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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:13 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:50 pm
Posts: 1
First name: Nathanael
Last Name: Allaire
City: Ottawa
State: Ontario
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hey,
I'm new to building guitars, although it's been one of my major interests for a LONG time now.
I want to build my FIRST guitar, but I don't know where to start!
I need advice!
Do I need to take guitar building classes?

I need ALL the help I can get!
If anyone's got ANY advice, post it right up!

Thanks alot!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
Posts: 3472
First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Well.... have you done a search?

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Stop saying "How stupid can you get?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:47 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:29 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Status: Amateur
Hey Nathanael,

I've been a 'lurker' to this forum for over 3 years and learn something new everytime I log on. This forum contains an amazing wealth of knowledge and experice (so visit it often ;) )

I asked the same question when I wanted to get into building; "Where do I start?" I'm only on my 19th guitar right now, so I'm still pretty new at this, yet still remember what I did to get going. So I hope this helps....

I started with Frank Finocchio's DVD series (great introduction to the tools, jigs, etc....) and enjoyed everything he had to offer with the videos. When he says, "Call if you have any questions." he's being serious. He listened to my questions, offered suggestions and even emailed pics of some of his jigs!! (great guy)

I then bought books: Cumpiano's "Guitar Making: Tradition and Technology"; Bogdonovich's "Classical guitar making"; and, Kinkead's "Build your own Acoustic Guitar". All were very helpful.

I then purchased the DVD set by John Mayes......Excellent companion to all the above!

My next step was to purchase a kit from Martin guitars. This allowed me to test my skills, see what tools I needed to add to my shop, and start making my own jigs, molds, etc....

Then I saw a surgeon, had half my brain removed..... and have been happily building (and drooling on myself) ever since!!!!
Have fun!!!

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Michael Anthony

"Life's short. Play guitar!"


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:09 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:40 pm
Posts: 758
Location: United States
Chris and Michael both offer good advice. There is a ton of information here if you search for it (top right side of each page below the sponsors). That'd be a good place to start. Do you have to take a class or work with an experienced luthier to help you? No, but it would help ensure that you completed your first. Many people have built guitars just from books such as Cumpiano's book. I took a class and it helped me stay on track, but the biggest benefit to me was having a pro around to guide me in recovering from my many errors.

As you progress, you will find people here very generous with their time and expertise. It's not the same as face time, but it'll get you through if you're patient and keep at it.

I would recommend you spend time reading books, the archives here, and google. Then revisit the forum with specific questions. A quick googling came up with this blog that, while it doesn't go into the specifics, provides a general overview of the process.
http://acousticguitarbuild.blogspot.com/

One thing I can tell you. Don't start this thinking you'll be able to get a great guitar for way cheaper than you could buy one.

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Mike Lindstrom


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:30 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:29 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Status: Amateur
"One thing I can tell you. Don't start this thinking you'll be able to get a great guitar for way cheaper than you could buy one."

Amen to that!!

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Michael Anthony

"Life's short. Play guitar!"


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:28 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:42 am
Posts: 1084
Location: Hudson, MA
First name: Kevin
Last Name: Quine
City: Hudson
State: MA
Country: Usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I started by just reading Cumpiano's book about 20 times. I'd say plan how you would perform each step in the book. There are several ways to do each cut or operation in guitar building.....figure out what works with your tools and experience. Then plan to buy lots of clamps


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 1943
Location: Missouri
First name: Patrick
Last Name: Hanna
State: Missouri
Country: USA
Hi, Nathanael. Everyone here was once in your shoes. Some sought out and got great apprenticeships, while others just plunged in. I just plunged in. When I built my first, there was no such thing as the internet. I built a nice little classical from Sloane's book. It's got lots of cosmetic problems and it has a "hard" spot in the neck where I didn't contour it correctly, but it was built for my own use and it's otherwise a great playing guitar. I might never get around to correcting that neck contour. It reminds me of how far I have come!

Later efforts produced much better necks (we learn as we go along), and I am happier with each instrument that I build. Unlike many of these people, I am just a hobby builder. I don't want my hobby to turn into a job. Nonetheless, these people on the forum--especially the pros-- have been endlessly generous with their help and advice to me.

So, my friend, my advice to you is to read everything you can find. Purchase your materials (and go with lesser grades of woods on the first one or two), and then plunge in. You will find endless, generous help from the people on this forum, and you will get better with each effort.

