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Les paul plan/drawing parts etc..


Hamish

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Hi , me and my dad had the idea of making ourselves a les paul not long ago were gonna use some random wood we found which we think can be used for it. (we have lots of this so we can attempt more than once)

 

But if im gonna do this i dont wanna start it without info :D :

 

-First i need to know where i could get some good plans

 

-Im gonna need to know how the difficult parts are done (neck, head etc..) wiring is ok cause my dad is an electricien :-

 

-What tools am i gonna need ?

 

-How much will this cost ? (average)

 

-Finishes how are they done

 

Anyway , im gonna need alot of info to get this done properly :) so if you know a bit about making guitars , if possible , try and make it as detailed as possible please :)

 

If you think i would be better off posting this somewhere else please tell me where.

 

And if i get this project going i will post pics on the forums of the progress.

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Hamish, Stew Mac sells a Les Paul blueprint with the critical dimensions: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Books,_plans/Plans/Les_Paul_Plan.html?actn=100101&xst=3&xsr=6886

 

However, making a good guitar is more difficult (and expensive) than you might think. There are a ton of great books and DVDs out there that you may want to read before you start on your journey, including:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Make-Your-Own-Electric-Guitar/dp/0953104907/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265373916&sr=1-10

http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Finishing-Step-Step-Erlewine/dp/0977651908/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265373916&sr=1-5

http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Guitar-Repair-Building-Techniques/dp/B002Q5LFFG/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265373916&sr=1-8

http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Electronics-Understanding-Wiring-Diagrams/dp/0615165419/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265373916&sr=1-9

 

 

You might also consider making a guitar from a kit first for practice. Telecasters are the easiest, followed by Stratocasters with bolt-on necks and non-archtop bodies. Starting out on a Les Paul (except maybe an LP Junior) will be more difficult - a well made LP is a piece of art and craftsmanship, not just a bunch of wood glued together.

 

Good luck, and post some photos of your progress.

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Hi ' date=' me and my dad had the idea of making ourselves a les paul not long ago were gonna use some random wood we found which we think can be used for it. (we have lots of this so we can attempt more than once)

 

But if im gonna do this i dont wanna start it without info :D :

 

-First i need to know where i could get some good plans

 

I used the plans from Stew-Mac on mine.

 

-Im gonna need to know how the difficult parts are done (neck, head etc..) wiring is ok cause my dad is an electricien :-

 

The electrical wiring is the easiest part. Cutting out and carving the neck, mortise and

tenon, truss rod channel, setting the neck at the correct angle, setting in the frets

and pearl inlays, carving the top and routering the grooves for the binding is the

main challenge.

 

-What tools am i gonna need ?

 

Tablesaw, bandsaw, chop saw, router, dremel tool, sander, sanding blocks,

curved scrapers, flat scrapers, fret press and caul, wood glues, binding glues

different sandpapers etc etc etc..

 

-How much will this cost ? (average)

 

Not counting the sizeable investment in tools (3 to 4 thousand), the guitar

itself will cost you at least as much in parts and wood as buying a ready made one.

 

-Finishes how are they done

 

That is another area that you need more experience in. Nitro cellulose

lacquers need to be sprayed in open areas..as they are toxic to you and

explosive! Make a mistake there and there could be serious consequences

to your health, surroundings not to mention the guitar. This is clearly not

a finish for amateurs unless you have had previous successful experience

with nitro cellulose lacquers.

 

Your best choice would be to use a wipe on odourless polyurethane finishes applied

in layers and sanded in between.

 

Anyway , im gonna need alot of info to get this done properly :) so if you know a bit about making guitars , if possible , try and make it as detailed as possible please :)

 

Well I've done 3 of my own design, and this is my advice..you have to have some woodworking

and carving skills, a plan in place for the machining operation, and a good idea on how

to use power tools safely. Make any mistake in those areas, and you might even lose

some fingers as power saws are not forgiving tools. Mistakes in process (steps required

to machine the neck and body) have to be done sequentially, so that one operation

does not affect the next..otherwise, you have to start over.

