View Full Version : Guitar making
07-08-2005, 11:06 AM
Could someone recommend a book for constructing electric solid body guitars from scratch? I have tried to search the board and I have not had luck finding this discussed before.
I am interested in making set neck LP or PRS styled instruments. I have put together several bolt ons, but I would like to try my hand at something from scratch. I have a pretty nicely set up woodworking shop. I have read the book by Tom Hirst but wondered which text to spend the money on?
I know someone will try to talk me out of this, but it is a lifelong ambition that I have only now had time to pursue, so I am going to do this anyway and anyhow.
Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
07-08-2005, 11:48 AM
Melvin Hiscock has written a popular guitar building book. I believe it's titled "How to build an electric guitar".
It shows, in detail, a variety of styles including bolt on, set neck and neck thru.
07-08-2005, 12:28 PM
Dan Erlewine has a DVD and plans walking through the entire guitar making process for a Strat style guitar. Very easy. I would also recommend his book and video on finishing the guitar. A very good resource.
07-08-2005, 02:08 PM
Bob, in addition to the Hiscock (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Books,_plans/Building_and_repair:_Guitar,_electric/Make_Your_Own_Electric_Guitar.html) book there are some excellent online resources as well that can help you out once you get going.
For a really good forum to browse and ask questions try the Musical Instrument Makers Forum (http://www.mimf.com/). Be sure to become a member and you can search their extensive library of archived topics. This is a really great resource and several pros frequent the site. And all of the moderators are builders so you can be sure to get some good advice here.
Also try the Project Guitar forum (http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/). Beware about this one as it can be inconsistent. Unlike the MIMF there are a few inexperiened hobbyists that will give you some pretty bad advice sometimes. There are aslo a good numbr of experienced builders that do thier best to correct that and guide you straight. Just something to keep in mind but I included it becuase there is some good stuff here including lists of wood stores, parts resources, tutorials, etc.
Hope this helps.
07-08-2005, 05:30 PM
Here's another link for you.
They sell supplies but have lots of pics, info, lumber and so on. I like their truss rods better than the ones @ SM.
Also, don't forget Warmoth for parts.
If you make your own fretboard, try fretcalc.
07-08-2005, 07:51 PM
I would recommend:
Martin koch's book is one of the finest.
How about attending one of those six week luthier schools? Or get a job for a local tech part time and learn from his experience.
07-10-2005, 05:53 PM
Thanks everyone for your posts (and please keep any new ideas coming). I have a good idea of where I think I will start, and I am glad to have your advice.
I am going to get the Hiscock and Koch books and read up. Then I will start slow. Thanks, I will keep you all posted.
07-11-2005, 02:44 PM
Hiscock's book is good. The Benedetto book and DVD series is very helpful as well, even though it is geared at Archtops. Guitarmaking - Tradition and Technology is also very good and very thorough. Danny Ferrington's book was a really interesting book that showed some pictures of him in his shop and it had an anatomy of the guitar photo. He also has pics of a guitar that he made in a half an hour(?)!! Some of these books are below... :dude
07-18-2005, 03:19 PM
I actually never built mine for many reasons. Soon this will be fixed. I own some guitarbuilding books. Martin Koch's Guitar AND Lap Steel building books are very nice. The latter can be quite useful as an introduction to the craft. That's how I plan to do it...
Robert Benedetto's book is a great resource for building archtops (now, this is going to be my lifelong ambition...). William Cumpiano amd Jonathan Natelson wrote guitarmaking: tradition and technology. Though they are directed to building acoustics, it is hands down the best book I have read so far (but I only read a few so don't take my word :D ). It is definitely a good source of information and my favourite guitar building book so far...
I also own The Guitar Maker's Workshop by Rik Middleton which presents somewhat differents views on certain steps of the process. I read it a while ago and I remember feeling it was not what I was hoping it would be.
I believe Martin Koch says in one of his books that you can't go poor buying every book written on guitar building since there aren't that many... Also you can always benefit from having acces to different views and opinions... I second that...
I also agree with Joe, though I am not (and not many of us are) able to take any of his suggestions...
Now let us know how your guitar comes up and wish you success...
07-18-2005, 04:34 PM
Thanks fabiomayo. I am awaiting the books (Koch and Hiscock) and and setting up the shop to make number one.
I am making some smaller stuff (table saw sled, some boxes, etc...) to get back in the swing of things after a long absence. Tuned the table saw and bandsaw, routed some stuff. Should be fun. Thanks again to everyone.
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