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tools needed for making 100% handmade guitar

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ok so i've decided to build my own guitar COMPLETELY from scratch... :D i've read through the tutorials and there are many tools mentioned of which i am lacking.

first, since it seems to be very popular, i think i'd need a "dremel." what model is best for routing a guitar body? will a dremel 275 do the trick? or will i need one of these: stv15.jpg

second, what kind of power sander is best for molding the body? i looked at the body tutorial of the guy making an RG style body and i doubt i could do that with just sand paper. :ph34r:

so are the dremel and the sander the only hardware i will need for the body?

third, what kind of "coping saw" should be used for cutting out the head stock and stuff? B) i take it from the tutorial on the neck that i will also need a rasp, spokshave, and surform. any suggestions on which brands and models are the best for building a guitar?

any suggestions would be appreciated. thanks.

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The larger Router will do far more for you then a dremel in terms of actually building a body and for the latter I own the arbor press, they run around $26-45 depending on the size you want. Mine in particular was $26 but I had to have the end drilled and tapped for a set screw in order to use the part that hang's down holding the brass caul.

You should try pawn shop's to see if you can find something inexpensive if your not going to use them alot or try some of the links on the supply page for tools such as Harbor Freight. They have wonderful deals on stuff and usually free shipping on purchase's over $50

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is this the arbor press you said you have? 1/2 ton arbor press at Harbor Freight Tools

what attatchments will it need to actually fret a guitar?

also, which dremel drill model do you recommend? should i use the dremel to route the body or use someone's else's real router?

also, what kind of power sander will i need?

thanks for your help!

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i never used a power sander on my body , instead i would recommend using a jigsaw or a bandsaw. I you use a jigsaw the blade can bend, giving you an angled cut. so i then use a spokeshave with a convex bottom to make the sides of the body smooth and uniform. I finish it by hand sanding.

I have also never used a dremel , and in my opinion you are better off getting a 'real' router unless you plan on doing intricate inlays on the neck.

i also dont use n arbor press to fret my guitars, BUT it will do a much better job~! .... dont forget you will also need a fret saw to cut the slots for the frets to sit into (usually about .024" wide)

hope that helps.

p.s Dont take my word for it, because there are many ways to build a guitar and no one way is always the right way! :D

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depends , sometimes i hammer them in with a hard rubber tipped hammer , other times i clamp them with one of those cheap one handed trigger action clamps. It has a nylon clamping surface that does`nt mark the frets or fretboard.

try and put a few frets in a scrap piece of board, and experiment with different ways of putting them in.

whatever works for you should be fine!

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thanks, i guess i will try hammering the frets in.

another question, how do you measure the spacing of the slots the frets go into? is there a special technique involved? i take it you'd install the nut first and measure from the front of the nut. problem is i'm going to have a double locking floyd rose on my guitar. how does this affect how i set up the frets? how does it affect how i radius the neck? are there different floyd model for different radiai or can you adjust the floyd for different radiai?

any help would be appreciated!

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other times i clamp them with one of those cheap one handed trigger action clamps. It has a nylon clamping surface that does`nt mark the frets or fretboard.

Hi John,

you wouldn't have a pic of this?

I don't understand what kind of clamp you mean.

Or maybe you can explain to me what kind it is.



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