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To Anyone Who Builds Guitars Professionally


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Hey, I am trying to get a custom guitar done, but I want it done right, so I dont wanna attempt it by myself for my first guitar ever...

I am planning on getting a custom neck from doug sometime soon, which will be a neckthru blank.. Then once I get that, I was planning on maybe sending it to someone else, to have the wings of the body glued on, pickup/floyd routed, all that stuff..

I am talking with 2 different parties on this, pricing and etc, but progress is slow between them, and im not sure if the pricing will be cheap either lol.. I was wondering if theres anyone here who could help me glue on the wings, shape the body (simple shape) and do the correct routing and etc, or if you know someone who could do that for cheap (by cheap, I mean under $1000)

Finishes I dont really need, as I think I can manage to do that myself, or least find a carpenter in my town who could help me with that, but the wood working aspect of the guitar, I want done right. if someone could do the paintjob also, along with the rest, that would be awesome too..

Thanks, any infomation is appreciated

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I think you're making too much out of this --it's really not that difficult to do what you want, it just requires a little practice and the right tools. Gluing, for example, doesn't require much more than a set of clamps, some glue, some wax paper and some paper towels.

Since you're willing to drop the money on getting someone else to do it for you, why not just invest the cash in the tools instead? That includes buying the templates too, if you don't feel like making those. That way you'll be able to build lots of guitars.

I understand that this all seems pretty awe-inspiring, but the fact is, if I can build a guitar, ANYONE can. And I still get scared everytime I have to attempt something new (I'm even building a neck right, if you can believe that...what the hell was I thinking? :D )

But basically, even if you screw up, what do you lose? Wood's not that expensive --the wood for my current guitar cost me 0.00 euros. The wood for the other current build cost me about 2 euros.

The rest of it --all of the hardware, and even the fretboards, are salvageable if I screw the guitar up. So it's really no big deal if I mess up.

And look, with the right set of templates, there's really not all that much risk involved. Practice on scrap first, make sure you know what you're doing there, then move to the real thing.

I agree that starting with someone else's neck is an easier way to get into this though. But the rest of it you really can do on your own, if you're willing to try.

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I second Mickguard's notion. If *I* can build a guitar, anyone can. And I'm sure there are plenty of other people who will say the same thing.

In fact, I think adding wings to a neck-through blank is a terrific place to start - you've basically got all the important stuff done for you. While using a trem-style bridge that requires a route makes things a little more interesting, outside of that, it's pretty hard to screw up cutting two pieces of wood and sticking them on the sides.

About the only reason I can give for not attempting to do this yourself is it's incredibly addicting nature. Chances are in a year or two you will wonder why you have so many tools around your house and where all that mahogany came from.

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About the only reason I can give for not attempting to do this yourself is it's incredibly addicting nature. Chances are in a year or two you will wonder why you have so many tools around your house and where all that mahogany came from.

See, what I keep telling my wife is that, once I've finished building guitars, I'll get to work on our house...plenty of renovation work still needs to be done. That way she doesn't mind so much when I keep bringing home new machine tools... :D

Actually, now that I know how to use tools a bit, and now that I know that I can learn whatever I need to learn, I'm actually looking forward to working on the house...starting with my workshop!

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See, that only works in theory, for me. I find making furniture/etc. to be frightfully dull compared to guitar building. Yes, it's usually slightly quicker, but the rewards aren't quite so...rewarding. Which is why I'll always say 'sure, I'll build you a guitar', but won't really take on much in the way of other projects...

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I agree upto a point, but I *do* get a kick out of making anything which I know people will use and enjoy. I've made a few small kitchen units, and whilst I hated certain aspects (I *loath* wirking with MDF in any form) I enjoyed the design and construction, and the fact that they would be appreciated once completed.

As you noted, they were also refreshingly quick to complete :D

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I've got another 150 square meters or so to fix up here...that's a lot of drywall... I am interested in furniture though, pursuing my own designs --the wife's an architect too. I would never have even considered doing anything like this if I hadn't started building guitars.

Problem with building guitars is I get too obsessive about it...I need to finish my current projects and take a break for a while. :D Doubt I'll spend hours searching for just the right wallboard screw. Researching techniques for days on end for laying down insulation for maximum brillance.

So yeah, j. pierce is right, this is a real addiction. But Nick's already been hooked, he just doesn't know it yet. Once you start dreaming of your guitar, you'll never rest...

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See, what I keep telling my wife is that, once I've finished building guitars, I'll get to work on our house...plenty of renovation work still needs to be done.

I unfortunately used the same line, but in reverse. reno first, build after. :D

Renovations are just about done, and the fun is about to begin.

I can sense many days and nights spent in the workshop from hereon in. :D

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yea what im mainly afraid about is the fact im getting the neck made from doug with the neckthru blank.. basically that is going to be really expensive, and I have to do the routing into the neckthru blank, so if I mess up the routing, its basically lots of lost money hehe I mean I could still use as set-neck or bolt on but thats not what I intended, if I mess up

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yea what im mainly afraid about is the fact im getting the neck made from doug with the neckthru blank.. basically that is going to be really expensive, and I have to do the routing into the neckthru blank, so if I mess up the routing, its basically lots of lost money hehe I mean I could still use as set-neck or bolt on but thats not what I intended, if I mess up

Sure, that's understandable. But that's why most of the time you'll put in will be in making your templates (if you don't buy them) and in practicing with them until you're certain you can pull it off on the real guitar.

And usually it's enough to do one or two run-throughs --this isn't rocket science, after all. A bit of care and patience goes a long way.

Most of the mistakes I've made haven't been fatal to the guitar --it's pretty unlikely you'll screw things up so badly that you'll have to ditch the guitar. Making mistakes is a good way to learn how to fix them again so they won't show.

