Guitar Build Progress Report #1: ...early progress

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Blog entry by knotscott posted 08-19-2010 03:33 AM 13558 reads 6 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Guitar Build Progress Report series Part 2: Updates for 8/17/10 »

My oldest son recently asked if I’d build him a solid body electric guitar…. my 2nd guitar project. We agreed on a unique slightly goth shape, green curly maple front, and a black back made from ash. A purchased unfinished Les Paul style neck is on order, which will likely be painted black. The head stock will be shaped to compliment the body…maybe some color compliments too. It’ll be trimmed with gold and black hardware. The pickups will be a GFS Fatbody single neck, Wilkinson single mid, and a double humbucker from an OLP John Petrucci Signature guitar. We’re still deciding on a wiring scheme, but it’ll likely be a simple 5-way switch, tone, and volume pots.

So far I’ve traced out a template shape that I’d acually build for him (first few way more radical), cut the front and back blanks from the template, and have shaped the front using a combination of router bits and hand chisels. Lots of sanding too! I’ve also cut a chamber for the electronics in the back, and have fashioned a cover. The back will likely be painted black, but since the first step in popping the grain on the maple was to stain it black, I stained the back at the same time…no harm done, and if the paint ever chips, it’ll reveal black stained ash. The next step was to sand off the black stain, leaving just the darkened grain on the maple. Kelly green was then added to stain the front. I was ready to give the Transtint dyes from Woodcraft a shot, but rather than make the 28 mile round trip and spend $18 per 2 oz bottle, I decided to experiment with the RIT fabric dyes from local stores…$3 each, and so far the results have been really good.

The template:

The roughed out body routed using a pattern bit on the template:

The front side of the back piece with the chamber for switches hogged out:

The back stained black, with chamber cover (back will get black lacquer):

The maple front after receiving black stain, then sanded:

The maple front stained green:

More to come!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

5 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4758 days

#1 posted 08-19-2010 03:42 AM

Nice color, is you build the guitar from a kit?

View knotscott's profile


8418 posts in 4461 days

#2 posted 08-19-2010 03:53 AM

No kit….pretty much from scratch, except for purchasing an unfinished neck, but I ended up modifying that.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View HeirloomWoodworking's profile


238 posts in 4825 days

#3 posted 08-19-2010 04:15 AM

My builds have always been limited to mostly furniture builds, but I would love to make an attempt at a project such as this.

I have seen several guitar projects posted here and have marveled at them…I look forward to following your blog and hopefully…it will be one of my winter projects.

I don’t play but my youngest daughter is getting pretty proficient with the accoustic guitar, and is begging me for an electric…this might serve both of our hobbies.

If you get a chance can you pass along some possible hardware vendors as well as tutorial reference materials.

ps…the popping green on the maple is absolutely striking! great job


-- Trevor Premer Head Termite and Servant to the Queen - Heirloom Woodworking

View knotscott's profile


8418 posts in 4461 days

#4 posted 08-19-2010 02:39 PM

Thanks for the comments guys.

Trevor – Build it! Your daughter will love it. I don’t play either…my first guitar was the most challenging and most rewarding of any of my projects by far. The 2nd one is going a little smoother so far. Ebay is loaded with guitar parts suppliers. Others are,,…there are many guitar building sites that offer free help along with a list of suppliers…,,, etc. Keep me posted on your progress!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View tommyd's profile


77 posts in 4217 days

#5 posted 09-03-2010 10:35 PM

Nice job on the guitar. you used rit dye? I made one for my son (see projects) one and only. learned a lot. got most of my parts off a guitar from pawn shop lot cheaper than suppliers.

-- Life is too short for negative drama & petty things. So laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly!

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