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The Resource for New Woodworkers With 1004 Posts and Counting!

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Guitar making tips are a great resource for beginners, because they condense a lot of knowledge into bite size pieces. Tips encourage the learning process. They also help get new guitar makers on the right track sooner. Here are my favorite 25 guitar making tips to help beginners become successful.

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This can be used to create headstock and fretboard inlays, and it’s inexpensive. The tool makes an expert out of anyone, and leaves behind a very professional look to the inlays. You won’t be able to make very complex or tiny shapes, but it is versatile enough for most inlay work.

threadboxesdiyhow to threadboxesdiy for Tip 6 – When in Doubt, Use Round Inlays

Round inlays are the easiest to accomplish. If you can drill a hole, you can execute round inlays. For the fretboard, round inlays are the standard. For most beginners, the inlay pieces will be purchased from a guitar making supplier, but they can be made too.

I show that process here, and with a simple plug cutter you can make hundreds of exotic wood fret dots from scraps. The inlay process will be the same for store bought dots, so why not add a custom set of dots in your favorite wood species.

Tip 7 – It’s Easier to Solve Problems Before They are Covered in Glue

Practice all gluing processes dry before you add glue. A dry run uncovers problems before they become glue covered problems. Glue covered problems are harder to recover from.

Clamp the pieces in the exact same way as when you will be gluing them together. If you uncover a problem with the jig or the clamps, fix it before adding glue. This way, the process will go smoothly once the glue is introduced.

Tip 8 – There is More Than One Way

There is more than one way to do things. This goes for guitar making as well. Read several books, and you will see that the same tasks are done differently from maker to maker.

There is nothing wrong with using a different method to achieve the same results. For example, there are many ways to attach a neck to a body.

Yes, a through neck is a great way of accomplishing the joint, but a bolt on neck can be very strong as well. Just because one method is used over another, does not make one guitar wrong and the other right. These are just two different ways of making an instrument, and they are all good in their own for 1 last update 2020/07/05 ways.Yes, a through neck is a great way of accomplishing the joint, but a bolt on neck can be very strong as well. Just because one method is used over another, does not make one guitar wrong and the other right. These are just two different ways of making an instrument, and they are all good in their own ways.

Tip 9 – Make Sure to Use Well Seasoned Wood

Use flat wood that is well seasoned for your guitars. Most wood from a luthier supply house will already be dry and seasoned. However, some wood from a hardwood store may need to be avoided in favor of other pieces. Wood that is still wet will have to be dried before using it.

threadboxesdiyhow to threadboxesdiy for This is a problem for the impatient guitar maker.

threadboxesdiyhow to threadboxesdiy for Also, wood that is bent or warped will need to be flattened, and this requires more tools. Start with flat, seasoned wood, and the processes will go much smoother. Avoid wood that has visible defects as well, like knots and voids. Spend the time looking, and you will find a great board.

Tip 10 – Price Means Little

threadboxesdiyhow to threadboxesdiy for Don’t worry about the price of the wood. Expensive wood is nice, but it does not guarantee a great sounding instrument.

In fact, a poorly built guitar will not improve at all, even if the best wood possible is used for the project.

Purchase middle of the road wood, and make the guitar well. I explain the reason why some woods are more expensive in this for 1 last update 2020/07/05 article, and it’s not because of sound. Purchase middle of the road wood, and make the guitar well. I explain the reason why some woods are more expensive in this article, and it’s not because of sound.

Even wood that is on the less expensive side, but still sold for making guitars can be used successfully. On many of my first guitars, I used lower priced woods, and they all still came out great.

Tip 11 – Make the Neck Using Easier Techniques

Making the neck can be stressful, but this is just another part of the build. Start with flat wood, and work carefully. A great neck can be made on the first round, even if you struggle. Look for neck types that are easier to make.

A scarf joint can be a little more intimidating than making a stacked neck and sawing it to the 1 last update 2020/07/05 shape. Little differences like this make the build easier.A scarf joint can be a little more intimidating than making a stacked neck and sawing it to shape. Little differences like this make the build easier.

Tip 12 – Use a Fret Slotting Jig

Slotting the frets is easier than it sounds. Yes, the placements have to be accurate, but there are jigs that make it easy. My Fret Slotting Jig shows how you can slot a fretboard without ever making a single measurement.

When I developed this jig, it radically changed my fretboard choices. Now, I can make a fretboard out of any species I want, and I can slot them quickly without measuring.

