Building Tutorials and Links Thread

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by yacker, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. yacker

    yacker SS.org Regular

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    I think in the brief span of time we've had the pleasure of using this section of the forum, we've had quite a few threads pop up with people wondering where they should get started with building guitars. I'm proposing (if there is a Mod willing and able) that we make a sticky thread dedicated to introductory educational material and general resources dealing with guitar building. This way we don't have to sift through loads of "learning how to build" threads if we want to find the name of that particular book or link to "that one" website we can't seem to remember.

    I will start things out. Here are 3 books that I have found particularly useful that have also have been recommended by several other forum members:

    Melvyn Hiscock - Make your own electric guitar
    Martin Koch - Building Electric guitars
    Jim Donahue - Guitars. Design, Production, and Repair.

    Here is an amazing site for finding sources of lumber in your local area (if you are in the US or Canada).

    Woodfinder :: Find Sources for Hardwood Lumber, Exotic Wood, Veneer, Sawmill Services and Other Woods such as Tonewoods, Recycled Lumber& Salvaged Wood, Carving Stock and Turning Blanks.

    Some sites dedicated to selling tools and materials specific to instrument building:

    Luthiers Mercantile International, Inc. Guitar Builder Wood and Supplies
    STEWMAC.COM : Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin, Parts, Tools, Supplies, Free Information
    Guitar Parts Depot by GPDUSA.COM

    A site filled with tutorials and all sorts of reference materials:
    Project Guitar.com :: Guitar Project.com

    A great site that has helped me learn loads about woodworking, tools, projects, etc. It's not necessarily guitar related, but it has a wealth of information and loads of podcasts explaining things in plain english.

    The Wood Whisperer Woodworking Video Podcast and Blog

    This is all I have right now, but I will update when more things come to mind. I'm sure there are several other forum members who could contribute to where they began and what resources helped them along the way, so lets build a list to help each other out. :hbang:

    Here's the article LMI put together to try and answer the question "What tools do I need to build a guitar?"
    http://www.lmii.com/carttwo/Basictools.asp
     
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  2. mrlespaulman

    mrlespaulman SS.org Regular

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    ooooooooooo

    thank you very much
     
  3. Rusti

    Rusti SS.org Regular

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    nice thread ;)
     
  4. thadood

    thadood 'Das brootal.

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    Wow, it's cool to find out there's a place basically down the street from me that carries exotic woods =0
     
  5. yacker

    yacker SS.org Regular

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    I envy you, other then the local woodcraft store, the nearest suppliers to me are about 60-70 miles away. :wallbash:
     
  6. MaKo´s Tethan

    MaKo´s Tethan SS.org Regular

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    how to build? take some woods, and a knife, and make one...


    I think this will be a good thread ONLY if we share ideas, any idea, we dont need guys saying "bolt on sucks" or "this scale is better" because all are wrongs, every way to build an instrument is valid, even my methods :rofl: well...Devries is not a way, but anything else yes :yesway:
     
  7. yacker

    yacker SS.org Regular

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    :lol::lol: You always crack me up man. And yes, you are definitely the person who gets to say things like take a knife and make one :yesway::lol:

    Hopefully none of that sort of favoritism towards certain construction methods would sneak into this thread, assuming it stays around for a while. I really only hope to have a reference thread for people looking to learn new things about the craft, or start learning things in general. :)
     
  8. SD83

    SD83 SS.org Regular

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    That's pretty much what people asked me when they saw my first bass :D "So you just went into the forest with an axe and butchered some tree or what?"
    But you're definitly right. I do not have any links to share right now but:
    - if you have no idea what you're doing, it might be a good idea to start with the cheapest stuff you can get and
    - if you have any ideas, try them out. A finish involving coffee beans? Fuck yes!
     
  9. yacker

    yacker SS.org Regular

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    Updated with the LMI article about tools needed to build a guitar.
     
  10. anthonyferguson

    anthonyferguson SS.org Regular

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    Great idea for a thread! I think the main thing about building and being able to stick with something, coming out with a good product at the end is a willingness to persevere and not make compromises. For example, planing a neck splice dead flat, or the bottom of the fretboard before it's glued together... Not doing so could completely wreck the whole lot. Even if it means honing the blade of your plane every 5 minutes, it's definitely worth it. That kind of thing is vital. Of course there will be mistakes and screw-ups along the way. It's all a learning experience! but it's helpful to get into good habits.
    A 'how hard can it be' attitude is not good... This can lead to underestimating the build time, and is another massive issue in terms of losing steam with a project and letting it fail.
    Hope these words have helped someone!
     
