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  #16  
Old 01-13-2018, 07:21 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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Some people will find guitarmaking unbelievably complex and challenging, others will not. Some minds just work this way, a sort of latent engineering skill potential. This is a talent I believe.
Bruce comes closest to the comments I'd have made, had he not already made them.

If you're thinking "HEY - THIS LOOKS LIKE A BLAST!!!", then it is worth a try. Especially if you buy a guitar kit from one of the above-described 75%, and some sort of building guide with it. Buy the best materials you can, just in case it comes out so well you keep it all your life (like I have).

Disclaimer - I did tons of repairs before building my first guitar.

I built my first guitar when I had been injured and was off work for six weeks to recover. There are several pictures of it around this forum and the UMGF.

I used the StewMac video (VCR tape...yes, it's been a while) as a guide. I followed the instructions. I was careful. I bought the following from Martin Guitar: "40" top with rosette in place, a pre-bent "defective" prototype set of maple D/S sides (later destined to become J-65 sides), a dovetail neck blank (with T bar) and block, a bridge, and a fretboard. I got a blueprint, kerfed linings, tuners, bindings, and purflings from Stewmac.

I used two tools not ordinarily found in a hobbyist wood shop - a dial caliper and a binding channel cutter for my router.

There are endless resources for building. Frank Ford's repair website is one; Bryan Kimsey's is another. Repairs are much harder than building, and these websites give you a detailed look at many procedures used in building.

When I finished my guitar I absolutely could not believe how good it came out. I was like a little kid on Christmas - and at the same time amazed at myself. It is not the best guitar I've owned by a long shot, but it is definitely the most fun guitar in my life. Here it is, 25 years later, still going strong, with no failures and no repairs (not even a neck set):

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  #17  
Old 01-13-2018, 07:33 PM
James77 James77 is offline
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That is a beautiful guitar! I'm thinking about building me a road worn Tele. Electric may be easier for a first'n! I'm thinking anyway.





Quote:
Originally Posted by H165 View Post
Bruce comes closest to the comments I'd have made, had he not already made them.

If you're thinking "HEY - THIS LOOKS LIKE A BLAST!!!", then it is worth a try. Especially if you buy a guitar kit from one of the above-described 75%, and some sort of building guide with it. Buy the best materials you can, just in case it comes out so well you keep it all your life (like I have).

Disclaimer - I did tons of repairs before building my first guitar.

I built my first guitar when I had been injured and was off work for six weeks to recover. There are several pictures of it around this forum and the UMGF.

I used the StewMac video (VCR tape...yes, it's been a while) as a guide. I followed the instructions. I was careful. I bought the following from Martin Guitar: "40" top with rosette in place, a pre-bent "defective" prototype set of maple D/S sides (later destined to become J-65 sides), a dovetail neck blank (with T bar) and block, a bridge, and a fretboard. I got a blueprint, kerfed linings, tuners, bindings, and purflings from Stewmac.

I used two tools not ordinarily found in a hobbyist wood shop - a dial caliper and a binding channel cutter for my router.

There are endless resources for building. Frank Ford's repair website is one; Bryan Kimsey's is another. Repairs are much harder than building, and these websites give you a detailed look at many procedures used in building.

When I finished my guitar I absolutely could not believe how good it came out. I was like a little kid on Christmas - and at the same time amazed at myself. It is not the best guitar I've owned by a long shot, but it is definitely the most fun guitar in my life. Here it is, 25 years later, still going strong, with no failures and no repairs (not even a neck set):

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  #18  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:48 PM
printer2 printer2 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James77 View Post
That is a beautiful guitar! I'm thinking about building me a road worn Tele. Electric may be easier for a first'n! I'm thinking anyway.
You want to go to here,

http://www.tdpri.com/forums/tele-home-depot.46/

not to say you can't post here while you build. But every type of Tele made with the best of materials to chunks of driftwood have been built. I made a spruce body out of a 2" x 8" along with a poplar neck, that I need to fret then assemble it all. Hey, I've been busy building acoustics.