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Way I see it, you need to pick between 2 options:

1. Buy the stuff yourself and build it yourself, but don't go overboard on the money, there's a good chance you'll screw your first one up somewhere along the line.

2. Have a professional luthier build a guitar for you, and don't supply anything, let him build the whole thing for you from his materials, you'll get a better job out of it like that.

Trying to buy your own wood and have someone else build it for you is asking for trouble and additional expense in my book. Make a decision one way or the other, and commit to it 100%. :D

And I disagree about your mistakes probably not being fatal, that's a sort of false hope, because the possibility of you screwing it up big time is certainly there, we have no idea what kind of tooling you have or your confidence in using them, so I think to say don't worry, you'll be fine is sort of unrealistic, and I think you need the truth and all the facts to make a good decision with this.

If you want a guaranteed nice guitar to have while you pursue making your first, then have someone make it for you, that's a no-brainer in my book.

Here's a quote from another thread I posted the other day:

Let's look at it like this: do you think you could really learn how to be a great wide receiver just by watching tapes and reading books and advice and never actually DOING it, just trotting right out onto the field fresh from watching tapes and reading books and take a 50-yard pass over the shoulders of a defender into the endzone, first time out? biggrin.gif

No. You need to DO it, over and over and over, many times, before you really learn how to do it, you're going to suck at it at first, and wood this expensive is no training ground, that's my main point.

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And I disagree about your mistakes probably not being fatal, that's a sort of false hope, because the possibility of you screwing it up big time is certainly there, we have no idea what kind of tooling you have or your confidence in using them, so I think to say don't worry, you'll be fine is sort of unrealistic, and I think you need the truth and all the facts to make a good decision with this.

Drak's misrepresenting what I said a little, but that's okay. Comparing football to guitar building doesn't exactly work for me either (populist puffery...sounds cool, but doesn't hold up to scrutiny). Well, okay, sure, the part about doing it sounds right --though I don't think my 45-year-old knees are up to getting tackled. I'm going to stick with building guitars for the time being. :D

What it comes down to is the level of commitment you're willing to bring to this project --and you'll take it from there.

You have to decide which is more important to you-- having a guitar or building your guitar. If it's the former, then as Drak says, just throw money at it and have someone build you exactly the guitar you want, all the way, from scratch. Kind of pricey that way, but it's your money and your dream. I agree that tossing a pile of wood at someone (or two people) won't get you very far. But I also don't like the idea of giving your design to someone else to build --if you want a luthier guitar, find a guy you really like and buy HIS design. There are so many out there, there's no doubt you'll find a great builder who shares your vision of what a guitar should be. He's going to put his heart and soul into his work --building your design will most likely be just another way to make a dollar.

There's a big difference between the end product and the process, in other words. For some people, it's the end product that counts. For others, it's the process --and dammitalltohell if the process is a long one, fraught with dangers and fear and the risk of --gasp!--ruining a piece of wood. I have the feeling that I'm not alone here--one thing I love about this forum is the level of excitement people have for their work, and for other people's work too.

I started out a year or so ago, still have a ways to go, but damn, I'm having fun. No way I'd ever get that feeling from a guitar bought off the rack or built by someone else.

But then, I'm a process kind of guy. :D

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Yeah I care more about the final product and the guitar itself than the learning process.. I would love to start building guitars and such, but honestly it doesnt interest me that much. Just the idea of bringing my dream to a reality, thats what interests me from it, which is why i signed up here hehe

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Yeah I care more about the final product and the guitar itself than the learning process.. I would love to start building guitars and such, but honestly it doesnt interest me that much. Just the idea of bringing my dream to a reality, thats what interests me from it, which is why i signed up here hehe

Well, then you answered your own question. Get thee to a luthiery....

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Eh I dont think anyone will have my dream piece already in stock, since its down to my exact preferances.. heh but who knows.

So, any luthiers on here wanna help me out? lol

I think Mattia's talking about a dream piece of wood, not a fully built guitar.

There's a thread about favorite luthiers, you can check some of them out. Most of them are the real thing, though--i.e., they're not custom guitar builders, they're luthiers working out their craft, developing their own designs and their own ideas about how things should be.

If you really want something down to your exact preferences, I'd scout out a custom builder in your area and work with him to put the guitar together, instead of trying to do this over the 'net.

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HI all i am new to this site and so far i am thrilled to have found it by chance surfing the net.

i am building a PRS 24 copy for my own usage and i have to say ive spents alot of research time

getting photo's scaling pics from prs site and doing alot of work in Autodesk inventor 8 , its a very

exciting thing to build a guitar yourself, i have done many projects over the years and this is the most

inspiring one, i am a guitar player/singer of 28 years (39 years old) and ive made some guitars over the years primarily for looks.

recently i have had a burning desire to build a PRS, im not sure why i chose this style/design but

im very excited over it.

i have a place not far from here that i can get any kind of wood, i mean anykind very cheaply, the expensive

one is african ebony, its 38 $ for a 4x2 x 4ft beautiful peice (would make many fretboards.

the mahogany (african or american) is very reasonable at about 5$ ft for a 2x8 stock.

all kinds of ash and maple at roughly 3.50 $ ft 1x7 or 8 .

very pretty "shorts" 4ft lenths that we leftovers from a cut job.

but some of it is beautiful curly maple and birdseye that is liek 2.35 $ per ft 3/4 "x 7"

anyway before i go off on a tangent i just want to say i get the feeling that this forum is made up of

people like me that want to help others in doing this craft, its art , its style , its a combination of creativity and music afterall the finished instrament is more than just a peice of wood with strings .... its got its buildiers inspiration embeded.

im sure i will have questions here and any works i do i will gladly donate any design work or files to help

others etc etc.

Rob. :D

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