Jump to content

What do I need?


Recommended Posts

What tools I need to turn a chunk of wood into a guitar body?

Say, I had a chunk of wood thats ready have the shape cut and route some bridge/pickup holes?

I need a router, i guess. What kind?

Do I need a saw of any sort? then what kind?

PLEASE help.

Thanks very much in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends on how you want it to look and what you have and what your budget is...

you could get a router....it'll be quicker and look better...

or you could do the job with a drill and a chisel...or even whittle things out with a knife (that could actually look really cool on the right guitar)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To turn a good chunk of wood into a GREAT instrument, you have to have:

1. Patience

2. Talent

3. Perserverence

4. Patience

5. A few tools from the neighbor's shed (aquired late at night for best results)

That's all. Nothing follows...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a router will help you decreease the cavites making about 10 fold and more acurate as loing as you make templates. Please do make templates and dont learne it the hardway, since making a new template if you mess up is cheap (1$ plywood piece) but fixing a 40+$ guitar body wont be cheap or easy and youd lose your hard work.

also you could get a drill press instead, its valuable for a number of other jobs, but nothing that an ordinary hand drill couldnt be made to do. For a drill press you drill out as much wood as you can from the cavitiues with the biggest bit you can lay your hands on (preferably a forstner bit) and chisel away to the line

In the end the router is a much better choice because

1, its portable

2. its acurate(with templates)

3. cheaper (most of the time)

4. usefull for a variety of jobs (routing, roundover, tydiing up edges, and many more)

so in the end i recomend a router is the most essential tool

you could prob get a bandsaw/scroll saw and a router for under 200$ (at least i did and their holding out fine), but be warned router bits ARE expensive ( a set of 26 bits was more expensive then the router)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never found the need for a chisel on my guit, but then again I didn't do anything with square corners...

And for goodness' sake, don't pretend you're good enough to freehand rout. You're not.

You can, however, clamp a board on a straight line to act as a guide/barrier. I did everything without a template bit, but a whole lot of creativity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everybody seems to forget the rasps....

I used a friend's bandsaw to cut the body, my router, a drill, fine and rough rasps for shaping the contours and a sanding block. Didn't need anything else for the body. For the neck add a spokeshave to that list.

What type of router do you all recomend. At the moment I'm considering getting a plunge router (or borrowing one if I can find one) for my first project, but I wont have access to a table. Any recomendations?

Depends what your budget is. My router is a 25 year old non-plunge type B & D with a slower motor. Any router will do the job fine. It's just a matter of what type of quality you're looking for in a router and what your budget is.

My guitar building budget is practically non-existant so I did almost everything by hand (The wife lets me spend 70$ a month on this project)

(Yeah I know, i'm wipped)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are some tools I consider to be necessary to building a guitar and the reason for each.

1. Jigsaw - A cheaper way to cut out your guitar bodies, neck blanks etc.. The only thing you need to consider is that you need a good one, or make sure you cut far enough from the outside line you've drawn so that the angle won't mess anything up. It's definitely a make do power tool, until you can afford a Bandsaw.

2. Bandsaw - A great way to accurately cut out just about anything. It works great for cutting just outside the line of your template drawn guitar body. Also can be used to resaw pieces of lumber, or cut out the angle for a scarf joint neck. It's a great thing to have, but it's better to save up and get a good one that will handle thicker hardwood with ease.

3. Router - The number one tool used in building guitars. Whether it's a pin router, table top router, plunge, or fixed router. They will all do a good job. After you've cut the body out with either a jigsaw or bandsaw just outside the line, you can put the template back on the body blank, match it up and use a flush trim bit to go around it plunging a little more each time until it's all done. You can also use it for cutting out the neck in the same manner. Also, you will use a router with templates to cut out control cavity, pickup cavities, neck pocket, etc... A truely must have tool.. buy one now, and I'd highly recommend getting a good one such as Porter Cable, Dewalt, Bosch, etc.

4. Templates - Either use someones bandsaw to cut out the templates or buy some already premade from various places. Best one I've found is from Guitar Building Templates . Com . He does a great job and all are laser cut. He will also do templates you've drawn up on CAD just have to contact him though. But however you get them they are worth every penny. With a good template you can save hours and hours of sanding out and will leave you with little sanding if done right. Believe you me, if you just took a bandsaw or jigsaw, cut out the body blank, your gonna be there forever trying to get all the slight imperfections out, even with a drum sander. So perfect your templates first.

5. Drum Sander or Robo-Sander - This device is used with a Drill Press and will sand great if used right. With the drum sander you can sand the edges of the guitar body, or neck if needed. Again, this step could be eliminated if you used a template and router. The Robo-Sanderworks great if your unsure of using the flush trim bits. They have a roller on the bottom that will ride a template and sand everything flush with it, just as a flush trim bit would do, except there will be no chance for the dreaded tearout that sometimes come from using a dull router bit or wrong technique.

6. Planer - This is something that is really needed, either use a friends or buy a good one when you can. If your using rough stock, or needing to bring down some wood to the correct size while keeping everything flush. I wouldn't recommend buying one unless you have no access to one, until later on after you've gotten all the other tools.

7. Jointer - Very handy. Used for getting edges of wood perfectly straight so when glued together there will be no gap. Again, borrow a friends and do all the wood you have at one time so you will have it all ready to work with when you get to it. Get at least a good 6" one when you decide to buy one though.

8. Drill Press - A must have. Too many uses not to have one. Some even use it with the arbor fretting attachment to press in frets with one, but I wouldn't recommend you using it that way very much since a drill press isn't designed for applying pressure, something might break. But it will work. It's mainly used for tuner holes, volume or tone knob shaft holes etc.

These are just some of the power tools that I think are necessary, there are many more that will make things easier, but you can get by with just these easily.

Now as far as hand tools.. that's a whole other issue.. lol Especially if your planning on building the neck also, and not just the body.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmm since i suck with wood working, [well i have never had the correct tools the two bodys i made turned out good when i was in a cabinet shop] i would say get some wood dust, and some glue and a good mold..

haaaa sorry,, my bad humor on that note if anyone ever sees a beaten up fiberglass jem let me know if it glows in the dark.. cause its mine.. and it was stolen.. sorry.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...