This series will hope to outline the work I’ve done building several guitars out of a large stock of Purple heart I got a couple of years ago. It was about the size of a door, and I carefully planned to make 6 guitar bodies out of it.
In addition to the Bass, which I posted in the projects section, here is where I currently stand with the various guitars.
1. Telecaster body: I really wanted a vintage 59’ Tele. Blonde with a black pickguard and a filthy maple neck. But I didn’t want to spend $2000. I drew out the body freehand, which is why it’s not the exact Tele size/shape. I also decided that I wanted to dump 4 full humbuckers into it. A tad extreme I know. ...Oh, then I decided I would have micro- toggles for each pickup that would tap them to Single coils for versatility.
After I routed out the body for the pickups, I realized that I would need some kind of pickguard to hold them. But I didn’t want to detract from the gorgeous wood, so I tried to make a pickguard out of clear plexi glass.
I shattered a couple of pieces on the bandsaw before I realized that you really need to be careful cutting it. So I took it sloooooow and careful. and got it all worked out.
2. SG-ish Neck through body. (Arch top): This is my first attempt at a Neck-thru body electric. I purchased the Neck from Stew-mac. I have an SG template that I copied from DamnHippies wifes guitar when I replaced the pickups for her.
However, mine is a little more organic, and definitely thicker/heavier than a standard SG. Plus I made it as an Arch top. I have glued the wings to the neck, but I noticed that it’s not a perfect join. So I think I’m going to add some abalone inlay along the glue line to hide the defect. It still needs to be shaped more, especially at the cutaways. I am going to use an EMG active pickup in the bridge and a String through body design. I found a cool chrome FLAME bridge that I’ll use.
I haven’t decided on a headstock shape yet, but I’m trying to come up with a cool logo/ headstock design.
Here’s where I’m at with this one….
3. Travel Guitar (First attempt at inlays..you’ll laugh!): So I had a small piece left, and after measuring it, I decided I could eek out a small body for a travel guitar. So I cut it and shaped it as best I could, considering the size of the piece I had to work with. A friend sketched out a lightning bolt and a really cool flame design on a piece of Curly maple that I eventually will use as inlays on various projects. So with a dremel, and chisels I set about trying to inlay a lightning bolt.
A couple of things to note…(Which I have since learned was a big mistake!)
1. I used the bandsaw to cut the inlay off a 1” thick stock of curly maple. The inlay is over 1/4 thick. Too thick!
2. Cutting the inlay with a dremel. Not nearly precise enough. I have a couple of gaps now between the side and the inlay. Looks pretty bad.
3. Oh yeah, I tried to do an inlay without thinking it through. ...the old addage measure twice, cut once? Yeah, ...my personal favorite is ‘Eh, how hard could it be!’. When people see it, I just say ‘It’s SUPPOSED to look like that’.
Here is where this priceless work of art stands… I’ll be putting a single humbucker, single volume knob in it with a Tune-o-matic style bridge.
-- When my wife ask's what I have to show for my wood working hobby, I just show her the splinters.