So I took a class at our local Woodcraft store, and did this:
That’s an alder blank with a routing template on top of it.
Here it is basically complete and in the white, trying to set the intonation.
This is right before I discovered that I’d placed the bridge for a 25.5″ scale length and had installed a 24″ neck. No problem, I’ll just channel my inner Fix-It Felix and get it straightened out. Have to enlarge and clean up some of those electronics cavities anyway.
It does actually make guitar-type sounds, although it will need major setup work before it’s really playable. By someone else, not me, because it has too many strings.
The class was taught by Frank Coleman, and all four of us students had a functional instrument at the end. I’d call it a success.
Stay tuned for more progress as I get it closer to a tuned-up and finished instrument. Don’t hold your breath, though; this could take a while.