#1
I've been researching what tools are needed to build a complete electric guitar (body, top, neck, fretboard, binding, routing, etc.), but I can't seem to find a clear, complete answer on what I need to get started. My budget is about $500-600. Also, any particular brands to look for or stay away from? Thanks.
#2
Quote by masonjoseph_
I've been researching what tools are needed to build a complete electric guitar (body, top, neck, fretboard, binding, routing, etc.), but I can't seem to find a clear, complete answer on what I need to get started. My budget is about $500-600. Also, any particular brands to look for or stay away from? Thanks.


If you're talking building them from scratch, You're estimate is way low. Watch this video. This guy uses a ton of hand tools; power tools are more expensive. There is 5 parts to the video. Watch them all.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFPLkNKxk9A
#3
Heres a short list of some essential things in my opinion: Plunge router (with a good set of router bits), jigsaw/bandsaw, electric plane, drill, chisel, selection of files, fret slotting saw. You could probably make one with these tools for binding you might want a jig.
#4
For fretting and so forth tools Stewmac or this website called LMII.com (luthiers merchantile ...something classy). youtube wise that guy or sullys guitar garage you'll be a luthier in no time. Guitar electronics questions feel free to shoot me an email.

I wonder if there is any luthier classes in your area. In Toronto for example there is a company called Lado and although Joe (founder) retired from building guitars he teaches people. Joe built guitars for Iron Maiden in the mid 80s and to this day his bass guitars especially go for 1000s of dollars. I saw one local a 5 string bass for 5000$ and another bass around 6000$, either the guy selling them was a collector or something but they are sought after.

parts wise..
allparts is a joke, really overpriced mostly chinese crap you can get on ebay from china for 1/4th the price. They do have some good stuff but you'll find the stuff cheaper from others.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jan 8, 2015,
#6
A plunge router and a drill are essential. Buy carbide-tipped router bits if possible. You'll need a template follower bit, and a narrow bit for the truss rod channel (I think the one I used is 6mm). With the use of jigs, a router can replace many other tools.

A drill press is convenient for vertical holes, but if you take your time and keep it steady, you should be able to use an ordinary handheld drill.

Some sort of plane, whether it's a handplane or an electric one, is necessary for preparing the blanks. However, you can buy prepared body and neck blanks online if you want to skip this. You can build a sled for the router and use it to plane wood. It's slow but it works.

A bandsaw or jigsaw will save you time for rough-cutting the body and neck, but you can make do with a handsaw. Drill a bunch of holes around the outline and saw through them by hand. Smooth the curves with rasps, or with a router and template.

Rasps are useful for shaping the neck. Some people prefer a spokeshave but that's probably the more expensive option.

Lots of sandpaper.

For fretting, you can use a hammer with plastic or brass heads. Luthier supply shops sell these for ridiculous prices, but I got a similar one at the hardware store for cheap. You'll also need some sort of thin jigsaw or coping saw to cut the fret slots. Make sure you get a blade that's the correct size for the fret tang. They're usually quite cheap.

Cutting nut slots is the awkward part. There are special files for this task but they cost like $80 for a set. I've heard of people using needle files and welding tip cleaners as makeshift solutions. I haven't figured this one out myself.

Long rulers and calipers help.

My advice is to read a bunch of build threads (preferably with pictures) by different people using different tools. There's always more than one way to achieve a certain task.
Last edited by sashki at Jan 8, 2015,