I really love guitars, both electric and acoustic. I am not a pro, but certainly I can appreciate well designed instrument, that creates good tone and can be played with ease. That is why I get an idea to create carved electric guitar body. I was thinking of two body types, both having “strong position” on the market. From Stratocaster and Telecaster I’ve chosen the second one. I’ve never had Tele in my private collection and I consider I should have one because of it’s classic, yet fantastic, simple shape 😀
Fender Telecaster blueprint. It will give me an idea how to place the project on a guitar body.
Type of wood.
Choosing wood might be the hardest part of that project. In my opinion (yeah, I know, you might not agree, but it is my point of view) wood type has very marginal influence on how electric guitar sounds. 99% of sound are pickups, and then how the guitar is set (action, tuning keys, bridge and finally – the type of strings). This is how the sound is generated and I will stick to that, without that “this wood gives more this and that”. This is not an acoustic guitar. However – wood type will determine how easy it will be to carve it and what visual effects we will achieve. And we are aiming very high!
As I’ve found few types of wood available, I will briefly describe them.
Basswod, as you should know from our previous projects, would be the easiest way. Soft wood, easy to work with, but there will be no wood drawing on it. We have to consider what type of finish we choose, but basswood may be the safest option.
Paulownia is something new to me. I’ve never heard of electric guitar made of it, but as Wikipedia describes: “It is also becoming more popular in the building of electric guitars, due to its affordability, availability, tone and looks. Paulownia was recently used in the making of a Brad Paisley Fender Telecaster guitar.” I will consider that type of wood, but it is very hard to find that classic shape with single neck pickup made of this wood.
Ash on the other hand would be kind of hard wood, but with the looks I like. You can really find interesting piece, with astonishing wood drawing that will suit this project. On the other hand it may be very hard to carve some elements in it. I have to consult it all with Weronika.
Guitar components to work with.
I can stick to body only, but there is a huge chance, that it will be very hard to match it to the neck and set the guitar properly. Once the body is finished it might be very hard to correct some things, like the place where neck is screwed to the body. Bridge position/placement may also be some challenge.
I have some guitar setting knowledge, so the safest way would be to buy both neck and body, as well as some cheap hardware to set the guitar properly before it will be carved. Hardware can easily be replaced with better one. Once the guitar is set in pre-carving state it should maintain it (if bridge area is not carved).
Project itself. Carved electric guitar.
It will be something big. With lot of work regarding not only carving, but preparation itself. It is an instrument, action must be set right, so it will be comfortable to play. All hardware pieces must be placed correctly. Carving and then finishing would be difficult as well. I have few ideas what to place on the body, but give me some more time to think about it. You won’t be disappointed 😀