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Posts posted by MuffinPunch

  1. Hello all! And sorry for leaving you all high and dry for so long. I just wanted to get back on here and update this thread really quick with the life altering news that I will be resuming work on this project starting tomorrow! Ive been at my current job for a while now and I feel I have achieved sufficient seniority to feel eligible to use the facilities after hours to build more guitars. Also, I wanted to ensure that this thread remained active since appearently these all have an expiriation date once nobody posts anything for a while. (My Tabar Zin thread got deleted. :D Im going to finish that one too!)

    Anyway, stay tuned!

  2. I get what you mean about a business plan and license, but I hoped it wouldn't be an issue considering the microscopic scale of my operation (at least for the first good while). But if lawfully I need one in order to sell anything, than obviously it goes without saying. I figured Ebay would be my friend until I figured out my own business plan.

    You don't legally "need" a business plan. However, you don't need to wear a cup to play in a baseball game either but we've all seen how that one works out. Write a business plan. After a few months, when your head starts spinning, break out your business plan, read it outloud and it'll put things back into perspective. You'll understand what that means in a few months. Good Luck.

    This was more in reference to the license than the plan... I dont even know how to go about writing a business plan or what that is! I just want to build guitars. The main reason for selling them is to be able build more guitars! Having a bunch of extra income wouldn't hurt, but its certainly not my primary motivation.

  3. I love how this topic became an outlet to quote motivational cliches. All very valid advice though! Thank you all.

    If anyone has any specific advice as to how to go about building a guitar business from scratch beyond what has already been shared id be extremely eager to hear that as well.

  4. Solid advice RAD. Coming from one of the most admirable builders I know on this forum, Ill definitely take it to heart.

    I know what you're saying about the market being flooded, which is why I thought it might be a good approach to make bodies and necks and sell them as a "kit". Currently, the only bodies and necks for sale I've come across are licensed classic styles: Strats and Teles mostly, with the occasional SG or Les Paul, etc. I want to offer the user something that can't be found at a typical guitar shop without having to commission a high dollar custom builder. Unique body styles and headstock designs without being obnoxious, finished or unfinished and ready to be equipped with whatever hardware and electronics the end user wants. If there is a market for that, I want to find it. If not, like you said, at least Ill have some fun finding that out.

    I get what you mean about a business plan and license, but I hoped it wouldn't be an issue considering the microscopic scale of my operation (at least for the first good while). But if lawfully I need one in order to sell anything, than obviously it goes without saying. I figured Ebay would be my friend until I figured out my own business plan.

    Does anyone else have any gems of wisdom they wouldn't mind sharing?

  5. Hello all,

    Its been a while since I've made my presence known here, but I have been around. I lost the ability to build for some time due to not having access to tools, workspace, etc. But Im back in action and hoping to hone and use my acquired skills to make the world a better place. Ha!

    I really want to start making and selling custom designed guitar bodies and necks finished or otherwise, and the occasional complete guitar, but I am not really sure what would be the best avenue to take, or how to get my name out there. I am a professional vehicle designer by trade and work full time at Polaris Industries, so this would be and after hours "job" for a supplementary income. I am by no means under the delusion that I can become a professional guitar builder full-time. I more than anything want a way to finance my hobby of woodworking and help ease the crushing financial burden of student loans.

    I have a few of my own body and headstock designs that have proven successful on an aesthetic level if nothing else, and one conceptual construction method that has proven successful on a prototypical level, but I plan to keep that one in my back pocket for a while. For the time being, providing unique and well thought out variations on the already proven super-strat platform seems like the way to go.

    To all of you inspiring builders out there who actually build lines or one-off custom guitars for clients and customers: Whats the best and simplest way to get started?

    I don't have a lot of capital to work with, but I do have tools, and skills, and a relatively good supplier for materials (i.e.wood). I also know an amazing musician to potentially endorse the product. Any advice is very much appreciated. Thanks.

  6. Sorry to be a disappointment to everyone, but I haven't touched this project since I last posted. In fact the half routed bodies are sitting in storage along with the unshaped necks... I have been Uber busy as of late and having just finished school in Dec and starting a new job I just haven't had a spare minute to devote to this. Unfortunately now I no longer have access to the shop at school so anything I have to do now will have to happen on the porch of my new apartment. That meant power tools are out probably. I'd like to get back on this and my other projects Once things settle down a bit. I'll keep you guys posted.

  7. Hey man, sweet guitar!

    I think if you read my post without being defensive, you'd see that I was pointing out that;

    A: its already a commercially available product

    and B: the technology is being used by a few other people, it might help to look at their methods and see if any of it helps you form a solution to your own issues.

    Not knocking yours down, just commenting on my view of the legalities of the situation and the fact that you don't have to tread unknown waters if you look at the map. Others have worked on this. switchable bodies are out there , switchable pups too.

    EMG owns the 'quick connect' . whats left?

