About Faction Guitars
What's with the name?
Merriam-Webster defines faction as, "a party or group that is often contentious or self-seeking". With this in mind, I started the company as a way to explore my own designs that were inspired by lots of guitars I've seen over the years. While many builders are more than happy to build clones of existing designs (and that was how I started), I was more interested in taking my influences and working them into something new yet still familiar. So I think of myself and my work as a faction or section of the larger custom guitar community, working to push vintage or retro style designs with modern construction methods to create something new.
I suppose at this moment the name is a bit of a misnomer, as I'm a one man operation. But my hoping is that over time I can bring in some more talent to be able to expand on ideas and the brand.
While most guitar companies after named after the founder, I wasn't too keen on Kevin James Guitars or anything similar. The name is probably too closely associated with the actor/comedian, so I wanted to do something different. The funny thing is that the actor changed his name to Kevin James when he got into the show business, so I think I've actually been Kevin James longer and it is my actual birth name. That's the way it goes I suppose.
So what's Faction Electric Guitars?
When I first started that was the name I went with, and it still pops up from time to time by other people. I changed it to the simpler Faction Guitars because it's easier to type, takes up less space, and gives me the option of possibly doing acoustic guitars and bass guitars in the future.
I changed the brand name sometime in 2015, but never really announced it officially.
What's with the oddball 25.125" scale length?
When designing the newest versions of the Nomad and Scout, I wanted them to be a bit different. I settled on the 25.125" scale as a good median between string tension and playability.
Most popular Gibson guitar models are around 24.75" scale length, while most of the popular Fender guitar models are 25.5" scale length. On my models, the 25.125" scale length falls exactly between those two. It also fits in well with a lot of the scale lengths offered by companies like Paul Reed Smith.
Custom Control Plates
What are your control plates made from?
All of the plates I offer are made from laser cut 14 gauge (.075”/2mm) thick stainless steel.
What finishes do you offer?
The standard and most popular finish is polished stainless, which looks the most like chrome. This is the option to go with if you’d like it to match up with stock plates on your guitar.
I also offer a few other finish options. A popular one is a brushed finish. This satin finish option matches up well with Mastery hardware. Another option is a distressed finish that has a darkened, slightly hammered finish.
The last option is just the raw plate, straight from the laser cutter other than the countersinking of holes.
Can I get a plate with a gold or black finish?
There currently isn’t enough demand to offer plates with finishes other than what is mentioned above. However, you should be able to take one of my plates and have it plated locally if desired.
Do I need to modify my guitar to use one of your plates?
Most of my plate designs don’t require any modifications to fit on your guitar. But due to the huge quantity of different designs and series over the years, minor tweaks may be necessary. These can range from being as simple as drilling new mounting holes or chiseling a cavity to open it up a bit, all the way to using a router to make a slot or enlarge a rout. Individual product pages will let you know what kinds of modifications may be needed.
I need a custom control plate made. Can you help me out?
Sure! I’ve done plenty of custom designs over the years for people all over the world. Pricing is typically the same as my stocked plate designs. Contact me at email@example.com and we can work out the details.
Guitar Routing Templates
Who makes your templates?
All orders are laser cut to order for me by a company in California called Ponoko. Once you’ve made an order, I submit the design(s) to them and they handle production and then shipping of the template set(s) on to you.
I live outside of the continental US. Am I able to order templates from you?
Yes, you can, but because Ponoko handles all of the production and shipping on their end, I don’t have a way to immediately quote a shipping price through the store here. If you can email me with the templates you want and your full address, I can get you a quote for the full price including shipping.
What’s the difference between MDF and clear acrylic?
Both are great template materials, but acrylic has the benefit of being more rigid and being transparent. This can make lining things up to a center line easier with acrylic.
On MDF orders, the templates are made right side up with the center line etched on top. On acrylic orders the templates are reversed, so that the center line is on the bottom. This makes lining things up to the blank materials easier.
The laser cutting process has the benefit of hardening the edges of the MDF as it cuts, making them more durable. But over time the MDF is more likely to wear down or become damaged.
If you’ll be using the templates for a single guitar or two, I’d recommend MDF for its lower price. But if you’ll be using the templates long term, clear acrylic may be a better option.
What are the blue and green lines shown on the product images?
Blue lines are fully cut through by the laser, while green lines are only etched into the surface.
How do I use the templates?
On my projects in the past, I’ve always copied the templates over to ¾” MDF so that I have a set of “working templates”. These working templates can then be easily double-sided taped to your wood blank, or screwed on at locations that will be hidden later by routing or the pickguard. The increased thickness of the templates allows for safer routing with multiple passes, and if the working template gets damaged a new one can be made from the master templates.
I posted a build thread over at the Offset Guitars Forum a few years back that goes over me building a Scout body (pre CNC). That should help everyone see how I did it.
I’d really like to build a “Random Guitar Model”. Do you have templates of that?
At the moment I don’t have the time to work on new guitar template designs. If you’re handy with Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, CorelDRAW, or AutoCAD you can get templates made through Ponoko, if you don’t mind putting in the time drawing things up and formatting them properly.
Do you sell templates of your Scout or Nomad models?
There are no plans to sell templates of my personal guitar designs at this time.