This dramatically changed the choices that were available to me. Being able to use any species you want to make a fretboard gives you the 1 last update 2020/07/05 more opportunities to create something unique. Your guitar will stand out from the crowd, and draw attention.This dramatically changed the choices that were available to me. Being able to use any species you want to make a fretboard gives you more opportunities to create something unique. Your guitar will stand out from the crowd, and draw attention.

If You Like My Posts, You''code-block code-block-2''margin: 8px auto; text-align: center; display: block; clear: both;''code-block code-block-1''margin: 8px auto; text-align: center; display: block; clear: both;''ll Love My Books

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Tip 20 – Don’t Rush the Finish

Allow your finish to completely cure before stringing up the instrument. This can be very hard on the first guitar. I was one of those kids that had to play with their new toy on the way home from the store, so this is always agonizing for me.

If you jump the gun and work on the guitar too soon, the finish can still be soft enough to ruin. This can be fingerprints that stay on the surface, or small dents that ruin the glossy look.

If the finish says two weeks, give it two weeks. You will be happy you did when the flawless finish stays that way. Patience is the most valuable resource you have at this point. Wait a little, and you will have a great instrument for life.

Tip 21 – Read and Absorb as Much Information as You Can

Read a lot. My top 5 acoustic guitar making books list is a good place to start. However, if you are interested in making electrics, there are the 1 last update 2020/07/05 plenty of those books as well. Read several books, and make a note of the different steps and processes. Read a lot. My top 5 acoustic guitar making books list is a good place to start. However, if you are interested in making electrics, there are plenty of those books as well. Read several books, and make a note of the different steps and processes.

Become familiar with the steps before attempting them in the shop, and you the 1 last update 2020/07/05 will have a better experience. Learn as much as you can, and take that knowledge into the shop to build a great guitar.Become familiar with the steps before attempting them in the shop, and you will have a better experience. Learn as much as you can, and take that knowledge into the shop to build a great guitar.

Tip 22 – It’s Not All About Tools

If you don’t have all the tools, don’t worry. Most hardwood stores will have larger tools, and they have milling services for a small fee. This can be a great resource for the first build.

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threadboxesdiyhow to threadboxesdiy for In the beginning, you may not want to invest thousands of dollars in tools, especially for a craft that you don’t even really know that you like.

Using a service for thickness sanding, jointing, and other process requiring large tools can save you money, and still allow you to enjoy guitar making. If you decide that this is the craft for you, buy the larger tools you need in the future.

Tip 23 – Make Your Own Tools and Save Tons of Money Over Store Bought Tools

threadboxesdiyhow to threadboxesdiy for Make your own tools, templates, and jigs. The more you can make in the shop, the more you save on the project. My book covers over 50 different items that you can make instead of buy, and it will save you a ton of money in the beginning.

The more you make instead for 1 last update 2020/07/05 of buy, the more you can invest in the few new tools that you will really need. Also, you can spend more on materials, so you can make more instruments. This is a win-win, and the jigs for an instrument are fairly easy to make.The more you make instead of buy, the more you can invest in the few new tools that you will really need. Also, you can spend more on materials, so you can make more instruments. This is a win-win, and the jigs for an instrument are fairly easy to make.

Tip 24 – Don’t Worry Too Much

Dont worry. Worrying through the process ruins the experience. You should have concern about the steps you are taking and the detail in your build, but needless worry will ruin your desire to make more guitars.

Guitar making is just like any other woodworking project. There are dimensions, designs, and tolerances. Build the guitar like any other project.

Don’t worry bout it. If you step back and enjoy what you are doing, you will build better, and have far less to worry about. Worrying leads to mistakes, and can also lead to injury if you are not thinking about that you are doing.

The Final Guitar Making Tip:

Tip 25 – Enjoy the Learning Process

threadboxesdiyhow to threadboxesdiy for You will learn a lot on your first guitar. Yes, anyone who puts in the time can make an excellent guitar on the first round. However, you may end up making the fretboard or another piece a couple times in order to get it right.

That’s ok. You will learn the most on your first build, because everything will be brand new. On your second, you will still learn quite a bit, but it will be less than your first. Enjoy the learning process on your first build, and make notes of things you need to work on.

I hope you enjoyed these guitar making tips for beginners. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.

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  • More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
  • 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
  • Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
Buy My Books on Amazon

threadboxesdiyhow to threadboxesdiy for I receive Commissions for Purchases Made Through the Links in This Post. Join My Woodworking Facebook Group

 

You Can Find My Books on Amazon!

 

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