 

While building a solid body guitar is doable, it's not a trivial project!

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You have selected a very labor-intense, time consuming

project!

 

Agree with Carverman, tools are quite expensive.

 

Agree with brianh, I'd go for a KIT first just for the experience

in gluing, wiring, and finishing. Would also give you a basic idea

as to the steps involved in reaching the fihished product. I would

love to build one of these...

 

SAGA Les Paul style kit, can be found for varying prices all over the

internet and ebay (if you feel confident with ebay), ranging from

$169 - $270. (see link below).

 

http://www.sagamusic.com/catalog/details.asp?ProductID=LC-10

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Im gonna buy a Telecaster or les paul starter kit to start off with first i think

 

http://www.thomann.de/fr/tenayo_lpstyle_kit.htm

 

http://www.thomann.de/fr/harley_benton_e_guitar_kit_t_style.htm

 

I was thinking more for the les paul since its harder as you guys said and if it was done with starter kit it would be easier .

 

And later on we can make the telecaster out of the wood we found since its easier.. apparently [blink]

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I have aspirations toward building a guitar in my workshop, since I will be retiring soon and will have time to spend. I have all the power and hand tools. I think that the neck and its corresponding slot and mortise joint would be the major issue. It would seem to me that you need to get that right before you start spending time on the body shape, since all that time would be wasted if you did it first and then screwed up the neck pocket and had to start over. Am I right there?

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Would I be correct in thinking that you could slightly modify the top of the guitar and the bridge height to fine tune any mistakes in the the angle of the neck by shaving the bridge height when shaping the top to match the angle of the neck?

 

I'm thinking that you could really screw up and waste a lot of hard work if you spend a lot of time on the body before cutting the neck pocket. I know that all the web sites for building guitars show the neck pocket as a later operation. I guess once you have some experience under your belt, this wouldn't be a problem. I suppose that fine tuning the neck pocket would be a slow and careful process at first.

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Hamish - something that caught my attention while looking

at your link for the LP style git - the body does NOT have the

holes for the bridge and tailpiece pre-drilled. I ASSUME the kit will

have instructions regarding placement and depth, and drill size.

Doing this right is beyond critical! I've drilled my own tailpiece holes

in a mod to change from string-thru to stopbar tailpiece, but I made a

template based on an EPI LP to ensure all was correct.

Verify the instructions from manufacturer have this info before

purchasing, please!

 

Please note the difference regarding holes...

 

Yours:

 

975932_800.jpg

 

Saga kit (doesn't HAVE to be Saga, just an example...):

 

LC-10.jpg

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I have aspirations toward building a guitar in my workshop' date=' since I will be retiring soon and will have time to spend. I have all the power and hand tools. I think that the neck and its corresponding slot and mortise joint would be the major issue. It would seem to me that you need to get that right before you start spending time on the body shape, since all that time would be wasted if you did it first and then screwed up the neck pocket and had to start over. Am I right there?

 

[/quote']

 

 

The neck pocket and angle is the most critical part of making one from scratch.

Most of the set neck LPs are in the 4.5 to 5 degree neck angle (the angle that the

neck slopes from the horizontal) which affects the string action and the bridge height.

 

if you plan on doing one from scratch, the full size blueprint (like the one I got

from Stew-Mac) will give you a pretty good idea of the shape, size and length

of the neck tenon, but not the actual tolerances, which need to be tight in the

corresponding open mortise in the body.

 

When building your first from scratch, it's a good idea to do a dry fit the neck

(with a fingerboard temporarily tacked on but removable), so that you can fit

the tenon into the the angled mortise, then check the string and bridge height

using a mockup wooden t-o-m bridge and nut.

Stretch a taut nylon fishing line on the fb so you can actually

visualize the action and bridge height from the "nut" to the "bridge".

 

The idea here with the trial fit, is to make sure that you have the correct offset

in the mortise, so when the neck is glued, the 4-5 degree offset is correct and

the working bridge height is correct.

 

This is the most critical part of the machining process and if the angle is wrong,

the t-o-m may not be adjustable enough to correct the error.

