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Bloodwood Guitar

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Questions at bottom.....

Hi, I'm planning on making my first guitar. I love heavy metal. I've been playing guitar for about 2 years, and I think that its finally time for a new guitar. I'm really into sweeps, so I want a guitar with 24 frets, and I want all of them to be effortlessly reachable. Also, I want a seven-string guitar because of the wider range of notes, and some bands I like (nevermore and meshugga) use them. I also want the guitar to be completely of my own design.

This is what I was thinking:

-Maltese cross body 02-06-08_2024.jpg

-ebony fret board, with an abalone Maltese cross at the twelfth

-Emg 707's for both the neck and Bridge

-one volume knob

-Huge stainless steel frets

-Maple or Mahogany Neck?

-Natural or stained (red or black)

-don't know what bridge, but I'd like it fixed, and obviously, seven strings. (Maybe a 7 string fixed Hipshot?)

-Probably neck-through

-I have no idea what tuners.

-Idk, but maybe a Jackson style headstock.

I have been to MANY sites, not to mention this forum, and I still have a few questions.

-does the neck wood affect the tone or sustain or something I'm not thinking of on the guitar?

-Would it be possible to use bloodwood for the body? I know that its expensive, but it would only cost like 66 bucks from advantage lumber (thanks supplies section) Some of my worries are that it would be to heavy (chambering?), have poor tone and sustain (according to this> http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...222&hl=wood article it would have a darker tone, but what about sustain?) or maybe it's too weak or something. I don't know much about wood so please help me with this. I would otherwise use mahogany, but bloodwood is brutal! :D

-I have heard of necks breaking off of the body on some old guitars (Fenders?). Is that possible? how do i make sure that that doesn't happen?

-Do metal nuts have better sustain?

-What kind of bridge would you recommend?

-What kind of tuners would you recommend?

-Is the stain used for furniture that you find at homedepot or something the kind that you'd put on a guitar?

-Is neck-through harder than bolt-on?

-I use very heavy strings (13-70's) in generally drop a, and my current ibanez rg 320 (blocked) buzzes. Is there a way to prevent this?

I plan on doing everything by hand, neck and all. My objective was to make a totally custom guitar that no one else has ever made that is super fast to play, has seven strings, sounds great, and looks good. I have done much research but these questions have not been answered. I'm sure that I'll come up with more questions, but these are all I can think of. Any and all tips and answers to these questions are greatly appreciated. Thank you, and ROCK ON. :D

BTW: I'm not crazy, just creative. B)

Edited by Pandemic_Lead_Guitarist
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Here is a guitar that a fellow student built in luthierie school this past summer. It is completely bloodwood, and yes it was heavier than heck!


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Ugh. I don't even know where to begin.......

-I'd wait a bit more than a half hour before bumping your post :D

-OK, Maltese cross body??? You need to PLAY this guitar after you build it, keep that in mind. Also, I'd check your cross terminology, but last time I checked, circles weren't involved in a Maltese design.

-ebony fret board, with an abalone Maltese cross at the twelfth

-Emg 707's for both the neck and Bridge

-one volume knob

-Huge stainless steel frets

/\ all the above are doable

-Maple or mahogany neck? Both are doable. Why not both? :D

-Natural or stained? Why not both?

-7-stringer fixed bridge is doable

-PROBABLY neck through is a good idea

-Locking tuners are a must

-Jackson headstock is doable too

If you've been on MANY sites and you're still wondering "does the neck wood affect the tone or sustain or something I'm not thinking of" then you need to pick up a book or three, or revisit the sites you read.

-Hiscock - Make Your Own Electric Guitar

-Koch - Building Electric Guitars

-Yes, bloodwood is brutal, but I wouldn't buy a wood just for looks, and definitely not an expensive piece of wood for a first project. I'd hate to ruin an expensive block of wood with a stupid saw/router mistake. I'd suggest getting a block of pine to start with and making an entire prototype body from there, taking every step you would in making a production body. No cutting corners. After learning what you need to improve on, I'd THEN get a block of good tonewood and proceed. slow. ly.

-The only instances I've heard of necks breaking off old guitars is when people drop them or bang them against something. Don't do that, and I think you'll be fine.

