Building two headless 8-string guitars (pic heavy..)

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by j3ps3, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    I'm gonna start up by telling a little bit about myself and my builds. I'm currently studying guitar building at the only lutherie school here in Finland and as my thesis I've decided to build two 8-string guitars. It's a 2 year school and so far I've done four instruments, which I'll include pictures of here too, as most of us enjoy the pr0n.

    The first guitar which I (ever) built, was a Telecaster with a few modifications and I think it took me about three months to finish. It has alder body with maple neck (carbon fibre reinforcements, 25,5" scale) and ebony fretboard. The body and neck is finished with oil. Never included a neck pickup, but routed room for one anyway.

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    As my second build I wanted to make something special for myself. I liked the idea of Wes Borland using a 4-string guitar tuned to F#-F#-B-E, because when I try to write with an 8-string, for example, it's fairly slow process because of all the different options with octaves. I find myself trying multiple different solutions, which isn't a bad thing, but it's slower. With an 4-string there isn't that much range so you'll just have to rely on the right notes. So it kinda simplifies things for me when writing, if that makes sense. This one has alder body with maple neck (carbon fibre here too. I've used it with all my builds) and pao ferro fretboard. The scale is 30" long and the bridge is some cigar box guitar bridge which I ordered from China :D

    As my third build I made a PRS copy, which I'm not very inspired by, so I haven't finished it. It only needs a few coats of oil but for now I've concentrated on different builds. Those were the ones I finished on my first year of the school. I made another 4-string at the start of my second year but have no pictures of it. I included a neck pickup on it and it has an ebony fretboard, but everything else is the same.

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    After the second 4-string I've been building a 5-string bass with alder body, headless maple neck, 34-37" scale. I really like how the Dingwalls sound so the specs are pretty much the same with the Combustion model. I'm currently waiting a Floyd Rose type nut to be made for it, so I haven't been able to continue it.

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    And now for the main purpose of this thread. As my thesis I decided to design my own custom model 8-string guitar. I have a Strandberg Boden 8 as my main 8-string and my aim is to make something that will replace it. First I intended to do only one but I had some alder left, so I decided to make two with a little different specs.

    The first one, that I'm currently making will have an alder body with a maple top. The blank of alder I had for the body was a tad thin so I had to add the top to it. 5-piece bolt-on maple neck with wenge stripes and a maple fretboard. This one's gonna have two extra frets for the two lowest strings and an integrated capo system for the 2nd fret. With the capo the scale is 26,5-28" and without it the scale of the lowest string is 31.4". I made it bolt-on so that if I don't like the hybrid baritone thing, I can just make a new neck for it.

    The second one is gonna have an swamp ash body, 5-piece maple neck with mahogany stripes and an ebony fretboard. Scale length is gonna be 26,5-28".

    And now for some more pics:

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    Neck blanks glued and bodies roughly cut in shape for both of them

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    I tilted the center line a little so that the neck will sit more comfortable while playing sitting down.

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    As hardware I'm going to use golden T4M bridge and nut pieces for both of them.

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    Body for the first one almost finished. Final sanding and filling it with epoxy before finish. Also installed the neck pickup cavity little of so needed to add a little piece of alder to fix it. Gonna paint this one black so no problem with that. Also added white binding to the body.

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    And with the neck. As it's a fairly modern looking instrument I figured i'd go for something little more classic looking as a finish. So it's gonna get a pickguard and a black finish that was inspired by the legendary Stratocaster David Gilmour uses. As pickups I'm gonna go with a pair of EMG 808's as I had them laying around.

    And no, it's not blood. I ordered some stains and one of the bottles was open so of course it ended up on the top :D

    My intention is to keep on updating this thread as I build these. If you have any questions, just ask :)
     
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  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire git gud scrub

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    very interesting shape, kind of like a superstrat mixed with an ovation breadwinner or klein canton.
     
  3. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    holy hell the body shape on the 8s looks brilliant. I would love to slay that!
     
  4. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    Really love the four string. I plan to do the same thing, because of WBs Cremona customs.
     
  5. Knarbens

    Knarbens Montag Custom Guitars

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    Nice design! Very unique.
     
  6. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    Not much progress to take pics of. I realized I made the neck too wide from the nut but managed to fix it. Also filled the body with epoxy before adding base lacquer (is that even the right term? :D) to it. First coat of lacquer on the fretboard, too.

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    Also made a refinish to this Telecaster today. Stained by hand and finished with oil.
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  7. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    Today I routed the trussrod channel and slots for the carbon fibres. Also shaped the fretboard and drilled holes for the inlays. I'm gonna go with blue LEDs so that's why they are drilled all the way through

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  8. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    Yesterday I added the LEDs to the fretboard. Looking good, I think :)

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  9. mike1033

    mike1033 SS.org Regular

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    ^^Yes!! Awesome!
     
  10. Joan Maal

    Joan Maal SS.org Regular

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    I think that your headless guitar design is near perfection. Looks gorgeous

    Nice job!!
     
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  11. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    Been busy with other things but finally some progress.

    The bass and hybrid baritone now have color on them. I really like how the bass turned out.

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    I chipped a big chunk of wood from the neck with the LEDs so I ended up making another one. This time I used walnut with maple stripes. Also reinforced with carbon fibre.

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    Adding some binding. Also glued a piece of walnut at the end of the body.

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    As a finish for this one I'm thinking of doing something like this. Blue over black and sanded off so that you can see the grains clearly.

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    Back is grain filled and left like this:
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    As for now it looks like this. Next monday I'm hopefully able to put some frets on the neck.

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  12. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    Almost there!

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  13. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    I love that body shape. It looks really comfortable.
     
  14. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    dayumn,.,,

    This looks incredible!
     
  15. Bobro

    Bobro SS.org Regular

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    Awesome!
     
  16. WiseSplinter

    WiseSplinter SS.org Regular

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    Very cool design. Reminds me a bit of Rick Toone's stuff.
     
  17. Grand Rabbit

    Grand Rabbit SS.org Regular

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    Looks amazing! Are you using mera hardware for the bridge and headpieces?
     
  18. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    I'm using T4M hardware
     
  19. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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  20. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    Almost there! Gotta work on the frets a little but other than that the first one is pretty much done.

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