The wood for Brian May's Red Special
Neck including headstock
The neck of any guitar MUST be a hardwood, ideally either mahogany or oak. The grain should be as straight as possible, and must be dried and seasoned, to avoid warping. Luckily my girlgriend's dad found an excellent piece of mahogany that had been in his garage for decades. Coincidentally this wood used to be part of an old fireplace!!! But you should be able to get a good piece of mahogany from your local wood merchant.
The fretboard of any guitar MUST be a very hardwood, ideally either ebony or indian rosewood. As we all know we must have a 24(25) fret 24" scale fretboard, which is not very common, and not in demand. Therefore it is very difficult to find anywhere commercially that you can purchase a ready made fretboard that meets our requirements. There are other alternatives that you can explore, such as contacting a custom guitar builder, but in the end I bought my own unfretted, unprofiled fretboard from a company in the US called StewMac.
There can be a couple of methods in creating the body that may require two or three different types of wood. In my design I have followed existing peoples designs, and experiences, and chosen the method that requires three types of wood. The main piece of wood is oak. This is the centre of the main body. The second type is blockboard*. This must be the size of both 'sides' of the main body, DOUBLED. It has to be doubled because you are going to join the two together, on top of each other. The third type of wood required is mahogany veneer. This is required for the top, bottom, and sides of the main body. The blockboard* should be easily accessible from your local wood merchant, however you may need a more specialised wood merchant to get the correct veneer needed for this project. I found a company called MCB Supplies that could supply me with the correct veneer.
* Other names: lumbercore plywood
Page updated: Wednesday, December 5th 2007, 8:58 pm