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Hallo everybody,

I've been following the project guitar forums for quite a while now as "silent reader" and decided to register a few weeks ago. In short, it is high time to introduce myself... how could this be done better as presenting my recent build?

To my background: Sebastian, 31 years old, coming from germany, so please excuse my poor language (and do not hesitate to correct me...). I have started to build electric basses 2 years ago. As most of us, meanwhile I'm completely obsessed. ;) This is my first guitar and it is dedicated to my son born this year.

So it started with two peaces of mahagoni, properly jointed and glued together. The body shape (and the complete guitar) is a design by my own:


Roughly cut out the body with a japanese saw and then routed along the template. As next I've planed the armrest with my beloved No.4, preparing for a dropped top:


Then the electronics cavity has been routed and I slightly chambered the body to reduce weight (approx. 1.7 kg / 3.7lbs at this stage):





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Good point, I could also observe this, especially at the electronics cavity. I don't like that round over where I want to get sharp edges. Any tricks to mitigate this effect? Guess it should already b

Routed the neck pocket and neck pu cavity... and determined the hipshot bridge position and drilled the string-through holes: Then the binding channel was routed. Specially for this task I'v

Then I've designed and made a pickguard and trussrod cover out of a aluminium sheet (1.5mm). Brought it into shape with a fretsaw, files and sandpaper. Lastly I've created longitudinal sanding marks o

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Hi, Sebastian and welcome :) 

I look forward to seeing this develop.  That is a very decorative set of lightening holes!  It's a pity they are going to be covered up!

Hmmm....single block solid body with decorative lightenening holes....I can feel another project coming on :D

Keep posting the pics!  We'll all be watching with great interest and encouraging words :thumb:



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Gotta agree with these guys; It'll be a shame to cover such a nice set of holes! (they remind me of fractals) and I like the wood in that first pic too. I figured it was just a template, as its a different way round to the blank, but those ghost letters and the weathered look of the wood would look great on a guitar top.

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Like the others I find your holes to be very artistic. Are you in the art field professionally, or just blessed with a good sense of balance and design? It looks like you are planning to fold your drop top over the forearm relief area. I too will be enjoying watching this build come together.

Congratulations on the new son as well!


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Thanks very much for the friendly welcome! :)

13 hours ago, psikoT said:

Nice hollow, but... wouldn't it be better if you just made a cavity? :D 

Is the wood in the first pic for a top or just a template? It looks nice!

To be honest, in first line I just had no motivation to make another template for routing the cavity.. and... some of these artistic CNC made chambered bodies influenced me so that i tried to make one by my own with the given simple possibilities. ;)

Yes, the wood shown on the first pic is just the template. Got it from the hardware store as a scrap piece for little money... but yeah, it is looking cool, too. 8-)

8 hours ago, ScottR said:

Are you in the art field professionally, or just blessed with a good sense of balance and design? It looks like you are planning to fold your drop top over the forearm relief area.

I'm working as an electrical engineer where there's no place for art. So i have to live out my other half after work ;) You guessed right: drop top over forearm relief!

As the top wood I've chosen a piece of "flamed pearwood" (don't know the correct term, but you can imagine what i mean?):


First the two peaces had to be planed to thickness and jointed together (did i mention my No.4? ;-) )Then i've cutted out the body shape and routed some channels to make the drop top bending easier:


I've bend the top over the edge using water, heat gun, and a pack of clamps. ;) After that the top has been glued to the body with tidebond (apologies for missing photography).

OK, sorry guys, you know, it is especially the inner values that count: :D



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Thanks a lot! :)

I guess for a nice bend joint it's important to plane both surfaces very carefully without any high or low spots. Then the routing the channels makes the bend much easier. And a good amount of patience and luck is rather helpful, too. ;)

6 hours ago, Skyjerk said:

There is no better dedication for your build than to your new son.

Absolutely yes! Maybe he will be interested in playing music. Then the guitar will become his one. But I don't want to force anything. If he's not interested the guitar will stay at my home, which is also okay. ;)

As next i've started with the neck. I took a blank of mahagoni for that purpose, cutted off a slice for the fretboard and cutted the rest into three stripes.



The neck stripes have been planed and jointed together with a veneer of wenge in between. The middle stripe has been turned around by 180°. The idea is to make the neck less sensitive for changes in weather conditions as the outer and middle stripes will try warp in different directions compensating each other.