    Hey, for a thread that started off as a SHRG7 but changed mid-stream, it still ended up like a nice, one-off Ibanez. The finish is beautiful and if it plays like it looks, you got a winner. :D

    Sorry if I came off defensive. You can understand why I might have assumed you were attacking me given our "history". I appreciate it all the same. I've been taught not only how to look at all aspects of design with a critical eye, but also to defend my designs when others do the same to my work. I see what you mean though. I'll have to go back and check those links with an open mind and see what goodies I can take away from them. Thanks man.

  8. Steve, nice build.

    cool to see it get finished , its a shame it wasn't in the timeframe of your classes, but what can you do ?

    as far as 'rights' or lawsuits , you using EMG logo's and brand name with no permission is more of a legal infringement than anything else. :D

    For 'interchangeable' guitars already on the market click here tho : http://www.rksguitars.com/

    or here: http://www.ricktoone.com/2008/12/interchan...ass-bodies.html

    or these,one of which is patented back in 1997 and good till 2015........



    a quick google will reveal a lot......

    as far as the core to body wiring, a ribbon cable would be a decent solution. PCB's for the body and neck and you'd be in there.....

    As always, thanks for your concern and advice. The links you posted are pretty cool, tho I fail to see the relevance of the two patents you included as they are about as similar to my guitar as a bolt-on SG is to a Strat IMO.

    As far as "using EMG's logo and brand name with no permission", I got in contact with EMG prior to selecting pickups in hopes that they would "sponsor" my education by donating a set of pups and notified them I would be "branding" my project as an EMG, so they are aware of it and have no qualms. Unfortunately, and as expected, they weren't able to help out any.

    On another note, its standard practice in design school to choose a brand for any project prior to development and there's no requirement to obtain permission from the company. This is a well known procedure. Besides, Its not like Ill be marketing and selling this guitar as an EMG product. If I decide to further develop this idea in the future, I will not restrict it to only fit EMGs, nor will I only make 7 string guitars.

    I still realize the "interchangeable" guitar has been done before, this project is just another way to do it. You may have noticed that there are many ways to reach the same goal... Thanks for the compliments bruva!

  9. I would put money on your idea being stolen and used commercially.

    I would put money on your idea being stolen and used commercially.

    i think EMG could do so - all the evidence they need to prove it belongs to them is in the photo :D

    I would take that as a compliment then sue tier pants off! I've got enough eye witnesses as school who are heavy players in the design industry that would back me up. :D

  10. And a few more:




    Unfortunately, all of the process pics of the finish were lost when my phone was stolen last week. :D But the result turned out quite nice I think. It could use some finish wet sanding to remove a couple of little dust particles that found there way into the spray booth, and the fretboard needs a bit more love. Ill be working on that shortly.

  11. Its been a long while since I posted anything on here. At least it seams to me that way. I finally finished school last Saturday so I have some time to spend doing "leisure" activities for a few weeks. Anyway, I finally finished the guitar for my senior show... I didnt ever end up getting in contact with a rep from HR Giger so I went with a simple solid gloss black finish. Im not completely satisfied with it just yet but its to a point where I can call it complete. The EMG-HZ7 pups really suck, but they do their job for the moment. I didnt get a chance to work out the trick wiring, so its not really "modular" right now, but thats all stuff I have time to work on now. This finish ad assembly were more for the sake of having a physical representation of my concept for the show. Here are some pix from the show: The lighting was horrible so Ill have to get some better shots this week.




  12. I dont mind the carve at all. The uniformity across the bass side makes it look quite nice and unique at the same time. I agree that a veneer of dark material between the top and back would have produced and even nicer result, but big deal. To Johns point tho, would carving a matching contour to the treble side and transitioning it thru the rear of the body take too much material away? maintaining a nice two-tone edge all the way around could very well iron out some of the awkwardness you may feel it has? (tho I dont feel it needs it)

    P.S. I am dissapointed the the gorilla no longer shows thru now... :D

  13. Wez, I just had another look at your last post. I must have been sleepy when I initially responded, because I didnt get the full meaning of what you were proposing. As an answer to future development of this product your idea sounds very feasible and frankly is a perfect fix for my original problem. That being the ability to offer different pickup configurations without having to alter the standard control setup. For use with 2 pickup configurations I would simply delete on of the mini toggles, and ignore the #3 contacts. I like it a lot, and I can see it being done by creating a module for both ends of the contacts and wiring them prior to final assembly. Sounds simple enough, unfortunately im still an amateur when it comes to wiring. :D Ill definitely keep it in mind as I develop this concept further.

  14. I love that so many have taken an interest in this project. It will truly need some innovation to get the electronics to work properly. I currently have the pups wired directly to the output, which actually works fine for me at the moment, but the guitar is still in primer. School starts on Tuesday so I want to get cracking on this right away as I will be graduating this semester. I really wanted to cast the clear body and display both of them at my grad show, but after the chaos of last semester, im not sure im up to it... Ill see what I can get done in the first few weeks, but after that I really need to focus on school. Kind of disappointing really.

    I will definitely be trying out a few of your suggestions on connecting the wiring though. Using a quick connect device like EMG uses would likely be too delicate and break after a few disconnections and reconnections are performed. I like the idea of using Pogo pins, since you dont have to insert them into anything in order to make a connection. The strip idea sounds good too, but will require quite a bit more research before I would feel capable of experimenting with that. If it didnt require modifying the body I might entertain the 3 mini toggle idea.

