#1
Any books anyone recommend?

I remember a long time ago I asked a guy who owned a guitar shop how he got into fixing guitars, fixing the action on the neck, installing pegs for straps, things like that ...

and he said he just read a bunch of books on the subject.
#2
Honestly save up some extra money and find some junk guitars, take them apart and reassemble them until you can do so with ease and correctly. You honestly don't need to read any books on the subject, it's something where hands on is going to teach you far more. It would definitely be smart to read/watch some quick tutorials online before doing whichever mod you are doing at the time.

The only things that you may need a book for would be like painting/finishing. Unless you want to get into wiring pickups and stuff like that. Also, a lot of it is knowing which parts will go good with other parts etc. A lot of that is easy to learn just by reading up on reviews of the parts/mods you want to do.
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#3
Step 1. Watch lots of youtube videos, some times watch the same ones many many times.
Step 2. Get guitars
Step 3. Mod/Repair those mofo's.

Right now I am working on my Ibanez GSZ120, redoing my botched paint job and completely refretting it, mostly with tools I made myself.
#5
You just have to do it, man.
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#6
I started out by wanting to change the sound of my guitar but I was too scared to risk messing it up. I bought an Epiphone LP Junior and practised everything on it instead. Changing electronics, changing hardware, stripping and painting it, changing the nut, whatever.

That Junior was a wreck, but A) it taught me everything I needed to know to get started and B) better than wrecking a guitar I did actually care about.

So I'd advise you do the same thing. Buy something cheap, maybe even something already broken, and just start hacking away at it with whatever tools and spare parts you have around or can get very cheaply.
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#7
Quote by MrFlibble

That Junior was a wreck, but A) it taught me everything I needed to know to get started and B) better than wrecking a guitar I did actually care about.

So I'd advise you do the same thing. Buy something cheap, maybe even something already broken, and just start hacking away at it with whatever tools and spare parts you have around or can get very cheaply.

That is what I did my my GSZ120, its a mess now so now I am fixing it back up.


@OP - I suggest looking at Daves world of fun stuff, Sully's Guitar Garage, and Kenny Barnwell Kenny Tech Tips. These pages helped me a lot as well as just frequenting this section of the site and visiting other forums tech section.
#8
Thanks all.

This sounds awesome. I will have to do this.

Certainly I can find a clunker somewhere. What about tools? I'm sure they sell the basics at guitar center. Enough to get started with. I wouldn't mind putting some cash to work toolwise.
#9
Get yourself a fret rocker, crowning file, and some straight edges for what ever scale neck you want here. http://www.neckcheckguitar.com/

Get a good straight edge for filing the frets, explorer builder taught me that this is one place where a DIY tool just really does not cut it. http://www.ebay.com/itm/G-M-I-fret-leveling-beam-luthier-tool-400mm-15-75-/251271631474?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item3a80f4d272

You need good support for working on necks.
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for_Fretting/Neck_Support_Caul.html

This is useful for doing minor work such as doing setups. I have one and I absolutely love it, much more durable and sturdy than it looks.
https://www.google.com/shopping/product/10367842980630821896?es_sm=122&sclient=psy-ab&q=guitar+neck+rest&oq=guitar+neck+rest&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.63934634,d.cWc,pv.xjs.s.en_US.XfwMuUWwEZU.O&espv=210&biw=1360&bih=677&tch=1&ech=1&psi=PAc6U66MAdWpsQTq44DQBw.1396311864290.5&ei=Sgc6U7ruJszLsATGhIGgCA&ved=0CMoBEKYrMAg

Make sure you have a large flat surface to work on, I use towels but those slide around. This would be better. http://www.fender.com/accessories/care-cleaning/guitar-work-station-black/

Get a good soldering iron, best you find a local shop that also sells extra tips since its easy to ruin the tips if not properly cared for.

You will want some wet dry sandpaper with grits going between 300 to 1500/2000.