  11. gtrbmart

    gtrbmart SS.org Regular

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    I'm curious as to how much money you have to put down for tools assuming one has none of the tools needed. My grandfather has a lot of old carpentry tools hanging around but there's still a lot of guitar specific tools I would need anyway. Any insight?
     
  12. Enselmis

    Enselmis SS.org Regular

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    So it appears there isn't a single person who sells wood of any kind in Manitoba... Weird...
     
  13. Lord_Elixer

    Lord_Elixer I am weasel!

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    Great thread idea, definately subscirbing to this, thanks guys :-D
     
  14. SD83

    SD83 SS.org Regular

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    Depends on what tools he has. As long as you don't plan on becoming a full time luthier, I don't think there are many "guitar specific tools". Look at Mako's build threat, he definitly has none and the end result is like :hbang:
    I just read the list of basic tools linked to in the first post... and realised that I have one of the tools in the first list (clamps) and less than 5 of those in the second list, but it looks like that lists are more directed towards people who make acoustic guitars. So as we have this threat, what tools are really necessary? Clamps, sanding paper and such stuff is rather obvious, but other than that? For example, you can definitly shape a neck with a rasp & sanding paper instead of a spokeshave, and I've seen perfect PU cavities made with chisels and a hammer instead of a router. Those things might (I have never used them) make things a lot easier, but I think there are hardly any special tools which are really "necessary".
     
  15. yacker

    yacker SS.org Regular

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    Yea, that list definitely is geared towards building acoustics. If we're talking about electric building, there are of course methods and alternative tools etc. Here is a prospective list of power tools though:

    Band saw or jigsaw- for cutting out shapes - ...scroll saw may help but doesn't really seem ideal.

    Drill press - boring out cavities, precisely drilling to depth, accurate placement of holes for tuning heads, etc

    Router - refining shapes and cavities to precisely match templates as well as making the truss rod cavity

    Table saw - generally useful for cutting lumber and accurately cutting straight lines

    Jointer - used for surfacing two faces to create a right angle between them (or just general flattening)

    Planer - used for mirroring the flatness of an already jointed flat face opposite to the side you are planing.


    This is a very basic list and in no way what's "required" necessarily. There is also an endless list of sanding tools that someone else can touch on if they so choose. The jointer and planer are surfacing tools and most useful if you are buying rough lumber, but they do have some applications in building.
     
  16. gtrbmart

    gtrbmart SS.org Regular

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    I'll have to go through my grandfather's tools sometime and see what I can salvage and go from there, I guess.
     
  17. gsus4

    gsus4 SS.org Regular

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    Well...here I am showing my age...
    If you are not into immediate gratification, and would really like to understand guitar building with a minimum of special tools and expense, see if you can find Irving Sloane's Classical Guitar Building....

    Yup, I know...Please read through and then beat me up later.

    However there are some things that are integral to building acoustics, hollow bodys, and solid bodies.
    Wood is wood, and having fundamental techniques will really save money and time in the long run.

    OK, Everybody can blast me now.
     
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  18. flo

    flo SS.org Regular

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    I built my first guitar with a handsaw, a beltsander, clamps and a drill...

    I think it's part of the fun to try out some tools, use the ones you find at home. I do so, bought some that I found were useful like a router and go to a carpeter with things that require really pro tools, like cutting wood for a laminated neck. I maybe spent about 80€ on tools or so, and the only real "guitar" tool is a fret file.

    Cool thread!
     
  19. Daiephir

    Daiephir likes peanut butter

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    All in favor of this thread becoming the first lutherie sub-forum sticky *raises hand*
     
  20. yacker

    yacker SS.org Regular

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    Haha, not sure what we would blast you about, but that's a book that hasn't been mentioned yet and it must offer some insight we don't already have, so I'm all for the recommendation, thanks.

    If only I was that adventurous. :lol::lol:
    Welllllllllllllllll....my first guitar was made out of a Cheerios cereal box, some scrap cardboard, rubber bands, and thumb tacks. It didn't turn out the greatest, :nuts: so maybe I'm a little biased towards doing things by the book this time.

    I would raise my hand, but I created the thread so my vote has already been cast. :lol:
     

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