Thursday, 19 April 2018

The Piglet guitar build project, part 3

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Just a very quick update this time. Here's the Piglet body all glued and clamped up on the bench and with a couple of heavy weights on top for good measure. Going to leave it for 24 hours before unclamping.

G L Wilson

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Monday, 16 April 2018

The Piglet guitar build project, part 2

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Work has resumed on the piglet guitar. Today there was a lot of measuring, re-measuring, checking and double checking as we had to ascertain the precise positions for the bridge and the pickup so they would align properly with the strings on the neck.

Initially we cut a precise humbucker-shaped hole into the plywood top of the guitar thinking that it could be top loaded. Then it occurred to us that we wouldn't physically be able to get the pickup into the guitar unless the hole was made a good deal larger  and included cutouts to allow for the lugs for the height adjustment screws and springs. We decided to use a pickup surround but unfortunately the nice chrome flat surrounds I'd bought on eBay were too narrow for the humbucker (maybe they were meant for mini-humbuckers?) so we had to make do with making a surround cur out from the Strat-style pickguard from which our donor pickup had originally come, and set to work on it with the jigsaw.

We also drilled a hole through to the pickup cavity from the area upon which the bridge will be sited so that we can earth the bridge with a grounding wire.

We had much discussion about whether we should cut out the various pieces of timber making up the body before or after it was all glued together. We ended up by cutting out the plywood top of the guitar on its own, then sanding all the edges to the desired shape, from which to use as a template to mark out the rest of the body timber. The reason for cutting out the top separately was to avoid tearing the edges of the ply. Cutting it on its own meant we could use a finer blade and get a more accurate cut without ripping. To get around some of those corners in the body shape (e.g the areas around the ears and the feet) we drilled holes where the jigsaw would need to change direction.

We didn't get as far as gluing the body as we needed to get hold of some more clamps first, so that'll have to wait until another day. After gluing and clamping we will cut out the rest of the body, then will get to work sanding the edges.


The above photo shows my original paper template for the body, which should give some idea of the design.

G L Wilson

© 2018, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

The Piglet guitar build project, part 1

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This is a guitar I'm building for the singer in the band I currently play bass in, Red & The Hogweeds. When Red had said he would like a hog-shaped guitar, I knocked up a design in PhotoShop. My first inclination was to ask a factory in China if they could build a one-off using my design, so I approached a factory that I'd seen recommended on the net. But on receiving their reply of, "No, we can't do that, but we have lots of other designs..." (but I want THIS design! I mean what kind of consolation is that?), I decided, sod it, I'll build it myself.

I'm not a luthier by any means, although I have put together several Frankenstein guitars and I have built a six-string cigar box style guitar that does actually play quite well (I've even recorded with it). I've designed this piglet guitar so that it should be easy to put together with just the bare minimum of power tools. All we're using is a jigsaw and a router, other than that it's hand tools. I say "we", by the way, because I've drafted in Hogweeds guitarist Gunner to help out.

The body is formed by 4 pieces of poplar (a.k.a. tulipwood) - two wings, and a centre section made up of a front and a rear piece of wood. This allows us to make an easy neck pocket simply by jigsawing the front piece of wood, then when it is glued to the rear piece the pocket is formed. Finally the timber will be sandwiched between two pieces of plywood for the front and back. It's all going to be painted piggy pink anyway, so I didn't see the need for anything posher.

Yes, I'm cheating with the neck and am using one I've bought in specially. I make no apologies for this.

Because it is such a big body, I've included several cavities - or "tone chambers" if you prefer - and these should keep the weight down. The cavities are rather crudely cut out; I will tidy them up a bit but won't worry about this too much as they are going to be hidden away inside the guitar and not seen. We're also hoping to put LEDs into the pig's eyes, so these and the battery will be housed in the large chamber you can see to the left of the design.

I'll post more photos as the build progresses.


G L Wilson

© 2018, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

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