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Hey guys. Im new here and Im thinking about making my own guitar.

I currently work in the wood shop of the architecture department here on campus. My boss sells unfinished hardwood for $1/brdft. I want an SG/LP type of guitar. I have access to Birch, Cherry, Maple, and Walnut. Im thinking about a Maple thru-neck with a Walnut body. Problem is that all the boards are pretty much 1"X6", so Ill have to glue. The body will be 2 boards thick. If I run a single piece of maple for the neck, should I put another piece of maple under that for the body and body-neck areas? Or should I just put walnut for everything but the neck. Id like to go for the thinner Gibson neck, so most, if not all of the neck should be ok with the 1" board, right?. If the thru neck is going to be a pain, I dont mind doing a body with a rout for the neck to go into, but thru-neck is preferable, I think.

Will glueing all this wood together do much to affect my tone? Ill be making this guitar relatively cheap, cannabalising from the upgrades my current Epiphone and using cheap, but quality wood. I dont mind if its not the best, Id just like some experience for when I have the money to do it right.

Also, will my design hinder how the bridge and tailpiece are attatched? Im not real familiar with their design.

Finally, is the fretting difficult to do with with a dead drop hammer? I may buy a pre radiused/slotted ebony fretboard, as there isnt much of a price difference. Wheres the best place to do this? If you arent doing a custom scale or anything, is it better to buy them, as there isnt much of a difference in price?



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Well Chris, I'm going to jump in here cause nobody else has. I think you've asked a lot of questions that . . . um. . . nobody knows the answers to. . . (At least I don't.)

So anyway i'm taking a shot in the dark at answering part of this. But since I've been waiting to hear the answers myself, I might as well jump in.

I think that laminating smaller pieces into one large body might affect the tone and sustain, but it would depend on how many pieces you laminate. I THINK you'd be better off using fewer, wider pieces. SG bodies are only 1 3/8 inches thick anyway.

As far as attaching the neck. . . I haven't a clue. I'm a Fender kinda guy myself, and I'm currently starting to build (again) after a not doing it for a number of years. I'm going to start with bolt on necks and go from there.

A great book that's often cited in this forum (I think) is Make Your own Electric Guitar by Melvyn Hiscock. It's pretty comprehensive. Check it out. . .

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A neck through body guitar usually has an angled neck or the neck is cut so that it is higher than the body part. (to present the string to the bridge at proper height)

It's definitely not recommended to use a one inch thick maple board. You couldn't make a good angled neck guitar by glueing a few boards of wood to make up for body thickness. The top part where the neck is would be too weak.

The easiest would be to use your 1" thick maple board for a neck and build a separate body.

You could also make a neck-through guitar by cutting your 1" X 6" boards in the length and glueing them in laminates. Three or four 1" X 3" X 40" boards glued together should be allright. The 3" of thickness is also deep enough to give you an angled neck and an angled peghead.

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Thanks guys. Im getting more squared away as I read and make up the official plans. Only problem is I am afraind my neck angle is nt quite right. I have it calculated to half a degree, which seems small. I am by the way, basing this assessment on zero experience. Reminds me of a project in for an engineering class where I struggled to find a suitable size beam for an application. I went to the professor and he was like "Youre doing this too by the book, use your experience to find a reasonable margin of safety". Experience? :D <---Dunce cap.

As to the angle, maybe Ill just take the guitar out of tune and experiment a bit with the bridge.


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