Pondering the idea of "jumping in"

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Selta, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Hi all. I was just wondering, about how much would it cost to jump into building basses/guitars small time, just for friends and my band etc. Also, what advice can you give to me about starting out, like what tools should I focus on getting/order of importance of certain tools. I know that out in my garage we have alot of tools, the typical stuff though, and not much wood workin' tools. Right now I'm only 16, but I wanted to get started, as I feel I'm already a few years behind...I don't have much wood-working skills, but I can cut/sand/paint/route, is that enough to start off, or should I work on other skills? Another thing, what companies whould I look for my parts? I know about stewmac.com and warmoth, should I just stick with them? Geeze, yep, another question. If I get into this, am I gonna get carried away ;) :D? Thank you so much for your time!
  2. joeviau


    Jul 9, 2002
    Rhode Island
    I would suggest looking at two books:

    "Make Your Own Electric Guitar" by Melvyn Hiscock

    "Building Electric Guitars" by Martin Koch

    I have both, and find that they complement each other very nicely. Hiscock's book presents a good overview of the process--planning, design, and implementation--while Koch's book has a lot of that, plus woodworking tips. This will provide you with an excellent starting point. Both talk about the tools that you will need.

    Martin has a web site, http://www.buildyourguitar.com/

    Also, poke around with Google and Altavista and search for luthiery sites. There's a lot of stuff out there on techniques, and you can check out the newsgroup rec.music.makers.builders. There are a lot of helpful people there, and past posts refer to your questions.

    Finally, check out your school's woodshop, and look around at local cabinet shops or lumber yards. The books mentioned above have tips about that as well.

    Good luck!