Designed for the beginning guitar builder, and applicable to both steel string and classical acoustic guitars, it provides a step-by-step and comprehensive overview of the wood and guitar building kits that are available. Besides helping students acquire technical expertise, I stress a philosophy of building mindfully and patiently, enjoying and becoming absorbed in each step of the process as rewarding in its own right, rather than rushing impatiently through a list of to-dos”. Another resource that I relied heavily upon, especially for guidance on making the dovetail joint was the web site titled Building an Acoustic Steel-String Guitar created by Jonathan Sevy. It is a much better guitar and sounds great but again was a challenge to set the neck right and get the action playable.
The second guitar, of which you see a photo at the right, was built with three parts from old guitars: from my guitar teacher I bought the neck, bridge, and pick-guard fitted with three humbuckers and the necessary switches & potmeters. When I build these guitars, I like to leave them a little rough around the edges to show some character. Try to go with a 100% finished body and neck this time, and maybe next project can involve a prep & paint job (believe me, this is more than a notion, and if it does not go well, you really do have to start over).
However, if you truely are hardcore, and wish to build watch your instrument go from a solid block of wood to something beautiful then prepare for a serious learning experience and a very time consuming but rewarding process. So I spend a day trying to figure out where I should sand to make it fit right, I use some carbon paper in the neck bloc, insert the neck in take it of and look where there is some carbon trace, and sand those mark. Like boat building, there aren’t very many straight lines or right angles on a guitar.
We do put a protecting layer of lacquer on the guitar so it is protected but if you want a full lacquered guitar you can choose to do it yourself at home or arrange for us to spray it for you. When everything has been checked, double-checked, and the back is ready to go on, each of us signs the guitar. I do not build very many acoustic guitars but have read and re-read this book so many times that I have broken its spine! I have been asked by many people why I don’t build and sell guitars for a living.
Sit in the dining room amongst all the Stickley-inspired furniture that Kumbalek built over the years (he used to be in the cabinet-making business), or on the enclosed front porch as Dean and Deirdre hand you guitar after guitar to test drive. Day 5 -Let’s Assemble a Guitar Attaching the bridge must be done carefully because correct positioning is essential for intonation.
Having a mind toward increasing my output – most anything I make simply goes into equipping myself better for building the next one. If you multiply this pressure with the actual area you need to glue, you end up with a force that equates to parking a cement truck on your guitar. To develop the rounded profile you will need to sand the Neck with Sanding Strips.
There are a number of essential tools that you need, if you are going to build a guitar from blocks of wood and custom-ordered components. Course covers the methodology and organization of materials and procedures for basic guitar repair and modification. Given the competition, and the limit on the price that even a one-of-a-kind, hand-built guitar can command, he isn’t planning on getting rich.
However, it occurred to me later on that all you really need to do is pick a scale length and then decide which fret you want to align with the top of the body at the neck joint. You may need to file off some sharp corners, or mill away some wood to adjust the balance, and these aren’t good ideas when your guitar would already be painted with an expensive lacquer. This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that this is the only ultimate guitar material. Getting the neck angle correct is crucial and ended up being the most time-consuming part of Gunn’s first build.
Even if your first kit is mostly just gluing the pieces together, there are still areas that remain a challenge even to experienced builders, and these can make or break a build. Electric guitar construction is an optional class that is also offered, but not required, for for first year guitar students. But if you have the patience and determination it really isn’t that difficult to build your own guitar, especially if you take advantage of one of the many kits available. On offer here is a headless electric guitar kit with all parts needed to assemble guitar. The easiest way to finish the cigar box guitar is to use a can of aerosol lacquer.
Bring your own acoustic and electric guitar and learn how to profecional set them up. learn about stringing your guitar, nut and sadle height, truss rod desigh and how they work, kinna everything you would like to learn about how to set up and maintain your guitars. Thanks Marc for sharing Rick’s experience with us. Hopefully it’ll encourage others to try their hand at guitar building. If you are going to do this, just make sure to leave the middle part of the guitar (near to the strings and bridge) solid, otherwise the sound will be affected.
The kits range from cheap $20 starter kits that will probably fall apart not long after they are completed, to $700 packages that walk you through building a name brand acoustic guitar and come with instructional DVDs and detailed instructions. Since I want to build a guitar for fingerstyle playing, the smaller body and livelier soundboard wood should pair well with the rich tones of the rosewood (at least that’s what I hope..) I haven’t decided yet, but I’ll probably use curly maple for bindings and use rosewood for the bridge, headplate, fingerboard, etc.
That said, I have built two guitars from Grizzly guitar kits: 1) The $80 Classical Acoustic Guitar Kit, and 2) the cheap Fender Strat kit. Best to ask the manufacturer, because it’s virtually impossible to tell by looking at it. Your local guitar finish expert can test the finish with solvents to determine its composition and check its suitability for repair. If you’re using a wood box, you have one more step: measure how much of the neck is still keeping the box from closing. It’s awe inspiring to watch the guitar come to life and am a bit envious of the skill Rick process in woodworking.