Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Electric Guitar Construction Week 1

      I've been dreaming of making an electric guitar for quite some time now, sitting in high school imagining what kind of body shape I would make, what kind of inlays I would use, or what odd assortment of electronics I would put in it. For a while now that thought has been just that: a dream. But just last week I began construction on my first self-designed electric guitar.

      Last fall we designed our guitar in an electric guitar design class. I decided that I wanted to build a bass (that being my instrument of choice). The bass I designed was a sort of adaptation of a fender P-bass. The main change was that I wanted to have a single cut away to create more space for electronics. Because of this decision I had to replace the traditional neck plate with 5 ferules. Other than the neck body joint and the single cut away the body and neck shape will remain similar to a traditional fender p bass.

       Step number one for electric guitar construction was to make templates from the plans we had drawn up. Because I decided to use a more complicated design I had to make a few extra templates. The first template I made was for the body shape. The second template I made was for routing the control cavity. The last template I made was for my custom pick guard. All of these templates would be used to flush trim and/or plunge route the various parts of the guitar.

       After rough cutting the templates I had to spend quite a bit of time sanding edges to get rid of any ridges or dips that would prevent the router from making a clean cut.

       After that I joined the mahogany and used three bar clamps to clamp up the two halves of the body and cleaned up all glue squeeze out.

      The next step is to rough cut the body and drop cap. I chose to build the body with ribbon African mahogany and the drop cap to be flamed cherry.

       After that I screwed my template to the mahogany and routed the final shape of my guitar body.

Hope you enjoyed the blog, tune in next week for another addition to this exciting build!

-John Potts