#1
So im getting ready for my very first full guitar build. Ill keep it simple, what tools do i need? For inlaying, routing, neck shaping, the whole thing.

I have a Black & Decker drill, palm sander, and i have a soldering gun. What else do I need?

Thanks

~Jake
#2
a router.... a ban or scroll saw a sufficient amount of clamps perhaps a lathe
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#3
Yeah i kinda figured a router lol im gonna pick a dremel up at lowes next time i go, I have plenty of clamps

What else?
#4
1. Router(and lots of various bits for different jobs) 2.Either a jigsaw or bandsaw(bandsaw works a bit better) 3. orbital sander(some people will say you dont need it, but its one of the tools I use most) 4. Scroll saw 5. Clamps. Lots of clamps. 6. Lots of wood to make jigs 7. 1/2 inch particle board to make templates(you'll be glad you did on the next build) 9. Sanding block

Lots more than that, thats just the ones I thought of off hand
#5
I went out on a limb and broke the bank with tools... the more stuff you have the easier the job...

My tools consist of:
various size planes, power planer (hand and bench) small band saw, drill press, router (dremel with stewmac base and 1hp 1/4" collet router with table), belt/disc sander combo, bench vise, TONS of clamps, gents saw, fret files, precision straight edges of various sizes, precision squares (i have one from 1918 or something like that that rocks!), dial caliper, rasps, spokeshave, jointer, soldering iron, nut making files, fret rocker, tang nippers (home made), fret pullers (home made), fret wire bending jig (home made), radius sanding blocks, pickup winder (home made)... there's more but i forget...

edit:

dont forget titebond (original!!!!!!!!) and superglue...

I've found krazy glue and loctite brands to be pretty good but if you want really water thin CA, get it from a hobby shop... it's called ZAP CA... it's awesome for getting into small cracks.
Support your local luthier!

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Last edited by nuthinbuttrubl8 at Oct 6, 2008,
#11
hmmm... neck profiles? unless you have a special fixture and do 2 of them at the same time, i dont see the benefit. you'd have to set the neck eccentric from the centerline to get a profile rather than a perfectly round dowel pin

Technically, though, you could build a guitar with a router, jigsaw, rasp, chisels, heavy wire cutters, sand paper and a small hammer and file set... it would be crude, yes, but functional.
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#12
Think about it for a minute sauce.

You'd have a neck spinning in a lathe, and you have to put a chisel into it without touching the fretboard.

Like nuthinbuttrubl8 said, unless you were doing two at a time taped together, this wouldn't be any walk in the park.
My Sig Is Coming Soon
#13
Quote by LarryTheSecond
Think about it for a minute sauce.

You'd have a neck spinning in a lathe, and you have to put a chisel into it without touching the fretboard.

Like nuthinbuttrubl8 said, unless you were doing two at a time taped together, this wouldn't be any walk in the park.



I think the key is this "rotary profile lathe". From pictures, it looks like a shaping, sandpaper covered spindle on the lathe.. then you hold the neck to that.

Kind of like having a sanding drum, but it has a profiled shape.
#16
Quote by -MintSauce-
Neck profiles.

I guess it's possible, I have a lathe but would never do it that way, I use an orbital sander and it takes about 20 minutes on a mahogany neck a little longer for maple. You will need a jig saw or band saw, a drill press or drill press attachment for a drill, a router with an inch long pattern bit and a 1/4" one is handy, a template to rout it after you rough cut the shape or some sort of spindle sander (you can buy attachments for a drill press), a couple chisels, a rasp, an orbital sander is a must I use mine all the time. Check out craigslist for tools and try not to get the cheapest stuff possible it'll just break and wouldn't work very good in the first place. I only buy tools like dewalt, porter cable, hitachi, makita, etc. but if there ones I don't use much I'll find some decent cheaper ones.
#18
Quote by -MintSauce-
Did anyone read my other post?

You don't attach the neck to the lathe.. you put a shaped sanding drum on it, then you use that to do the guitar.


I read it, and yes, you're right. In the hands of an inexperienced woodworker, however, it would likely result in a nice piece of firewood.

To the OP - hand tools are slower, but less potentially damaging if you err. And also, you can NEVER have too many clamps. Best of luck with your project. Read the online tutorials at projectguitar and have fun.
PRS SC245
Various Strats
Polytone Mini Brute
Koch Studiotone XL
Quilter OD200, 101 Reverb and Mini
1958 National lap steel
Eastman El Rey 1
#19
Thanks guys for all the advice, ive got a pretty good idea of most of the things that i need, and the build im doing is gonna be a mix of 2 of my favorite guitars, youll see later in the year.

So you guys listed a TON of tools i need, and i know i can of course find everything at stewmac but can anyone tell me some places to get the stuff CHEAPER? Stewmac is totally gonna break me in half
#20
The only tools you should need from Stewmac tend to be quite specialized. Good general woodworking tools should be bought from a store that specializes in them. More generic tools, such as clamps, can be bought almost anywhere there's a sale on them.

If you have the patience, buy only the tools you need as you get to the point you need them. Things will go slower, but you will have less risk of buying something you either don't really need, or something you're not quite sure of the reason for buying.
PRS SC245
Various Strats
Polytone Mini Brute
Koch Studiotone XL
Quilter OD200, 101 Reverb and Mini
1958 National lap steel
Eastman El Rey 1
#21
stewmac sucks. their tools are expensive and way overpriced. the things i recommend from them are the router base, fret slotting miter box (even tho the gauges are HELLA expensive) and fret crowning files... the other files and tools can be purchased at harbor freight and modified for guitar work. a set of big end nippers are good for cutting fretwire, small nippers ground flush on a belt sander (2 minutes) make perfect fret pullers, a 5 dollar sheet metal nibbler from radioshack modifies into a fret tang nipper perfectly... you can google search homemade fret wire bender for a great way to make one out of a plastic board and patio bearings from home depot... tons of ways around the stewmac screw.

i've found some things on stewmac to be on par with other prices from other stores... like their dyes, nut blanks, router bits (the ball bearing ones are a tough find), etc but their fretwire is way expensive (5 dollars for 2 feet vs. warmoth 6.50 for 8 feet) and their special tooling, while nice, can usually be made from cheapos you get at harbor freight.
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#22
Ok so for a bandsaw, whats the smallest one i can get away with?
I dont have a job until like a week from now and then its a really low income lol, but im still in high school so its good.

No need for the fret slotting miter box yet, ill just order already slotted

So my essential list so far
Bandsaw
Dremel
Planer?
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=41921
I know nothing about bandsaws or planers
#23
you can get away with a 9" bandsaw but it's tricky because sometimes you have to flip the body over so you'll have to draw your lines on both sides.

preslotted boards are for wussies

you don't need a planer... you can buy the wood premachined. you need a number 4 or number 5 JACK plane just to true up some spots and what-not.

you dont need a bandsaw either... a jigsaw would suffice but it's a real bitch to work with. it's easier with a band saw...

if you don't know anything about them, ask for help... don't do anything stupid because you can cut your fingers off or f*k yourself up pretty good

if you're buying a slotted board you don't need a lot of tools but you still need a crowning file, radius block, needle files, rasp (half round and full round), drills, and router (plunge routers are better than fixed base in some cases but not necessary).

>.>

<.<

honestly, though, you could make a guitar with a steak knife and sand paper if you're determined enough to do it...
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#24
Ha alright man thanks alot for your help man, ill be ordering some of the tools in about 2 weeks and get a pretty good sized chunk outta the way, im gonna save the bandsaw for last because ill be doing more neckwork than bodywork especially over christmas break.

And hopefully ill be able to get some of my tools from you =P