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Tool Time!


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Hello everyone!

I've been reading pretty much everything I could find on this forum and I feel I'm ready to start building.

I have my eyes set on a grizzly 17" band saw G0513P

Around here they sell a lot of King industrial and king Canada tools.

Is grizzly a good brand. Is king good? (dunno if it is sold outside Canada)

Also the seller was trying to push me a Spiral cutterhead jointer instead of a standard one. He said the normal one might break some exotic wood we use in lutherie. Any thoughts on that or can I buy the cheapest jointer around... (still king tho). Do I even need a jointer or is a Belt sander is more then enough?

I think I saw RAD say a Drum sander is better then a planner. Should I go for it? It cost a lot more than the planner. If I instead buy a planner... Is 12.5" wide enough?

Well that enough questions for 1 post. But I don't want to spend 1000s of dollars to find out its all crap and don't need it. Keep in mind that I will build as a hobby not to resell. But I'd still like to have good tools and not cr@p from Walmart....

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Wow. Most of us don't get to go out and buy all those tools at once. First, the bandsaw. That's a really great one, and Grizzly is well known for quality bandsaws. 17" means you can resaw too. However, a bandsaw is not a perfectly intuitive tool. I recommend you start by buying a good book. I like this one:


If you have an itchy trigger finger, and just want to buy the saw now, that one is a good choice. I have a Grizzly 14" with a riser block that I got used for $250. If I'd had the funds, I would have much preferred a 17" 2HP model.

I don't know much about jointers. I use an antique jack plane for jointing.

For guitar building, a drum sander is probably the better tool. It's just more precise. I (and many others) built my own drum sander. I think the total cost was around $100, and it's 22". 12.5" really isn't enough to be a versatile tool. It's barely big enough for a strat, and many models are larger than that.

You'll also want a drill press, a good router, and a mess of hand tools, including some high quality neck shaping tools.

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+1 on good drum sander. Very Necessary. You won't need the planar... I don't own one. 22" Jet will serve you well.

+1 on Good Big Drill press. It can double as a spindle sander.

+1 on a Good lightweight router. For pickup, control and neck pocket routes I use a cheap old plastic Crafstman ... it is powerful and light and I can see what I am doing. I don't use the router anymore for shaping bodies because of tear-out so I don't use my router table as much anymore. I love/hate my router table and the big Porter Cable router. It is great for trussrod slots and profiling the sides of necks but it is a very dangerous piece of equipment I could live without if necessary.

I have a small bench top jointer that is fine for guitar work. It is necessary for joining bodies made out of regular wood. You can't use it on figured wood because of the fear of tear-out so why spend money on a big one.

+1 on the bandsaw book. I think the Grizzly you have picked out is fine but it is not necessary. I have an old Central Machines 14" with a block riser. It does everything I ask it to when I ask it nicely. When properly setup with a good blade it is fine. A great bandsaw not properly setup is useless. I am finally going to replace it this year with a big Rykon or Laguna.

I have 2 belt sanders a huge one and a small one. I use the small one more... the huge one is only useful for radiusing fretboards and squaring large surfaces.

Good specialty tools are were you should spend your money you save by not buying unnecessary large tools. I can't live without my Dragon Rasps or my power fretting system from Stew Mac as slotting fretboards with a hand saw is not fun. I also love my Shinto Rasps. Well made scrapers are great too. A good straight edge is expensive and necessary for precision work.

Almost forgot you need an 18" radius beam as well... awesome tool.

Edited by RestorationAD
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While I rarely disagree with RAD, I stick to my guns on the big band saw. Then again, I like to resaw. If you're not resawing, 14" is perfect. Buy the book first, and you'll know exactly what you want by the time you're done.

Just to highlight some of the other stuff RAD said, I've also gotten frustrated with router tearout, and now use one of these:


I love my Robo-Sander.

And I desperately need some new rasps. As for fret slotting, you can always buy pre-slotted boards, or you can build your own slotting system, if you have enough time on your hands. I hope to post some sort of tutorial on that next week.

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I found out that we actually have a great luthier in my town. And he's actually teaching... So i think I'll go that route. Use his tools in the beginning that way I'll see what I really need and what I really like about them. I think it will make my decision much easier after I built my first guitar to know what I want...

I know I need a lot more tools then what I asked about but I didn't want to make a question that lasted 3 pages long... :D

I actually red through all the build treads to see what everyone was using. Tried to make myself a list of things to buy.. There should be a thread where everyone show their shop.. See what you guys use what little things u made that makes your life easier.

Thx for the replies..

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