I want to build a guitar, but have no experience doing so



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Re: I want to build a guitar, but have no experience doing s

Postby Adamadamadam » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:23 am

Aren't most of the Rickenbacker 300 series maple? It's been a hot minute since I've had one (360, I think, but the nut width was too narrow for me), but I vaguely recall it being maple. It was a semi-hollow, though, so FWIW and all.

I'd finish before shielding. If you're rocking single-coils it may be worth it to shield pickup cavities (I would as a matter of course), but make sure they're all connected to ground or it's not worth the effort. As to shielding the passages, just use shielded wire and be sure the shield is connected to ground somewhere (but only one somewhere, because ground loops and yadda yadda).

Updating to say that from my experience maple doesn't take stain very well/consistently, but there are probably pre-stains/conditioners out there that help mitigate the issue. If you're looking to do a translucent colored finish you should look into tinted lacquers or that sort of thing. Or just stain it anyway. It'll probably look sweet regardless.
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Re: I want to build a guitar, but have no experience doing s

Postby Benn Roe » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:41 pm

Thanks, everyone! It looks like stains/dyes should be fine on maple, as long as they don't contain any pigments. So, I think I'm going to try a dye and sand back method. Anyone use the Colortone dyes that Stew Mac sells before? Thoughts? Or anyone have other dye recommendations? How do people recommend I seal it afterward? Is it okay to use linseed oil or tung oil, or the like, over dye? I'm not thrilled with the idea of entombing the body in some sort of heavy duty lacquer, but I would prefer something that will maintain the colour over time. I'm open to ideas. I think I prefer a more satin finish.

I'm using humbuckers, and the only wires that will be going through the passages are those from the pickups. Fair bet they're already shielded? I'm not sure how to tell. Is it good practice to shield the pickup cavities, even with buckers?

Thanks again!
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Re: I want to build a guitar, but have no experience doing s

Postby Benn Roe » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:42 pm

BetterOffShred wrote:Also, this time of year you can get the foam water noodles at the dollar store or similar, and they are excellent for wrapping sandpaper around for the horns etc.. I have 2 sizes I've cut to about 8" just for round sanding.


This is a great tip. Thanks!
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Re: I want to build a guitar, but have no experience doing s

Postby Adamadamadam » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:36 pm

bennroe wrote:I'm using humbuckers, and the only wires that will be going through the passages are those from the pickups. Fair bet they're already shielded? I'm not sure how to tell. Is it good practice to shield the pickup cavities, even with buckers?


Depends on the buckers? Most two conductor HBs will use some sort of single-conductor shielded wire, which will have the positive/hot wire in the center, a layer of insulation, and then a braided negative/cold wire. This may then be surrounded by another layer of insulation, or just left bare. As long as everything is properly wired/grounded this will act as shielding.

Four conductor HBs may have shielding surrounding the coil wires, but maybe not. If you're looking to coil split then that un-shielded run is an opportunity for outside noise to enter the signal path. It won't be significant, but I believe that anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

I'd personally shield HB cavities if I had the guitar on the bench (see above), but it would be more about the 1% of the time when it might make a difference than about not wanting my strat to sound like a pissed rattler. If you do decide to shield the pup cavities make sure they're electronically connected to the electronics-cavity shield/star ground.
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Re: I want to build a guitar, but have no experience doing s

Postby Benn Roe » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:54 am

I have almost accumulated every last component I need to bring this project to fruition, and will start a new thread to document that process, but among the very few remaining parts is a capacitor for my tone control. I know guitars are very low voltage, but is there any reason I couldn't use a comparatively high-voltage cap? Warmoth's caps say 50v and Stew Mac's are presumably the same. Would 2000v be problematic? That's just a rating for how much they can withstand, right? 50v is already ludicrously outside the range of output for a guitar?
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