-Metal nuts may have better sustain, but when you fret a note you take the nut out of the equation. So you've got about six notes that'll be affected, and I don't know about you, but I'd be hard pressed to hear the difference between nuts in a blind taste test, especially with all the other factors influencing sound more

-We can throw out brands and brands of hardware, but it's all about what's most comfortable for you to play on. Pick up some 7-strings fixed bridges and see what you like best.

-You can finish a guitar with damn near anything, so in answer to your question, yes.

-I personally think neckthroughs are easier than bolt-ons, but I know LOTS of people would disagree with me. Do some more reading to find out why.

-Play with lighter strings, tune up a step or so, raise your action, get a 7-string, or increase scale length. Drop A on a normal guitar BEGS for fret buzz.

-You've got around $800 set aside for expenses, too, right?

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Oh. sorry. I was tired and couldn't think straight cause of cold medicine. That was a "little" mis-worded. "-does the neck wood affect the tone or sustain or something I'm not thinking of on the guitar?" should have read as "does the neck wood affect ANYTHING OTHER THAN tone and sustain?" I'm talking other than the obvious.

Also, thanks for the suggestion of making one out of pine. I was actually planning on doing that anyway (thanks metalhead 6061 [we're both building one]) but now there's just one more reason.

"Yes, bloodwood is brutal, but I wouldn't buy a wood just for looks, and definitely not an expensive piece of wood for a first project." That's why I was asking about the tone of the wood. I was originally planning on mahogany, and already have the wood picked out. I just thought that I could do something different. Bloodwood looks soooooooo cool.


that's a paper version. it will be improved. See, it's hard to explain

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Actually, the shape fits PERFECTLY on my leg, and rests nicely under my arm. That's just the cardboard copy though so I'm making a pine one first. From what I can tell of my cardboard model, the wood will make a nice arm rest. I won't even have to hold up my arm (not that that's a problem anyway). I'm not sure how the final one will turn out, but that's not what I worry about. Is there some reason that I can't chamber the body?

Btw, why are locking tuner's a must? I'm just fine without them right now... Although I would like them anyway...

Edited by Pandemic_Lead_Guitarist
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I'll agree that the shape looks hard to play. Also do a full scale drawing of where the neck and bridge and everything will go. Right now I see some of the bridge sticking out the back of the rear cut. I would say get a block of pine and cut out the shape and hang it off a strap. It just looks like it is going to be very uncomfortable to play.

Bloodwood is moderately expensive and VERY heavy. That thing will make a Les Paul feel light. It may have been just the piece I had, it may have been bad technique, but the two pieces of bloodwood I worked with seemed to chip and tear out just looking at it. It was not the easiest wood to work with. I would go with light wood for the base of the body and a bloodwood cap. A little mixing of dyes and you can easily dye the lighter wood to match the bloodwood.

Neckthrough and bolt on both have their pitfalls in building. Read through this site and books to find out the pros and cons of each. Absolutely buy the Melvin Hiscock book.

There is a nice post in the tutorials that goes through the pros and cons of the different types of finish. It is a bit long but very in depth.

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Thanks, I think that's what I'll try. Could I just glue the two pieces back to back and cut them out as a whole, adding contours to just the bloodwood? How would you go about making a pine one for practice (I'm thinking about the fact that it's neck through)? Would you just include the portion that goes into the body, or the whole neck?

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The design looks impractical. You'll probably need a custom case if you'll ever need a case, and if you're hanging it on a wall, it will take up a lot of space. I could probably list a lot more things, but with the risk of sounding like an asshole, I'll leave it at those things. It's your guitar, build it the way you want, but don't just build from an aesthetic point of view, the guitar will need to be playable too.

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What do you mean "Maybe you should explore using a Maltese cross theme, without actually making the body the shape of the cross?"

I'd also like to know what other things make the design impractical. I'm very inclined to make this design the best it possibly can be before throwing it away, which I'd hate to do. I've already cut out more material around where my leg would be and have done the same to the area around the neck. I'm not afraid to cut away anything to make it better. Un-symmetrical designs look just as cool.

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I never really thought about the one point jabbing me in the chest. I don't think it would, but do you think that if it did it could be fixed with contouring? I could also round off some or all of the points so that doesn't happen, whichever you think is better.

I guess the only way to tell is to make the cheap one out of pine. I'd like to get the pine tonight, but it doesn't look like that will happen. And going along with Rick500's idea, maybe I could cut out a Maltese cross "handle".

BTW:"but the top part looks OMINOUS." funny, that was my old band name.

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