real challange, gonna use Reranch nitro and go for an aged finish, I've got a friend w/ a spraybooth so it should go OK, ording parts this week , 1/4 sawn one piece maple neck, alder body, single ply white pickguard, Klusons, still debating on which bridge and pickups to use, stronly considering the Callaham bridge, any thoughts on those or other vintage style trems?
  9. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2005
    Made some Tele's so far and it is fairly straight forward, althouh there is always some adjustment here or there you have to make.

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