Last year I made my first acoustic guitar under the guidance of luthier Chris Wynne from Thomas Lloyd Guitars (in Montsalvat – Eltham, VIC). Anyway, I clean the entire guitar with naphta, put masking tape on the binding , fretboard and soundboard, and start to spray the tobacco brown nitrocellulose. Before you order a kit and start building it on your kitchen table, count on doing research—lots of research—planning, and some soul-searching. If the neck will attach to the body using a tenon of some sort then the next step is to cut off the excess length of the neck at the line which indicates the end of the tenon.
Exotic woods and custom inlays — such as the pawprints for Bullock’s guitar — can add thousands of dollars more. I don’t believe it’s possible to make a guitar from scratch in TWO WEEKS… but I am about to find out. Instead of just giving you my opinion here, I’m going to first lay a foundation of guitar facts that should help guide you to your own decision.
The result is that the pick-ups will only ‘pick up’ the vibrations of the strings, not vibrations of the guitar body or other nearby sounds (like drums, speech) as a microphone would. I receive my Gotoh tuner and ebony head-plate, glue the ebony head-plate, drill the hole for the tuner, install the tuner, and then run to Guitar Center to get some string. Insuring that the fingerboard is properly located on the neck is one of the most critical aspects of instrument construction.
It’s not necessary to understand the chemistry of the curing process to know how to live with a guitar finished with a catalyzed polymer. Mind that the same model of pick-up is often available in specialised versions for neck and bridge positions. Completion of all program requirements qualifies you for the Certificate in Guitar Craft (Acoustic Guitar Design). Based on the work completed in Guitar Acoustics, students will have selected the tone woods, bracing pattern, neck dimensions and design elements for their own guitar.
Most music stores with a large supply of guitars should also have guitar parts. Practical application-oriented courses culminate in a design project during which you design and build a custom acoustic guitar. Since there are many different makes and models of tools and consumables needed to build a guitar, it is difficult to come up with an accurate, useful reference cost for each item.
You might be able to cut out some plywood and a piece of maple or mahogany for the neck and get something that looks like a guitar, but it would be really hard to make something at all playable without spending a few hundred dollars on a kit or some good instructions, tools, and materials. One more advice: When deciding on the shape of the body I would recommend building a shape that does not exist (unless you really want it to be a Strat or Les Paul) since this will make your instrument a lot different and much more personal than by just making a copy of something else.
Build Your Own Guitar – of Amherst, NH sells guitar-building parts including bodies, necks, finishing supplies and hardware. This is definitely an unconventional technique, but there are several examples of carbon fiber guitar makers — one company close to me is San Francisco-based Blackbird Guitars They use carbon fiber to form the entire instrument; body, top, neck, fingerboard, etc. Another reason that making an acoustic is alot harder than making an electric is that those bent sides are all 1 piece.
Now a reference line is scribed across the top surface of the neck at the start of the slope for the headstock. I will not only build a kit acoustic guitar but also an acoustic guitar from scratch. It was a tossup between a 12 string, a slide guitar, Chris’ crazy idea of a double neck guitar/mandolin combo (ummmm…???), and a baritone. These two characteristics affect the sound of the guitar the most and are very important to the musician as well as the luthier (guitar maker). All of our foundation courses provide a good groundwork for anybody interested in building their own custom guitar.
Set-neck Electric Building has been added to the Master Program, giving students the opportunity to tailor-make their training to match their business plan. Pick a good, standard design that does what you want, build that as carefully as you can from decent materials, and you’ll end up with a much better than average guitar. It is a complete instruction guide to the materials, tools and direction to build an acoustic guitar from start to finish.
I chose to build an OM sized guitar (approximately) with a tighter waist, using Amazon Rosewood for the back and sides, and AAA Englemann Spruce for the soundboard. I do find it quite amazing that a guitar made in Indonesia can be fairly well-made, shipped across the world, and still only cost $300 (Squier Classic Vibe, for example). Also a friend of mine plays guitar this video series peaked my interest because its possibly something I want to try someday.
I don’t know a lot about the science behind guitar construction, but I’ll point you to Blackbird Guitars and Rainsong Guitars , two carbon fiber guitar makers that do a good job explaining the logic of using carbon. By far and away it was my most important resource, I followed the construction process outlined in the book nearly to the letter with one major exception: I used a dovetail neck joint rather than a mortised neck joint. Side bending is sort of the luthiers mole hill that we tend to make mountains out of. I would hate to have to tell everyone that asked that the guitar I made was from a kit – I’m vain I know it.
Setting: You will be building right in Jay’s luthier shop Though you and your project will be the primary focus, when not assisting you, Jay will also be working on his own current projects. On offer here is a 12 string T style guitar kit with all parts needed to assemble guitar. You’re going to pay a heck of a lot more for an entirely solid-wood guitar than just a solid top…and truthfully you won’t be able to tell much of a difference in the long run.
I’m not saying that you have to slavishly build exactly as they describe but it is a fantastic resource for a body in your position. In the late 1950s, Leo chose to laminate a rosewood fingerboard to the maple neck. Design and manufacture of all necessary fixtures for the construction of an acoustic guitar. Luthier Paul Beard has continued to innovate since that first guitar was delivered.
This time I had the body painted by a specialised airbrush studio because I did not want to go through the same ordeal as with the spray-can paint I used for the first guitar. So yeah, for a small builder, expecting a guitar to be under $1000 is unrealistic. Hand-built in California, our line of Acoustic pickups and preamps can help you capture the natural warmth, richness and resonance of your instrument.
My Granddad passed away in 1997, and my Granny gave away all of his guitar building jigs shortly before he passed away. At this point you’ll want to square up one side of the heel so that it is perpendicular to the top surface of the neck. Best of luck, there is no feeling that compares to performing on a guitar that you made, there is something wholesome about it.
If the neck attaches using a bolt-on butt joint, then it will be cut off at the line which marks the place where the neck will join the body. The excitement of stringing up your guitar and getting to play the first few notes is something you will never forget. Take this sketch and your guitar body (without any electronics or other parts of course!) to a paint studio and explain your wishes. You can round off the back side of the neck with a wood rasp and sandpaper before you assemble the CBG. One other recommendation: Make your Neck Glue-Up slightly wider (taller) than what you need.
It’s the one area that Gunn, as well as Lars Vendel, a guitar maker from Kil, Sweden, who got started by making ten kits, both wished they had spent more on at the beginning. A neck blank has been laid up, gluing heel block and headstock to the running stock of the neck. The disadvantage is that once the neck is damaged beyond repair, the entire guitar is ripe for the scrapyard. Now that you’ve got the hang of building a guitar, your next one will be even better. If you’re building an instrument of your own design, take the time to draw accurate, full-size plans. By #3 I have a guitar that I think exceeds any of the shelf guitar on the market, period!
From curiosity to the desire for a good quality instrument, there are myriad reasons why a person might want to build their own acoustic guitar. Since you can ultimately do a lot of customization, your vision doesn’t have to be the exact guitar you end up with, but you’ll need to make some basic decisions before you make your purchases. Surely if you’re going to the trouble of making your own nice solid body then you’d make it the shape and style you want and make a scratch plate to fit. For your first guitar I’d go the hot pipe method, simple/quick/effective and cheap.