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Silenced Fred

Assembling a Guitar?

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How hard is it?

 

It would be for a Strat build, going to do it over the summer.

 

Plans:

 

Seymour Duncan Vintage Single Coil (Neck and Middle)

Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates (Bridge)

Sunburst Body

Maple Neck and fretboard

Callaham Trem

 

How bad will it be to build? I don't really have much experience doing this, would it be better to get the pickguard pre wired or do it myself? I have taken my Contemporary Strat apart a ton of times, and putting everything together doesn't really scare me, but doing wiring kind of does...

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Built both of these.

$700+ in the natural Ash one.

I stopped counting at $1,000 on the sunburst one.

 

Most of the parts (American) came from Ebay.

 

 

2207672808_473666dac0.jpg

 

3375030716_7916545698.jpg

 

3375030724_0571f591bf.jpg

 

 

New Highway One necks/plates.

Both bodies were used - American Fender.

New Fender/Schaller locking tuners.

Fender trems.

Gibson pots and SG-style selector.

Schaller strap locks.

 

Cut the pickguards myself.

Had to do a little cutting on both bodies - under the pickguard.

Burst has new Fender Wide Range humbuckers from the '72 Tele Deluxe reissue.

Ash has new Fender Dove P-90s.

 

 

I suggest browsing the Warmoth site for ideas, inspiration, and maybe a smokin' deal on parts.

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Not TOO hard. The body assembly is really easy. A monkey could do it.

 

The wiring is where it gets tricky. You may want to get a pre-wired pickguard if it's not too expensive.

 

If you practice soldering and understand how everything is supposed to go together then it shouldn't be much of a problem.

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Neo- I plan on trolling eBay among other sites such as Warmoth for a while to find a body for semi cheap.

 

Locking tuners are a must, or what I might even do, is find a used Am Std Strat, and put in my own pickups.

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The wiring is the easiest part, assuming you'll be building from scratch.

 

How's your woodworking skills?

 

Or are you just thinking about assembling a guitar from parts?

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The wiring is the easiest part' date=' assuming you'll be building from scratch.

 

How's your woodworking skills?

 

Or are you just thinking about assembling a guitar from parts?

[/quote']

 

Assembling.

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Neo- I plan on trolling eBay among other sites such as Warmoth for a while to find a body for semi cheap.

 

Locking tuners are a must' date=' or what I might even do, is find a used Am Std Strat, and put in my own pickups.[/quote']

 

If you go that route you should try to find a "husk" it will be much cheaper. That's a totally respectable way to do it. You can find good deals on used Strats. Just make sure you don't get one with frets that are totally thrashed. My friend did and it makes his Strat a total pain in the *** to play.

 

Whenever he picks up my SG he's always saying how great my frets are.

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I'm not the greatest at wiring but I've found with a decent soldering pencil it's not bad if you take your time. I define 'decent' as squeaky clean, with 60/40 solder (or close). I now take the time to sand/file the contacts real quick and I also rub the solder with some steel wool to shine it up. The devil is in the details and you will be amazed at how well it goes if you prep stuff.

 

I think the hardest part is the finish. So many choices, so much patience, so many chances for horrific mistakes.....

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Looking around I found a website called pickers parts. Cool stuff, I think I will just get a pre wired pickguard from them, loaded with Seymour Duncan Antiquitys. Total comes to 291 with all parts and everything put together. I can handle that, for the pickups of my choice, along with wiring and controls and stuff.

 

I think I might look for a used American Standard (sometimes see them a little beat up for about 500 with case) throw this bad boy in, and crank it [angry]

 

I might not even do a build....

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There are a number of places to get both guitar bodies and necks; quality varies.

 

The body doesn't seem to me to be that big a deal as long as you've access to aged wood. Necks would be way over my head, though.

 

Also, the pre-wired Strat pick guards seem like a good idea.

 

Or - and this depends on what you really want - I s'pose you could drop to a 2 pickup setup and basically have a Gibson pickup and switch setup done kinda like an SG with a different shape and neck.

