Build your Own Partscaster
A partscaster is a guitar that is built from parts, typically aftermarket parts that are compatible with Fender-style guitars or basses. Partscasters allow you to customise your instrument to your exact specifications and preferences.
There are several benefits of building a partscaster, depending on your goals and preferences. Some of them are:
- You can 'customise' your guitar to fit your playing style, tone, and aesthetics. You can choose from a variety of parts, such as neck shape, pickups, body wood, fretboard radius, and hardware. You can also mix and match different models and brands of parts to create a unique combination.
- You can 'save money' if you are looking for a high-quality guitar with specific features that are not available in the market or are too expensive. You can also use parts that you already have or find second-hand parts for a lower cost.
You can 'have fun' and 'learn' about guitar building, wiring, setup, and maintenance. Building a partscaster can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience that gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride. It can also help you understand how a guitar works and how to adjust it to your liking.
The difficulty of building a guitar depends on several factors, such as the type of guitar, the method of building (from scratch, from a kit, or from parts), the level of skill and experience of the builder, and the quality and complexity of the desired outcome. In general, building a simple electric guitar is not particularly hard, but it is complex and requires a few, very different skills and quite a few tools. Building a high-end guitar however, is very hard and will require a high level of skill in more than one area.
Building a guitar from scratch is the hardest and most time-consuming method, as it requires sourcing all the materials, cutting and shaping them to the desired specifications, assembling and wiring all the parts, finishing and painting the body and neck, setting up the action and intonation, etc. This can take months or even years to complete.
Building a guitar from a kit is the easiest method, as it provides all the parts needed to assemble a guitar, with some of them already pre-made or pre-fitted. The main tasks involved are finishing the body and neck (if not already done), soldering the electronics (if not already done), attaching the hardware and strings, and adjusting the setup. This can take a few hours to a weekend to complete.
Building a guitar from parts is somewhere in between the previous two methods, as it allows more customisation and flexibility in choosing the components, but also requires more skill and knowledge in fitting them together. The main tasks involved are selecting and ordering the parts that are compatible with each other, drilling holes and routing cavities for the hardware and electronics (if not already done), soldering the electronics (if not already done), attaching the hardware and strings, and adjusting the setup. This can take a few days to a few weeks to complete. This is however probably the most satisfying way to build your own guitar as it will be totally unique to you.
'Rat Bait Guitars is a company based in Devon, UK, that makes hand-built guitars from recycled materials, such as salvaged wood, furniture, fence posts, etc. They also sell guitar parts, both new and used, that are tested for quality and functionality. They have an online shop where you can browse their products and order them via PayPal. They offer free UK shipping and international shipping on request.'