Guitar lovers will always want to achieve a unique sound and enjoy the happiness that comes with playing a customized musical instrument. At times, this may come at a price or even end up getting a gear that misses some of the key features you want. The desire to know how various guitar parts are assembled is another unending quest. It is such a dream that drives guitarists to put pieces together while using simple skills to create guitars on their own. For the guitar enthusiasts who have been asking what I need to build an electric guitar, sit back and go no further. This post provides it all.
Choosing A Guitar Body Shape
You ought to begin by designing the right body shape for your guitar with using guitar body templates. You should have a concrete idea of what your preferred guitar model will be in appearance and what it will feature. You can come up with a unique design or borrow ideas from the existing models such as Gibson SG or Fender Telecaster. You may create your instrument as angled, rounded, or craft it in a flying V design. The choice is solely yours, and as your preferences guide you, so be it. You can also choose to design your guitar in a circular or square shape. You can choose between a double or single cutaway depending on the frets levels you need or forgo the cutaway altogether.
Select the right materials for your guitar. This selection will include selecting the right body for an ideal best electric guitar. You will have mahogany, swamp ash, alder, or maple as the main options that make the best bodies. For the neck, mahogany and maple are known to produce the best for the electric model of guitars. Each of the woods chosen for the body will have a unique influence on tonal quality. The thickness of the wood also influences the tone produced by a guitar. Heavy and highly dense wood gives thicker tones while a lighter wood produces brighter tinny sounds.
Selecting Necessary Guitar Hardware & Parts
Make a checklist and purchase the necessary hardware. You would not wish to miss a single part during the assembling hence the need to compose a list of all the parts required for your preferred model. These parts will have different looks and capacities when used in a guitar. You should thus be ready to choose parts based on the guitar models you have seen before or be willing to try something new. Luckily, you can readily acquire all the parts you need from a nearby guitar outlet or purchase them from a reliable online store. The primary components that you will need for an electric guitar include: a nut, switch for pickup selector, tuning pegs, a bridge, pickups, input cable, knobs, strings, tone, and volume controls. Other optional parts that you may acquire are the truss rod, pickguard, and strap pegs for your universal guitar straps. Fret wire is necessary if you intend to build a guitar neck on your own.
Get yourself a pre-manufactured guitar neck. This applies where you do not possess the do it yourself skills to craft a standard neck for the instrument. The neck is considered one of the most sophisticated components, thus the need to purchase one.
Make sure you are armed with the right working implements and knowledge. If you make efforts to acquire a premade neck, the rest of the task of creating a guitar of your choice does not require any sophisticated tools or expertise. The process may not be really friendly and seamless for a total guitar beginner. You will need some basic knowledge to use tools such as drills, saws, solders, and sandpaper. You should as well have these tools with you or have the plans to access them once needed. The good news is that you can create your electric guitar using hand tools only. However, you will make things easy and free of hassle if you can do yourself a favor to acquire an electric drill, router, and a jigsaw.
Purchase a guitar kit for a seamless process when making your guitar. Several firms produce fully loaded kits for electric guitars that you may need to make one. Your only task once you buy such a kit will be assembling the parts. You may, however, not get the full exposure of creating a guitar from scratches. Despite this, you will attain satisfaction when putting the parts together and finishing the entire process all by yourself.
To put your into shape, you ought to cut the body segment. Use your guitar design by laying it on the wood and tracing the design shape into it. Use the saw to cut the wood while drawn outline following carefully. Sand the edges and the sides of the blank after you cut it.
Choose the positions to fix the body parts by making their relevant spots on the body blank. Draw a clear line along the center of the body for your reference. You then have to draw marks on the bank to indicate guitar parts such a volume and tone control, as well as pickups, will be fitted. You can use the layout of an existing guitar or select the format the feels good for you.
You also need to route the guitar body. Make holes that go partially through the body bank at the rear aspect for fitting the electronic parts such a tone, volume, and pickup controls. Another cavity will be needed in the front aspect of the body to fix the pickups. The depth of these cavities should follow the recommendations given by the pickup manufacturer. You as well need to create a cavity where the neck of the guitar will attach to its body. It should be sufficiently deep and wide to attach the two parts firmly.
Use the drilling tool to make holes for the electronic parts. The marks you made on the body blank will now be used as a guide here. Also, the hardware kit that you choose will direct you to the exact position and the total number of holes needed. Make holes for crucial parts such as bridge, pickups, volume and tone control, cord input, and a hole for your strap pegs. Create additional holes to accommodate pickup strings to cross from the back to the front cavity.
Finish Work On The Guitar
The body now needs a touch of finish or paint based on your preferences. The creativity you applied when making the guitar will be depicted in the elegance of its body appearance. You must, therefore, use your imagination to make it look as amazing as it can be. A proper paint or a finish will help you here (or here with our how to paint a guitar article). You may use a simple oil finish, colorful matte or gloss finish or choose a combination of colors to bring s striking pattern.
The next step here involves cutting of the neck in case you never bought a ready-made model. You will be needed to cut the neck of your guitar into the appropriate width and thickness. The headstock must be left wide enough to fit the tuning pegs. Use the sandpaper to sand the neck until you achieve a smooth texture and look.
Join the neck to the body of the guitar. You will need to use lamination or bolts to do in this case. Firmly fix the neck to the cavity that you made earlier for this function. Use glue or bolts running through to the back from the top of the neck to hold these two parts together.
It is now time to fix the bridge to the guitar’s body. You have several bridge options to make your guitar quite fantastic. The design of the instrument will determine the exact directions to attach the bridges.
The final critical bit lies in the installation of the electronics. Begin this part by dropping the electronic parts into place. Ensure the pickup wires run via the holes that you drilled earlier. Use the cavities that you made on the front aspect to place the pickups. Use the screw given by the manufacturer to fix the pickups in place. Fix the controls for the tone, pickup, volume, and cord input using the same criteria.
Remember to use solder to fix the electronics. The pickups come with a schematic manual that directs you to connect the controls to the input cord. Follow the schematic directions to have things done. Use electrical tape to cover the wiring connections if the manufacturer does not recommend an alternative approach.
Lastly, it is time to string the guitar and put it to test. Remember to use your preferred string gauge and play it if the strings are in place. Start by playing the guitar while unplugged to check if everything is alright. If all is well, you may then plug it in and play. If at all this happens seamlessly, you will have your guitar ready and done.
Would you rather just buy a guitar? Check out this post on the best electric guitars under $300.