I got bored with my various summer projects and decided that I needed another one.
I ordered this body blank from Warmoth...
Currently my plan is to put a single Seymour Duncan Custom Custom in the bridge with only a volume control. I also plan to make a wooden pickguard to cover the other pickup holes.
While I was waiting for the body blank to arrive I had to decide on shape. After, what seemed like, several hundred revisions later I arrived at this...
I've really been digging the look of the guitars made by Paul Bigsby in the 40's and the old Mosrite double neck guitars (and modern variations) and those were a big influence on the shape and general look of the guitar. After settling on a shape, a day making the template, and second day routing out the body I have this...
The approximate dimensions are 16" L x 13.5" W x 1.75" D
I wanted to continue the Bigsby/Mosrite theme into the pickguard and I figured an armrest would help round out the look.
It is close, but could be better.
It is better, but I still think it could be improved. Right now I think I will counter sink the control knob into the pickguard. I think that could look really neat.
I am making the pickguard, arm rest, and control cavity cover out of some Alaskan Yellow Spruce and dyed Maple veneer. I plan to glue the yellow spruce on top of the maple and then route the edge with a round over bit.
I didn't want to build my own neck so I picked up a used Warmoth Strat neck. Headstock needs a little modification. Here is my idea for that....
My next step is to sand the side of the guitar to get it smooth. It is just a little bumpy in a few places, then I will start on the arm rest, then I plan to carve the top. I want the arm rest to follow the curve of the body and I think it will be easier to match that curve before I start carving the top. I should be able to clamp the arm rest to the guitar and trim the edge with the router.
I need to tackle the neck pocket too. Warmoth cut it a little small on one side so I need to widen it. I want a tight neck pocket so I think some sand paper and patience will be the best ticket for that.
On the Bigsby guitars often the owner's name was inlayed into the pickguard and with the Mosrites the name was inlayed into the fretboard. I really liked that look and I might do something similar, but maybe on the arm rest. I'll have to see how I like it.
More to come as I progress....
Update- day 3 and 4: Let it sit for a week while I was on vacation and came back to it with a set of fresh eyes. After 2 days of work I was able to smooth out most of the bumps and spots where the router got a way from me on the body. The body still needs some more sanding, but I wanted to get to work on some of the other stuff so I'm letting that sit for a bit. I roughed out a pickguard and it needs a lot more trimming around the top to get it so it flows with the body as it is a little long at the moment. Also, I need to trim around for the neck pocket and the humbucker ring. I also started modifying the headstock. Overall, not to bad with only a rasp, sanding block, and some 60 grit sandpaper.
Update- day 5 and 6: After working on it over another 2 days I was able to get the pickguard completely cut out and glued to the guitar and get the control cavity cover cut out and fitted to the guitar. I am planning on making the control cover magnetic so I don't have to use screws and carved out a little at the top so I would be able to pull it off. I needs a little more sanding to get it right, but I'm wating for the magnets arrive and I will do it all at once. I also rounded the edges of the guitar with a router and my next step to to finish shaping them and get them sanded smooth. Pickguard needs a little more shaping at the top of the guitar so it hugs the contour of the body a bit better, but it should be pretty easy work now that I have it attached.
I still need to fit my strap locks (and I am thinking about counter sinking those), drill for the control knob, cut out for the output jack, and work on the arm rest.
Guitar with pickguard attached
Quick mock up
W/ paper armrest
A little pickguard ornamentation I am working on (still haven't decided if I will keep it on there or not)
Control cavity plate
Control cavity plate close up
I found the original drawing of the guitar and thought I should upload it too