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1st Attempt At Building

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I have just recently found this message board and I have to say, It's awsome, so many interesting threads though, I keep getting sidetracked.

I'm starting to build an LP style Body, trying to keep it simple (one HB pickup at bridge, no switch or tone control just volume) the wood I've selected is cherry (1 13/16" thick) I love the look of the cherry wood but I'm concerned because I never see any guitars made from cherry. Is there a reason for this? other than the expense? my other main concern is getting a decent quality bolt on 24 3/4 scale neck for this project ( I would prefer to set the neck but remember I'm trying to keep it simple) any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks :D

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Do a search on the forum for cherry. I'm almost positive that there have been a few guitars made out of it. As for the neck, check out Carvin's necks.

I checked the Carvin site and the only necks i see are strat style , and I'm assuming that they are 25 1/2 scale not 24 3/4 scale like a les paul :D

Edited by stvenator
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i've made two guitars out of cherry wood..one with a cherry body and spalted maple cap and the other solid cherry...both are great sounding guitars.


to me cherry is an "in between" wood. i've made a few guitars out of mesquite and other hard woods and a couple out of spalted pecan or spalted maple. the cherry isn't hugely bright but it isn't soft and mushy sounding either. i guess i'd say it's an almost neutral wood tonewise though i know that's not possible but it will take on the personality of whichever pups you install.

it works nicely and smells great while you're cutting or sanding it. it can have some great figure in it and it finishes well with oil or poly.

i give it an A. (nice rhythm and you can dance to it. :D )

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cherry has almost similar tonal properties to maple, i made a guitar out of black cherry, a RRV, the sound was OK, but mind you, i botched my scale length, so it wasnt right at all.

Good luck with the project, heres what was brought up when i typed "cherry" in the search engine on this board (located on the top right hand corner of the page)



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thanks for the input guys,,, gotta love the quick responses on this board.

Any concerns I had about the cherry are put to rest, as far as the neck goes, I found a nice one on the warmoth site but pricey!!! this little project is getting expensive. $210.00 for a neck? a bit more than I wanted to spend, my fault for not specifying in previous posts that i'm trying to keep the price down. I've already got about $150.00 invested and considering it's my first shot at this, it'll probably sound like crap anyway. I did find a couple on ebay. one is from a company called Dragon Mountain I believe? anyone know anything about DM? price is right (under $100) but I dont want total piece of junk. Or would I be better served going with a japanese copy from the seventies? I've heard that the 70's copies were made well. once again thanks to everyone who responded already, it's helping me big time :D

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In order to keep your costs down I would suggest drawing up a thorough plan such as what type of bridge or other parts that may affect the construction as well as materials and tools.

Then, make a list of all your tools, parts & finishing supplies needed for your plan and start shopping.

See what you can beg or borrow.

Find a local wood supplier & maybe a local voc/tech school with shop tools that you may use.

Befriend people with tools and materials...having cold beer or doughnuts at the ready can go a long ways. It helped me! So did talking about hunting, fishing, motorcycles & guitars. :D

Be prepared to drop an easy $500 on just parts, wood & finishing supplies for medium grade parts.

Brian @ UniversalJems is a good place to find reasonably priced parts, IMO.

Not to mention you'll be supporting this site since it's his. :D

Good luck and RAWK ON!!! :D

btw...I'm a noob so take my advice with a grain of salt. B)

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Or would I be better served going with a japanese copy from the seventies? I've heard that the 70's copies were made well. once again thanks to everyone who responded already, it's helping me big time    :D

Ah a man after my own heart...no way I'd drop $500 on a project guitar...for me the whole point is building my dream guitars at a 'reasonable' price.

For example, my carvecaster, finishing it up today I hope, totals out a little more than $300 --and that's because it's hotrodded. If I was less particular (no locking tuners, no fancy overpriced pickguard that I should have made myself, no silly bridge purchase just because it said 'Fender' on it) I would have gotten in for closer to $200.

