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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Someone mentioned making guitars in another thread, and I know C-Dog and some others here have made a bunch of them.

I've been eyeballing the guitar kits that Grizzly sells.

Obviously, there's not a bunch of woodworking involved with these things, it's more of a finishing project than anything else.

But my questions are:

- I'd think these would be a decent tutorial for a noob to learn how to make guitars... would you agree?

- The one pictured here goes for $395. That won't break the bank, but the price isn't very far away from what a good used "premade" would cost at the pawn shop. Beyond the "I made it myself" factor (which is always cool), if it plays like a Walmart Fender, then it's all just lipstick on a pig. Has anyone tried one of these Grizzly kits? Were you happy with the hardware spec? How does it sound after it's put together?

Thanks.

 

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Start from scratch. If you don't already know this site check it out.

MIMF.com

Any questions feel free to P.M. me.

Good Luck.:thumbsup:
 

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johnep
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As a complete beginner I would make the first one from a kit just to see how things fit together. As you do this you will think of better modifications and can then make your second instrument from scratch.
johnep
 

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I have never liked kit anything. If you are going to build one, build one you can be proud of. Building one from scratch would take more work and time but the amount of pride you can take in it would be incomparable.

When you build something from a kit, there is always that feeling that you have kinda decieved people who "Ohh" and "Aww" over it because you know you really didn't do the hard work. Even if you say "Well I build it from a kit" they say "Well still . . . . "

Just my 2 coppers. I have never built a guitar from scratch or a kit either so whatta I know. I have however built alot of furniture from scratch and early on I put together a couple of desk kits. It's no comparison man. Do it from scratch.
 

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My reasoning for starting from scratch is; would you build your first table from a kit to see how it goes together??? The components aren't too hard to make. Just take some time and plan [and draw] everything out first.
The trickiest part is getting the frets in the right spots. I would suggest buying a pre-slotted board. I have a fret slotting jig that you could use in your sleep!!! But I build more that one or two guitars so it was a wise purchase.
 

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Oooo...I almost fergot.
Get a copy of "Make your own Electric Guitar" by Melvyn Hiscock. It's considered the guitar makers bible by many aspiring luthiers.
 

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I've only built one guitar, and it wasn't a kit, so I can't give an answer about aspect. I do know that the president of Grizzly is a very involved and hands-on business man who's also an accomplished luthier, so I'd be surprised if it wasn't a pretty good kit. Their website features a bunch of incredibly detailed guitars that he's made.

For my guitar project, I went mostly from scratch but used a prefabbed Fender "Mighty Might" neck to make the whole project less intimidating. I researched the pickups and the wiring schemes a little bit, and bought most of the electronics used. Since I don't play I can't really judge how well it plays, but many aspects of the play-ability are adjustable. We spent some time dialing it in and my son and others who've played it say it plays well. I can say that it sounds alot better than any Chinese strat clone I've heard. All in all it was the most challenging project I've done to date, but it was also the most rewarding by far and I'm really glad I decided to go with my own design. The whole project cost < $150 total, until I followed it up with a home made tube amp from scratch.:thumbsup:

Please keep us posted with your progress regardless of which path you take!

Guitar String instrument Musical instrument String instrument Plucked string instruments
 

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Watch those filter caps!!!! They CAN kill ya'!!! Gotta bleed them ta' ground if I'm correct.

What finish did you use???
 

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The zaps from those caps definitely got my attention! Never had a zap hurt as much as those....geez.

I used spray on poly for the final coats, and got scolded by a seasoned veteran for that choice! :blink: I now understand that nitrocellulose lacquer is the preferred finish! :huh:
 

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Guitars look good, how about a picture of that amp? I got rid of my tube amp a few years ago but now i really miss it. Whenever I win the lottery or quit spending all of my money on wood and tools I'll buy a mesa.
The amp is just a simple 5 watt single ended variation of a Fender Champ/Gibson Blues Jr. type. The chassis was from a 1939 Stromberg Carlson that belonged to my father. I was able to use the chassis and the power supply. It got stuffed inside a housing from a Bosch American radio from around the same era. I'm obviously biased, but the sound smokes his Crate 30W....those tubes have such a neat sound that's best described as sweeter when it's clear and much cooler sounding when it distorts....plus they glow in the dark better! :thumbup1:

Electronics Audio equipment Technology Electronic device Capacitor Box Antique Wood Trunk Suitcase

We also built a crude pine box and put a 12" Fender Blues speaker in it, so we ended up building the entire chain...which was easily two steps further than I'd originally planned. One of these days I'll getting around to finishing the speaker box. :icon_redface:
 

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Nice!!!:thumbsup:

This thread got me thinkin'...so....I'm gonna start showin' some of you how I build a guitar neck.

In this photo there are some flame maple binding strips and some purpleheart that we'll be using with the 1/4" birdseye fretboard blank.

On the left is a pre-slotted,store bought ebony board.Center is the blank we'll be using next to a half done fingerboard and, finally on the right is a {mostly} finished neck.

I'm new at this so be patient.:laughing:

I'll cover fingerboards, binding, neck construction,trussrods and anything else I can think of as this goes on....and on and on and on and...well, you get the picture.



Hope someone will return the favor someday and show me how to build furniture. I suck at it!!!!:laughing: :thumbsup:
 

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Well let's get started with EVERYBODYS favorite subject...MATH!!!:thumbdown:

If you have already determined your scale length 25" in this case [nut to bridge] you need to calculate where to put the frets!!!:eek: From the nut to the 12th fret will be half of the scale length.

Calm down, it's easy. Well sort of....

Take your scale and divide it by 17.817.That will give you the 1st fret placement. The remainder will be the "new" Scale length. Divide that by 17.817 and so on. It doesn't matter what scale you chose the math works.

I'm lazy and can't be bothered to do the math on every guitar I build so I bought the fret slotting jig from Stewart MacDonald Guitar Shop Supply.

Just make sure you referance off of a jointed surface though.

B.T.W Do this set on an un-bound board1/4" X 3" X 20". Once bound with the purpleheart we don't wanna cut through that. The saw should be no more than a .024" kerf and not much thinner either.Frets won't fit otherwise.

As soon as my sneaky sneak of a roommate gets back with the camera I'll post more pics.
 

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Thanks for the great info CD! This is gonna be awesome info to have on hand! :thumbsup: Awesome enough that maybe it merits it's own thread, then the admins could make a "sticky" out of it or archive it for future reference. You do know you're starting to the stir the urge in me to build a 2nd axe! :w00t: :sweatdrop:

I'm no expert in furniture building but I'd be happy to reciprocate in any way I can! ...this is the sort of stuff that makes these forums so valuable! :smile:
 

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Thanx man....Yer right...I just thought of the fact that I hi-jacked this thread. Ooops.:laughing: I get a little passionate about this subject.
 

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Thanx man....Yer right...I just thought of the fact that I hi-jacked this thread. Ooops.:laughing: I get a little passionate about this subject.
The opposite of passionate is depressed so roll with it while ya got the urge! :thumbup:

ps. I wonder if Buffalo Bilious has made a decision yet?
 

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I've had the "urge" for the last 15 years...my bank account reminds me every day!!!!:laughing:

My intention is to show Bill and others that it really ain't that hard. But you can make it as hard as you want to. Try an arch top jazz guitar for example....those are next on my "to-do" list.:yes:
 
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