How to Make Your Own Guitar at Home
Learning to make your own guitar is often a rich and rewarding experience, especially when you successfully make one. You can make this a fun project. And if you’re willing to invest your time, you can make your favorite guitar at a fraction of its market price. Here are ten steps to make your own guitar at home.
1. Prepare your Mind
Before you begin building a guitar, you need to first evaluate each aspect of the project. Decide on the type of guitar you want to make, choose a body type, tone wood, neck, and hardware components. Know that your choice of woods for making the body and neck of your guitar directly affects its sound profile, weight, playability, and tone. So, a little research will help you.
You might also need to learn a few skills like woodwork, metalworks, etc. As interesting as constructing a guitar is, don’t think you can build a guitar in one day. Making a guitar requires careful and precise work. You need to plan your time.
Tip: Break the project into several small stages that are spread over a relaxed time frame.
2. Use Available Help
A lot of precision is required to carefully carve out the body shape, frets and hollow space for hardware components. When you’ve decided on the type of guitar, body, and neck, you can check online for a template that fits. You could also get a pre-made neck, especially for your first project.
3. Get your Tools and Components
Asides the jigsaw, router, and sander used to construct the body, you need some specialized tools for the neck.
4. Draw, Cut and Route the body
Draw a plan of your guitar, factoring in the space for other components. Trace the plan design to scale on the tone wood you purchased for the body. Once it’s drawn out, cut the body with a jigsaw and route out spaces for the hardware components. Factor in the right width and depth. Use a gauge for accuracy.
5. Paint the body
You can spray-paint the body at this point. Apply a layer of wood primer before painting. Then apply lacquer. It might take about two weeks to dry properly.
6. Cut and Prepare the Neck
If you didn’t buy a pre-made neck, cut and prepare one. Follow the specifications for the tools and instructions for connecting it to the body. It’s best to cut the basic shape first and then refine. Hollow out space for the truss rod.
7. Fret the Neck and Place the Truss Rod
Cut the wires to the average length of each fret and hammer them in. Using a Dremel, trim the wires to be flush with the neck. Then, place the truss rod.
8. Setup the Hardware
Here’s where you need some soldering skills. After constructing the body and neck of your guitar, you can solder in the hardware components.
9. Couple the Guitar
Depending on your type of guitar, you may bolt or laminate (which is a bit more intensive and permanent) the neck on.
10. Set it up
This is the point where you adjust the action, the truss rod, the bridge and the tuning of your guitar before it is ready to play.