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Unread 09-07-2004, 10:22 PM   #1
gg7
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i finished my guitar...

just finished it tonight. the last part i needed arrived today and i've worked off and on all throughout the day and tonight getting it done. so, i will first list the specs, and with most of them where i got them.

*body
semi-hollow tele style
swamp ash
rear routed control cavity
string through body
strat neck pocket
-usacustomguitars.com
they did a nice job of selecting wood
that fitted what i wanted, as well as
getting the body made to my exact specs.
i finished it with waterlox sander/sealer.
i used 4 coats.
*neck
carvin bolt neck
maple with ebony fretboard
pearl position markers
-carvin.com
i think this is a fantastic neck.
very well made! i like that it
has the 2-way truss rod as well as
the 2 graphite reinforcement bars.
this is a stable neck for sure.
this neck is the reason i had the
body routed for a strat style neck.
i finished it with 5 coats of
woodburst chinawood oil (aka tung oil).
*graphite/teflon/? nut
came on the neck i got from carvin.
amazingly enough i didn't even have
to make any adjustment to the nut at
all. and i'm fairly picky about the
nut being just right.
*carvin tuners
they work fine.
and thas all i got to say bout that.
*martin style bridge
polished rosewood
-stewmac.com
this is a very nice bridge.
*tusq saddle
my favorite material for saddles.
*schaller strap locks
they're on all of my guitars.
*chrome neck plate
-stewmac.com
*electrosocket output cup/jack holder
-stewmac.com
great product.
*electronics
b-band ust with a1 preamp
the a1 actually screws right into the
electrosocket.
-shorelinemusic.com
this is generally my pickup system of
choice.
shoreline is the place i always buy my
acoustic electronics.
*lr baggs battery bag
-stewmac.com
i prefer this as a battery holder.
the b-band comes with a holder but
i like the bagg better.
*fender original tele ferrules.
got to have those for string through.
specifically those to fit this body.


i will attach some pictures, and sound clips (now please understand these are going to sound different depending on what you're listening through. for instance, i really like the way they sound through my computer speakers quite a bit. but i don't like the sounds as much through a pair of headphones i have. but i do have the power of eq when wanted, ha.)
5 pics in this thread.
i'll post another thread right after this with the pic of the electronics and 2 sound clips. one of them directly into the computer. the other through a danelectro 7-band eq (of course i can vary the sound quite a bit by changing setting on this).

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Last edited by gg7; 09-07-2004 at 10:32 PM.
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Unread 09-07-2004, 10:27 PM   #2
gg7
retired from CGR. :)
 

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Posts: 7,517
the electronic pic, and sound files...

edit: added a couple more eq'd clips (jcoustic-101104.mp3, jcoustic-101104-3). 101104-3 is my fave of the two.
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Last edited by gg7; 10-11-2004 at 10:34 PM.
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Unread 09-07-2004, 10:37 PM   #3
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Sounds great...congrats. Love the ebony board.
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Unread 09-07-2004, 11:31 PM   #4
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Very nice guitar. 'Tis a beautiful creation.
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Unread 09-08-2004, 07:46 AM   #5
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looks and sounds great ~david~
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Unread 09-08-2004, 07:58 AM   #6
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wow, you have done what i've been thinking of doing. thanks for letting me see that you can build your own "solid-body" acoustic.
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Unread 09-08-2004, 08:22 AM   #7
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Very, very nice.
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Unread 09-08-2004, 10:25 AM   #8
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Wow! This sounds awesome. It look beautifual too...

All in all, how much did the cost total up to???
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Unread 09-08-2004, 11:00 AM   #9
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Yes, VERY nice !!!!!!! After looking at what rainer123 and others have been doing I have been considering building one myself. I Love quilted maple but that swamp ash also gets me lookin I would be interested in total cost as well, however even more important... how much time does it take to actualy put one of these together?

Also I am wondering, since this is entering the world of "custom" built guitars how do these components fair in quality? You guys doing this sound pretty happy... Do you get a pretty good bang for your buck? Or is the appeal mostly that you get exactly what you want in a guitar? I ask because I am sitting on the fence, so to speak, and am "toying" ( mostly curious for right now) with the idea of building one...

God Bless
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Unread 09-08-2004, 11:49 AM   #10
gg7
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first off, thanks for all of the feedback guys. i really appreciate it!
now let me try to answer some questions. i'll give you guys a rundown of the cost of the parts. i've rounded these numbers so they're not exact but you'll get an idea. these numbers are also without shipping.

