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I allready made a topic where I asked some questions on how to make an electric, but what came to my mind in the meanwhile is that I'd actually like an acoustic!

So could you please tell me, what are the differences (in building them) which is generally cheaper, and which is harder/easier to build?

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I know almost nothing about building acoustics..

But i will say,

I have built electrics non stop for 7 years straight. And pretty much everythign involving an acoustic is much harder.

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If you read through the Accoustic and Hollow Body Guitar Chat forum, you will see just how much work goes into building an accoustic guitar. Then compare it with the solid body guitar build threads and see what you think. It's all there for you to see, and only you can decide which would be easier for you to build.

As for cost, a solid body guitar could be built cheaper than an accoustic, but an accoustic could be built cheaper than a solid. It all depends on what materials and hardware you wish to use.

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I have built both. In my opinion building an acoustic takes more woodworking experience than an electric does. I was fortunate to get a body with sides off ebay so that meant no bending or bending equipment was needed.

Also mine was a 12 string which negated the radiussing of the soundboard due to the pressure of the 12 strings.

Edited by jaycee

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How can you know that, if you know nothing about building acoustics? :D

Becuase you dont need to bend sides, do kerfing, more complex neck joints, and on and on. Plus you need many more tools and jigs you dont need for building electrics.

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I hope to try my hand at acoustics within the next year or so. The big issue is in the amount of jig/template planning and building I will need to do. It is certainly not something that can just be picked up, especially when you are unaware of the sheer amount of work that goes into one.

Try your local library for a few books on the subject. It is somewhat difficult to offer positive advice when the questions asked do not truly explain the extent of the subject. Electrics are certainly cheaper and easier to build if that is the information you were seeking.

Whether one knows how to perform brain surgery or not, we know it is not a pushover! Acoustics are not brain surgery by a long way thankfully, however they do require a completely different set of disciplines and knowledge to "simple" electric guitar building.

I think Melvyn Hiscock published a book on acoustic recently. If it is as accessible and friendly as his solidbody book I can recommend it thoroughly. There are several other books on the subject also which I am sure will be listed and written about in the upcoming site update....

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Let me say this...

Building a neck is pretty similar in an acoustic and an electric. Electric guitar builders look at neck carving as one of the more difficult steps. Acoustic guitar builders look at it as one of the easiest steps. That says a lot to me.

But if you want to build an acoustic guitar, consider a kit. It's a challenge, but one that's within reach. Or if you really want to build an acoustic guitar, pick up some books and get to reading.

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I'm afraid I can't quote or vouch for any specific books on acoustic instrument making apart from these obscure old ones I have. I believe that sites like LMI might actually stock the major definitive reference and instructional books. Most of them are known by the writer's surname which often says a lot....like "the [bob] Flexner book" on finishing....

Building the soundbox on an acoustic is like building a mousetrap or a wound-up clock and expecting it to stay in a relatively stable state unlike an electric which is for the most part a blob or the technical term, "wodge" of wood. A soundbox is a taut compound bow. A house of cards. An architectural wonder.

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LMI has some information, other places to look is Pantheon guitars website, read the articles by Dana Bourgeois under the tonewoods and voicing section, There is some articles on voicing a top there, I found it useful. http://www.pantheonguitars.com/ Otherwise I liked the book by Cumpiano http://www.amazon.com/Guitarmaking-Tradition-Technology-Construction-Steel-String/dp/0811806405

You can look throught my Padauk Dreadnought build thread as well, I put up the whole build and tried to explain everything as it was done.

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Building acoustics is not THAT difficult. Requires a bit more precision at a few more steps along the way, you work with thinner pieces of wood, and structure makes a huge, deciding impact on sound, whereas electrics are more or less just hunks of wood that require a solid neck to body joint and accurate fret spacing. This is a vast over-simplification, of course, but still.

In terms of tools, you can do either on the cheap, and an acoustic really only requires access to a drill press for a few steps, a laminate trimmer, and hand tools. Although a thickness sander makes a lot of things much easier. It's a bigger challenge, requires more molds and forms (the way I do it, anyway), but once you're tooled up/jigged up, if you've got a decent book to follow, it's certainly possible to make a good sounding first guitar.

In terms of material cost, a good to decent set of wood +hardware for an acoustic is cheaper than for an electric, simply because bridges and pickups are pretty expensive. I can probably put together wood +hardware for an acoustic for around 100-150 bucks ((african) mahogany or rosewood back/sides, colorful euro spruce top, (african) mahogany neck, rosewood or ebony fingerboard, gotoh tuners, truss rod, fret wire).

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Building acoustics is not THAT difficult. Requires a bit more precision at a few more steps along the way, you work with thinner pieces of wood, and structure makes a huge, deciding impact on sound, whereas electrics are more or less just hunks of wood that require a solid neck to body joint and accurate fret spacing. This is a vast over-simplification, of course, but still.

Agreed, but therein the difference lies and difficult or not it is a different skills set in many respects or at least it is from my viewpoint of not having built and acoustic....yet....

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