Making Woodstock Rock: a half dozen kits!

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by MoonJelly, May 14, 2018.

  1. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Sorry in advance for the word dump, if you scroll down there is a TL;DR and pics. Soon my bro's V will be done. I was hoping to finish it this last weekend, but I couldn't get access to it in storage (a friend is storing it for me but he was attending a funeral). Moving to Woodstock put a major kink in my workflow, but now that I finally have a dedicated space, I did manage to get a project started for the summer.

    This upcoming project will involve be mentoring 1-2 Boy Scouts who are working on their Eagle project, and anywhere from 2-6 guitars. It all depends on how many kids get signed up, but the scouts and I will be building guitar kits for assembly and finishing. Once they are complete we will donate them to local music schools/departments.

    I am donating the wood and the experience, but local kids are paying for the hardware (about $60 per instrument, which they can split up to 3 ways). The hardware is all imported from overseas but it is stuff I've tested in the past, and know it will be far above the average quality for a 'starter' guitar. Also the sizes are standard enough someone could easily upgrade to nicer tuners or pickups if they so desire. Specs for those who give a rip:

    Pickups: Alnico humbuckers (the ceramic ones I've tried all suck)
    Tuners: Locking type, 3x3 (would've gone 6 lefty but they were 50% more $$)
    Bridge: Hardtail string through, similar to a PRS SE with the heavy zinc baseplate.
    Electronics: full-size Alpha pots and 3-way blade switch
    Frets: Stainless steel jumbo size (2.9 mm)
    Inlay: Copper tubing for side and face dots
    Body: 2 piece basswood, 1 3/4" thick
    Neck: 3 piece laminated cherry
    Scale length: still debating, at least 25"
    Finish: Sealed/primed and waiting for a personal touch

    The kids participating besides the scouts are from a youth group at my local church. The hope is that they learn some practical skills, and it's an exercise in team-building. Also they may gain a sense of community from working for a charitable cause, and some may even be a recipient of one of the guitars, depending what school they attend (and if they are learning to play). If nothing else, it gives them an outlet for creative expression and they don't get in as much trouble!

    So, on the luthiery side, I managed to get a decent deal on 20 board ft. of basswood for up to 6 bodies, and another 12 board ft. of cherry for up to 6 necks. The deal on the cherry was awesome, or I would have gone with maple. The basswood was a makeshift bench this week, but sometime in the next 1-2 weeks I can get my table saw ripping these suckers into 2-3 piece body blanks, and all 3 piece neck blanks. The fretboards will be from my personal stash of either katalox or pau ferro (monterillo is what they sold it to me as, but that's just a regional distinction).

    [​IMG]

    The templates are where I made the most progress, and I'm psyched about where it's going. The body is meant to use less material than my typical builds. I like bigger bodies BC I'm 6'5" and 250 lbs. Usually a superstrat looks a little small in my hands, but these are designed for students who are smaller than me.

    I based the body loosely off a blackmachine, but made it offset and curled the horns inward just slightly. Keeping the body on the narrow side will allow me to get the most out of the wood I have on hand. The headstock is just a really straightforward 3x3 but I'm a fan of the shape it came down to after a few drafts. IMO it's not too aggressive looking, and it ought to appeal to a wide range of players.

    [​IMG]

    I also got started on a flyer to post for the world to see, and by the world I mean my little suburb of Atlanta. I like the idea of it going out to more areas, but for the sake of simplicity I've decided it should be local. If I get a repeat interest next year I may expand it.

    TL;DR I'm likely going to be building up to 6 new guitars this summer (with some help from the Boy Scouts and some kids) and I'm donating them all to charity.
     
    Wolfos likes this.
  2. Wolfos

    Wolfos Guitarded

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    Great idea, it would be awesome to reach out to those with a passion for music but not the funds to buy a guitar.
     
  3. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Thank you, that's my thinking as well. IMO a lot of parents don't support their kids' creative side enough, and sometimes it's up to the community to lend a hand. :hbang:
     
    Bobro likes this.
  4. Omzig

    Omzig SS.org Regular

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    A Noble act hope it goes well for you :)
     
  5. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Thanks! There are a lot of things that could make it fall through, but my plan is if I don't have enough participation, I'll just scale down the number of builds. Hoping for at least 2 with the help I'll get from my Scouts.
     

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