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Discussion Starter #1
I have no idea where to start though. So I'm thinking of picking up a cheap stratocaster clone for like $100, and taking it apart, seeing how things work, change the electronics, nut, machine heads, stuff like that.

I dunno. Anybody have any ideas. When I do make my own, I'm not worried about the finish, because I think I'm gonna get it painted. The main question I have is, how do you set up the intonation when you put the neck on. Like are the frets in the right place for all guitars, and you just make the string length right, and its all good?:confused-smiley-010
 

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The main question I have is, how do you set up the intonation when you put the neck on. Like are the frets in the right place for all guitars, and you just make the string length right, and its all good?

If you are building/modifying a Strat copy it is probably easier to stay with the Fender 25.5" scale. A shorter (Gibson) scale would mean routing the neck pocket to move the neck closer to the bridge, or going with a hardtail bridge and moving it closer to the neck-impossible if the body has a tremolo route.
 

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Xanadu said:
I have no idea where to start though. So I'm thinking of picking up a cheap stratocaster clone for like $100, and taking it apart, seeing how things work, change the electronics, nut, machine heads, stuff like that.

I dunno. Anybody have any ideas. When I do make my own, I'm not worried about the finish, because I think I'm gonna get it painted. The main question I have is, how do you set up the intonation when you put the neck on. Like are the frets in the right place for all guitars, and you just make the string length right, and its all good?:confused-smiley-010
Ok, first your are going to need at least some basic tools. Second you need to buy some plans. These will give you all the dimentions that you will need. The absolute most important thing is scale and fret spacing. If these are off even a little you wont be able to lay your guitar further up the neck than the first couple of frets. Scale is the length of the string from the nut to the saddle. The length of the scale determines the spacing of the frets. ie a strat has a 25.5 inch scale. With scale in mind you then have have to realize that the neck pocket plays a factor in the scale . if you cut your neck pocket either too long or too short you will have to move your bridge to compensate. If you do that then (on a Strat) you will have to modify your your pick guard and pick up cavities to compensate. I use a steel fret scale to cut my fret slots. I would suggest that you by a pre slotted fretboard they are available from Stewart MacDonald. www.stewmac.com A set of plans will give you the rest of the dimentions that you need. It's a good undertaking and I encorage you to give it a go. If you need any assistance along the way my email is listed in the members profile. There are also some good books available and they often include plans. You can find them by doing a google search. I would stongly recommend that you get one before starting. They give good step by step directions.

Have fun and build a monster.:DevilGuitar:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks lowtones. I think I have all the tools. My dad used to do alot of carpentry when I was a kid. I think getting the frets in the right place is definately going to be the hard part. Could I not just buy a pre-fretted fingerboard, or neck.
 

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I've built one or two guitars over the years and just my opinion but start at the finish and work backwards might be the best approach - spray painting isn't the best way to finish a guitar YOU made. Believe me, after selecting the woods and hand finishing all the contours and joints, there is no way you want to hide your work with "spray paint" !

If you want a good site for building guitars check out: http://www.reranch.com/reranch/

Let me know if you need more... I must have close to 50 links on building guitars...
 

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Xanadu said:
thanks lowtones. I think I have all the tools. My dad used to do alot of carpentry when I was a kid. I think getting the frets in the right place is definately going to be the hard part. Could I not just buy a pre-fretted fingerboard, or neck.
I haven't seen any pre fretted fingerboards, however pre slotted for the frets are available. You just have to hammer the frets in. necks are also readily available but they are not cheap. If you buy a fingerboard from Stewmac all of the slots are the correct width for the fret wire they sell. you will need three lengths of fretwire for a Strat neck. I would get at least four as some waste is a high probability fretting for the first time. The fret wire is very inexpensive. Also remember if you make your own fretboard you will have to radius it properly and that will require radiused sanding blocks. if you decide to build the guitar remember that is cheaper to determine everything that you require and order it at once from the states. That way you only have to pay shipping once. USPS is much cheaper than an courier service but they can be slow. Here is the hardware you will need.

preslotted and radiused fretboard,
fret wire at least three lengths ( get four)
truss rod, HotRod is a good choice
neck dots
side dots
Nut
truss rod cover & screws
Tone & volume pots & knobs
jack & jack plate
bridge and if through body fixed bridge,ferruls
tuners
pick guard & screws
pickups with springs & screws
Strap buttons. & felt washers
neck plate & screws
wood for neck & Body
wire for the electronics.

