I am a hobbyist guitar player/repairer/constructor - and have in the past constructed a number of solid body electrics. For those projects I managed to get away with using hand-held tools, including a powered fret saw - whenever that was appropriate. I am now planning to make acoustics - first step is to re-equipping my small woodworking shop. I think the most useful addition will be a floor-standing band saw - which will also serve other general purpose sawing duties. I have a question related the cutting of the outline of the tops and backs. I am interested in the opinion from your contributors as to what is generally considered the minimum "throat distance`' of the band saw (distance between blade and main frame) required for ease of cutting around the three most common guitar shapes (OM, OOO, Dreadnought) ? For example I have been looking at a Scheppach Basato 3 which has a 305 mm throat - but I am concerned it may not be large enough to serve all my future needs.
Richard Higgins
Tyne & Wear, UK

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agree you can cut with a jigsaw but cannot butterfly top or back or sides from a billet of wood. you can get away with a jig saw if you are building pre cut STS and surfaced three sides from whom ever the source buy a saw that will fit future projects I selected a saw that I could fit 12 inches under for book matching/butterflying my needs are cutting logs into billets into tops necks what ever from there I said I need to make all my parts from scratch or not so my choice was 12 inches tall and 17 inches wide but yea if I could a spent more I would have a band saw is the work horse of luthiery along with your sanders and the bigger the better is my thought
plus dust collection
Thanks for your tips Paul - having considered the various replies my thoughts are turning towards a sturdy 14" band saw for general duties and then an additional bench-mount scroll saw for detail shapes. And yes, I will keep dust-collection as one of the criteria for all my equipment selection - I am also a wood turner, and went through the early years knee deep in shavings/saw dust. Time to move on !!!
Same with me - all my solid body electrics were made with basic DIY store hand-held power-saw devices - but too much time needed to be spent sanding out the mistakes !!! So for acoustics I'm going to up-scale my workshop and try and eliminate (or at least minimize) some of the grunt-work !!!
its the Grunt work that you will save money with
I built my first Guitar with a small band saw all i could book match was 4 inches lol and i did it like the man says hardest part is cutting the heal I still have that band saw today i use it for bone brass and other small uses its possible with a jig saw also I can totally appreciate that being said

I bought one of these recently (Rikon 14" Deluxe Bandsaw) Very nice saw and not the same as Rikon 14" Bandsaw. The resaw capacity is greater than the 18" model.
I used to own a Delta bandsaw. My father-in-law decided he needed a bandsaw, and I actually recommended Grizzly to him. He got their 'Ultimate 14" Bandsaw' and I was there to help him set it up. Now I have one just like it. The saw comes with lots of little extras that you would otherwise pay quite a bit for to add to any other bandsaw of that price. It includes a resaw fence, a miter gauge, bearing guides, a sturdy stand, and a blade tension quick-release. And if you decide you want to cut anything thicker than 6", you can buy an extension block kit that will raise your cutting height by another six. The 1 horsepower motor has the strength to cope with it too. I really don't know how much it would cost to have the saw shipped to the UK, but its retail price is $435.00. I'm not often impressed by a power tool, but this bandsaw really did it for me.

You can find it here.

--D. Scott Nettleton


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