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Learning to Build Guitars

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I absolutely love playing guitar, and wish to learn how to build them from inside out. I'm 17 and really havent any experience with building anything like a guitar and would just like to know how some of you got started, or any suggestions for me on how to get started. Are there kits or something for practice, or should i try order bodies or stuff online and putting that together? Right now i'm trying to at least learn basic stuff like wiring diagrams and setting up my guitar (which i'm still horrible at). Point is, i'd really love to learn how to do some of the incredible things that you guys do with guitars, and any help that you all could provide would be much appreciated.

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This site has a lot of tutorials and articles... but that should be obvious.

When I first became interested in building guitars, I went Googling. I bookmarked the first useful site that I found that explained the basics of building a bass. I liked that site because it was simple enough to kickstart my brain. Use your favorite search engine to find more home-made sites about home-made guitars.

Also, companies like Warmoth and Stewart McDonald have a lot of technical information and design diagrams on their web sites. Spend an evening cruising through their sites and you'll learn a lot about the various instrument parts.


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I've never actually "built" a guitar. I mean, what qualifies as: "guitar-building?"

I have, however, "made" a Carvin-Bolt-On (Strat-style) guitar from their kit. It was a lot of fun and is a decent looking & playing guitar (if you don't mind it's distinct "Mark Knopfler-ish" tone....which has to do with the ebony neck + the large body routing---the thing's almost a hollow-body)!!!

I've heard lots of good about Saga kits.

With (these kinds of) Kits, one wouldn't learn much about wiring as they're basically already wired & ready to go. You would learn about "finishing" and the basics of putting-a-guitar-together (assembly). The Carvin Instructions (for the Bolt-On) are pretty good/ clear & to the point.

Stewart MacDonald catalogs are free...and I'd also recommend them (just for all the free info). Plus they have stuff ya might need! I know I (surely) have....

I'm currently stepping up my "guitar building" in my buying separate parts to "make" a more customized guitar. But this (still) wouldn't be "building" in the stricest sense of: "Luthiery."

The pros do it from scratch.

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Well yea...eventually i want to be at the point where i can build from scratch, so that i can make completely custom guitars. Right now though i guess i'll start with a kit and a lot of reading. I was wonderin gif anyone had suggestions for kits other than saga though, because saga already has everything prewired and i was hoping to get a kit where i could do all that stuff on my own.

Edited by Rhavin
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OK. How's about this?

Go to a pawn shop & buy a really cheap/ trashed-out/ lame guitar.

Then put new "pups" (pickups) in it and fix everything else.

Adjust the neck, intonate & repaint it & what-else-have-you.

If ya mess up...you've only lost a few bucks. And you've learned a lot (from yer mistakes).



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