Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Baritone Body - Project Overview

This is my first project. My task was to build a new body to use w/ a Warmoth baritone neck that I originally had on a MiM Fender Telecaster. The pickups are Mighty Mite p90s, which I can turn on and off w/ push/pull pots. Another push/pull pot allows me to switch the guitar into stereo.

Here are the posts, in chronological order:

Baritone Body

The Most Unsmoothest Cut
Rough Cuts on the Templates
Some Sanding
Neck Pocketing
The Pickups
Further Neck Pocketing
Routing--Stage One
Routing--Stage Two
Routing--Stage Three
Finishing the Templates (Finally)
Routing--Stage Four
Four Holes in the Neck
Neck Holes, Bridge Holes and Jack Holes Too
The Hall of Shame
Stained and Confused
A Less Painful Stain
Staining Update
Stained, Not Cleared.
Harnessing Up - Part One
Force Shields
Harnessing Up - Part Two
I'd Be Finished If I Didn't Screw Everything Up
The Flood and the Fixes
The Un-Baritone Body

Overall, I count the project as a success. Definitely a first attempt but none of the errors I made make it any less fun to play and I'm assuming they have at most a minimum impact on the sound. Nevertheless, here is what I will do differently next time:

  • Make a better template for the neck pocket. Just gotta be a little more patient. I spent plenty of time on this one but I rushed it.
  • Make templates for individual parts--one for the neck pocket, one for the pickup, one for the control cavity, etc.. Goes right along w/ the first one. These things take a long time to build so it will be nice to have ones for, say, p90s that aren't part of the guitar template so I don't have to be ever remaking them.
  • Not use the one step stain and finish. I will spend more time finding the right color of stain. The combo stain/finish was really hard to deal w/ on a guitar while the wipe-on finish applied like a dream.
  • Be more careful w/ the control cavity spacing. Seriously. This one was so tight it makes working on it miserable. I will also probably use thinner hookup wire. The stuff I was using was overkill and made my life even harder. The stuff didn't want to bend into place at all.
And here is what I intend to improve in the future as I find time to make the changes (and since I'm happy w/ how it turned out and thus am willing to sink a little more money in it):

  • Redo wiring to include a pickup selector switch. I will tell you what, those push/pull pots seemed like a nice clean design but they are pretty much impossible to switch on the fly.
  • New pickups. These Tonerider p90s look freakin' rad. I'm pretty excited to get these ones in, actually.
  • Probably shim the edges of the neck pocket just to get a little better stability. (It's not a problem really but it never hurts to try an improvement.)
I will, of course, keep you all updated of my progress.


As you may have seen in the Un-Baritone Body post, I have changed the neck to a cheaper one simply because I thought I could do better. I still may fix it up but as of now, I'm not wasting any money w/ new pickups even though I still really want to try those Toneriders.

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