Klein Solid Body Electric Travel Guitar #1: Planning and Roughing

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Blog entry by Dave G posted 08-30-2015 05:34 PM 1811 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Klein Solid Body Electric Travel Guitar series Part 2: Add Carbon Stiffeners to the Neck »

My son is an accomplished jazz guitarist, having minored in music, playing every day several hours for 10+ years, and doing occasional jigs in NYC where he lives. I promised a hand-made personalized guitar for his graduation present. Now I’m going to make for him a Klein copy travel guitar.

I found some plans online here by Eric Olds and here. I redrew them myself in sketchup because my son has certain specifications for the hardware that require laying out the neck/body connection and establishing the correct angle to make the action work right.

We decided to make this a so-called “through neck” design to eliminate the neck joint. This has several advantages: simpler construction, more rigid body for better sustain (we hope) and stronger product.

We picked out “Korina” often known as “Black Limba” for the body and accents in the neck. I will laminate as much as possible using Titebond III to even out wood imperfections. The neck is made from strips of hard maple. The drawing should make it clear where I used the different woods.

Korina is well known as the wood that the Gibson Flying V’s are made of. Those were painted. Ours will be finished naturally.

I also read several books before beginning:

Hiscock, Melvyn, “Make Your Own Electric Guitar,” Blandford Press UK, 1998 second edition.
Siminoff, Roger, “Constructing a Solid-Body Guitar,” Hal Leonard Books, Milwaukee, WI, 1986.
Erlewine, Dan, “Guitar Player Repair Guide,” GPI Books, San Francisco, 1990.
Brosh, John, editor “Guitar Gear,” GPI Publications, New York, 1985.

The tuner will be assorted steel and Al bits made by drill and file using purchased hardware to a recipe that I’ll describe in a later blog.

I began by laminating two neck blanks and planing them to rough size using the power planer. I also for this post used a taper jib on my table saw to mill the 1.1 degree taper in the neck then planed it dead flat by hand with my #7 jointing plane.

I am making two of everything as I go. I guess guitar timbre is fickle so I’ll double my chances.

I’ll keep you all updated. I’ll be putting the body together next.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

2 comments so far

View Texcaster's profile


1286 posts in 2277 days

#1 posted 08-31-2015 10:11 PM

Keep the photos coming. Fret board timber ?

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

335 posts in 2652 days

#2 posted 09-01-2015 12:08 AM

The Luthiers supply box arrives tomorrow with 12” radiused ebony fretboard and truss rod. This thing is ALL GIBSON.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

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