I really want to make my own guitar this summer (an 80s style obnoxiously stylish superstrat), but my dad is a scientist. Being a chemist, he has an aversion to anything super manly involving power tools...

Looking at home depot's website, I see two tools that seem imperative to building a guitar: a router and a jigsaw.

Would these two tools, along with common non-power tools like sand paper and files and stuff like that, be enough to complete a good build? I would not be making my own neck, and thus will not be working on frets and the like that would need specific tools. The only other tool i can think of is a belt sander or thickness planar, or something along those lines to get a desired depth for the body blank. Is there a specific tool used for rounding the sides of the body (not a carve top, just like a strat)?

These are the two tools i was looking at:



if there are any really specific tools i might need for like ONE step on the guitar I can probably get a hold of them from a retired neighbor of mine that is really cool about that kind of thing, but I dont want to be too much of a bother.

Thanks GB&C!!! Your help will come full circle and reward you when I post delicious build pics!!!
Anxiously Anticipating An Attractive ADA-MP1 Addition!
You might also want a drill press. A jig saw is fine but it'll have trouble with harder woods like maple. If your neighbour has a bandsaw, that would be much more useful for rough-cutting the body and neck blanks.
The issue with drill presses is that they start around $120, making them very expensive for something that I could probably do with a hand drill and some extra time and patience. And yes I realized that doing the horns would be really tough with a jigsaw, so i might use the band saw and not get one at all.
Anxiously Anticipating An Attractive ADA-MP1 Addition!
im about done with my website discussing building a guitar with minimal tools (as im just about done with my build with only minimal tools)
my big tools that have the most use are

- router, simple battery powered one, the only bit i really use is a straight single size bit (shaft and end are same size). this makes routing from a template a straight shot. end product is the same as template.

- 4 inch belt sander. its a hand held one, all i could find is a 3 inch belt which was fine. i used it for planing, shaping the body edges, etc. its gotten a LOT of use

- jigsaw with a fine wood bit (20 TPI i think)

thats it for the big tools. the rest is a chisel, an Xacto knife, some sweat, mountain dew...

ill post up a link when the sites up and running. its partway there and has a lot of tips for all sorts of things like gluing, routing, planing, shaping, etc
You could use a handheld power drill armed with forstner bits instead of a drill press. It may require some extra attention, but is still effective. Also, make some friends with people with power tools. They probably be more than happy to let you use your tools and even help you out.

EDIT: Oh, and an oscillating spindle sander will help tremedously.
I pride myself on my humility.
Last edited by mtshark at Jun 5, 2011,
im curious what people are using a drill press for if the body isnt string-through. i dont have one and ive gotten along fine. i will admit the neck holes were a bit more tough, but everything else was cake with just a hand drill. bridge is lined up perfect, etc.

If absolutely need, like drilling for tuning machines on the headstock, i used the router as a drillpress. just get the right sized bit, and unlock the depth guide. hold it, and let the router slowly drop through.
Last edited by xadioriderx at Jun 5, 2011,
alright i got most of my page up and going. i did it pretty quick and dirty, so the header is massive and its not formatted very well.
i still need to make the pages for pup rings, converting 2-4 wire humbuckers, and the access panels parts. here it is: