Dragen – Hot Rod


This is my first attempt at making an electric guitar  body from scratch.

I chose the excellent Telecaster shape, knowing that the contouring was going to be all my own.

I sourced some Ash wood and joined five pieces together. I over lapping them and made sure all the grain was working together to keep the total stable.


10022011325Two pieces made the top and three pieces the back. The shape was cut out by jig saw (I now have a bandsaw which makes the job easier and neater).

Before joining back to front I routed channels for wiring. I should have made these twice as big. They proved unnecessarily tight.



The pockets for the neck, pick ups, controls were all routed by hand and eye from the front. The six “through body” holes for the string were very hard to keep straight using a hand drill. (again I now have radial drill with a 240mm throat so now I can drill accurately anywhere on the body).

I shaped all the curves by eye using pencil guidelines again drawn by eye. The tool I used was a hand held belt sander with a course sanding belt. Brutal but OH SO effective. Of course I could not do another “exactly” the same again. But I could get it very close.

I really like the shapes I achieved. I built it up and just looked at it for weeks. Played it. Showed it to friends. After stripping it down I took loads more out of the belly relief in the back. This was in part to reduce the weight as well as make it even more curvy. The guitar is very tactile. It is heavy but then the sustain (which I was aiming for) is awesome.

The neck and fret board was a cheat as I bought it complete. It was a lovely purchase but I wanted it thinner. I like a flat D shaped neck. After measuring all the necks I have I found 21mm was the thinnest. I shaved this neck down to 19mm. I also reshaped the headstock and shaped in my signature scoop on this kind of six inline headstock. For the first time I had a Dragen decal made. The body and neck are all finished with many layers of Nitro Cellulose using spray cans (expensive I am now looking at spray equipment). The body wasn’t buffed but it is nice and shiny.


The Bridge was a find on Ebay. I later installed a Seymour Duncan zebra humbucker. Tuners are Wilkinson. The Alinco Tube pick up is from Axesrus as are 250k pots and 3 way switch. The chrome pick up ring was carefully sourced to match the tube pick up.





This is the Dragen Hot Rod guitar demonstrated by my friend Paul Whitton




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