Hello all, hope you are all having a fantastic July so far!
I was doing my best to think up some content for another blog post and whilst brainstorming someone asked me a question which was 'what was it like building your first guitar?'. My mind suddenly darted back to my first ever built DIY Guitar and here is its story:
I built my first DIY Guitar Kit back in the early days of 2012. Afterwards I made the decision that building a guitar was something that I wanted to allow other people to do too and one thing lead to another and finally Blackbeard's Den was born (-;
The shape we worked on and finalised was the ever popular Les Paul shape. This specific one had a basswood body with a flamed maple top. The frets were rosewood and neck also basswood. We left the headstock as a paddle so that we could shape it as we wished. We finally gave this exact model the name 'EG LP 20s' which is a set-neck guitar and subsequently a little more difficult to build than a bolt-on (more info here).
We were absolutely amazed with the quality of the final product and could not wait to get started on the paint job. Because it was our very first ever build we decided to have it custom airbrushed. Over a few cups of coffee Leonard from Custom Studio & I brainstormed what we would like to be airbrushed. We scanned through page after page of Google search results and finally decided on a photo of Jimmy Page in his younger days, smoking a cigarette with sheet music behind him. It was decided!
Leonard from did a fantastic job with the airbrushing and the detail was out of this world. Still to this day I am unable to understand how someone is able apply as much detail to a free-hand portrait using only an airbrush. The only time a ruler was used was to make sure the lines for the sheet music were perfectly straight. Once the artwork was complete it was time for the assembly (-;
Because this particular model was a Set-Neck guitar it was required for me to drill the bridge and tailpiece holes. Bolt-On neck guitars already have these holes pre-drilled. At that time I was in between houses and had no idea where my electric drill was so I resorted to using the assistance of a joinery. They had a massive press drill which made the procedure much easier and less daunting. I had measured the exact distance needed after glueing the neck to the body.
Once the neck was glued in and the bridge and tailpiece holes drilled it was time to bring out the hammer and screw drivers (-;
We started knocking in the bridge and tailpiece holes, screwed in the tuning pegs, fed the wires from the pickups and selector switch to the cavity. We screwed in the strap studs, and input jack input, connected some wire, made a few adjustments on the bridge heights and then connected it to an amp and strummed a couple cords.
Its amazing how much you can learn about an instrument by building it yourself. You realise why and how it does what it does. How the position of the selector switch impacts which pickup is being used, how the height of the strings and the action is a preference and you can decide what your preference actually is. You make an instrument that is truly unique and your own. No mass produced brand name attached to it, a 100% unique instrument that you can be sure is not duplicated anywhere else in the world.
Since The Jimmy Page I have assembled countless guitars and I enjoy it every single time! Each one has its own set of challenges to overcome but the thrill of plugging it in and hearing it make a noise for the first time is a feeling that never fades or gets old!
Plenty more to come (-; I thought i'd share. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions about any of our products.