Another option is to by a kit. Saga has inexpensive kits anywhere between $169.00 & $ 225.00 for the same kit depending on where you order it from.
Carvin has very good kits but will cost you around $400.00 US
I have a Carvin Kit, It's a very nice guitar.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I was thinking about a kit. It might be a good idea, as it is my first guitar.


and tarbender, I'm not just going to spraypaint. There's gotta be somewhere in Ottawa that can paint it professionally for me.

hey lowtones, is that what I need for making the neck, http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bodies,_necks,_wood/Electric_guitar:_Necks/Electric_Guitar_Neck_Blanks.html ?
the i just glue the fingerboard to it?

oh, and what about a pre-wired pickguard. They seem to be cheaper than buying the pups seperately. I guess you get what you pay for.
 

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Xanadu said:
I was thinking about a kit. It might be a good idea, as it is my first guitar.


and tarbender, I'm not just going to spraypaint. There's gotta be somewhere in Ottawa that can paint it professionally for me.

hey lowtones, is that what I need for making the neck, http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bodies,_necks,_wood/Electric_guitar:_Necks/Electric_Guitar_Neck_Blanks.html ?
the i just glue the fingerboard to it?

oh, and what about a pre-wired pickguard. They seem to be cheaper than buying the pups seperately. I guess you get what you pay for.
prewired pickguards are fine you can always upgrade the pickups later.
the neck blank is not quite so simple . you still have to route for the truss rod and if you want an offset headstock you will have to cut & glue the headstock or start with a thicker piece of wood. AJ has a thread of a build that shows this quite well. Like I said GET A BOOK & SOME PLANS. Also that is a pretty pricy piece of maple. Check for local wood suppliers (find out were the wood workers go) it will be much cheaper if it's not find somewhere else.
If you can get down to London for a weekend I would be happy to get you started with the body & the neck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Lowtones said:
prewired pickguards are fine you can always upgrade the pickups later.
the neck blank is not quite so simple . you still have to route for the truss rod and if you want an offset headstock you will have to cut & glue the headstock or start with a thicker piece of wood. AJ has a thread of a build that shows this quite well. Like I said GET A BOOK & SOME PLANS. Also that is a pretty pricy piece of maple. Check for local wood suppliers (find out were the wood workers go) it will be much cheaper if it's not find somewhere else.
If you can get down to London for a weekend I would be happy to get you started with the body & the neck.
alright thanks. I'm planning on going down to visit James, and try out the 8x8. So I'll try to stop by.
:food-smiley-004:


maybe not....my parents said that I need to get my priorities straight, so that I can have a future:frown: and I need to save for school. I guess they don't realized that I dont wanna be an engineer or doctor or some shit and that I like working with my hands and playing music.:rockon2:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I think I've convinced them, so I'm gonna start building a week after next, or at least, order my stuff.

I'm gonna need help Mark, so if you're not doing anything I may stop by and take you up on your offer.:food-smiley-004:
 

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Xanadu said:
Well I think I've convinced them, so I'm gonna start building a week after next, or at least, order my stuff.

I'm gonna need help Mark, so if you're not doing anything I may stop by and take you up on your offer.:food-smiley-004:
Sounds good. I'll likely be away on the 7th & 8th Aug. then fom the 14th to Sept. 2nd. Any time in between those dates. is good. Have you settled on a guitar style yet? I'm going to be starting one based on a Flying V .
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Lowtones said:
Sounds good. I'll likely be away on the 7th & 8th Aug. then fom the 14th to Sept. 2nd. Any time in between those dates. is good. Have you settled on a guitar style yet? I'm going to be starting one based on a Flying V .
I'm thinking a strat. Just something basic. I don't really like all those out-there looks, like the v's, explorers, x's. And I don't have a strat right now so....seems like a logical choice. And I'm planning on finishing it in a colour that is not normal. Just to have something different than everyone else.
 
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