Monday, 16 May 2011

Once upon a time... I built a guitar!

I have had a few people ask me about how I built my abomination of a Les Paul, so I decided that I would make a blog about it.  In this blog, I'll be tossing around the names of companies that I used and am pleased with.  There are other companies for guitar parts that can be used, that are probably equally as awesome.

So, first thing's first, I decided that I needed a new guitar and here is what I wanted.  I wanted a les paul shape and I wanted it to be white because my other guitars were black and were more of the strat or soloist shape.  I also wanted it to be more versatile than most les paul guitars which are mainly rock only. In addition, I wanted a floyd rose style bridge which could be used for vibrato or dive bombs.  Lastly, I am kind of a scrawny guy so I didn't want it to weigh as much much as a les paul.  Since I wasn't able to find such a machine, I decided that I needed to make it myself.

The Neck!  Upper frets were scalloped,
Just as I requested.  Warmoth suggests
giving new necks a fret job but this one
didn't need one.  The workmanship was
I gathered all of my tools together (which consisted of a sorry assortment of screwdrivers files hammers and other stone age implements) and discovered that I lacked the technology to fabricate the guitar of my dreams.  So, I turned to the internet and found a few companies that sold pieces of guitars.  After several minutes of searching, I came to a website where I would submit what I wanted, and they would build me the pieces that I needed.  The website I used was  This used to be "boogie bodies", used by Eddie VanHalen in the making of his Frankenstrat.  It was perfect.  I decided that they would build me a Les Paul shaped body, out of mahogany which was to be chambered (for weight reduction) and routed for 2 hum-buckers and a floyd rose.

The neck was made out of q-sawn maple and indian rosewood for the fingerboard with extra huge frets and fret scalloping between the 12th and 21st frets, finished with a satin laquer.

Pickups, knobs, bridge or neck were not installed yet...
I just couldn't help laying everything wehre it belonged.

Once the guitar chunks were taken care of, the Pickups were the next order of business.  I wanted something that could tear your face off but could be tamed just in case.  So I went online and read reviews, and listened to sound bytes and tested hundreds of guitars with different pickups in them and I found that the only way I could get what I wanted was through super powerful pickups and wiring tricks.  I decided on the DiMarzio X2N for the bridge and the D-Activator X for the neck with series and parallel wiring for the versatility.  I made the orders and waited... Then one lovely day, my guitar pieces came!  The finishing job was exceptional.  I Loved my new guitar and it was still in pieces!
Push Pull pot on the tone knob.
I used door bell wire, which was all I could find

... Then the work began.  I had to lay everything out and start sticking things together.  First, the pickups were installed.  This was a little tricky.  I decided that the series and parallel wiring for the pickups would be accessed by  push/pull guitar potentiometers (pots).  They would sit in the tone position.  The Seymour Duncan website has great wiring diagrams which is what I used for the instillation of my pickups.  With the wiring all done, I bolted on the neck, adjusted the angle, installed tuning keys, and set up the floyd rose.  The appropriate adjustments were made, (like intonation, bridge balance, etc.) installed a jack and some strap buttons and just like that, a monster was born!!

After a little while, I changed the strings and refinished the headstock changing the colour from clear to white.  The result was amazing!  Here it is!

There you go! *warning* before you rush out and build your own, know that its not as easy as slapping things together.  It takes time and you should know what you are doing BEFORE building a guitar like this.  If not, you could waste a bunch of money and have a guitar that has a different scale than the neck purchased  I worked in a guitar custom shop for a while before I decided to go ahead and build one for myself, however there are a few good books out there that you can consult.  Have fun!


  1. That guitar surely is a hotrod! Still want you to build me a kaoss rock machine though!!! ;-)

  2. Thanks Johnny! I have the wiring diagrams for such a beast.

  3. What is it called when I want to have sex with a guitar. Guitarophelia?

  4. I suppose, but be careful eh? My guitars are like my children and if I caught you talking about my daughter in that way...


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