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 Post subject: Aspiring luthier!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:13 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:18 pm
Posts: 2
First name: Braden
Last Name: Holmes
City: Springfield
State: Tennessee
Zip/Postal Code: 37172
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hi, I'm strongly interested in building solidbody electric guitars after years of playing and desiring something to entirely call my own. It's a bug that's eaten away at me for a long time, and I've finally gotten to the point of doing my research to see where to begin(or else I wouldn't have ended up here, right? Haha). My interest grew significantly after recently getting surgery on my knee and being holed up at my dad's house. He happens to be into woodworking with his own little shop and a pretty sizable set of woodworking tools, so I'm not too worried about gathering the most basic resources that I need.
Essentially, I have no hands-on knowledge of guitar building and would greatly appreciate any possible tips/advice that anyone here would be willing to offer to someone with absolutely no experience. Thanks!

Braden


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring luthier!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:07 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1363
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hi Branden, and welcome to the wonderful world of lutherie. For someone who wants to build an electric guitar I always suggest getting Melvyn Hiscocks book Make Your Own Electric Guitar. Hiscock details design issues (including neck angles and all the stuff that makes it playable), woods and tools, electronics and finish. He builds three different guitars using different neck construction methods - a set neck (like a Les Paul but his own design), a bolt on (pretty much a tele clone) and a thru neck (happens to be a bass but it could easily be a guitar).

It would be helpful to know what you want to build and how much you want to do - for example carving the neck can be a wonderful (or frustrating) experience - some people choose to buy a neck pre carved or a fretboard pre slotted.

In addition to the usual wood shop tools (I find a band saw, belt sander, drill press and one or more routers very useful) you will need a small collection of dedicated lutherie tools - fretting files and the like, nut files, maybe a few things to do your setup. Most electrics require a bunch of routing - you'll probably be buying or making templates and maybe some special bits.

I've done a couple of build threads on other forums of my first electric builds - you might find it helpful to look these over (and see where I make the worst mistakes). I had build a few acoustics so I wasn't exactly a beginner, but I still stumbled a bit.

Here is a tele clone with a bought neck, probably the simplest electric you can make

http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/for ... barncaster

and here is a rather long discussion of a scratch built les paul (probably one of the more difficult electrics)

http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/for ... 1/1104633-

Let us know how we can help you, sit back and prepare to have fun.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Hesh (Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:56 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring luthier!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:15 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:18 pm
Posts: 2
First name: Braden
Last Name: Holmes
City: Springfield
State: Tennessee
Zip/Postal Code: 37172
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Freeman wrote:
Hi Branden, and welcome to the wonderful world of lutherie. For someone who wants to build an electric guitar I always suggest getting Melvyn Hiscocks book Make Your Own Electric Guitar. Hiscock details design issues (including neck angles and all the stuff that makes it playable), woods and tools, electronics and finish. He builds three different guitars using different neck construction methods - a set neck (like a Les Paul but his own design), a bolt on (pretty much a tele clone) and a thru neck (happens to be a bass but it could easily be a guitar).

It would be helpful to know what you want to build and how much you want to do - for example carving the neck can be a wonderful (or frustrating) experience - some people choose to buy a neck pre carved or a fretboard pre slotted.

In addition to the usual wood shop tools (I find a band saw, belt sander, drill press and one or more routers very useful) you will need a small collection of dedicated lutherie tools - fretting files and the like, nut files, maybe a few things to do your setup. Most electrics require a bunch of routing - you'll probably be buying or making templates and maybe some special bits.

I've done a couple of build threads on other forums of my first electric builds - you might find it helpful to look these over (and see where I make the worst mistakes). I had build a few acoustics so I wasn't exactly a beginner, but I still stumbled a bit.

Here is a tele clone with a bought neck, probably the simplest electric you can make

http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/for ... barncaster

and here is a rather long discussion of a scratch built les paul (probably one of the more difficult electrics)

http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/for ... 1/1104633-

Let us know how we can help you, sit back and prepare to have fun.

Wow thanks so much man! Seems like I gain a better understanding each time I see one of these step-by-step build threads. I ended up getting the book "Building Electric Guitars" by Martin Koch which has been chock full of information thus far. I know none of it will really stick until I start attempting it on my own, but I'm very excited to do this.


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring luthier!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:38 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:28 am
Posts: 155
First name: Leonard
Last Name: Duke
City: Kalamazoo
State: MI
Zip/Postal Code: 49001
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Best tip I know: Get all the cheap crummy junk instruments you can and try to make them play right. It won't matter if you goof up and you will learn everything that is annoying about poorly built guitars. Then when you build yours you will have detailed knowledge of how things should be.
Second tip: the first guitar you make should be a reasonably exact copy of a guitar design that you like. Making a guitar is hard enough without adding the huge amount of time it takes to design one that is functional and decent looking. If you copy a Strat, Tele, or Les Paul you will become aware of some genius aspects of their designs that cause guitarists to love them. This is the knowledge you need to make your own designs.
Have fun!


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring luthier!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:08 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 1946
Location: Missouri
First name: Patrick
Last Name: Hanna
State: Missouri
Country: USA
Braden,
Do I understand that you have no experience but you have a fire in your belly?! Well, that is a cool fire to have, but it will seldom lead you anywhere, all by itself. You need either a course of instruction, or you need (as has been suggested) a lot of cheap, crummy, otherwise worthless instruments for your practice repairs. If you have no experience, then I recommend you do the course of instruction first. Don't despair. Everyone on this forum has been there ahead of you.

Patrick


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring luthier!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:38 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1363
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
One very reasonable way to start is to assemble a "parts caster". Get a body and compatible neck (StewMac, Warmouth, Mighty Mite - many good sources) and assemble it. You'll probably have to finish it, you'll have to install the pickups and wiring and you'll get to do the setup. You have a reasonable chance of success. Most of these will be some sort of Fender clone, but by choosing pickups you can taylor the sound to what you prefer.

Another option is some sort of kit, but frankly a couple of the cheap kits that I have seen have been junk. If you decide to go that route might be best to bounce it off folks here.

What ever you decide, the people on this forum would love to help so keep us in the loop.


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