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Would I be correct in thinking that you could slightly modify the top of the guitar and the bridge height to fine tune any mistakes in the the angle of the neck by shaving the bridge height when shaping the top to match the angle of the neck?

 

yes' date=' you can shave the top down around the bridge posts to correct any errors in the neck offset, but this

will may affect the fb height from the top around the neck p_up as you really have to do it uniformly from

the neck pocket to the string stop bar. Depending on how much you need to shave (or add) in the form

of a wooden overlay to build it up, it could affect the shape of the carved top. Certainly it will work to

salvage any minor issues with neck offset.

 

I'm thinking that you could really screw up and waste a lot of hard work if you spend a lot of time on the body before cutting the neck pocket. I know that all the web sites for building guitars show the neck pocket as a later operation. I guess once you have some experience under your belt, this wouldn't be a problem. I suppose that fine tuning the neck pocket would be a slow and careful process at first.

 

I avoided this critical area on mine by making all three of mine with a neck through design.

 

This is more work, as you have to make wings to glue onto the one piece neck and tone block, but it allowed me to do my action setup with a mock nut and bridge on the laminated one piece walnut/maple/walnut and I was confident that

the action would be right after it was finished.

 

Since my designs were based on the LP but a bit more radical and custom made with 2.5 to 3 inch thickness

and semi-hollow wings, I engineered my own fabrication process with the correct sequence of machining

operations and steps..which are different from building a LP with a glue on neck.

 

The neck pocket is the most critical, and you should be able to do in the final part of the machining.

 

The neck needs to be carved almost to final thickness, same with the tenon... and the fb temporarily

or permanently glued on.

 

The Stew-Mac drawing will show a dashed line with the angle of the mortise shown. You need

to make the mortise cuts at the same angle as the drawing to facilitate the neck offset angle.

 

Chiseling it out may be the easy part, but you would need to make yourself some kind of reference

wooden jig that simulates the tenon and the last few frets of the fb and the heel (to ensure a

good glue joint) and fine tune that... until you get the correct neck offset.

 

Just routering without any sort of reference is probably not a good idea, since you could remove too much

material at the wrong angles, so the body and the top needs to be carved at that point as well.

 

Like I mentioned, it's all doable, but you need the woodworking skills, a plan in place, a blueprint

reference, and thickness calipers etc for measuring where you are..during the operation.

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I was looking for the saga LC-10 kit but i cant find it anywhere for europe.. any help here please?

 

I don't know which part of Europe is convenient for you,

check ebay for that area. I CAN point you a general direction...

Check the following link to see price differences, maybe stumble

across seller in Europe.

 

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p2031.m38.l1313&_nkw=saga+lc-10&_sacat=See-All-Categories

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Well its looking like im gonna need to buy the plans and drill the holes myself on the tenayo kit..

 

Btw the wood on these kits is it any good ??? i mean i intend to really invest in this im getting everything from gibson pickups etc..... and my dad is looking for vintage parts off guitars too so i really want to know if the starter kit is gonna be worth it or i should give myself the trouble of doing it from scratch

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Kits are priced to make it affordable for the novice. The wood is OK, but nothing special, and unless you're buying high end woods and learning guitar making from an experienced luthier, it won't be a collector's piece. But a kit guitar has every possibility of being a good player - consider it tuition in guitar assembly 101 and if you enjoy it, you can move on up into something better.

 

If I were you, I would just use the parts in the kit and see how it goes. If you like the way it turns out, you can upgrade the hardware and pickups from someplace like Guitar Fetish (they also sell kits BTW): http://store.guitarfetish.com

 

Warmoth Custom is the place that many advanced guitar makers go for the good stuff: www.warmoth.com

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That's a beaut cat, thanks for posting. Whoever buys it is gonna need some serious woodworking/guitar building experience - the neck pocket isn't routed...

 

How to glue the neck in (since it is glue in and not bolt i think)

The two kits posted earlier are different - one is a bolt-on' date=' the other is a set neck (that could probably be a bolt on too). Bolt-ons are much easier to build, which is why so many folks chose Fender-style guitars for their first projects.

