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I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:41 am
by guitarslim101
It's been a while since I've actually built something, and I've been really wanting an old Harmony H-44 Stratotone, but I just can't bring myself to pay the going rate for one. So I think I'll give one a shot. The originals were neck-thru, which I've attempted before with less than ideal success, but I know what I did wrong, so this should go better. I've got some mahogany sitting around that should be suitable, and I have a GFS P-90 looking for a home.

Here's a picture of what I'm going for:
Image

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:47 pm
by rustyslide
It looks like it's got a tumour on the upper bout.

But otherwise seems like a neat project.

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:05 pm
by ricochet
They were trying to suggest a Les Paul shape while making sure they didn't get sued by Gibson, looks like.

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:13 pm
by birddog
Cool, fire up the router.
Post lots of pictures. :mrgreen:

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:39 pm
by zhyla
Those H44's can be surprisingly pricy, no? The sad thing is ~5 years ago nobody knew what they were and you could pick em up for $200. There are some reissues now, but I think those are pricy too.

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:22 am
by texas blues
Why bother...just go and buy a LP Jr.

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:59 am
by guitarslim101
texas blues wrote:Why bother...just go and buy a LP Jr.


I'd much rather build a guitar so I can get everything just the way I want it. And building a guitar is an incredibly therapeutic thing for me, and I need the stress relief right now.

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:29 am
by guitarslim101
zhyla wrote:Those H44's can be surprisingly pricy, no? The sad thing is ~5 years ago nobody knew what they were and you could pick em up for $200. There are some reissues now, but I think those are pricy too.


Oh yeah, I've seen them go for over $2000. Now they seem to be hanging around the $800 to $1200 range, depending on the condition, but that's still more than I want to pay for this particular guitar. The reissues are around $400 new, I think, which is much more reasonable.

Building my own will just be so much more fun, though. Plus I'm working 30 hours a week at a music store with a boss who's more than willing to let me work on my own projects. May as well take advantage of that, yeah?

And I'm in luck, I wasn't sure how I was going to do the copper finish, but I just saw that reranch sells rattle cans of metallic copper lacquer. Excellent. Now I just have to see if I can track down one of the original pickups for a decent price. If not, the P90 will work just fine.

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:29 pm
by rustyslide
Why not put the P-90 in the bridge position and get one of the originals for the neck? A three way switch and you'd be all set.

What's the switch on the original do? change the cap on the tone pot?

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:23 pm
by guitarslim101
It just bypasses the tone pot altogether, I think.

I may put both in, but I like the simplicity of a single pickup. We'll see, though. I doubt I'll even be able to find one of the old pickups for a price I'm willing to pay.

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:58 am
by guitarslim101
Alright, I found a nice chunk of Walnut that I may use. I could carve the whole guitar out of it, too, which would be kind of nice and is how the old H42 Stratotones were constructed, and it looks like it has some nice grain to it so it could just get a natural finish. I'm going to sketch the shape out on it tomorrow and see what I think. If I don't dig it, I'll find some mahogany.

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:38 pm
by Buffalo_Bill
Everybody has their quest, but I'm not sure why you would like that simple bridge?
Of course some of the components will be hard to duplicate: knobs, bridge, headstock graphics, tailpiece and pickup.
How close of a replica are you hoping for? And I'd like to see how you carve a nice rounded neck, so please post some photos.
Best of luck! :D
Bill

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:41 am
by guitarslim101
I don't think I'm going to go with the original bridge. I'm probably going to put a string-thru-body tailpiece/bridge on it. Maybe a three-saddle tele bridge with the pickup-mounting bit cut off. Though I do like the look of the trapeze tailpiece, so maybe I'll stick with that and throw on some sort of other adjustable bridge. I'm not looking to make a perfect replica, just something in the ballpark. There will be a lot of differences between mine and the original. I just like the small body, full length neck appearance of the original, and building a guitar is always fun. I'm really just looking to make something that feels right, sounds right, and relieves some stress in the process.

I sketched the body out today, playing an elaborate game of connect-the-dots and harkening back to my high school physics class to use a scale picture to get body dimensions. I think the chunk I have will work. I need to run the wood through the planer before I commit, but if I do, I'll post lots of pictures of the entire process.

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:50 am
by Kuvash
If you go to the Ritchie Valens web site...they are manufacturing these again...saw them a few months ago...even in green...can't remember the price but is was not bad... considerably less than msrp.

Kuvash

Re: I feel like building another guitar

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:40 pm
by Buffalo_Bill
Kuvash wrote:If you go to the Ritchie Valens web site...they are manufacturing these again...saw them a few months ago...even in green...can't remember the price but is was not bad... considerably less than msrp.

Kuvash

http://www.ritchievalens.com/originalr/ ... 53f69ce936