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Bolt on LP jr type guitar


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I just won an epi bolt on LP jr on ebay for about $100. It is plywood and has some problems. Anyway, I saw it as an opportunity to make myself a template of a bolt on lp copy. It also comes with the original p90 (epi) and replacement electronics and p90 (gibson). I figured I'd keep the upgraded electronics and pickup, make a template and sell it back off on ebay for close to what I paid for it.

Anyway, it is 24 3/4" scale and I was wondering if I could (on my homemade version) use a USA Custom Guitars 24 3/4" conversion neck?

This will be my first project (well, technically not first, I put together two USA CG strats) and I love p90's and LP juniors, and thought a bolt neck joint would be the best logical place to start on learning to make my own guitars.

This first one will have a black limba body with flame walnut top and a USA Custom Guitars Rosewood neck. My first body attempt will probably be a throwaway made out of pine or whatever cheap wood I can get. I will even bookmatch the pine to get a feel for the process. :D

Also, I'm going to buy a router soon, but could somone give me a list of a good, small selection of essential bits for this type of guitar?

Also, I wanted to say thanks to everyone here for building such an awesome community and for sharing (and in advance for all the help I'm expecting I'll need LOL!)

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Another thing, there is a local woodworkers association here in Des Moines that has over 300 members. It's membership is $20 a year. They have a library of videos and books that members can borrow, they have classes, and I figure it'll be a good chance to properly learn how to use the router that I'm about to buy!

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Well, for a template built guitar, you'll definitely need a template following (top bearing) bit. A 1/4" bit (Freud brand carbide) will always come in handy, and a roundover bit if you want to put a radius on the edges of the guitar.


The Freud brand part is optional; while these bits are more expensive, they work a whole lot better too! While a simple steel bit will work, MAKE SURE it's double flute, not single. You won't regret it.

Edited by skibum5545
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There are tricks to tracing an outline from an existing body.

Google for them -- I'm thinking its the pencil @ an angle in block of wood thing.

Careful cutting a template out of MDF, it dulls saw blades.

FYI - I've not made a template for a guitar body. I have used templates with my router table, though.

The pattern-following bits are straight bits with a roller bearing on it. They're called flush pattern bits or something like that.

See RouterBits.com bit

StewMac has such things also router bit

So, cut the blank down near template shape and then use the router with multiple passes to get close to & at the template. Don't try to chew off too much too fast.

With the bearing at the base of the bit, I'm able to use my router table -- placing the template on the body blank bottom with double-sided carpet tape. I worry about length of bit / cutting surface -- you'd have to get a long enough bit to cut through the 1-2" body blanks. I've been eyeballing some at Woodcraft -- the price JUMPS once you get near 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" and taller.

Maybe there is a way to do a 1 3/4" body with a 1" bit ? (do a pass, lower table, do remainder pass?)


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I'd read about the pencil in a block at an angle trick. It is a good one, but even simpler (from this forum?) is sanding half the pencil off so you have a flat edge to put up against the body. I think I'm going to try that first.

Thanks for all the awesome tips guys!

I'm about to do some research on sharpening router bits.

If I buy a router with adjustable depth, could I use the same bit for cutting the body and the cavities?

Edited by javacody
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A little update. I have purchased a router on ebay.


It was inexpensive but 1/2" collet and 2.2 hp for about $40. I'll let you guys know what I think of it when I get it.

Also, I purchased the wood yesterday from the Wood Smith Store. They had a decent selection of wood. I went with two poplar body blanks in 8/4, each a single piece 15" wide! I also found a great piece of flamy maple for $8. Enough to do two 1/4" tops. I had to pull out 8 - 12' long or so boards off the top of the poplar board I wanted though. It was quite a workout, but well worth it. When I tap on these poplar blanks, their tap tone is very lively, with a sound that reminds me of the wooden blocks from a xylophone. The grain is very distinct and the little bit of green mineral streaking is fairly subdued. This poplar is actually a good candidate for a transparent finish!

Also, here's the epi bolt on jr. that I am using for a template:


I'm going hollow though, ala Gibson's Bluesbird. I'm very good with electronics, so I'm going to tackle the varitone as well. Here is where I'm going to get the varitone from: http://www.bigdguitars.com/. The back will be poplar in a Les Paul shape, and the top will be 1/4" flame maple. I'm very excited about this project! The neck will be a USA Custom Guitars 25 1/2" scale neck, but I'm not sure if I will follow the Gibson formula and go with a Mahogany neck.

I also picked up a good sized square from walmart. I didn't have any kind of useful straight edge.

My next purchases will be clamps, plywood (for the templates and clamping the maple on), glue, a sanding drum for my drill press (can you guys recommend something in this area?), sandpaper, and of course, hardware for the guitar.

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