Warmoth Assembly for a Novice - Advice Needed..

Chuck Kirkpatrick

New member
I want to do the Warmoth thing, but my worst fear is that it won't go together right or play well.  There are no luthiers here that I can afford - or trust - to do it.  What are the chances that I'll bolt the neck on, attach the bridge, and it'll play perfectly?  I hear that Warmoth necks always need fret dressing before they're right.  Any truth to this?  Will Warmoth do the assembly and basic set-up?  I can do the wiring and PUP install...


Senior member
Warmoth does not offer assembly services.  Where are you located?  One of the forum members might know someone.

What are your mechanical skills like?  Are you comfortable drilling a few small holes and doing a little sanding?  It is not as difficult as it may seem. 


Senior member
i'm in the EXACT same boat actually. there aren't any really close luthiers to me, and my travel distance is really limited. not to mention that after i order what i want i'm not going to have a whole lot to spend on assembly  :icon_biggrin:

i'm the opposite about what i can do though, i'm fine with bolting on a neck, but wiring might be trouble... i might have a friend who can help me though. how i'm going to have the neck set up i'm still not sure though


Senior member
I have found with a few simple tools and some good reading it is easy to do.

The neck has bolted in perfect in all 4 of my builds.  Once you mount the bridge, (a no brainer if warmoth installes the studs), string it up and use a good straight edge to assess the neck and adjust.

Bridge adjustment is easy too once the neck it asjusted.  Set the action as low as it can go without creating any buzz.  Intonation is easy adjusted with a good electric tuner.

My hardest part is the wiring.  This can be very easy or very complex depending on your design.  If you can sodder, it just take patience.

I have only used a pro when it comes to the frets, and honestly, mine have required little to do dressing at all.  thank goodness since they are stainless!

good luck!


Senior member
Chuck Kirkpatrick said:
What are the chances that I'll bolt the neck on, attach the bridge, and it'll play perfectly?  I hear that Warmoth necks always need fret dressing before they're right.  Any truth to this? 

So far I have built 4 Warmoths and all have went together with zero problems.  As far as the play perfectly part, you will need to set it up properly to include a bit of filing on the nut, unless you like a higher action.  If you like a really low action, then yes... you may neeed to have the frets levelled and dressed.  But this is no different then any other guitar you will buy.  I haven't had the frets levelled and dressed on any of mine and they play great.



Active member
I had the same fears and I started with a body drilled for a bridge I didn't have and a non-Warmoth neck that didn't quite fit. I just went for it and I love the way it plays. See this: http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=8046.0. More pictures coming soon. go for it! You can do it!  :rock-on:


Senior member
It's really not that hard. You'll need a full set of screwdrivers, a hand drill and some small bits, a set of allen keys, soldering iron and good quality solder, and that's really about it. I would recommend that you not try anything crazy the first time out - get parts that are already specced for the warmoth routes (bridge, tuners etc.). Remember: practice on scrap, measure twice cut once, go slow.
You may find that you need actual tech-specific tools to get a real custom shop-quality player, however. Nothing surprising about that. If you want a guitar that's the equivalent of a 2-3k lifetime keeper, it'll need some TLC. Specifically, the nut slots will probably want some fine-tuning; warmoth sells the files for that job and info on how to do it is readily available. The fret work is excellent overall, but depending on your tolerances you may decide that, eventually, it'll need fretwork. It will almost certainly have very very playable frets right out of the box. Fretwork is definitely more advanced though and I wouldn't muck with it if I were you.


Senior member
I've only built one complete Warmoth, but I've bought several necks. And have never had any issues what so ever. Never had to have any fretwork done at all, and all the necks fit perfectly into the pockets of my other bodies(non Warmoth). Just a little tweaking on the truss rod and checked them with a straight edge.... :icon_thumright:


New member
I've done one mod to a previous build and just finished my first full build... really not that hard if you're mechanically inclined even in just the slightest. The trickiest part was not making starter holes for the tuners go straight through the neck  :icon_biggrin: The entire process was fairly easy. I even shaped the bottom curvature of the nut with a dremel to fit my neck. If you know how to set up a guitar, then once it's all in place it's just that one last final step - if you don't know how, there's lots of videos with that kind of info on youtube and the like.

My suggestion is take a guitar you already have and completely disassemble it down to it's bare bones and reassemble as practice if you're really concerned. Just analyze the crap out of everything and how it works together.

FWIW I've read on this forum that for most people, the warmoth necks don't need fret dressing... some will prefer to have it done though. I didn't get a warmoth neck so I can't really speak to it though.

The best parts are picking out all the individual components, being creative with the wiring set up you want, actually wiring all the electronics (easy to do - I have no electronics background at all and I did my first mod with zero issues - Seymour Duncan has fantastic diagrams/instructions btw).... and then of course coming away with something unique and exactly what you want.

I say go for it... take your time... ask questions as you're making decisions along the way. You'll be happy you did it, guaranteed. The strat I just built is by far the best guitar I've ever played/owned (I've had some really nice guitars in the past to compare it to, so I feel confident I can accurately speak to it's quality). It's fantastic and I can't put it down!



Senior member
Well I'll say it ONE MORE TIME (well probably more later too):

Buy Dan Erlewine's "Guitar Player Repair Guide" FIRST. Read up on the sections on finishing, wiring, setups, action adjustments, fret dressing, etc. You will be able to very accurately judge your comfort level with all of these when you've read detailed, fool*-proof instructions. It's impossible to judge your handiness level through these little wires - do you fix screen doors? Scrimshaw? Brain surgeon? Etc.? Erlewine's book is good enough that if you READ it and FOLLOW the instructions, you can even tell when something is going south, and adjust by asking the right questions early. But you just can't substitute overconfidence for basic competence & knowledge.... (well of course you can, if you want a goinked guitar :eek:).
I mean, Brain surgery with a chainsaw is EASY, if you don't mind a lot of dead people lying around.... :hello2:

The book is like $24 and it'll save anyone hundreds and thousands of dollars eventually, even if it's only from knowing when the "luthier" down at Guitar Center is shining you on and/or on the verge of goinking your guitar.

*(Not safe word usage, I know.... :eek:)