Don't be crushed if you first one doesn't turn out "just so." It probably wont. But it might be a really good player. Or it might look great but leave you wanting a little better tone or playing comfort. Who cares? You will learn from it, and you will immediately want to start on number two!

That's the best advice I can give you: Just go for it.

Best regards,
Patrick


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:47 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
Posts: 1908
Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I think a few folks here have given some good advice....

I will add 1 bit of my own....

If you want to build a guitar - then build a guitar.. Pick 1 book or video or whatever.... but focus on building 1 guitar.... Many of the books are instruction manuals... You don't really sit down and read instruction manuals for the sake of reading them... You skim through to make sure you aren't missing anything you need.... Kinda like when you get something for your kids that's "Some assembly required".... You don't sit down on the couch and read the instruction manual for building a bicycle cover to cover 9 times.... No - you get out your tools and start at "Step 1"...

If you want to buy a book to sit on the coffee table and read on the couch to "Think" about guitars - get Somogyi's "Responsive guitar" or Gilette & Gore's "Design" book or Romanillos' Torres guitar book.... Those are more for thinking about the guitar....

You can run into some real trouble initially if you mix and match methods from different books, videos, and internet sources.... Necks not lining up right on the body, bridges set wrong, weird problems when you get to final assembly, etc.... Leave the mixing and matching until you have a few builds under your belt and want to experiment with the process a bit...

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:20 pm
Posts: 8
First name: Per
Last Name: Marklund
Country: Sverige
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I read lots on the internet and then one day, i bought the material and went from there. I had to make up lots of strange solutions to my problems on the way cause i didn´t have all that much money to spend on tools.

Check out my first build here http://luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10130&t=34965


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:31 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:00 am
Posts: 82
Location: United States
First name: Jimmie (Jim)
Last Name: Hall
City: Columbia
State: SC
Zip/Postal Code: 29223
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Good morning Nathanael,

I see you're open to taking a class. In retrospect, I have decided this is the best way for a beginner to get started. It can actually be less expensive to do it this way, and you will end up with a much better first guitar with less stress.

You are 95 miles from Malone NY, home of Dave Nichols Custom Pearl Inlay. He does a very reasonably priced one week class, after which you'll end up with a quality guitar and stories to last a lifetime.

If you can't get in with Dave, another 4 hours down I81 will get you to Blues Creek and John Hall.

Either one would be a choice you wouldn't regret.

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If you can't do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:46 am
Posts: 1247
First name: Beth
Last Name: Mayer
City: Tucson
State: AZ
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hi Nathaneal,

Welcome to this crazy obsession! I started building in my mind, and studying for building 15 years ago, but didn't put chisel to wood until 2 years ago. I started with an intensive scratch-build class, which was perfect for me because I had NO woodworking experience. That, and many hours of studying Campiano, YouTube (there's some great stuff there), and especially, the generous luthier on this forum.

Good luck with your building! Beth


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:24 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:02 pm
Posts: 27
First name: David
Last Name: Freeman
City: Tugaske
State: Saskatchewan
Zip/Postal Code: S0H 4B0
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Nathaneal
When I started I read Sloanes book & Kamimotos Book Over & over then did a small step . went back to the books & repeated that . Then I went & took a intensive scratch build class. I still play that guitar 32 years later. A good class will give you lots of options with a guide thru the many mistakes thatt can mostly be fixed. The end result is a fine instrument. There are a lot of classes Short & long . It depends on your own woodworking background what you need to learn.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:43 am
Posts: 1326
Location: chicagoland, illinois
City: chicagoland
State: illinois
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
you didn't specify what your idea of a "guitar" is. acoustic instruments are far, far more complex than solid body electrics.
Quote:
Do I need to take guitar building classes?

no. especially in this day and age, with the interwebs and such.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:08 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:54 am
Posts: 2
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Guitarist888 wrote:
Hey,
I'm new to building guitars, although it's been one of my major interests for a LONG time now.
I want to build my FIRST guitar, but I don't know where to start!
I need advice!
Do I need to take guitar building classes?

I need ALL the help I can get!
If anyone's got ANY advice, post it right up!

Thanks alot!

Start whit The neck and The angel to head stock and figur out hos tog make a trossrod.
A did that then it roll on [FACE WITH LOOK OF TRIUMPH]

carl runström


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:16 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 9831
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Wow a resurrection of sorts from 2012! Very cool!


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