Then I took this laminate and cutted a 10° scarf joint angle with my japanes saw. It's alyways an exciting moment hoping that the saw does not run out. It worked out rather well this time:


Glued together... beforehand the orientation of both parts has been fixed by two toothpicks:


In the meantime the fretboard has been planed to thickness:


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After the glue has dried I've cut off the backside of the headstock. That piece of wood is used for the headstock's ears, such that there is a minimum of waste.... and the ears are bookmatched as well. ;)


Then i've cut the fretslots (25.5" scale) and brought the fretboard into shape. Sketched up it begins to look something like a guitar. :)


For a matched headstock a leftover piece of the body's topwood has been brought to thickness:


Glued on the fretboard and headstock veneer, in between there is another veneer of wenge. Brought the headstock into shape and routed the neck flush to the fretboard:


The scarf joint worked out quite nice :thumb:


At least the neck was routed to thickness and the transition to the volute/headstock was made using my spindel sander:



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Made some fretboard dots out of aluminium tube filled with mahagoni like the fretboard itself. Then I've routed the fretboard binding channel:


For the binding itself I've cut off a stripe of a leftover piece from the body and planed it to thickness:


... and cut it to the binding itself:


...and glued it to the neck with a massive load of masking tape. ;)


Planed the binding flush to the outer edges of the neck and sanded the fretboard to a 12" radius:


I've made a custom inlay for the 12th fret out of aluminium sheet (1.5mm thick). This is my first inlay and it took me hours and hours .... Then one of these numbers fell down to the floor and was never been seen again (until a replacement was manufactured... of course :rolleyes:)


Who of youe guesses what these numbers stand for??? :)

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100 points to Zoltar and Scott! ;)

As I guess mahagoni is too soft for a fretboard I've hardened it with a flood of CA glue (ensure good ventilation and eye protection!). The fretslots were protected from CA with teflon stripes with a thickness equaling the frettang (0.5mm):


After the CA glued has dried the fretboard was level-sanded again. Then i hammered in the fretwirewith a deadblow:


I also did the fretend dressing already at this stage since i wanted to avoid to do this job after the lacquer is applied and probably scratching it. The sidedots are made of a 3mm carbon fiber with 2mm plasticrod inserts:


The backside of the headstock got a wenge/mahagoni veneer, so the headstock is about 15mm thick. While cutting off the overhanging veneer I've unfortunately chiseled my thumb into two pieces leading to a long afternoon at the emergency room *idiot!* . Be so careful with sharp handtools (and machinery of course, too!). Anyway, in the evening I've sanded the veneer flush to the headstock shape... :thumb::


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It was a blessing in disguise that no bones or nerves were injured. Thumbnail is growing again and the scar is a good warning reminding me constantly to take care. Playing and building guitars does not work without fingers. ;)

Most fun for me is always shaping the neck profile and transition to the headsteck and heel.

These are the tools I use for that job: shinto saw rasp for the rough work, sometimes a spokeshave, several Iwasaki files (these are great!), scrapers and sanding paper.



The neck profile is a bit unusual, I call it a asymmetrical medium V-shape. ;) It feels great and enables a comfortable playability. Sure, it's a matter of taste...



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Very very controlled work. Other than the thumb of course. :D

How did you arrive at your asymmetrical profile? Experience or experimentation? I haven't done one myself, and I haven't seen much discussion on different people's thoughts processes with these.

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It's a bit of both experience and experimentation. Could not find much discussion about it, too... So every time a friend comes by with his guitar I grap the chance to capture the neck dimensions (width, thickness, etc.) and it's profile. This improves my understanding what influences the neck feeling and what works for me or not. So I came to the point that asymmetric necks improve the playability. Of course, this is a personal thing which cannot be generalized.

The neck shown above is still part of a "long-time experiment" ;) Next time I would leave there a bit more material at the shoulders. Or, even better, trust my feeling while carving the neck instead following a drawing done beforehand on computer based on theoretical assumptions. ;)

Actually I'm also building a strat replacement neck for a friend of mine. He has a rough idea about the neck profile. When it comes to the final shaping of the profile we will do it together. (he says how the neck works for him, I'll carve until he's happy ;) ) That will be exciting... could get time-consuming, since the strings should be on to get realistic impression how the neck profile works. ...anyway, it's fun time!

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Routed the neck pocket and neck pu cavity... and determined the hipshot bridge position and drilled the string-through holes:


Then the binding channel was routed. Specially for this task I've built this simple router lift jig. It's required to get a vertical / perpendicular channel at the curve of the "droptopped" arm rest.


Glued the binding with acetone:


Scraped the binding flush and rewarded myself with a look at the wetted topwood. :D




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