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OK ... thanks to you guys, I've decided to make my own guitar just for the heck of it. Been following this site and reading up on things here. Much great info and some very useful tips from all of you guys. Thanks very much for the inspiration.

For my first project, I'm just making a new body for an existing guitar. I took the neck from an OLP MM4 (nice neck, lame body) and I'm making a body much like a Musicman Axis but with softer edges. The front of the body is book matched walnut from a tree I cut down years ago. It's 1" thick. The back is 3/4" koa. I sort of chambered the body to make it lighter. I've already done all the routes and glued it up. The neck pocket was challenging, but thanks to info here, I made my own template and used a collar on my plunge router to get a nice tight fit. I'm about to cut out the body shape now.

But I could use some advice on pots and such. I'm going to use a couple of Gibson humbuckers (about 1966) from an old guitar I had that I parted out. 500k, long shaft pots, because they will go in from the back and I will have no pick guard? I'm keeping it simple with one tone and volume and a 3-way toggle. Are the pots and switches from Carvin of decent quality?

I have pics of it so far, but don't know how to put them in this post.

I'm sure I'll have more questions as I proceed, but any advice is appreciated! And thanks for all the help and inspiration thus far!

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Are the pots and switches from Carvin of decent quality?

If the pots they have now are the same as the one's on mine from '93 then I'd say they are very stiff. They sound smooth enough but they are physically very difficult to turn. This might be a plus if you don't want to accidentally change the volume or tone level while playing but I for one like a smooth turning pot for pinky volume swell. I also had problems with the selector switch in my Carvin (middle position had no sound occasionally)... but strangly it "healed" itself of this problem :D.

Just get CTS pots and your switches from Brian. Cheaper too! B)

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Thanks for the tips. I put up a few pics for your consideration.My Webpage Maybe this works???

So .... you were saying that the Carvin pots are stiff? Not so great I think, if that's the case. The volume pot on the MM4 goes from nothing to almost full out right away ... that's why I'm not going to try to reuse them. I want a more gradual taper.

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If you have ash drying out for a future project, make sure to give it at least a year for each inch of thickness before working it. Sounds like a lot, but it's not like you're drying firewood. Actually, air dried wood has more color and stability than kiln dried wood, if it's done properly. I have some vertical grain ash in a 4" thick slab myself that I may use for a future guitar project. When it's thick like that, you have the possibility to resaw it and bookmatch your grain, which I think always looks rather impressive.

Oh ..... I had an opportunity to put in some time in the shop today, and my guitar is all cut out and the edges are routed. Starting to actually look like a guitar now! Kinda hairy routing the end grain on the horns though. I was using a 2 1/2" soft radius bit and it's like trying to rout with an upside down helicopter, if you know what I mean. Pics of todays work are up on my little web site for your analysis. :D It's here on the Photo page (second page).

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Your cut actuallu doesnt look too bad. Maybe I'm mistaken as I can't see everything in the picture, but it looks pretty good. Are you going to sand the edge on the carve top, or are you going to cut another layer, or are you going to leave it? haha

1 year for every inch of thickness you say?

So i've got it at about 24" x 32" so thats......40 years?


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Be patient, MKGBass .... good things take time .... 40 years is but a blink of an eye in this cosmos we are in ...... on the other hand, it's a pretty long time if you're waiting to get paid, so I understand your anxiety.

Actually, it doesn't matter how big (length x width) your wood is ..... just the thickness. So as long as you don't leave it as a big log, you can knock quite a few years off of that 40 you were bummed out about. Course .... I think you were kiddding anyway. But if you're like me, it might take that long to get to your next project anyway, so it's not really an issue. The walnut that I made my guitar from actually was from a tree I cut down and milled with a chainsaw in 1976! I've made a lot of furniture and things from it since then, but this is the first guitar. It was a BIG tree.

Claro walnut is what we have here in California. Different than walnut from back east. More color variation. I'm still debating as to what type of a finish to do. Either natural and oiled .... or filled and lacquered. Any ideas?My guitar so far.

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