Friday, September 10, 2010

Simple Electric Guitar Idea - Bo Diddley Style

This time, I would like to present my idea on how to make a simple electric guitar, from a simple piece of wood, in a simple way :)

 You need few simple things to make it:
  • simple, big enough piece of wood
  • Fender Hard-tail or wrap-around type guitar bridge
  • Jazz Bass control plate
  • Dog Ear pickup
  • some drill with a set of few different wood drill bits
  • some wires, potentiometers, capacitors and jack socket (to make a wiring)
  • screwdriver and some screws to mount the hardware
  • soldering iron with necessary accessories
  • guitar neck (Yes, you probably need to buy it. It's really hard to make a quality neck with no good experience and knowledge. You need to spend a lot of money, if you want to have this experience.)
At first, you need to measure your guitar neck and other elements.
Then, you need to make a plan with on-body pencil drawings. You must know where to drill holes to mount the hardware  (bridge, control plate, wiring, pickup) and where (and how) to fit in the neck. For example, to have the neck mounting place, you can drill hole by hole and then shape it by sanding.
By the way, remember, the 12th fret must be right in the middle of the strings action. 
The surface and all sharp edges of the wood should be smoothed by using some light-grit sandpaper.

The bridge should be connected with the guitar wiring grounding, to prevent electrical noises. To do that, you can connect one of bridge mounting screws with the potentiometer metal casing. Making a copper tape schielding is also a very good practice.

The JazzBass control plate have four holes. One is for the jack socket, others are for potentiometers, so there are many possibilities for making the wiring.
 For example, if you are making single pickup guitar, you can make the wiring with one volume potentiometer and two tone pots, one with 0,022uF cap and one with 0,01uF cap.
If you want to have some simple control and you don't like an impact of having many potentiometers in the circuit, make a single pot wiring (only volume).
BTW, on this blog, you can find many good wiring schematics.
In my drawing, you can see some holes to mount the hard-tail bridge with strings-threw-body. To do this, you need some special ferrules. Strings-threw-body mounting, with no ferrules, will damage your wood. If you want some easier mounting method,  choose some other kind of a bridge, for example wrap-around type.

If you are not familiar with painting, try to use some wood wax finish. It can make a really nice look.