How to Build a BC Rich-Style Guitar

Written by christian mullen
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How to Build a BC Rich-Style Guitar
The BC Rich Mockingbird is a good place to start when designing your own BC Rich-inspired custom. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

BC Rich guitars are known for their unique qualities and are used mostly by metal guitarists in order for them to stand out from the crowd. You can use ideas from existing models manufactured by BC Rich to make your own custom guitar in that style. Once you have completed your BC Rich-inspired guitar, you can add personal touches such as speciality pickups or paint. To make it even more original, stain the guitar in a colour not offered by the company.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Body blank
  • Vertical band saw or jigsaw
  • Orbital sander
  • Router
  • Control cavity cover
  • Drill
  • Paint or stain
  • Cloth
  • Screwdriver
  • Guitar neck
  • Bridge
  • Pickups
  • Tone and volume pots
  • Knobs
  • Guitar strings

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  1. 1

    Use a pencil to draw the design of your BC Rich-style guitar directly onto the body blank. Start with one of BC Rich's more popular designs --- such as the Warlock or Mockingbird --- and add your own unique touches. Make sure the design you choose is balanced and will sit properly when strapped on or sitting down while practicing.

  2. 2

    Rough cut the body using a vertical band saw or a jigsaw. Cut just outside of the lines you made with the pencil to preserve enough wood for finishing. Use an orbital sander to bring the guitar body to its finished dimensions, and create any bevelled edges or contours you would like using the sander. BC Rich guitars do not have front or back contours, so you may choose to leave the body flat.

  3. 3

    Rout the cavities for the neck and the pickups. Choose your pickup configuration, and use the template that comes with the pickup. Draw the pickup shape, making sure that the bridge location, neck pocket and pickups line up properly. For the neck pocket, place the neck on the body where it will be and trace around the neck heel with a pencil. Route the neck pocket, staying about one-eighth of an inch away, and finish the neck pocket with a rasp file or sandpaper so that the neck fits snugly.

  4. 4

    Rout a control cavity on the back side of the body where the controls are located on the front. This allows you to hold a preamp and all of the electronic components for the volume, active EQ or tone controls. Place the control cavity plate on the location and trace around it. Rout with the line to create the control cavity. Drill the holes you will need for the tone, volume or active EQ pots at this point as well.

  5. 5

    Paint or stain the body once all of the drill and routing has been completed. Use stain or have the body professionally painted, and allow some time for the paint or stain to dry. Apply the stain with a cloth to prevent the appearance of brush strokes. Remove the excess stain with a clean cloth.

  6. 6

    Assemble the guitar by screwing in the bridge, pickups and neck into the neck pocket. Feed the pickup wires into the control cavity and connect to the electronics of the guitar. Slip the knobs in their respective holes, and screw the washers on the posts on the front of the guitar. Press the knobs onto the pots as well. String up the guitar and tune it. Plug the guitar into an amp, and turn up the volume to check the pickups.

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