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A Few Question From A Beginner

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Hello from Adelaide :D:DB):DB)

I'm a 16 years old guy. Lately i have an interest in making guitars ( coz i like it and guitars here are overpriced and hard to find.. )

I want to build either a Bolt-on warlock or ESP style Explorer Neckthrough.

Which one you recommend for a beginner ?

1 more thing. How can you know where to route the bridge/tremolo cavity ??? I read about the scale length and understand it but i just cant figure how/where to put the tremolo.

This is what im gonna use:


Its a "fastloader" floyd licensed one.

What kind of routing diagram ( from Floyd's site) should i use to do it ?


Is pickup cavities have the same depth and just a place to put the pickup (not mount, coz pickups are mounted on pickup rings ? )

That's all for now.

Thank you guys very much for reading.

(excuse my english im not Australian though)


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As far as your neck, bolt on would probably be easier, but thats just my opinion. Before you even start cutting any wood, you should draw out your guitar to full size. This way, any measurements can be figured out ahead of time, and its easier to erase a pencil mark than a routed trem cavity. This way, you also know exatcly where your trem should be routed. (Personally, I wouldn't build your first guitar with a floating trem, again thats just my opinion) As far as your pickup question, again if you have a set of plans drawn out, its easy to figure out how deep you need to route your body. Besides this forum, have you read any books on guitar building? The best tool I have found is knowledge. Pick up a copy of melvyn hiscock's book, and it should help answering any questions you might have. Good luck

Edited by ibanez_crazy
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I would agree with the wise words of Mr. Crazy. A bolt-on neck is far more likely to give you a chance of a good setup for a first build as they are so much more 'tweakable'. Also please do not go for a floating trem (Note: GFS have currently sold out of those Floyds for the time being) but go for a hardtail bridge first to maximise your chances of a decent guitar resulting from all your hard work to come.

Pickup routs: I remember Hiscox in his book quotes about 5/8" for standard humbucker routs but with a greater depth for the ears, the bit where the screws hold the mounting rings to the body. This extra depth, maybe 4 or 5mm more, depends on how far from the body your strings end up. This in turn depends on how you do your neck and which bridge you fit.

Answer is, don't rout anything before you have all your hardware purchased and everything measured up and drawn up first. Then you will know anyway how deep to rout the cavities.

Good luck and have fun!

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@ibanez_crazy: Thank you for your reply. I will think about what you said but prob. do that lol

@al_Heeley: thank you for your reply. I think i will just get the book in order to know more ( coz the tutorials are not enough for me =)

A few more questions guys.

What is the "ears" and what they are used for ?

How can i know to put the bridge (unanswered question) , providing i know where the end of the string should stay ? According to the book i have its called the pivot-stud line ?

Where can i find the routing diagram for normal bridge ?

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One thing I feel I should caution you on, you say that where you are, guitars are overpriced. I certainly hope you don't think that building a guitar is going to be any cheaper, because it won't if you are just starting out.

You should probably do a bit more reading up. If you use a hardtail or TOM-style bridge, you won't have to do any routing. As for placement, that is determined by the scale length you decide to use. Do you know what scale length is? It is the distance between the nut and the bridge (ah! scale length tells you where to place the bridge!).

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If you still want a tremolo Kahler makes a trem that mounts to poles like a stop-tail/tune-o-matic setup. Super easy way to get a trem without the routing. Although you'll pay $350USD

still have to rout under the kahler for the springs underneath.its a small rout tho.

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Thank you guys for your replys =)

@Primal: of course i know whats the scale length is. I probably buy the book to get more infos. But how can we know exactly where to place the bridge (where to drill the hole). I think u misunderstand me lol.

For example i got the line where the strings need to "stop". How can i figure out where to drill the bridge holes ( is that how to mount the TOM bridge ? )

@Sandpaper: Thanks, but i think i'll just use the TOM bridge (easier for beginner)

@x_possessed_x: Thanks.

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Once the body is shaped, I don't do ANYTHING till I've fixed the neck, routed the neck pocket. Then with the neck in place and corerctly aligned, you can run 2 strings down from the nut to simulate the top E and the bottom E. You can then use these string guides to accurately position where the bridge should be, then rout for the pickups ensuring the pole pieces will lie directly in between the strings. Place your bridge in the right place, mark where the holes are and drill.

Do not drill anything until you have all the hardware. Patience and planning are the most valuable tools in guitar making. I have learnt that the hard way as I am the least patient person I know. Whenever I try to get ahead of myself, something always goes wrong.

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Lately i have an interest in making guitars ( coz i like it and guitars here are overpriced and hard to find.. )

For the project I am working on now I bought a whole new guitar and took most parts from (and then auctioned out the body and neck :D ) , it didn't even cost half as much as it would do if I bought all parts separately.

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Pick up a copy of melvyn hiscock's book, and it should help answering any questions

all the info you need is in this book it is worth buying.

for a bridge I would start with a string through [hard tail] strat bridge.

you might find you get more tone and better sustain with a hard tail I know I do.

building your own is not any cheaper in fact it might be more it will depend on what you want and how much you want to put into the project.

good luck to you

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@RAI6: Thanks. I dont have it yet, still planning.

@al_heeley:Thanks for the tip, i will memorize it ^^"

@bz2: good on you. i cant do that coz guitars here are double-priced the price in US.

@prs_man: Im buying that book off Amazon, hope it helps like what you said. And i dont like the strat-style bridge's look.

I like the bridge that look like TOM but the strings go in to the "holes". Please tell me what is it ?

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Do you mean that you have a pre-sawn fretboard or a ready made neck or something? You can work out the scale length on something by measuring the distance from the 12th fret to the nut, this distance is the same as from the 12th fret to the bridge.

If you're askin about where you make the cavity then it’s relative to where the strings hit the saddles on that particular piece of hardware - the best way of working that out is to have the piece of hardware in front of you - things will make boatloads more sense that way.

Melvyn's book is ace, if nothing else it will clarify the procedure when building a guitar and exactly why things are where they are and why they are there in the first place.

Happy building!!!!

P.S. if you cock up – hardware and electronics can be removed!! And if you have a bolt on neck and something’s not right with it that you can’t rectify it’s easier to make a new one and bolt that on instead, than it is to remove a set neck and fix a neck-thru. Same goes for the body to a degree.

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