So I built a guitar (turd content)

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by drezdin, Feb 8, 2008.


  1. drezdin

    drezdin Member

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    First of all let me say that I have never wanted or even considered building guitars for a living or for anyone other than myself.
    My desire for building came from the desire to be able to have any kind of wacko guitar or stringed monstrosity I could ever imagine.

    The only previous wood working experience I had was building a couple small speaker cabinets, the desk in my office, and putting together a couple parts guitars. So maybe building a guitar wasn't the best idea, but I wanted crazy instruments and had the opportunity to come into some reasonably priced tools. During that time I was also selling parts on ebay and was able to collect a small stash of parts and jumped on in.

    And so here is my attempt....
    [​IMG]

    The Details:
    Blood loss: about 5cc
    Scars: 1 visible on finger....f'n safety planer
    Lots of small cuts and gouges... f'n binding

    and the guitar
    • mahogony body and neck
    • spruce top
    • macassar ebony board
    • 7 string with 6 string trem and fixed 7th string
    • jumbo stainless steel frets
    • white binding with silver and black purf.
    • built in mic
    • kill switch
    • external control... switch and ribbon controller
    • demeter mid boost
    • dimarzio pickups - yes the bridge pu was angled on purpose :)
    and the review...
    well it plays well, really well
    sounds?? average

    looks...
    finish is horrible...believe it or not i was wanting black where you could see the wood through in spots. For some reason it looked way nicer in my head :) Anyway lots of messed up spots and sand throughs. Plus nicks and scratches from working on the guitar after doing the finish.

    Other
    I had lots and lots bad ideas and mistakes

    1. binding/ silver purf. - this was a bad Idea and harder than I ever expected. I may never do binding again. I ended up screwing it up and it really messed up the curves of the guitar. The only place I liked was on the neck and it was actually the easiest to do.
    2. made the neck heel too big!
    3. was not careful enough when handling the guitar and always ended up with stuff to fix.
    4. didn't workout the size/depth of the control cavities very well

    I found that some parts of the process were more enjoyable to me then others and some way harder than I ever expected
    • finishing - wow, it was just so difficult. Just seems like alchemy to me
    • using hot hide glue - another amazing mysterious skill to me
    • design was difficult- still not sure it I like the shape or not
    • making the 6 string trem/ 7 string bridge - wasn't as hard as I expected. I just measured a lot!
    • fretwork - went smoother than I thought and was one of my biggest concerns. shaping and smoothing the frets and making the nut were very satisfying even though it took 3 trys for the nut.
    • wood shaping - using power tools still scares me, but shaping wood with planes, rasps and files was just an enjoyable zen like experience for me
    so to sum up...
    thank god hardware is reusable :)
    it was overall a very satisfying experience
    building guitars seems like not one skill, but lots and lots and lots of skills
    I know now, I really, really would not like to do it for a living
    I have amazing respect for luthiers

    and... am going to build more...I've got lots of ideas and more wood and parts so next up is a fretless

    P.S.
    I would like some input on the body shape or anything else.... does it look unbalanced... ect ect.
     
  2. mojocaster.com

    mojocaster.com Member

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    This could well be the post of the year right there... funny stuff, informative stuff, and oddly inspiring stuff! :D

    I am still amazed by the 7 string guitar w/ a 6 string vibrato thing.. how did that come to you?
     
  3. drezdin

    drezdin Member

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    the 7 string w/ 6 string bridge is all Matte

    The mic in the guitar is all splatt

    angled pickup - Stevens guitars

    I'm just a copy cat :)
     
  4. Sam Evans

    Sam Evans Compliance Officer Gold Supporting Member

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    Fantastic!!!

    Se
    Ci
     
  5. hbentley

    hbentley Member

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  6. localmotion411

    localmotion411 Supporting Member

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    Great post...

    I don't think I'll ever attempt building a guitar. For one person, talking about time and skill intensive!
     
  7. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    I think you did a great job for your first time out. You know your next guitar is going to be twice as good. I like your body shape. I am also really impressed that you made the neck yourself. I have built lots of guitars, but I have always bought after-market bolt-on necks. Power to you, bro! Nothing hilarious about this thread to me.
     
  8. ss396

    ss396 Member

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    great first guitar. you have skills. it may just be the picture, but to me the body looks small in relation to the neck and guitar as a whole.
     
  9. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    love it from soup to nuts!!!!! how do you like the feel of the trem with the anchored low string?
     
  10. drezdin

    drezdin Member

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    I just started to play it last night, but so far I think it feels great. I did the 2 springs on the trem. and I felt like I was able to control it better.
    I have a pretty light touch and I feels like I have to fight a little with the trems on my other 7s.

    It was great going from b to a with no issues and playing drones on it while improvising and using the trem..... giddy like school girl
     
  11. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    The execution might be flawed (I'll take your word for it), but that's a great design! Looks awesome IMO.

    -Austin
     
  12. drezdin

    drezdin Member

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    thank you btw
     
  13. Dog Boy

    Dog Boy Member

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    Even though I'm the kinda guy who keeps electronics simple I admire your go for it attitude. In a phrase, I dig it! I think your headstock is especially classy. Two thumbs up!
     
  14. Neill

    Neill Member

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    looks awesome. a collection of ideas from a whole lotta guitars i love. great work man!
     
  15. clemduolian

    clemduolian Silver Supporting Member

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    Very cool in all respects!! And your self-effacing candor and humor are much appreciated too.
     
  16. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    Great thread ! I like the head stock shape alot.
     
  17. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    Generally with woodworking, you spend more time finishing the wood than machining it. Luckily, if you use lacquer, all is easily fixed and refinished. I like the guitar and the clean fingerboard.
     
  18. edwarddavis

    edwarddavis Supporting Member

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    Looks nice , kinda Koll inspired body shape. i give aybody a lot of credit to build their own guitar , I can hardly play mine so great job.
     
  19. Rumbledown

    Rumbledown Member

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    Looks great. Let's see some more pictures of it.

    I'm just in the process of starting my second. My first was a single cut LP Special. I know what you mean about the mistakes. I made lot's, but I figured I would make a lot of screw ups on the first one, so it was no big shock.

    Feels awesome to play something you made yourself though.
     
  20. tacorivers

    tacorivers Silver Supporting Member

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    Post of the year. Thanks for sharing.
     

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