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Thread: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

  1. #1

    Default Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    Sorry for the non-mandolin question. But my son has been watching me build my first mandolin. He has been mildly interested, but mandolin music is not his thing. I've wanted to get him in the shop with me. And yesterday he expressed a lot of interest in building an electric guitar "from scratch." (Like his old man he frowns upon kits.) Has anyone built an electric guitar, and what would be the easiest model/style for us to explore?

    Thanks.
    Mark

    (And now back to mandolin-ing...)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    One of the simplest would be the telecaster style. It's a simple slab body with a neck held on with screws. Routing templates for the body outline and cavities are readily available as are all the various electronics involved. You can also find bodies and necks available in the raw or various levels of finishing if you're lacking any tooling. The TDPRI forum is a wealth of information and full of helpful, supportive builders of "partscasters"

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    I just built a travel guitar with/for my son. It was a relatively quick, easy project, and a good way to introduce him to some lutherie principles. I agree that a Tele or Strat would be easiest. No binding, simple routing, pickguard-based electronics. Go for it!
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  5. #4
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    A tele is a good suggestion. Here's one I built, I call it the cowcaster, lol!
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    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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  7. #5
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    The tele design came about because it was an easy thing to build on the production equipment that was available. Large piece of wood, shaper table, router, a few other tools and 'viola'. When you think about it, it is kind of silly to build one by hand when there are places that can whip out a tele body on machinery in a few minutes.
    I think it is great opportunity to be creative, have fun with the design and do something unique. Not crazy, but unique.

  8. #6

    Default Re: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    Yea, I'd recommend a telecaster also. Keep it simple and as it was originally designed without any sort of whammy bar. If you stay with the actual original design specs, there are thousands of available Fender and third party parts that will fit. Its a seriously respectable electric guitar despite its simplicity. Kids tend to want to build something hyper complicated so do what you can to avoid anything with a whammy bar for a first guitar. The point is to be successful and make it a positive and encouraging experience. If there is resistance to building such a basic guitar, look up telecaster on Wikipedia and find the list of telecaster players.

  9. #7
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    I would suggest your son come up with a design he likes. None of the solid bodies are all that difficult to make if you take your time. maintain your centerline, Fit the neck, pick you pups then decide how you want them mounted. In a Pickguard. In the body with the routing done in back etc....

    A lot of music stores would let a kid trace a body shape from one that he likes if he's honest about wanting to try to make one. The will be hoping to get some business on pups or pedals amps etc.

    At least the shops I know around here would be mostly willing even the local GC.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  10. #8

    Default Re: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    A tele is a good suggestion. Here's one I built, I call it the cowcaster, lol!
    My wife is a leatherworker.. I've wanted to do a leather-covered guitar. Yours is cool, too.

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  12. #9

    Default Re: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    I've built maybe 20 partscasters. I've built with quality parts and garage hobbyist bodies. Since my workshop space is severely limited, I don't have joiners, planers or bandsaws. If you do, it is just a shape cut from a plank. But you know all those boutique builders? Many if not all are buying parts from places like USACustom.

    For the price of a MIM Fender, you can put a beauty together using the best parts, or go cheap and scrounge hardware from forums or eBay. ReRanch can provide Fender nitro colors in a can.
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  14. #10
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    An existing solid body model is always the easiest. A bolt-on neck is easier than a set neck or neck-through-body design, because of the ease of altering the neck angle if necessary.

    But you can get creative, and design your own shape if you want to. Just make sure you get your neck joint and geometry right, get the bridge in the right place, and leave enough room for sufficient clearance between the pickups and the strings. If you're going to build your own body from scratch, you will need a very good router.

    I've seen some really nice handmade neck-through-body electrics.

  15. #11
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Non-mandolin question (electric guitar)

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    A tele is a good suggestion. Here's one I built, I call it the cowcaster, lol!
    LOL, "tele" means calf in Czech language - that gives it a new meaning :-)
    Adrian

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