 

Finishes what im looking for is flame top vintage sun burst if anyone knows where to i could get info on how to do that

It's all in here: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Books,_plans/Building_and_repair:_Finishing/Guitar_Finishing_Step-By-Step.html

 

and here: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Video,_DVD/Finishing,_repair/Spray_Finishing.html

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Making your own archtop with a flamed finish is very difficult. Pretty much impossible for a beginner - it's very difficult to glue a flamed veneer onto a contoured top. I'd guarantee you'd make a mess of it first time. Sunburst finishes are easy to do though.

The quality of woods you'll get with a kit will not be great, but you can get a lot of satisfaction from building one, and with a little customisation you'll have a unique guitar. Don't kid yourself you'll build a Gibson-quality instrument though, especially if you're a beginner at carpentry. It takes years of experience, expensive tools, and a lot of skill. I certainly couldn't do it.

Easiest style to build from scratch would be a Telecaster; bolt neck and flat top, and a big covered pickguard area.

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Saw this video months ago, never forgot it - fella did his own

Red and Black "Tiger-Stripe" top. I'll post the first

vid, but go to YOUTUBE and search for "Tiger Stripe LP part 1".

There are also part 2, part 3, and Tiger Stripe LP in 4.2 minutes.

 

Basically, the guy stains the top black, then sands off SOME of the

black in a "stripe" pattern, the re-stains with RED.

Ends up with wicked-looking guitar!!!!!!! Worth viewing!

(Also uses some EXCELLENT music by UFO as background audio).

 

[YOUTUBE]

[/YOUTUBE]
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Saw this video months ago' date=' never forgot it - fella did his own

Red and Black "Tiger-Stripe" top. I'll post the first

vid, but go to YOUTUBE and search for "Tiger Stripe LP part 1".

There are also part 2, part 3, and Tiger Stripe LP in 4.2 minutes.

 

Basically, the guy stains the top black, then sands off SOME of the

black in a "stripe" pattern, the re-stains with RED.

Ends up with wicked-looking guitar!!!!!!! Worth viewing!

(Also uses some EXCELLENT music by UFO as background audio).

 

[YOUTUBE']

[/YOUTUBE]

 

hehe i just saw it :D that is pretty much what i want but in vintage sunburst with the tiger stripes

 

 

Ah ye btw i still need to know where to get stuff for finishes etc...

 

cause i think last guy gave me an american site .. those stewart Macdonald do worldwide shippings?

 

 

Even more i forgot to ask :D

 

About the neck.. i know this is really complicated and im bit lost with all the stuff like setting the action intonation etc... any info on this would be great

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Doing your own set is very easy once you LEARN how to.

Saves $$$$ - no need to take to technician. BUT, you will

have to do some research to learn. Try this link to start you

on your journey, has lots of good info regarding various

aspects of git set-up... If possible, I recommend starting a

3-ring binder of print-outs of the info you collect, will come in VERY

handy for quick reference.

 

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/tutorial1.htm

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Ah ye btw i still need to know where to get stuff for finishes etc...cause i think last guy gave me an american site .. those stewart Macdonald do worldwide shippings?

 

Even more i forgot to ask :D

 

About the neck.. i know this is really complicated and im bit lost with all the stuff like setting the action intonation etc... any info on this would be great

Hamish, Stew Mac ships worldwide, and many of their books are sold from the usual outlets in Europe: http://www.stewmac.com/international.html

 

This book addresses setup, maintnenace and repair: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Books,_plans/Building_and_repair:_Guitar,_electric/Guitar_Player_Repair_Guide.html

 

IMHO you need to hit the books for awhile. The questions and concerns you have are good ones but don't lend themselves to quick definitive answers, and/or require different answers depending on a wide variety of circumstances.

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Ah ye about inlays i wanna get an inlay on the headstock of the guitar saying "The Bryant" (like "The Gibson" [biggrin]) how can i get one custom made ? or is there another way to get a logo on like painting it on?... i dont know :D

 

(the bryant because my family name is bryant :D)

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