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printer2 03-03-2021 09:44 AM

Building a bedroom system.
Well spare bedroom that is more of a, den? Do people call it that anymore? Either way it is where I spend most of my computer time, which is a lot of music time. I want to finally learn how to play now, things always got in the way before. One of the things now in the way is I have pain issues and there are times I can't take the weight of a guitar on me. So I am in the process of building a lightweight guitar which I hope will come in around 2 1/2 lbs. I was unsure if I was going acoustic or electric on it and it sort of developed the way it did. If I knew what I was ultimately building I would have done things differently. But it is what it is.

Although this is two halves of a 2"x4", I used one laid flat and routed a channel in it and epoxied in an aluminum strip as a truss rod. Hopefully it will keep things straight. This neck was for the acoustic version I will be making.

Cut the headstock angle and glue on an oak fretboard with a 25.5" scale length. Fit in some Telecaster knockoff parts.

Glued together some 2"x3" pieces to make up the body and leveled them.

Cut out a roughly Tele shape.

Cut out excessive weight, in the end I decided to eliminate the bridge pickup and will be making an aluminum bridge plate.

Which is roughly where I am now. I am also building an amp and two speakers to sit on my desk. They will be a little larger than normal, holding a 8" in each, although small for the speaker size. While not true stereo it will make making mistakes more fun when practicing. I have not really decided if I will have an external amp for them or put it in one of the cabinets. I have not decided on the circuit either, will it have a tube or two in it or just solid state. I do want reverb, or at least some delay. An effects loop? not sure. I would like to keep it compact and not in the way but the spring reverbs I have are rather long. We will see. I might steal some ideas from the guitar pedal world, I like the idea of a decent amount of clean volume but would like to get a little distorted at reasonable levels along the way. So this might be an extended thread with a lot of experimenting. Be forewarned.

CoryB 03-03-2021 02:06 PM

Thatís an interesting project and I wish you the best of luck with it.

My question is whether pine is going to be stiff/strong enough for the neck. I guess thereís only one way to find out for sure and youíre doing it.

Keep the thread updated please. Iíd love to build a guitar but I donít have anywhere enough woodworking talent to do it.

KevWind 03-03-2021 02:53 PM

So you have all those tools and workbench in your bedroom , that's different :D

Seriously, while I get the weight thing. But if you're not performing out,
why not just get a chair ?

printer2 03-03-2021 02:59 PM

Hi, thanks for the encouragement. The strength of the neck should be no problem. It is not much different than Spanish Cedar, I have made necks with it already, a nylon stringed and two steel sting acoustics. They were shorter scale but the lower tension of the electric strings should more than make up for the longer string length. How much relief will be introduced into the neck will be interesting, the other necks had adjustable trussrods. We will find out soon enough. Fitting of the back panels is the thing that will take the time now. Once that is done just a quick coat of paint and then fret and install the tuners. Not making this a fancy guitar, just something functional that I can spend more time playing.

To make a basic guitar is not that hard. Just need some tools and break down every step to simplify it. Electrics are easier, just get the neck right and you can bolt it onto just about anything. My introduction was from cigar box guitars. Print out the scale length, tape the pages to the neck, cut slots where the frets go. That is the only real precision thing that needs to be done. The rest is just how well it goes together. I did do a step by step construction build of a nylon guitar way back when that utilized the minimum of tools. I may have to do one again some day.

printer2 03-03-2021 03:31 PM


Originally Posted by KevWind (Post 6652391)
So you have all those tools and workbench in your bedroom , that's different :D

Seriously, while I get the weight thing. But if you're not performing out,
why not just get a chair ?

I think I have tools everywhere but my bedroom.

No, the weight thing is a little different, (actually weight and rubbing). I had a nice Tele but had to get rid of it as strumming was out, where my arm contacted the guitar the motion set off my nervous system. I found I can play a Strat with its arm bevel and belly (rib) cut. In this condition nerves that are normally used for light touch sends signals interpreted as pain and then causes increased sensitivity with it spreading to the rest of the body. An example used to describe it is that a light breeze or putting on a shirt causes pain. Think sunburn and rolling around in fiberglass. I do play on a chair, I never thought about the strap thing. I don't think I can play with a strap, even with a real lightweight guitar. Well there goes that dream.

printer2 03-04-2021 08:46 PM

Almost got the speaker cabinets done. I think I will stain the wood, the grill cloth is a weaved place mat from a Dollar store. I did want to use a wider board but for some reason my mind went off to see the Queen and I cut up this one. Decided to just go ahead and try it, not like I have anything to lose. It did have me searching for thinner material for the front and back to give a little more space inside. Might have added a couple inches, the speaker probably will not notice. I think I am going to have the speaker up to the top and a vent on the bottom of the back.

Have been thinking of the amplifier. I do have a pair of transformers from a stereo, the two tan looking ones that are joined together at the bottom right. But they need a little heftier transformer than a single 5W amp. The other funky tan one at the bottom is the mate to the transformers, A monstrosity from a European console stereo. But as much space as the two speakers are going to take already I don't know about a big horkin' chassis for the amp. Do I use these transformers? Do I find a more creative way of powering them? Should I split the power supply from the amplifier? Go Solid State or a preamp tube with a SS amplifier?

In the meantime my niece's husband has been asking about his guitar I was making. Might have to put aside this little project. Or at least the electronic side of things.

perttime 03-04-2021 10:23 PM

I was a bit surprised when a local guitar builder posted one with the neck done in (old) pine, with a rowan (mountain cherry?) fretboard. Then he explained that he put carbon fiber there as reinforcement.

The old way isn't always the only way.

Davis Webb 03-05-2021 04:04 AM

The Squier Bullet is about 5 pounds and easily modded.

Just in case this is all too much.

Sorry about your pain. I can relate. Pain caused by music playing that eventually shuts down your ability to play at all, especially now, where music is saving many of us from madness and isolation...bad mojo.

I am delighted you are finding a way to overcome this!


printer2 03-05-2021 11:01 AM

I plan on building a few more guitars after this, this one may even be superseded by another once I find I made a fatal error. This one really is just a quick and dirty attempt to get me through the next while. I have a Stratocaster knockoff body and I debated on cutting out the excess weight and building a neck for it. The rest of this build will not be a problem. The electronic side is more the quandary now.

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