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Hello Luthiers,

I'm a classical guitar player. I've been thinking about building my own guitars for some time now and recently decided to get started.

I don't have any of the necessary tools/knowledge. So, my question to you all is, what advice would you give a new builder? In what direction would you point him/her?

I would like to use as many hand tools as possible, even though they require more effort/time.

Thank you for your time and knowledge!

--Louis O.

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LUTHIER SCHOOL #1 #2 FIND A GOOD JOB AFTERWORDS IN THE RE PAIR BUSINESS AND #3 BUILD SMALL 1 AT A TIME UNTIL YOU CAN AUTOMATE
I FOR GOT TO SAY YOU NEED TO ENJOY YOUR SELF HAVE FUN, THE MINUTE YOU HAVE A BAD DAY TAKE A STEP BACK AND RECONSIDER WHAT STEPS YOU TAKE TO PUT YOUR SELF FIRST THEN YOUR WORK WILL BECOME EASY THINGS WILL START TO HAPPEN FOR YOU GOOD LUCK .
Thanks Paul,

I am not looking to build guitars for money -- that is, sell them. Just like I don't play the classical guitar for money either. The guitar is my interest. I am an amateur. My desire to build one stems from the pride and sense of accomplishment one gets from doing something themselves.

I just want to make something simple, and I am in no hurry. It could take me 20 years to complete and I would still be happy about the process. I'll leave the complex stuff/efficiency to the professionals.

I am serious about using as many hand tools as possible, though.

(By the way, why do you write in all capital letters? -- it's ungrammatical.)


--Louis O.
LOUIS MY KEY BOARD HAS BEEN MESSED UP FOR ABOUT 10 OR 11 MONTHS NOW AND INTERMITTENTLY DOSE ITS OWN THING LIKE CAPS ,SOME TIMES ERASING EVERYTHING AND MUCH MORE MAINLY MY KEY BOARD IS STUCK ON CAPS AND I VE TRIED TO RE PAIR THE KEY BOARD TO NO SUCCESS SORRY TO EVERYONE FOR MY INCONVENIENCE I AM DEALING WITH A HAND ME DOWN COMPUTER AND I AM FORTUNATE TO OWN ONE SINCE I AM A GUITAR BUILDER THAT IS WORST THAN JUST A MUSICIAN WE SPEND OUR MONEY TO FIX CUSTOMER GUITARS AND OUR OWN .

BUT YOU CAN LOOK AT GRIZZLY . COM ,AND STEW MAC . COM ,. LMII . COM ,AND MANY MORE KITS TO BUILD THAT ARE COMPREHENSIBLE FOR THE AMATEUR / PROFESSIONAL WITH INTERNET SUPPORT LIKE THIS PAGE TOOLS WELL YOUR GONNA NEED TO STOCK UP I TRY EVERY TIME AT THE LOCAL HARD WEAR TO FIND A NEW WAY TO USE THERE TOOLS LIKE A PAIR OF END NIPPERS I CAN GRIND THEM DOWN A BIT TO MAKE A PAIR OF FRET PULLERS SAVES ME MONEY
BUT BASIC TOOLS FOR GUITAR BUILDING YOU CAN EASY SPEND UP TO 1 TO 2 K AMERICAN $$ IF YOUR STARTING WITH 0 IN TOOLS NOT A PROBLEM TO MUCH WHEN BUILDING A KIT MY SUGGESTION IS FIND A KIT TO BUILD AFTER RECEIVING IT FIND OUT THE TOOLS THAT ARE MOST NEEDED FOR THAT PARTICULAR PROJECTED LIKE NUMBER OF CLAMPS ,FILES,GLUE SAND, PAPER I AM SURE IF YOUR MIND IS SET YOU CAN FIND A GOOD KIT THAT YOU CAN BE PROUD OF BUILDING GOOD LUCK ... .
Paul,
Tell me what type of connector you keyboard has and send me a message with your shipping address. I will send you another keyboard. I have several spares.

Ned
DELL IT IS UNIVERSAL FOR DELL DESK TOP COMPUTERS
Paul,
I don't know how old your computer is so I need to know of it requiresa USB ( flat, rectangular) plug or PS2 which is round. I actually have Dells in my house that use both.

Ned
Two good books to get you started:The one from Jonathan Kinkaid also comes with full-size plans for a dreadnought.
The first one is : Build your own acoustic guitar by Jonathan Kinkead.
And then the bible of guitar building: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology: A Complete Reference for the Design & Construction of the Steel-String Folk Guitar & the Classical Guitar (Guitar Reference) from Jonathan Natelson and William Cumpiano. These two are a good start, they also talk about what tools you need etc. If you like to read reference books there are many other good books out there: Look for the books from Irving Sloane, Hideo Kamimoto and Don Teeter among others.
You can also check out the Luthier de Jour tips from Robert O'Brien on You Tube, lots of good info in them.
If you get bitten by the bug, be prepared to spend a lot of money, always have sawdust in your hair, and glue stains on all your clothes :-)

Grahame
I like Kathy Matsushita's site.She's got great pics and conveys her ideas well and quick concerning jigs and such.Plenty of tools too!YouTube has quite a collection of builder vids.Get started on that first scarf joint!
I concur with Grahame about the Natelson and Cumpiano book (Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology: A Complete Reference for the Design & Construction of the Steel-String Folk Guitar & the Classical Guitar).
Also, take your time and plan to build more than one guitar.
Thanks guys...

I'll look into the books. I came across the "guitar-building bible" and it looks good.

Paul,

Thanks again for the advice. I'll look into kits, as well. (I understand the situation regarding the keyboard.)

I figure I'll spend the next year reading up and figuring out the basic process/needs/choices. Then, I'll get organized.
Louis,
I haven't done much building but I do some restoration/repair on instruments and have found that it is a pretty good way to "wet my feet". I don't think it's the same as building but it allows me to see how instruments are put together and gave me a chance to build up some tool skills. My work is almost always on instrument that I own so I can step back and think about how to approach a problem with no pressure to get it done. When I approach a new instrument, I usually spend some time just looking at it before I start even cleaning. It gives me a chance to consider different aspects of the issues and to research techniques. I tend to get it out and put it away many times over days or even weeks (depending on the amount of work it needs and what I already have going on.) When I start I like to plan out my approach and break the problems down into small tasks.

Anyway, I didn't see that anyone else mentioned this aspect of instrument work and though it might be worth bringing up to you.

Ned

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