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Getting Started In Guitar Building?

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I'm 14 and I've played guitar for a year. Recently my guitars have needed a few adjustments and I quickly figured out how to repair my guitars, starting out with simple yet essential things like changing strings to adjusting truss rods and repairing pickups.

Anyway, I've become interested in building a small acoustic guitar for fun and a nice long term project to keep me occupied for a few months.

What I need right now is to know the following:

What tools will I need?

What kind of "hardware" will I need (Screws, Nuts, Bolts, Wood, etc.)?

What guitar related hardware will I need (Truss Rod, etc.)?

Basically, can you tell me everything I'm going to need and an estimation on the price I'm talking for a semi-decent acoustic guitar (semi-decent meaning it stays in tune, is playable and has a decent sound)?

Any help is greatly appreciated as I have NO idea where to start. Thanks in advance to everyone, this community seems very helpful and kind.

Edited by westhemann
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You're almost at the right place - look here: Project Guitar Tutorials. I built my 1st one a year ago and have gone on to do 5 more (each one better than the last - see Bocote for the last).

I've heard of folks building solid bodies using only a few hand tools, but I wouldn't have the patience for that. Having access to a band saw, router & drill press will get you most of the way there.


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A good place to start, especially with an acoustic, would be to start with a kit. You'll learn a lot about the finer points of gluing and assembly, but you won't have to worry about ruining good materials if you screw up a cut or two. Once you're comfortable with assembly, it should make a full build a lot less daunting.

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If I were you I would start out with a kit, It will save you soooo much work and time. I would get the stew-mac kit. You can download and print of there kit instructions online, and they have a list of basic tools for building there acoustic. If you start out like I did, from scratch, you better have your money ready because you will spend a fortune. If I am remembering right after I had purchased all the basic tools to build an acoustic from scratch I spent about a thousand dollars. That does not include any power tools except for a dremel, the rest are all hand tools like saws, planes, chisels, scrapers, lots of expensive files, bending iron, calipers, rasps, spokeshave, lots of bits just to name a few things. Anyway that’s my advice. Good luck!

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Thanks everyone.

I like the kit idea but I really don't have a lot of money and one of the reasons of building my own was to reduce the cost.

I have a lot of the tools I need and can borrow any other tool I may need from my neighbor or my sister's friend so I'm covered on tools I think, I just need to know like what else I'll need.

Once again, thanks.

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