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Best Wood To Start Off With


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So i've been reading for wuite a while now and just registered a name. I think the time has come to build my own guitar. I've been taking mine apart and putting them back together/installing new pick-ups things like that, so I am comfortable in that sense. What do you guys think is the cheapest and easiest wood to work with for a beginner? I know I am going to screw up and would like to not blow through a ton of money on wood in the beginning.

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There are several sources for blanks online. Swamp ash is great.. the only thing i would say is if you went with alder or a soft maple blank you wouldn't have to mess with grain filler. Ash is full of deep pores that you have to fill before you can put a smooth finish on.

You can pick up cheap 3 piece alder blanks on ebay sometimes for 20 bucks or so.

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I would have to say go with alder. I would not recomend ash as it's very complicated to finish. With alder it's cheap and sounds decent. Plus it's very easy to finish. You will probally want to do a solid colot finish as it doesent have any weird or cool looking grain (one of the reasons it's so darn cheap) Plus it makes a prety good sounding guitar...

It's the wood fender uses on most of there guitars.

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alder, bass, cheap maple, ash........ etc.......

anything that isnt extremely high figured (like, 5 A quilt maple, for example) because they do tear out more when routing

anything that you can get your hands on cheapely and as long as its still a hardwood

Curtis

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I never thought of what I really wanted I guess, it was more of an attempt to work on building the guitar, once I was comfortable with my first build then I could really try and narrow down what I wanted. The type of music I play is melodic rock, I guess. Along the lines of incubus, hoobastank, lost prophets. I don't play blues and I don't play metal. I have a PRS a Hamer and one of my first guitars that I hardly ever play(I'm trying to re-finish it now) a Kramer Striker. What type of woods in your opinion sound better for certain styles of music

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It is not certain kinds of music, it is certain kinds of pickups and tone.

For instance, if you want a traditional LP sound, you will not get it from an ash body, no matter what pickups you use. Or if you want a traditional Strat sound, you will not get it from a mahogany body.

BTW: You can use pretty much any guitar for any style music. It depends on what you want to achieve. I have seen Tele's used for Jazz, and archtops used for hardrock.

Another thought: If you want to be successful at guitar building, you need to have an idea as to what your goal is. Else, how do you know?

Guitar Ed

My $.02 in a $.03 world

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I know I definatly don't like strats, I guess I would say I'm more a prs/lp kinda guy.  If that makes sense, although I've only played a strat once, I really just don't like the look of them

Hey bird, if I can (try to) build guitars, anyone can! Don't let fear of failure stop you--there's really no such thing as failure here. If the guitar doesn't come out perfect, you move on to the next one. Wood isn't that expensive, unless you're going for that superfancy stuff. And you can't build just one guitar anyway...you'll see.

Building a guitar is a perfect opportunity to come up with a design YOU really want. Maybe there's a picture in your head of a guitar you want to hold. Or maybe there's a design you really like, but you want to combine that with different electronics (for example, I'm planning to build an Epiphone Crestwood-shape with Strat electronics).

As for the actual building, if you take it (fairly) slow, get the right tools, plan your moves as best you can, and use your creativity to fix your screwups, you'll see, it'll work out...

In the meantime, practicing refinishing is a good place to start too --because that's not easy either.

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Another thought: If you want to be successful at guitar building, you need to have an idea as to what your goal is. Else, how do you know?

I would say do little more research before starting on build project. If you're building for the building part then all in honky dory.......

But.......mostly people build something because they have special goal/idea/shape/sound in their head that can't be had from regular guitar manufacturer.

I don't see the point of building an exact strat copy, as Fender can do that cheaper and more efficient.....Want a black Mahogany LP with maple top....search evil*bay.....there are plenty available. Only want special color, do refinish of nice second hand one. Want special sound, go for new pick-ups.........

Point I wanna make is.....when you build something. Build something special. Special wood, special shape, special color.....something unique and not to be had in every dime a dosen guitar store. Why go through all the effort, hardache, and frustration, and end up with something that's available on the shelf.

Don't get me wrong....building your own is very rewarding and lot;s of fun (when everything works out nicely)........but don't go that route, when you think it's cheap.....Most projects tend to cost more then nice second hand, or store bought project. Think wood, tools, parts, paint...etc.

Suggestion may also be to use donor guitar (again evil*bay) to strip of parts, neck, body......

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Right now, I building because I want to build, I want to be able to say and feel proud of the guitar I built. I have no special shape, no specific sound, although that will come. I just want to be able to say, yeah man, I built that guitar. I know it's not cheap, I know it's going to cost me a lot more than just buying another guitar, but I wouldn't be able to say I built it.

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Right now, I building because I want to build, I want to be able to say and feel proud of the guitar I built. I have no special shape, no specific sound, although that will come. I just want to be able to say, yeah man, I built that guitar. I know it's not cheap, I know it's going to cost me a lot more than just buying another guitar, but I wouldn't be able to say I built it.

I'm no doctor.......but my guess is you have caught the guitar building bug. :D

All you need to do now is do some soul searching B) and figure out how/what/when....

Questions to be answered now:

- Shape body/headstock

- Type of neck; bolt on, set neck, neck through, set-though

- Scale length

- Type of bridge

- What kind of body/neck wood

- Type of hardware

- Kind of pick-ups and configuration SSS/HSS/HSH/H/etc...

Simply do your homework. Better to think and rethink for few more weeks then plunging into this and later discover that you rather would have build something else.

Although the journey itself is mostly more important than the destination. :D

Edited by RGGR
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My recommendation is to pick a guitar that has a very basic shape and no frills. Like a non-specialized telecaster. For my first project, I came up with something that will have binding, special wiring, headstock angle, neck angle (though I'm going to recess the bridge instead), inlay, carved top, the whole works.

It's a real pain in the ass because you have to teach yourself EVERYTHING, and you can just get frustrated and quit for long periods of time (not everyone would, but I did. :D ).

I'd rather have made a copy of my Godin LG to start with.

Greg

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