Sunday, November 13, 2011

Electric Guitar Building From Home - Is It Possible? like me you are an keen guitar player, you would possibly at some period have pondered how complicated it could be to one day build your own electric guitar from your home. It is a question that I pondered many years ago and since then I have built numerous guitars employing relatively fundamental and reasonably priced tools.Yes it truly is undoubtedly possible to build a fine instrument at home, and below I will tell you some tips I have gathered over time and also some of the tools I have used.The very first thing I would recommend is to look online for one of the many books on electric guitar building. In addition there are some extremely good websites providing very helpful information on the subject.

The next thing for you to do will be to get started drawing the body shape of the guitar you would like on a large sheet of paper. Check out different double and single cutaway designs available on the market to help you with your style and design. You might of course just decide to emulate one of the famed designs.

To start your project you will need to find a good work space (the garage is often excellent) and some high-quality hardwood. You will discover many retailers of instrument wood online and if you do some research you can discover what hardwoods have been utilised by the primary manufacturers, for example Gibson and Fender. You will need wood for the body, neck and fretboard.

Many of the companies will also supply much of the hardware necessary for the project for example the machine heads, fret wire, bridge, tailpiece etc. They would even offer pearl inlays for the fret board. For the guitar pickups I would go to a specialist maker as good quality humbuckers, Stratocaster, P-90 or Telecaster pickups are essential.

As far as the various tools needed to do the job go, there will be a need for general woodworking tools such as: files, electric sander, electric drill, jig saw, chisels, good quality steel ruler, sandpaper, coping saw, fret saw, soldering iron, good wood glue, some strong clamps and so on. There will also be the need for a few more advanced electric tools, the most vital being the electric router. The router will be the electric guitar makers number one friend and will be implemented through the entire project to do several tasks for example: routing out the pickup and control cavities, routing the guitar neck socket along with the truss rod channel and lots of other tasks. You could potentially manage with a lot of chiseling rather than a router but I would not advise this, especially as routers have come down so much in cost. Some people firmly insist that you must have a band saw to cut out the body and neck shapes but I have constantly managed very well with a good quality jig saw.

Other tools that I use that are not critical are an electric spindle sander, a drill press and a little hobby drill. The spindle sander is an excellent way of sanding the body and neck sides without burning the wood. The jig saw can cut to within just 5mm of the finished design and the spindle sander can finish up to the template line.

One of the most difficult areas of the entire process will be the cutting of the fret slots as these need to be really accurate. Fortunately some companies provide fret boards already slotted.

When you have the appropriate wood, your design on paper, your tools (normal plus some advanced) and your components, you're on your way.

This is not a 'how to' article, it strives to address whether it is possible to make an electric guitar from your home, which it most definitely is. Of course it goes without saying that electric tools can be extremely dangerous and you should only undertake a project like this if you're self-assured in your woodworking capability, if not, you might have to simply buy a guitar after all.

The author has been a very keen guitarist for countless years and loves to play, repair and build these instruments. He recommends Tub Guitar Pickups for your project build as they provide high quality pickups of many styles including: Tele Pickups and Stratocaster Pickups.


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