*body: $235
now this is lower than what the base price of the body i got actually is at usacg. i guess part of it is b/c of no routing other than the rear cavity (i had to have a way to get to my electronics). i also had them send me the body unsanded. i really don't mind sanding so that was no big deal, especially since i could save money getting it that way. the price was raised up about $10 from my starting quote because they had to do a little editing on one of their cnc programs to get me the string through holes in the body without any bridge mounting holes which are standard. price here can also depend on the wood you get i'm sure. i chose swamp ash mainly because of it's tonal properties but i also like the way it looks. it's punchy on the bass end, with scooped mids, and bright top end. excellent wood for this project, imo.
*neck: $130 (the neck comes with a good nut)
*neck plate with screws: $5
*tuners: $25
*string ferrules: $8 (these exact ones can be hard to find).
*bridge: $15
*saddle: $10 (you can get it cheaper, i bought it as a tusq slab and completely shaped the thing myself. you can get a pre-made saddle
specifically for that bridge though that only needs height adjustment.
*pearl dot: less than $1
now this is used just in front of the bridge. it's not just a decoration. when usacg makes a body their cnc machine needs to connect to the wood somehow so there is a hole in the top from that (normally a pickup cavity would cover this). since i had no cavities on the top this hole was still visible.
i filled it with some wood putty topped with that pearl dot. i think it looks good. and i'm actually glad the hole was there, heh.
*schaller strap locks: $12
*electronics: b-band ust and a1 preamp: $100
*electrosocket output cup: $7

that brings the total up to roughly: $550

and yes, all of these are truly quality parts. that being said you're going to have to get up around $1000 and quite a bit more depending on who is making it to buy a comparable guitar. i simply can't buy what i want off of the shelf anyways.

as far as supplies go, i get my sandpaper from stewmac.com . the fre-cut paper they sell is the best i've ever used. it lasts a long time and cuts great.
that's not very expensive.
i got the waterlox sealer/finish direct from them and it ran roughly $20 i think.
i already had the chinawood oil, and if didn't have just enough left to finish my neck i would've just used the waterlox on the neck too. but i didn't want the chinawood oil to go to waste and the neck was here before the body and the waterlox so i just used it. they're both tung oil based products.
for other work, you need a drill to drill the neck holes (carvin doesn't drill the neck holes for you. some other companies do. i'd be happy to share how i do it if anyone needs to know.). various screwdrivers are needed too (i think i used 2 different ones).
as for construction, i'll mention some things that are unique. with the string through holes drilled in the body already by usacg i was able to line up the bridge holes from my stewmac.com bridge and the intonation was very good without changing a thing. i was very pleased with not having to move around the bridge to get it right. the bridge had the same string spacing as the holes of course.
i've never seen what i did with the pickup system done before in that i screwed the a1 into an electrosocket. i'm sure glad it worked though.
i chose to use 2 screws (one on each side of the bridge as you can see in the pics) to hold down the bridge. i thought of gluing it but one of my goals in this project was to get a guitar that i could easily take apart or replace various parts as needed. so, i opted for screws...drilling for the under saddle pickup was a bit tricky. you have to get just the right angle to make sure it goes into the back control cavity in a decent spot.

as far as time goes, it really depends on your experience. the finishing process takes a while but that's mostly waiting. once you get your sanding done (i am a very experienced sander, and i do sand by hand but i was ready for finish within roughly and hour) you get on your finish. and with tung oil based products you generally allow 24 hours between coats. however, with the waterlox i found i could put on 2 coats per day. i'll attach a picture of my high tech finishing station (a ladder and 2 guitar strings tied together very well holding the body)
after you get on all of your finish coats it's a matter of finish sanding it to whatever level you want. 800 grit was the highest i sanded up to. that's definitely smooth enough for me.
the carvin neck was very impressive to me. the nut slots are actually cut very well and at a decent depth with no adjustments (if i do anything to them it will be very minor but they seem about right as is). and the frets are nice and level. this sped up the process for sure. i actually spent the most time on the saddle. my original idea was to just use a big piece of tusq i'd shaped for the bridge, but that changed. so rather than buy the pre-made tusq piece that would fit into the bridge and only need height adjustment (very easy process) i wanted to use what i'd already spent my money on. so i took my huge piece of tusq down to a little 3/32 thick martin style saddle with the top radius i wanted. adjust, experiment, adjust, experiment. i might still lower the action a little more. i probably have at least 3 hours in this saddle. all in the name of saving money and using what i already had
anyways, this concludes this novel. i hope i've answered the questions you guys had. if not, say so and let me know what i didn't answer. feel free to ask whatever else too. i'd be glad to help out any of you however i can.
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Last edited by gg7; 09-08-2004 at 12:00 PM.
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Unread 09-08-2004, 11:53 AM   #11
gg7
retired from CGR. :)
 

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oops. forgot to post the pic of my finishing station.
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Unread 09-08-2004, 07:25 PM   #12
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That's dang nice. Love the simplicity of the natural ash.
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Unread 09-08-2004, 07:55 PM   #13
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Excellent !! May it serve you well. You got me thinking about building one - I already have a nice straight maple/maple neck leftover from a guitar I bought cheap to part out, and all kinds of pickups - strat, tele, a pair of P90s, humbuckers. I would like to do a small bodied semi-hollow electric, similar to your blue 'un. hmmm.....



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Unread 09-08-2004, 08:33 PM   #14
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Nice! Looks good, sounds good. I'm gassy.
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Unread 09-08-2004, 08:59 PM   #15
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I don't know anything about building guitars...

BUT THAT IS ONE SWEET BEAST!!!
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