Feeler gauges are another handy tool as well as some nut files. Power drill, buffing wheels, and steel wool 0000. Other could give you a heads up on a lot more but these are just my own priority for tools at the moment for doing what you are wanting to do.
#10
Quote by RoosterSmith
Thanks all.

This sounds awesome. I will have to do this.

Certainly I can find a clunker somewhere. What about tools? I'm sure they sell the basics at guitar center. Enough to get started with. I wouldn't mind putting some cash to work toolwise.


A majority of the tools you'll need you won't get from a guitar store, but a DIY store like B&Q, Homebase, Toolstation, maplin (nice soldering equipment). For things like a toolbox, screw drivers, allen keys, drills, heat gun (if you ever plan to strip the paint work off a guitar to bare wood)

The list gets longer as you progress aha, I only started getting into this 3 months ago and I've accumulated so much DIY gear it's unreal, I haven't even got to guitar specific stuff yet like fret work.

Get a good soldering iron, best you find a local shop that also sells extra tips since its easy to ruin the tips if not properly cared for.

Also ^^THIS^^
I ruined my soldering iron within a few minutes when i first had it because I forgot to tin the tip and it oxidized so quickly (I was excited ). Luckily I did get one that has changeable tips

As for finding a cheap guitar to start off with, browse through gumtree, ebay & craigslist (can't find much on it if your in the UK though) something should turn up. Yamaha EG112s seem to be knocking around my area, seen one going for £20. Good luck buddy!
#11
I use a soldering station from circuitspecialists.eu. Just their own brand basic 60w unit. Fender's main EU service office uses them, so I figured it'd be good enough for me. Not had any issues yet. If you're at a loss for soldering stations, I suggest that one.

As for other tools, it's all basic stuff. Specific tools for guitar and bass only really started being made about ten, fifteen years ago. For most of the life time of the electric guitar and bass, and for all of the lifetime of acoustics, people just use regular woodworking/metalworking tools, or make their own homebrew tools out of whatever bits of wood and metal they bolt together.

Get yourself a decent set of screwdrivers, as many allen keys as you can get your hands on, a range of very fine files, some needle-nose wire clippers, an X-Acto knife and keep some 0000 steel wool in. Along with a half-decent soldering iron, you shouldn't need anything else for now. You might want to buy a wire stripper if you're not confident stripping wire just with a knife. Obviously if you end up refretting guitars, doing inlays and repainting guitars, you'll need to get more stuff then. While you're learning, the basics will suffice. I still use all the same tools I started with, with only a few additions.
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#12
Quote by YuckFoo
Honestly save up some extra money and find some junk guitars, take them apart and reassemble them until you can do so with ease and correctly. You honestly don't need to read any books on the subject, it's something where hands on is going to teach you far more. It would definitely be smart to read/watch some quick tutorials online before doing whichever mod you are doing at the time.

The only things that you may need a book for would be like painting/finishing. Unless you want to get into wiring pickups and stuff like that. Also, a lot of it is knowing which parts will go good with other parts etc. A lot of that is easy to learn just by reading up on reviews of the parts/mods you want to do.


Heavily Disagree

While hands on experience is a great way to learn, going based on what you learn in that experience solely is going to make you half the guitar tech you could be. There are things beginners will not look out for, simply because they're too subtle for someone who isn't looking for them.

For example, how to properly adjust a truss rod, grounding pickups to prevent excess noise. Even Fretboard Radii adjustments are likely to be overlooked by someone who doesn't know any better. When it comes to repairs, there are proper ways to glue things back together, which glues to use etc. The problem with quick tutorials is that they're just that. They're helpful, but don't exactly help you understand why you're doing what you're doing and you start blindly following a series of steps.

You're much better off attacking it from both fronts, as it'll make you a much better guitar tech/repairman in the long run.
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#13
I started by rebuilding "Project Guitars" found on Ebay. Then I moved up to guitar kits. Check out the guitar kit builds at www.realmusiciansforum.com. to help you see what it takes. I'm Guitbuilder there also.
Basic tools, a place to work, and a book or two will get you started. Plan on building more than one to get the best results.
Good luck