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Old 08-04-2018, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Truckjohn View Post
He he he.... Yes... If only you spent $400 on your first guitar you would be doing a lot better than the rest of us... It could be 5x that if you have to buy all the tools and a work bench... And I assume you want tuners... This is probably the #1 best reason to do a class - access to the tools and the shop supplies.

Generally it's somewhere in between because you have some tools and some shop supplies... You will make do with what you have or can knock together on other operations, and you will buy some tools, parts, and jigs to supplement for stuff you can't live without....

$400-$600 on materials and a total budget of $1,200-$1500 counting tools and sundries is probably an honest estimate...

Not necessarily.

Originally Posted by MC5C View Post
A maple tree fell down in my friends back yard - I got around 400 board feet of pretty good maple, some of which is now guitar necks, sides and backs
I am starting to feel a little resentful.

My first top (I make archtops) was a 2X8 deck board of red cedar from Home Depot - perfectly quartersawn and straight/tight grain. It's perfectly possible to build a guitar from found wood with hand tools - resaw with a rip saw, chisels, knives, shop built circle cutters and gramils, and I build all my instruments on a Black and Decker Workmate. I have lots of other benches, but for some reason all my jigs fit on that little bench the best. You do have to buy things like frets, tuners, a few other bits and bobs, but I bet you could get away with under $100 in materials, and no more than 10 different hand tools if you wanted to really get down with it. figuring out a totally cheap side bend would be an interesting challenge...
Have I got a build thread for you.

Originally Posted by redir View Post
I built a parlor guitar for $35.50 once. The tuners were $10 bucks, the most expensive thing on the guitar.
See. It is not just me.

Now as far as the comments (some already know the story). I was on a classical luthier forum and a kid wanted to build his own guitar but he said he needed $800 in tools and then materials. I counted it us (more or less) and he was about right. Smart kid. Then I went on to build my 2x4 fence board guitar using the most basic of tools. Cheated a little using a couple of my power tools after I showed how could do it with hand tools (table saw and drum sander) but I needed surgery on my hand at the time and people gave me a little leeway. But otherwise I built a little guitar, not a great guitar mind you but one that is playable and actually enjoyable for about $40.

Cheap tuners and fret material bought online but otherwise wood from the big box home improvements store. I regret making the neck full classical width, a big jump practicing on it and then jumping to a Telecaster. I made another one, a little larger ($10 tuners and $5 rosewood bridge) but with the use of power tools and it took me two weeks to build plus one for finishing. It has sat by my side for a few years now, I took what I learned from them as far as a small guitar and have both a nylon and steel string soon to be finished that will replace them.

How hard is it to get into guitar building? Not very, but it is really hard to get out.
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