Custom Guitars

Specifications when Ordering

We specialize in Ibanez JEM or Ibanez RG style replacement guitar bodies.

I’m pretty flexible when discussing a custom order on a guitar build. I don’t have any forms or anything. But I do need to build the project. I have a bunch of programs that all work, more or less together.

My basic JEM Style body is HSH pickups, Rear Routed, Grip, and Claw. Like this one. If that is what you need, just let me know. Otherwise, there are options to discuss.

The key things I need to know are:

Will you use a pickguard? - if you will, then specify front routed, like this one.

What neck pocket - AANJ or Square heel (sometimes called “old school neck joint” or OSNJ).

What trem - JEM style with the flutes, or the Square style like an RG.

What pickup configuration - HSH is the most common, but I can do others.

Do you want a grip? (sometimes called a Monkey Grip)

Do you want the volume and tone - I can leave one or both off.

I thought I’d share the process a bit. The first pass is to cut the outline. That is with a .5 inch square bit. Then some of the trem gets routed. I have a program that does the outline, plus a JEM trem, and another with the outline plus the RG trem. Each of those has versions for each pickup configuration. The idea is to cut as much with one program as possible. The first program takes 20 minutes or so. I try to do two side by side for 45 minutes or so.

Then I switch to a .25 square bit. That does more rough cutting on the trem and cuts the little shelf where the posts go. Then the post holes get cut, and the volume and tone holes get cut. The trem holes are neat, the programming uses a bit smaller than the holes and sort of spins around.

For a Sq trem, there is no extra step. For a JEM claw, I switch to a .25 round bit for the final shaping of the flutes. Then there is a quick step for the armrest with a .5 round bit and a 1/16 bit for the switch.

Each step is a manual change of the bit, with a quick step to set the depth. For the longer programs, I’ll either go upstairs and do something else, or do some sanding on another body.

After the CNC work, I use a dremel to round over the edges. Then I use an orbital sander to sand out some of the cutter marks on the edges. I have a spindle sander to get into the grip area and the horns.

So there you go.

  • Chris Mai
  • January 2017