The two most expensive parts of a project for me: the neck (in this case, a Fender Mex neck that cost me $100) and the finish --figure close to $50 when all's said and done.

And the guitar's going to sound great-- it's already been put together, so no fears there.

I don't know about the Dragon Mountain necks...have a look at this seller Funky Munky ...good prices on his necks. I'd avoid Reliable Fender, mainly because people bid up his necks like crazy...

But I also have a 70s-era Japanese built neck, and yep, it's great, I really like it. The body for this guitar was a piece of plywood dreck, but the neck is excellent...

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For example, my carvecaster, finishing it up today I hope, totals out a little more than $300

Including tools, parts & finishing supplies?

Dang! I better keep shopping around. :D

I even borrowed the major tools such as a band saw, router & planer and will be borrowing a spray rig and still I am looking at an easy $500 and I thought that was reasonable. B):D

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Man, I was born to scavenge!

But no, I'm not including tools here --unless it's really specific to one single guitar. The tools I've bought will be useful in other areas (I also like to make light fixtures) so I don't count them toward the guitar cost. Even still--if I build four guitars, I'll still be within in a reasonable range.

Keep in mind also that I'm not a Rolls Royce kind of guy. I'm not doing this professionally, so there's no reason to spend $200 on a router when the $20 version will work just as well for me --at least for the little I'm using it for. And especially during the learning process. And since I manage to break high-quality, name-brand tools just as easily as the no-name crap, it makes even less sense!

For parts...I spend a lot of time hunting down what I want for the prices I WANT to pay. It's pretty rare that I'll buy anything at 'retail' value, and I'm especially careful with ebay power-sellers --whose prices tend to be super-inflated (especially considering they have much less overhead to deal with).

I strip guitars for parts --and I'll buy a guitar for a single part (in the carvecaster's case, that was the body) and sell off the rest to bring my costs down. I have the advantage of being in France where everything guitar-related is much more expensive. I bring parts in from the States...if I don't need the part, or don't need all of it, I sell off what I don't need, usually make enough of a profit to cover part of my costs...I sell on ebay, so the bidders decide what they want to pay--I'm not ripping anyone off!

For wood...I bought a couple of pieces off a guy in Germany....turned out to be of questionable quality...won't do that again. Luckily I found a huge plank of what looks like mahogany here, that takes care of my body wood needs for three or four guitars!

As for pickups and electronics--well, when you guys buy your over-expensive boutique pickups, I buy your original stock parts! The full set of electronics--including pots--for my carvecaster cost me $25.

The most expensive part, like I said, is using rattlecans for the finish --but eventually I'll find a source for better prices for that too, I hope!

But I imagine if you're not into scavenging and scrounging like that (for me it's part of the fun), then sure, you're going to end up spending a lot...in any event, even if you spend $500 --the same custom-built guitar might easily cost you $2000.

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VK interested in what your lumber cost are like , being in the Pacific NW I would think lumber comes cheaper. I'm in Buffalo NY and I paid $50 for a little less than 2"thick 9"x7' slab of cherry and the mahogony was similarly priced. I thought that was pretty cheap compaired to what I've seen on E-bay and other web sites.

Still looking for feedback on Dragon Mountain anyone familiar with this company, (the necks paticularly) please fill me in. IDCH, I too enjoy the scavanging part of it. I'm on the road alot for my job and i'll hit 3 or 4 music shops in one day, check want ads, e-bay, nothin better than right part for a good price.

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Necks and electronics can be pulled off of inexpensive crap guitars that you can get from pawn shops.  You can always replace them as you go along as no doubt they'll sound fairly terrible.

Also check the for sale section on these boards.

Well, I'd be careful about the neck...but the spirit is right...for example, the local pawn shop has a nice old Aria Pro II ...there's a great neck on that guitar! I've been waiting for them to lower their prices on it (they've had that guitar for more than a year now)...right now it's still at 115 euros...I'm waiting for them to get fed up enough to take my offer for 50 euros...

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