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Any guitar builders here?

Discussion in 'Andy Sneap' started by ArtGarceau, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. ArtGarceau

    ArtGarceau Member

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    I want to eventually build my own guitar. You have to crawl before you walk so I was thinking of picking up a cheap guitar to learn how to do more simple things like fretwork and such.

    Any good books, videos, or tools I should pick up to get me started? Any advice?
     
  2. Notuern

    Notuern Bloody vaginal belch

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    Just so you know: Fretwork is hard as hell!
    If one fret is wrong, all the other frets are too, so its a b*tch to do, but still probably easier then building a entire guitar.
     
  3. Uladyne

    Uladyne Greg

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    maybe get a kit from warmoth to start with?

    Edit: This is probably totally useless, but I remember seeing a book at bookstore that seemed extremely detailed. It even showed how to scale up a sketch of a body design to make a template for woodworking. Can't remember the name. Yea, sorry for the mostly useless info.
     
  4. Metaltastic

    Metaltastic Member

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    Check out the stuff available on www.stewmac.com if you haven't already!
     
  5. Nebulous

    Nebulous Daniel

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    If you want some experience and have the time and finances for it, I'd pick up afew older/ cheaper/ beat up guitars (within reason) and get some experience on those.
     
  6. Executioner213

    Executioner213 Ultimate Meatbag

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    I had thought of buying one of those pre-made necks for building a neck-through of my own from Carvin...that way, the fretwork was already done. Problem is, fretwork isn't the only truly hard part...routing (correctly) is a pain in the ass too. Sure, anyone can dig holes in a chunk of wood, but to do it where it looks good...not easy. Then again, the guitar I want to build is the equivalent to an Ibanez Universe without a pickguard, including a trem, so...
     
  7. Nostalia

    Nostalia Member

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    First off, I am not a professional by any means, but I have done some guitar building and woodworking. With that said, I don't have a band saw so I had a luthier laminate, and cut out a basic shape for a 7-string 30" baritone, neck though. I shaped, fretted, cut the head stock, routed, installed the bridge and electronics, finished, and set up the guitar. This was a great first time project. Before this, I took all my guitars and got familiar with how to properly set them up. The next step I took was learning to fret. So I went to the local lumber yard and got a $10 piece of maple and sanded it to a 16" radius, slotted the piece of maple to a 25.5" scale and hammered the frets in. This helped me get used to what you need to do before jumping in on expensive wood. Do not practice on pine or any softer woods that aren't used on guitars, this will throw your perspective off when you jump in on a real guitar using a harder wood. Whatever wood you are using make sure to read up on the species so you know it's character before working on it. Hard woods like ebony or wenge will have a tendency to crack or split while cutting or planing the surface. Knowing this in advance will help you to know to score or clamp in certain places to avoid the wood from splintering. Also when fretting, you need to slot the frets very accurately, so you'll need a gent's saw and a caliper to measure the saw's width and the fret's tang. If the frets are too snug this causes fret board compression which bends the wood back causing too much bowing and the truss rod will be working too hard. If the slots are too wide, well obviously your frets are going to move around and cause bad intonation and buzzing. Check out www.stewmac.com there is a ton of great advice for free. The books they sell are very good and give step by step instruction and advice. Hope this helps a bit.
     
  8. Ben Johnson

    Ben Johnson SSSSSSSSSSSSSS

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  9. STINNETT

    STINNETT Bad / Nationwide

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    There is a great book to get you started called "Build Your Own Electric Guitar" by Melvyn Hiscock. Covers all the basics and more or less prepares you for what you're getting into.

    There are many ways to achieve each aspect of a build, and thus many different tools you can use to get there. The only tool I would say is absolutely necessary is a good router. A bandsaw and a drill press is nice, but you could probably get by without them, albeit with a lot more work. Fretwork can be tedious and you'll definitely benefit from a little practice on some cheap guitars before you start working on your masterpiece!

    I've got some building exerience, so if you have any specific questions along the way, I'll try to help.
     
  10. carvedones

    carvedones Member

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    Yeah Neals site has all the info you will need. I used that to make my own 7 string neck (never got it properly finished....Lazy). Its not to hard to do. The best idea is to buy a pre slotted neckboard from ebay and then you dont have to worry about the fretts being slotted properly.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. beyond dead

    beyond dead heavy metal dad \m/

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    ive got this book. it includes blueprints for a guitar as well. pretty neat, but nothing i think i could ever do
     
  12. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Metal Member

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    I studied Guitar Making for 4 years and to be honest it can be quite difficult, but it's fun and frustrating at the same time. I'd say to just buy some cheap guitar and take it apart. There are a few things that you have to make sure are right like the scale-length and fret positions etc (whole guitar tbh), otherwise it'll sound quite Jazz.

    There's alot of stuff to learn to be honest and woodworking skills come in handy.

    Fretwork is totally a pain in the arse, can agree there.
     

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