Going To Build A Homemade Les Paul Guitar

mustang2500

Well-Known Member
Hey guys! We have a new assignment in my Woodshop class, where we have to design and build our own project, using scrap wood in the class (or bring your own). Most people will be making stools, small tables, decoration, and I figured I might as well make a friggn' Electric Guitar. Still not sure why.



I have a very good knowledge with woodworking and tools, so this seems like the perfect project to tackle seeing as one of my favourite hobbies is to play the guitar.

I want to start off by either getting a large solid piece of hardwood (something like Maple or Mahogany) or laminated pieces for the body. I will then cut it out, and start to router the cavities. Then, I'll cut out the top layer of wood that will be the face. I'm going to also make that arched top with a router.

For the neck, I already have a long strip of mahogany ready to go. I just have to install a truss rod, the headstock, and the fretboard.



The colour scheme will be based off of the Slash Signature Goldtop. I'll paint the top a very nice metallic gold, then stain the bottom an elegant but kickass dark dark brown.



slash-gibson-goldtop-web-460-100-460-70.jpg




So, has anyone attempted something like this? I can't wait to start, it's gonna be awesome! I'm sure you guys will like to see more once I get started!
 

CommanderFluffy

Well-Known Member
an original from the 60's is a one peice bottom with a small leyer on the top to cover some curcutry.. alot of times its one pecice and drill tunnels connect all the parts and wires together.
 

Whitelog

New Member
First off I would like to give a word of warning. The fretboard of the guitar will be the most complicated part of the build. The best advice I can give you is to make absolutely sure that the frets are precisely measured out and level.

So Don't just use measuring tape. Secondly I'm not sure about using a router to make the arch top. If you can get it to work do it either that or chisel and sandpaper. If you haven't already found Ultimate-Guitar.com I highly suggest checking out their gear building and customization form for any and every question you may have.



I would love to see this when it is finished and good luck.
 

blue2k

Jr Member
Good luck, but I think you will have a lot of warpage problems. The body itself will be relatively easy, but those necks can be a pain to get right. Also, make sure your hardwood is well aired (mature) already. You wont want that curing after its been assembled.
 

mustang2500

Well-Known Member
iSUPERNOOB said:
i remember seeing a clip on discovery channel about how they actually build them, lemme see if i can find it.



EDIT: Here it is.
Awesome video man! Thanks a lot!



whitelog said:
Secondly I'm not sure about using a router to make the arch top. If you can get it to work do it either that or chisel and sandpaper. If you haven't already found Ultimate-Guitar.com I highly suggest checking out their gear building and customization form for any and every question you may have.



I would love to see this when it is finished and good luck.
When I say router, I mean this. It seems easy enough.

I'm also already a member of Ultimate Guitar. I also have some experience from redoing an old Les Paul copy.



Thanks, by the way! I'll need the luck for sure ;)



mc hammer time said:
Gotta love a good ol' Les Paul. I have 2 myself. Good luck!
You have a good taste in guitars! Thanks!



hellfire said:
Good luck, but I think you will have a lot of warpage problems. The body itself will be relatively easy, but those necks can be a pain to get right. Also, make sure your hardwood is well aired (mature) already. You wont want that curing after its been assembled.


For the body, I picked up some maple today. The main body piece is 2" thick, 8" wide and about 50" long. This will be cut in half, then laminated. It should stop some warping, I'm even thinking about going with three pieces instead, like on the real ones.

I'm still not sure how I'll do the neck. I might just use a bunch of files or even a jigsaw on an angle.





Thanks for all the replies so far guys! It means a lot! I can't wait to get started, why did the weekend have to come? :pMight even get the pieces laminated this weekend and then start the body. I've got a long way to go!
 
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Whitelog

New Member
You sir have proven me wrong. I wan't sure weather you meant a hand held router or some sort of milling machine to make the arch top with but then again I always preferred a more hands on approach with my guitars.

Again best of luck to you.
 

mustang2500

Well-Known Member
You didn't think I would forget about you guys, did you?



I did a LOT of work at school this past week, and just finished up the routering at home.



What I did from the start was get 4 strips of solid maple, then laminate them to make the body. Once dry, I cut out the rough shape using a band saw. (Once I glue the top on, I will cut it out smoothly) I then brought it home to do some routering. I used a hand router to do all of the cavities. Every single cavity was done free-hand, because I didn't have the right equipment for templates. The next step will be to get the top on, and finish the body. Did I mention I only have a month to do this?



SANY0157.jpg


Here's the pickup cavities routered.



SANY0158.jpg


The back of the guitar. Also before the control cavity.



SANY0161.jpg


The guitar so far, compared to my 'Lero' Les Paul copy that I was working on (and will also be the brave organ donor for this project ;)) and then of course, my Epiphone LP Standard.
 

mustang2500

Well-Known Member
Haven't forgot about me, did you?



SANY0162.jpg




Binding channel, arched top, and rough sanding done.





SANY0165.jpg




Neck set in.



SANY0166.jpg




Headstock (Gibson style) - That white thing is paper ripped off of the template.



SANY0168.jpg




Cavity covers done - The control cavity was done by hand, the other was done with a bearing bit.



SANY0203-1.jpg




First coat of Gold - The paint I used was Krylon Metallic Gold. Looks exactly like the Gibson colours. The curves are really hard in this picture, mostly my camera's fault. I sanded it down a lot from then, so it is much nicer.



SANY0213.jpg




Where it is now. My camera fudged the colour up BAD. And again, it is much smoother than it looks in the picture. Not sure what that is. It looks much nicer in person.

The back is done as well, I got a few coats of gloss black. I still have to drill out the holes for the bridge/tailpiece, and knobs, then lacquer, then the fretboard. Then, it shalt be done! And I shalt rockith and rollith all night long.



EDIT: Better Picture.



SANY0214.jpg




THAT'S what it looks like. Yum.
 
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