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How to Build an Explorer Guitar
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Smile How to Build an Explorer Guitar - 01-28-2013, 04:17 AM

Building an ]Explorer guitar is no different than building any other electric guitar. The term "Explorer" simply refers to the body style. All guitars start out the same--as a square or rectangular piece of wood. From here they can go in any direction, they can be partially hollow or completely solid like the Explorer. Guitar building in its essence is a work of art. The precision these instruments require is unparalleled in the world of woodworking. Study and practice, and with enough persistence you can build an Explorer.


Lay the pre-built neck out on the slab of wood in the center so that the 18th fret is even and squared with the top of the slab using your framing square. Draw around the neck pocket, set the neck aside. Continue the lines all the way down through the body to the end of the slab. Now draw the Explorer design on the slab with a pencil using the lines for reference.

Place the neck pickup between the lines squaring it 1/4 inch from the bottom of where the neck pocket terminates. Place the bridge pickup 2 1/2 inches below the first pickup and square it. Draw around both pickups. Place the volume control pot 1 inch behind the bridge pickup 2 1/2 down and mark it. Place the input jack 2 inches behind the volume control pot toward the bottom of the slab, and mark the center using the wires on the pickups to align the locations so that the wires all come together. Drill the volume control mark with a 1/4 inch bit all the way through, and drill the input jack mark with a 1/2 inch bit all the way through the body.

Turn over the slab and draw a 2 x 5 inch oval centering the holes for the volume and input jacks on the back. Using the router with the 1/2 inch cutter, route out the neck pocket 3/4 inch deep and the pickup pockets 1 inch deep. Turn over the slab and route out the 2 x 5 inch oval 1 inch deep. Using a 6 x 1/4 inch drill bit, and using the neck pocket for access, drill through the bottom of the neck pocket through both pickup pockets for the wires. Turn the slab over and drill the hole for the volume pot and the input jack so that all the wires can connect.

Cut out the Explorer shape on the band saw and sand it. Screw the neck onto the guitar inside the neck pocket from the back using four wood screws 1 1/2 inches long. Lay your tailpiece on the guitar 8 1/2 inches below where the neck stops. Mark the location of the bushings on the tailpiece and then drill them with a 3/8 inch bit 1 inch deep. Lay your bridge 1 1/2 inches up from the tailpiece between the bridge pickup. Mark the screw locations, set the bridge aside and drill two 1/8 inch holes 1 inch deep.

Finish sanding the guitar, stain and lacquer it. Install the pickups, the volume and output jacks, and wire them together. Now install the bridge and tailpiece. Trace around the oval in the back, cut a piece of 1/16 inch plastic laminate to fit and screw that on. String it up and tune it.


Last edited by MrSandMan; 03-14-2014 at 02:19 PM.. Reason: removed spam links
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