 

Me, I'd rather go the other way and have a Gibbie neck and maybe Tele pickups. <grin>

 

Whatever.

 

m

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Get a cheap soldering iron and practice stripping and soldering wires together. It's very easy with practice, I was soldering like a madman at your age. Plenty of guides on the net.

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Yep.

And the burns on your fingertips only inspire you to pay more attention and improve your skills...

 

:-)

 

Practice BEFORE you start heating up components you paid $$$$ for.

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It's really not that hard.

I built a guitar for a friend.

 

I didn't have to do much except re finishing, in a ugly natural, haha.

I hate a natural guitar.

Re wired it and such, not difficult.

 

Used a Squier guitar though.

 

Parts

 

I use that site for all my parts.

 

IMG_1253.jpg

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It really doesn't seem that hard... Depending on where I get my parts, if I go with all "top of the line" or everything I want, which is what I will do, it will be right around 1200, but should go together really easily

 

The only soldering I will have to do is connecting the prewired pickguard to the input jack. But with all my own parts, my selection, it seems pretty good.

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If you get a pre-wired pickguard you'll just have to solder the input and the ground. That's about as easy as it gets but you should still practice. It's nice to have good clean work.

 

The work I did in my SG got ugly because of a small problem. Works beautifully but doesn't look too great. It sounds good though.

 

Are you ditching your Strat that you already have?

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Do you mean build or assemble? I would consider most of these to be assembly guitars meaning that all the parts are pre-built and your putting it together. When I think of a hand built guitar I think of somebody starting with a pile of wood. Electrics are fairly simple to build either way where acoustic guitars can get fairly complicated fast if your scratch building and not using a kit.

 

I'm building a telecaster right now also the Ash is being glued up right now and I hope to cut the body out before this weekend is over and/or it get's too dang hot to work with the big tools out in the garage for the summer here in Hell or Arizona whichever you prefer to call it.

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Do you mean build or assemble? I would consider most of these to be assembly guitars meaning that all the parts are pre-built and your putting it together. When I think of a hand built guitar I think of somebody starting with a pile of wood. Electrics are fairly simple to build either way where acoustic guitars can get fairly complicated fast if your scratch building and not using a kit.

 

I'm building a telecaster right now also the Ash is being glued up right now and I hope to cut the body out before this weekend is over and/or it get's too dang hot to work with the big tools out in the garage for the summer here in Hell or Arizona whichever you prefer to call it.

 

That sounds cool! Do you have some kind of CNC machine available to you or are you taking a more hands on approach? I'd love to hear more about this project. This sounds interesting.

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Did you do the finish on your builds as well Neo?

Nope.

Mine were pretty much an assembly jobs.

Bought everything as-is except the pickguards.

 

Necks were new.

Bodies were used' date=' but still in excellent shape.

I [i']almost[/i] bought Warmoth bodies, but I found what I liked used on Ebay for less money.

 

Fabricated the pickguards, which was a little more involved for various reasons.

Only the 11 screw holes are still in the same place as a normal Strat.

 

I couldn't find a Strat guard cut the way I liked for either guitar.

Bought some heavy paper/card stock in 11x17 to make templates, then traced to plastic.

P-90s bolt to the body instead of hanging from the guard, so the holes were a pain to get in the right spot.

 

With the Wide Range Tele humbuckers, the guard actually had to be larger than normal on the top curve.

 

Another issue was my decision to use Gibson pots, larger than normal.

The volume/tone pots had to be relocated slightly due to this and the size of the pickups.

 

The Gibson SG selector didn't fit in either body without some cutting, yet still stay under the guard.

 

 

Everything else pretty much bolted together once the guards were complete.

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It really doesn't seem that hard... Depending on where I get my parts' date=' if I go with all "top of the line" or everything I want, which is what I will do, it will be right around 1200, but should go together really easily

 

The only soldering I will have to do is connecting the prewired pickguard to the input jack. But with all my own parts, my selection, it seems pretty good.[/quote']

 

You're doing it all custom? as in not the standard pups on the American Standard which is 1000 new?

 

I wouldn't mind one of those...in black or grey with a maple board

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