Wood and Parts


Wood and Parts

This is a very brief video on wood and parts for your first guitar –

Wood for your first guitar

In a nutshell I recommend:

  • Rosewood for the fretboard
  • Mahogany for the Neck and Body

I have chosen these because they are easy to work and sound great – for more information on this subject check out the 2 part lecture on wood in my other course – Design Your Own Guitar.

Top Tips:

  • Buy a pre-slotted board if you want to make life easy for yourself!
  • Try to buy ‘ready to work’ neck and body blanks

Parts for your first guitar

If you want to know why I have chosen this particular set of parts go back and look at Design Your Own Guitar where I explain all the options and reasons behind them.

Feel free to customise your parts list -you can use any brand of pickups you like and choose any colour for the bits and bobs – be wary of changing the bridge design as methods of fitting those can differ substantially…

Remember – if you have any q’s please don’t hesitate to ask.

Use the quickstart checklist PDF below to make sure you have all the parts you need – preferably before you start.

Lesson tags: Parts, wood
Back to: Build Your Own Electric Guitar > Preparation


  1. danielmelo99

    Oi Mark
    Hope things are fine over there.

    This might sound weir to you, but it has been very challenging to find in Brazil a neck blank that matches the specs you presented (30″ x 4 ” 2 “).

    The most common ones are 23.5″ x 3.2″ x 0.87”.

    Is there any alternative method I could you on the neck so I could use those smaller blanks ?

    1. mark bailey Post author

      Hi Daniel
      The measurements I give are just a rough guide – for the ‘set neck’ build you can get away with 670mm x 76mm x 40mm but it is good to have a bit extra or you will need to mark out and cut super accurately.

      23.5″ is too short… even for a bolt on neck.

      You would have to ‘scarfe’ the headsotock (join an extra piece on an angle to create the headstock)
      You would also need to stack the heel (add extra pieces at the heel end to make it thick enough)

      This is beyond the scope of the course just now as I am trying to make it easy for folk – I think I may have to create an advanced course just for you!

      You can order neck blanks from me but I’m sure as you are in Brazil that you can find something…as you are making a few guitars – maybe you should consider buying a plank?

      1. danielmelo99

        Thanks Mark !
        Let me research – will keep you posted.

  2. danielmelo99

    Hi Mark
    After processing the wood, a significant crack developed in one end.
    Any ideas on How I can save this body blank ?
    Any options Welcome.


    1. mark bailey Post author

      OK I see the pictures…Ouch,

      A couple of q’s for ya:

      1. Is that one your reclaimed pieces or is it a ‘new’ piece?

      2. When you say it has developed – do you mean it is getting bigger or do you think it was always there and has just become more visible as you cleaned up the surface?

      Don’t worry – There are loads of options depending on whether or not it is still moving…let me know and I’ll give you my best advice.

      Cheers Daniel

  3. danielmelo99

    Let me know If need additional Picture of the crack

  4. danielmelo99


    This is from the large logs I bought last year..
    I seems that the crack for bigger after running the piece throught a large machine plane.

    It was 8 mm thick, and the plan took It to 5 mm.
    Its hard to Tell, but I fell that the crack Will not get bigger- unless It goes to lots of tension.

    As It is out of the range of the bridge I assume there would be litthe pressure.

    I have a mapple cap i can you on top If needed.

    Thanks !

    1. mark bailey Post author

      OK Daniel,

      I think it is probably settled by now –

      Cracks usually start at the end of the board as it loses moisture a lot quicker there.

      One thing you might try in the future is painting the ends of the board after cutting if you will be storing it for any length of time.

      You have three options:

      1. Repair it: Sometimes you can glue up a crack – If you can close the crack with hand pressure then you can glue it up and clamp it…the crack should virtually dissappear if you are lucky:)

      2. Hide it: After repairing if there is any visible sign then you can cover it with a dark colour. You could also use a cap as you suggested but you would still have to do something about the back.

      3. Cut it out: If you bandsaw out the crack you could rejoin the two pieces to make a ‘perfect’ body blank. This is probably what I would do. It looks like you will still have enough for a body and then you won’t have to worry about it anymore…

  5. danielmelo99

    Thanks Mark !

    I am feeling Lucky, Will try #1 … First ..

    Which kind of glue is more suitable for this job ?


    1. mark bailey Post author

      I always use ordinary white wood glue (PVA) for repairs. Titebond is stronger but it leaves a yellow line if there is a gap…good luck!

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