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Hey im a newly registered member and i just wondered what i should do to ger started on building guitars and how to get started. How much would it regularly cost to start? How hard is it? What will i need? PLEASE help if you can, anything at all is greatly appreciated

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Welcome to the forum, Rat420!

The easiest way to get started is probably to buy a kit and assemble the parts from there.

Reading information from a variety of sources to get a solid background of information on building guitars.

All you really need is a good eye, good planning, and the right tools. You build a guitar at any level, from building a kit, to building a guitar where parts alone are in the thousands of dollars. Get some background, pick your level, ask lost of questions, and go for it! :D

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How much would it regularly cost to start?

alot...hundreds at first..thousands soon after..you can build a really cheap one for yourself for about $300,give or take...my first cost me $600...not including tools

How hard is it?

extremely difficult to do it right...if you are scared of highly involved work,it is not for you...it will consume your whole life

What will i need?

most important thing you need is a good work area with adequate ventilation and good lighting...a garage works well if it has no cars in it

other than that...bare minimum of a router,bandsaw(some people get away with a jigsaw,but that sucks)soldering iron,fret hammer,lots of other stuff...(sandpaper of every grit)

and way more if you want to cut your own fingerboards...

and clamps...lots and lots of many types of clamps

i have probably spent over $5000 and have only completed 2 guitars,and i am in the middle of 3 more...and i don't have a spray rig and my air compressor went out :D

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I've just started, and I went right for a build-from-scratch, which I think is a great option; however, I wish I had chosen a simpler design (and mine's not exactly uber-complicated).

I have already spent about $600 CDN, and that's not including the finish or finishing supplies, which I haven't purchased yet.

So far I've made do with a scroll saw and plunge router (oh, and a nice rasp), though I DID go into a wood shop at a school to use their bandsaw one day. I probably could have done the same thing (rough outline) with the scroll saw, but I might have gone through a blade or two. I don't imagine I would have had an easy time with the jigsaw, though.


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Hi Rat,

A few suggestions. 1) Get Melvyn Hiscocks book on building electric guitars. It is porbably the best book to get you started. 2) Decide what you want to end up with in termss of tone, look, feel. 3) Check out StewMac and Warmoth and USA Custom Guitars and Universal Jems to get some ideas as to what things might cost and what your options are. Then compare your budget against what you think you want. At this point, you will have a ball park idea as to what your guitar will cost you. And perhaps most important: :DB):D


Guitar Ed

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Price and quality of guitar usually go hand in hand.

I built a BUDGET bass guitar, probably cost no more than GB£60 (about $100) in total, but you really get what you pay for. I used tools in school which shed that cost aside. For what i payed, im quite happy with the results, though if i had to do it again i wouldnt use MDF for the body thats for sure :D

The most expensive thing for that project worked out to be the hardware, but if you shop around you can pick up some low priced gear.

Im just starting out on a guitar project myself now. Something i learned is that hardwoods dont have to cost a fortune. If you go to the right places you can amaze yourself how cheap they can be. I've seen great quality wood go on e-bay for good prices. I personally picked up my wood from a local furnature builders. I bought everything i need from them (excluding a fingerboard) for £20 ($35) and that included an upright bass neck blank and fingerboard B)

I think the lesson here is to shop around


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The best way to start is planning! But the Melvyn Hiscock book and plan everything out very carefully on paper, the more planning you do the less costly mistakes you are gonna make.

I made my first guitar for about £220 ($350) and the one I'm working on for a bit less. The really expensive part is the tools if you don't already own them.

You will certainly need a router and a couple of bits

Some decent Chisels

Planes, Surforms and Spokeshaves

Loads of clamps!

and access to a bandsaw...

Worked for me, my first effort would benefit from some tidying up, but it sounds fantastic and plays well, as well as being a unique shape. Live the dream! Ha ha! :D

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Hello All! B)

I'm new to the forum as well, been lurking for a couple of weeks and finally ordered a Saga Tele kit from Brian (nice guy by the way) with some options (different tuners, maple neck, string through body ferrels).

rat420: I'm starting out with a 'cheap kit' as my first and will probably do a couple/few more of them, primarily because I want to learn how to do some finishing before I step deeper into the 'making' vs 'assembling' efforts. I have literally NO woodshop skills or tools but know guitars (been playing for 30 years) so I'm going to start small.

Anywho...just though I'd throw in my 1 1/4 cents (not qualified for 2 cents yet) and shout out....DUDES! :D


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i give another vote for reading up alot.

i would suggest if you had the time, to read up as much as you can, weeks if possible before you touch anything. then you can learn from other mistakes and advice rather than mess your own stuff up.

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I own both the Hiscock and the Koch books; and while the Hiscock is certainly a classic, I found the Martin Kock book equally useful, and it had a more fully developed pickup section (still not FULL-fledged) for those interested in such things. There's good to be had from both, so at least check it out (free excerpts on the site, as well as e-book download available) HERE.

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