Getting the tools to do the job?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Zebra, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. Zebra


    Jun 26, 2005
    So I really want to make a bass, but one major obstacle: I don't have that many tools to work with.
    I have a saw, hacksaw, some chisels, a knife, and a hammer, and I may be able to find a Dremel that I might have somewhere. I'm at a dead halt. I have next to no money to spend and it doesn't look like I can do much with this.
    I've thought about finding woodworking shops where I can go, but it's been troublesome tracking them down. So far one that looks good may require some funds... and health insurance I don't have.
    Anyone know where I could look to get access to the tools I'll need to do this?
    What tools are an absolute neccesity to get the job done?
    What do you think I can do, if anything, with what I have?
  2. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    There's bunch of threads on this, but I am doing fine with a table saw, a band saw, a good plunge router is a necessity, a drill press is optional, but can make your life a whole lot easier, and a quarter-sheet sander. Don't forget a whole mess of clamps. Get a few decent clamps, bar clamps and C-clamps, mostly. All of this can be had at garage sales and pawn shops. Most can be had for under $50 a piece, but look at the tools carefully before you buy them. Things to watch for- electrical tape on the power cords (been cut and poorly repaired), pieces missing or messed up, obvious damage, motors that have black sooty marks near them. Other than that, you should be able to get a decent shop going for very little money. A table saw is a good place to start. It can be used for home projects as well, so it is a worthwhile investment. Then a band saw and router. Hand tools to watch for- drawknife (spokeshave) for shaping the neck is the big one, IMO, and Japanese dozuki saw for cutting frets (if you're so inclined...some people don't like frets! ;) ). Have fun, it can be done all by hand tools, but it takes longer, and one arm usually gets bigger than the other...
  3. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Oh, also, forgot to mention, high school or college wood shops are a good place to learn, and to use tools. Get with the instructor before you start bringing wood up there- some don't like outside projects being brought in. Others can be bought off with donuts... :p It's also a good place to learn how to use proper technique, many tools can seriously injure or even kill you if you don't use them properly and respect them.
  4. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Don't forget the all important "air compressor". I couldn't live without mine.