    Thanks again for all of your ideas. I will update with pics as soon as I get this going again.

  15. The idea was actually to use flat strips of metal that would be mounted on the bottom of the core, and on the top of the body's cutout. Then when you screw the core into place they would make contact with one another.

    I'm having a hard time explaining this, and I can's seem to find a picture on Google either.


    I like that idea better, only problem with that is: as I pointed out earlier, the top of the core is not quite flush with the top of the body. I would have to either compensate for this gap by A. adding riser pads like the felt strap button gaskets im currently using, which creates a gap between the bottom of the core and the surface of the cavity making a connection like the one you described no good, or B. deal with the tops not being flush and try to "fill" in the gap with a decorative "plate" or something over the top of the core. This second option doesnt seem like such a bad idea considering that after I have cleared the body and added the matte Giger graphic over the top the core will no longer match. The "plate" could be sand blasted to continue the graphic, thus making the core integrated. My only issue is time. I really cant be spending a whole lot of it working on this during my last semester of school. My studies really suffered last semester when I tried to tackle building two of these along side the two San Dimas', and I didnt even really get into finishing, which I understand can be the most time consuming and patience trying part of building a guitar. Im presenting this as part of my Grad show this Dec., so it needs to look great, but its not the focus of my presentation so I dont want to give it too much attention just yet.

  16. Here's an idea for the quick-connect, not sure how well it would work, but it's an idea.


    I think I kinda see what youre talking about, the problem is wiring the leads from the pickups to a jack or plug that can be inserted into a mated plug or jack where the continuation leads are wired to the electronics. Then I have to figure out how and where to mount those plugs/jacks...

  17. I like the finish like that honestly. Flat black, no gloss, and the gold hardware look good. To bad when you put clear it will get glossy.

    I like it flat black as well, but what you cant see from the crappy phone camera pics is that the surface is pretty fugly. Anyway, I still plan to do the Giger graphic on the top. It will probably be matte over the clear.

    Great build. The only way I could see the electronics working is by using the EMG solderless set up, but that would seriously limit your pickup choices. Given the right amount of time and effort, you could really come up with an ingenious solution for the wiring I'm sure.

    I agree, I dont fancy using the solderless wiring as Ive heard bad things about it. I had intended on developing a "quick-connect" like feature that is embedded into the corner of the core that connects itself when you plug the core into the body. Ill work it out eventually.

  18. Im a bit bummed that I didnt get this finished before school closed up... I did get the first few coats of primer on the body and core top and sanded them down relatively smooth. I had to assemble the thing and string it up for final presentation anyway and all things considered it went very well. I have learned a great deal with this build overall though. The main point being that: Unless you have absolutely no responsibilities outside of building guitars and can travel to and from your shop within a few minutes of your home, building 4 guitars simultaneously with a goal of completing at least 2 of them in 14 weeks is not very realistic. I was lucky to get this one as far as I did, given the fact that I abandoned (temporarily) the other three builds I was working on altogether about 10 weeks in.

    Anyhow, Im glad I didnt try and rush the finish, it could have turned out disastrous. I would like to spend the next three weeks finishing her all up tho if at all possible. I will have to find a place locally that will let me use their spray booth for a couple of hours a day. I have a few more coats of primer and then some final sanding before clear, and that will conclude my first COMPLETE build. Im thinking that the core itself should have been a bit wider for a seven string model but was probably adequate for a 6. Dont know If ill actually pursue this design any further as it seems like so much more work than doing a set neck or neckthru even. There are also issues that need working out before the concept is actually viable, not the least of which being the fact that its impossible to wire the pickups separately from the body as the pots, switch and output are all confined to the body. It definitely requires some electronics expertise which I do not have.

    But she is playable and sounds great. Feels really good too. The heel contour is as comfortable if not more so than any neckthru or set neck ive ever played, and the mounting screws for the core are completely out of the way. There are some felt strap button gaskets sandwiched between the core and body at each bolt which act as risers since the cavity is slightly deeper than the core is thick. This adds an interesting acoustic quality to the tone which I kind of like. Its a lot more noticeable when the guitar is not plugged in. I really like this guitar and my sister in law wants one now too. It will probably become my regular player as soon as I figure out what to do with the extra string :D.




  19. No, it shouldn't be too snug. Ill be sanding it down quite a bit anyway before final gloss, but it was quite a loose fit to begin with. Maybe too loose. Since I am making a mould out of this at some point in the future, the surface need to be class A for casting. The core itself still needs a bit of sanding and Im leaving the back and sides "natural" with just clear over it so I can always tweak it a bit before final fitting.

  20. Got the heel transition dialed in the other day. I also spent some time sculpting the joint so that the transition feels more subtle. I feel I have a pretty good start of finish sanding, so since the body is going to be opaque, I decided to go with a black poly primer coat. This way, even if I dont get it completed by thurs (presentation day) it looks close to the way its supposed to. Heres a teaser, I wont update this thread until I can plug her in and make some noise with her...


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