AS-Level Coursework

Product Design at Waingels College

Telecaster Style Neck-Through Guitar

Whilst sitting my AS-Levels for the first time, I did product design as an option. For my final piece of coursework, I chose to make a guitar - from scratch. 

Unfortunately, a lot of the documentation was lost in a computer backup, but most of the pictures and a few documents still remain. 

The documentation was fairly comprehensive but was lacking in detail and structure. This project was completed back in 2016 and since then I have learnt so much about how to design, create, present and document projects, but it is important to show where you have come from, and either way, I am still proud of this guitar and what I created. It still hangs on my wall today! 

Design Specification

The design of the guitar was whatever I chose it to be, so I chose to be ambitious and wild. I'd not built a guitar before this but had some woodworking experience. 

My specification was a Telecaster body shape, or T-Style guitar, as I really wanted a telecaster and love the shape of them. They just feel really comfortable to play and natural to hold. As this was my own guitar, I added extra cut outs and recesses to aid playability of higher frets and comfort. 

The real kicker that I probably shouldn't have done on my first guitar build was the neck-through construction of the body and neck. This is where the neck and body share one piece of wood. This aids the sustain, playability and aesthetics of the guitar, but is very hard to build and construct. The conventional way to build a guitar is to build the neck and body separately, then glue or bolt them together. This allows for more access when shaping the body, more forgiveness and adjustability with mistakes and is just generally easier to build. With a neck-through its hard to shape the body and neck, hard to do fret work, hard to align, hard to paint and hard to cut the headstock.

Apart from that, the specification is pretty standard. 6 strings, Telecaster bridge, 1 volume, 1 tone, 1 pickup switch, 2 pickups and a standard 25.5" scale length.

7.manufacture stages.docx

Above is the only proper documentation I have from the project, and below are some pictures of the guitar and the build process.