I wanted to make a lightweight guitar, it turned out fairly nice, as far as I got it done.

You want to check out the Challenges also, in particular someone named Staggerlee, he does amazing work with ordinary tools.
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  #19  
Old 01-14-2018, 02:11 AM
James77 James77 is offline
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That's gonna be a nice look'n Tele!!!


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Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
You want to go to here,

http://www.tdpri.com/forums/tele-home-depot.46/

not to say you can't post here while you build. But every type of Tele made with the best of materials to chunks of driftwood have been built. I made a spruce body out of a 2" x 8" along with a poplar neck, that I need to fret then assemble it all. Hey, I've been busy building acoustics.



I wanted to make a lightweight guitar, it turned out fairly nice, as far as I got it done.

You want to check out the Challenges also, in particular someone named Staggerlee, he does amazing work with ordinary tools.
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  #20  
Old 01-14-2018, 07:09 AM
redir redir is offline
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Pretty much what Bruce said to a tee. People will always be absolutly amazed at your finished guitar regardless. Most of them seem to be amazed at how you can bend the sides and frankly that's one of the more easy things to do.

That's just building the thing, it's just a recipe you have to follow, a construction project. Most people can do it.

When you want to take it to the next level though then it becomes much more difficult and again some people have the natural talent like say someone born with the genetics to win the Tour De France. Some have it some don't but you can learn this stuff to. It takes a lot of iterations and a lot of failure and a lot of time.

I think it was Alan Carruth who said something like, "it's not rocket science, it's harder."

I myself don't think I have the natural talent for this but I still love doing it and I still can produce good enough sounding guitars. But when I look at some of the work that goes through the custom shop here I am truly humbled and understand that it's out of my league. That's mostly in looks of course but that's a very important part of building.

Sometimes you sill see someone post their first guitar too and it's truly outstanding looking and you know they are off to a good start. But to make a good guitar I would suggest to anyone that they should not expect it to be good till they are on their tenth guitar.
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  #21  
Old 01-14-2018, 09:08 AM
printer2 printer2 is online now
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I was told by a local luthier that I was to come see him with my tenth guitar. I was showing him my first at the time. I was interested in what he thought of the sound, he said it was fine. He did tell me where the construction could be better or how I should be using the materials. We spent over an hour talking, I basically excused myself as he is there to make a living. I find most people building or repairing guitars are pretty good with helping others start off. We were all there and we all have the same passion.

On the tenth guitar, not sure which to bring him, I generally have multiple builds on at the same time, put one off for a while (like the Telecaster) while I build another. I have not been too concerned with my building as I am more interested in experimenting, finding ways of construction I would like to use and trying to learn what makes guitars tick.

Making guitars look perfect takes much more time than making a workable instrument. If you have a nice looking guitar, nice wood, and the binding is not quite up to the rest of the guitar it is something another person would notice. You learn over time, learn by your mistakes, eventually you find what works for you. I know it is said that it takes a while to learn how to make a good sounding guitar. Not to say a first guitar can not sound good, it is not too hard to build a guitar that is equivalent to an average store bought instrument. I think it is not too hard to make a great sounding instrument. Now the trick is to make that great sounding instrument so it can last for a number of years.

An electric guitar is a good place to start learning how to build. You really have to get one thing right, the neck. The bridge is adjustable so intonation is not a problem and the body is not going to fall apart on you. On building an acoustic instrument I recommend people to build a ukulele first (not soprano) as it is less work and you learn all the steps needed to make a guitar. It will give you an idea where you might have some shortcomings and when you build a guitar you don't have to worry too much if you are doing it right, what tools might make it easier for you to build the guitar.
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  #22  
Old 01-15-2018, 10:27 AM
Truckjohn Truckjohn is offline
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Documentation wise:
Building: There is a LOT of info out there on how to build a guitar. Many books, videos, tutorials, youtube, etc.

Finishing: There is some good info out there on how to finish a guitar. Many hints but not a lot of written/video step by step process if you are not spraying lacquer or french polishing.

Setup: There is very little published info out there on how to accomplish a really good setup from start to finish.
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