How to Build a Guitar

Guitar has been an essential instrument for ages and is played in almost every genre of music, whether to blend in with an orchestration or just playing solo. Generally a guitar has six (6) strings, but guitars exist that have up to eighteen (18) strings. While most guitars are bought in the music store, it doesn’t stop anyone from trying their hand at building one of their own. Here is a step by step method you can apply to make one for yourself if you would like.

Tools required

  • Drill
  • Masking tape

Materials required

  • Neck and fingerboard
  • Top wood and rosette
  • Fretwire and tuners
  • Back and sides
  • Wood for linings, bindings, braces and end blocks

Instructions

  1. Connect the pieces for the top of the guitar. Then fix the joined halves of the top together. Drill your registration holes two and make a soundhole cutter 3/8 inches in size.
  2. Cut the rosette at the top and fix the soundhole rosette bits. Cut out a sound hole and file its edges with a jig and router. Then sand the top.
  3. Cut the bracing stock for top braces. Cut a notch in the X-brace, this part is important in determining the characteristic of the instrument sound. Then rough out the top of the braces and mark the placement of braces on the top wood and clamp the braces to the top, then shape and carve the X-brace.
  4. Shape the bridge plate and clamp it tightly between the legs of the X-brace. The other top braces should be shaped and sand. Soundhole braces should be made to secure them. Then trim the brace ends to length and thickness. Sand the top to make it as smooth as possible.
  5. Next step is making the back of the guitar and this is done by gluing the two halves together and cutting a slot for the center strip. File the back and sides to the right length and thickness and fix the center strip. Fix the center cross grain strip, shape and centre it. Make braces by cutting slots and rough cutting the stock to be used as a back brace. Shape the bottom arch on the braces and the top. File all surfaces of the braces and fit them to the notches in the center cross grain strip then fix the back braces.
  6. Next is the side of the guitar, we select wood to match the back with a thickness of approximately 0.09 inch. Take the side pieces and soak it in water so the sides can be bent. Trim the rib ends to length and fix them into the mold and secure it. Create a neck block and attach it to the ribs and remove the ribs from the mold and sand the inside. Cut a dovetail and a taper recess to provide the body joint and neck with firmness.
  7. Take the kerfed linings and place them inside the guitar, they help to make the box rigid. Make a note of the location of X-brace ends and fingerboard braces on the ribs. Use notch linings to secure the braces. Trim the remaining braces so it falls just a little short of the linings. Put the top on the ribs and place it face down on the work board designed for a wedge shape. Then fasten the top part to the ribs.
  8. The next step to building a guitar is putting together the body. Cut a binding ledge and purfling ledge which are going to be used for the back of the guitar. Make the binding ledge deeper so it fits well with the purfling ledge. Take the purfling ledge and the top-binding ledge and cut the top off. Pre-bend the side purfling. For the side purfling make miter joints and fix it onto it at the end wedge. Get the purfling ready to install and bind the application with masking tape. Drill a pinhole at the end and place a hook and a soundhole cup along with a dovetail handle.
  9. Make the neck of the guitar by laying out two neck blanks, then band-saw them . Cut the truss rod slot on the shaper and then make an anchor pocket for it. Level the peghead face flat to the correct location and drill gear holes. Make the truss rod filler and glue it in. Create a pocket for the truss rod nut and stress the truss rod. Flatten the fingerboard surface of the neck.
  10. Next is to make the fingerboard, put the neck surface and the fingerboard together. Make and drill jig holes and cut a 14 inch radius shape for the playing surface. Cut the frets short and drill the locating holes on the underside of the fingerboard. Polish the fingerboard and frets while adjusting the width of the nut for each instrument. Fit together the nut and saddle blanks into their respective slots and induct the tuning machine. Install the inlay as necessary and drill holes and install side dot markets.
  11. When the neck and the fret is assembled, you can continue on to stringing up the gun

Tips and Warning

  • Some of the components used to make the guitar are very small a fragile so be sure to be careful when assembling them together, one bad mistake could mean starting all over again.

For more information on How to Build a Guitar read:

How to Build a Guitar
How to Build a Guitar
How to Build a Guitar
How to Build a Guitar

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