Mad Cat Electric Guitar Build

Im planning on starting an electric guitar build.

Ive always wanted a Telecaster style guitar. In my opinion the coolest ‘Tele’ ever was the Honer Madcat which was Princes favourite guitar.

I was always a sucker for the flamed maple :slight_smile: Im going to attempt making a Madcat inspired guitar for my self.

Ive sourced all of the wood and bits and pieces.

Ive also made a start on making the router templates on the laser cutter.

Im hoping to make a start on the neck. This will involve cutting the wood to the right thickness and rough shape. I was then hoping to use the router table and my template to cut the profile of the neck before finishing the shaping by hand.

Ive currently just done the basic woodworking induction but Im thinking some of the jobs will involve using the machines Ive not been inducted on.

Would any of the @woodtechs be available at some point to discuss the best way forward with this project :slight_smile:


Router templates? :joy:



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Hey @asander1 Im definitely going to work up to making guitars on the CNC.

This build Im just going to do the old fashioned way and hopefully refresh my wood working skills :slight_smile:

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Sounds good! Edit… you’re already on the mini cnc - good stuff!

Hi Francis,

Good to know, I’m a TELEMAD person my self

Let me briefly introduce my self. I just sign up anyway, I make valve amps and some electric guitars

Contact me if you need anything

Hey @MNU, welcome to SLMS :tada:

Thats cool, Ive always fancied making a valve amp, maybe a champ or something.

I have an old WEM Dominator 25 which sounds great although its pretty old and noisy. I keep meaning to go over it an see if I can sort it out.

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Just a little update on this project.

I’ve been making some progress on the neck, here are a few picks of the process.

Howard helped me cut the neck blank down to thickness. I then used the Lazer cutter to mark out the outline and fret positions on the blank. I then roughly cut the outline of neck using a jigsaw.

I then used my router template/router to tidy up the outline and routed a channel for the truss rod.

Then glued in a strip of wallnut on top of the truss rod to make a “skunk strip”.

Then I cut the fret slots using the Lazer etching to start the slots, this works really well!

I put in the fret dots, and cut the head stock to thickness. The madcat has a tear drop shaped walnut flourish on the headstock so I made a round wallnut rod and glued it into the headstock at roughly the right spot.

I forgot to take photos of the carving process, which was basically a cases of marking and rasping out facets along the length of the next to get the back of the neck profile, and then blending the heal and head stock using a rasp/sandpaper. The fretboard was shaped using a radiused sanding block.

Here are a few picks of the results😁

Next I re cut the fret slots to depth and hammered in some precut frets then cut and filed the ends

I’m just going through the finishing process ATM, I’ll post an update when I’m done


Overly documented electric guitar please!


Ive been making some progress on the body and its looking good, Ill post some pictures soon.

In the mean time here is the ‘finished’ neck. I stained the neck amber with water based stain and then used a brush to apply some water based polyurethane top coat.

I then level sanded the finish with some high grit sandpaper and buffed with a cloth buffing wheel in my drill/driver.


That looks absolutely stunning!!!

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Heres an update on the project, Ive been making progress on the body.

The body is a fairly complicated sandwich of different woods, an ash core with flamed maple top and bottom and a strip of wallnut through the centre.

Thanks @msparker for helping me get the various bits cut to size on the planer.

The ash was the ‘heavy’ kind of ash so I routed out some ‘chambers’ into it before gluing up to reduce weight.

I then glued the two sides of the body together (maple-ash-maple), then glued the two sides together with the walnut in the middle.

Despite my best efforts with the jointing plane the glued up body wasnt completely flat, so I went at the top and bottom surfaces with the jointing plane and surprisingly they came out pretty nicely.

I then used the pillar drill/handsaw to roughly cut out the outline of the body.

Then tidied it up with a trim router and template.

Then cut out the cavities for the electronics

I then used a rebate bit to route a rebate for the binding and glued the binding on.

I then used a card scraper to get the binding perfectly flush.

Ive never really realised what a great tool the card scraper is, it fills a gap between planing and sanding. I dont think there would be a better tool for working on this binding.

I drilled out all the various holes for the wiring and sanded everything for finishing. Im feeling pretty pleased with the results :tada:

Im currently battling with getting the finish right, and the last piece in the puzzle is to cut the various acrylic scratch plates. Then its just a case of screwing it all together :tada:


All looking very nice.
Don’t throw away the templates.
The finish looks nice.
What brand of water based polyurethane did you use?

I’m using crystal lac bright tone, I had a pot from a previous project

I’ve been having a problem where the finish is dissolving the water based dye out of the wood and leaving ugly splodges and spreading the dye onto the undyed bits.

I’m thinking if I was spraying the finish it wouldn’t be a problem.

In the short term I got some aerosol cellulose sanding sealer to seal the dye in before brushing the poly over the top. Looks like it might have solved the problem.

If anyone has any wisdom around this aspect of finishing I would be super interested in hearing about it😁

Maybe do a test with paraloid b72. It’s used by conservators for fixing/sealing, including e,g, delicate paint on wood panels. It’s clear, and can then coat over that if needed - but might not be. Probably dissolve in 80% acetone for a protective coating.

Oil based sealer is a good way to solve the problem. However, compatibility between finishes is something which doesn’t always accord with what one imagines. It’s always best to test or check with the manufacturer.
It’s too late now but, using oil or spirit stain beneath water based finishes largely solves the issue. Or of course you could use oil based finish over water stain.

How is the fit of the neck and pocket?

Interesting, I’m guessing I would need to spray that as well, ie the water based stain would probably dissolve in the acetone and get mushed around if you were brushing/rubbing it on?

If I had a spray gun I think I could just spray a thin coat of watered down top coat which would be ideal I guess for compatibility reasons.

Maybe this then - paraloid b72 in a spray can - used as fixative for things like that.

When you say oil based sealer do you mean an oil like linseed or a varnish type of thing, can you recommend a particular product?

Same with the oil based dye, can you recommend a product that has a good variety of colours?

The neck pocket is nice an snug thankyou😁

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