Monday, March 31, 2008

Up & running


It might not look like much, but the body has been thicknessed to the correct depth, more or less by hand. I used the router to remove a lot of the "bulk", but that a lot of router marks instead. So out came the planer, which removed a lot of the router marks, and left planer marks in their place!
It would have taken all of 10 mins on a drum sander. Instead I got to use a sanding block, a load of 60 grit paper, and a lot of sweat. It's not near finished yet - I need to smooth the edges some more, and then work on the body with smoother paper - 120 then 180 then 240 grit I think. By the end of that lot, (a) I'll be knackered and (b) the body should be smooth enough to oil finish.
The bit where the neck will go is deliberately untouched - this will get cut off when I prepare the neck pocket. In the meantime, it's a handy place to fit the clamps!
I'm really happy with the colouring of the wood, and the grain that's getting exposed by the sanding. These photos don't really do justice to it ...

The grain has red, brown, orange and green in it and looks quite stunning in places. Not as "wow" as the Amazique cap in my last build, but a lot more interesting (to my eye) than standard mahogany. And luckily, I've got a lot more of this wood, just waiting to be cut into guitar bodies ;-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bits & pieces, mights & maybes

I've already posted pics of the cherry that I'm going to use for the body. That pic also showed a Tele shaped body template, so no prizes for guessing what I'm thinking of building. Depending on how it goes, I might try to be a little bit clever with the construction though (that sounds like over-confidence and un-based ambition, even to me!).

I might also be adventurous (for me) and try to make the neck from scratch, rather than re-finishing the £5 eBay "bargain". I'd use some of the cherry for that as well. Of course, then I'd need to add in the cost of the truss rod, and the fingerboard, but the finished guitar might be more satisfying and less Frankenstein-like. And teles are easy to build, right? !!

A lot of the hardware is coming from Timmyo's capture of a Tele copy. The body and neck are headed elsewhere, but I'll be using a lot of the hardware in this build. I might swap one of the pickups out though, depending on how it sounds and what budget I have left. I might then use a coil tap if I swap one of the pickups out for a humbucker ...

I'm currently on the Bailey BYOG course, so the £100 challenge is really well timed to make sure that I get into my workshop when I get back from the course, and see how much of the course content I manage to remember ;-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Rules ...

(I really don't like rules!)

This is only intended as a "bit of fun", but to try to clarify the rules, or guidelines, for the informal competition ...

The finished guitar should have cost no more than £100, including the cost (or value) of the original guitar, and the cost of the mods / upgrades made to it, or the cost of materials used (for those building their own).

Cost or Value: If the original instrument came into your possession without directly costing you anything (eg a gift), then the cost of that gift (if in the last couple of years), or its realistic current value (for those modding their 57 Les Pauls) should be added into your total spend. If you've bought it then use the same principle (ie, cost price if bought in the last couple of years, else current value).

Cost of mods, etc: This is the total cost of all the extra, upgraded or replaced parts. If someone has just given you a pair of BareKnuckle pickups, then (a)the cost or value should be included and (b) tell them that I'd like a set too, please. If you've bought the parts, then include the p&p / VAT / customs costs. If you want to drive 200 miles to collect a set of strap buttons to save the £2 p&p cost, then you have way too much time, and are treating this competition way too seriously! If you've got a cupboard full of spare bits & pieces, then points (a) and (b) above apply again!

Really, it's supposed to be a bit of fun, and as we all know the cost/value of the various bits, it'll be obvious to all if anyone spends £300 on their "£100" guitar. Anyone doing so will be subject to the dreaded "my strings always break in the middle of my best ever solo in front of our biggest ever crowd and I forget to pack a spare set" curse.

It's a fun challenge ... go enjoy and play nicely ;-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The body for the £100 guitar will come from these planks. It's cherry, and cost me £55 for the 3 planks. I reckon there's enough wood there for 3 or 4 bodies, so it should be about £15 for the body.
The neck that you can see on top of the middle plank is an eBay buy. I think it cost me £5. Obviously, for that money, it's not the best, but with a little work to re-finish the back, and some effort into levelling the frets, I think it'll do.

So that's a total of £20 for the wood ... the budget's looking good so far.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thinking, Planning & Dreaming

I've got some wood, I've got a pickup (or even 2), there's a £5 eBay neck, and some other bits and pieces. Can it all be turned into a guitar, without me spending more than £100.

Project updates to follow ...

I'll write this here & now ... "it seemed like a good idea at the time".