Guitar Build

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Project by Shawn1015 posted 12-13-2012 08:05 AM 1612 views 3 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After playing guitar for 25 plus years I decided I wanted to finally build one of mine own. I have always been fascinated how things are constructed and built so I guess trying to figure out how guitars are made shouldn’t be any different.

After watching some online videos and reading on various luthier forums, I decided to get started on the process. I had most of the basic tools like a router, sander, etc. but I needed to find some wood. I think one of my main reasons for building my own guitar is the unreal prices of guitars today. When you look at a guitar it is basically a piece of wood and some metal parts and paint. Why in the world would someone throw down thousands of dollars for a brand name guitar in which some other guitars are just as nice and playable for lot less? I appreciate a well-built guitar just as much as the next musician, but at what point does the price start to exceed the cost and the craftsmanship? Some guitars are made of exotic woods and this-and-that, but I decided I wanted to build my own and get my own lumber to start the process.

I feel silly even writing this thinking anyone would be interested, but I know before and during the constriction of my guitar I enjoyed and read any guitar build blogs I could find. So maybe this will help someone out.

I am currently working on my first acoustic guitar build.


19 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3369 days

#1 posted 12-13-2012 09:51 AM

Shawn that is a neat looking guitar

And the fact that it has got you onto

another one is great, Keep us posted

on the new build


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3750 days

#2 posted 12-13-2012 10:32 AM

Great looking guitar! Thanks for sharing. How about a sound clip or video of how it plays.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View SimonG's profile


14 posts in 3941 days

#3 posted 12-13-2012 11:19 AM

Shawn, you are following the same path as me. I too find the guitars on the market to be expensive for what it really is.

Same as you, I have made my own fretless 5 string bass guitar and now thinking about my next that will be a fretted 4 string accoustic bass. I purchased an old Cort bass for the hardware and pickup and I build everything including the neck.

You seem to have excelled with your finish. Very nice work. You should write a blog with construction steps for your next one …

View Dubb's profile


81 posts in 2506 days

#4 posted 12-13-2012 01:39 PM

Well done Shawn. I have always wanted to build a banjo , your posting has made me want to get started. Cant wait to see the one your working on now.

-- Dubb , WV

View daverose's profile


40 posts in 2864 days

#5 posted 12-13-2012 01:48 PM

Cool, I like the paint job. I just finished my first guitar a few weeks ago and although I still like my Les Paul better I’ve been playing my built guitar non stop. I guess ‘cause, well, I built it! I bet you find the same thing. I bought the neck from Warmoth as it seemed to me you needed so many specialized tools to do that with (nut files, fret clamping cauls etc.) Did you make the neck yourself? Nice work

View 489tad's profile


3653 posts in 3524 days

#6 posted 12-13-2012 02:01 PM

I like the paint job. I agree with Hal, how about a video to hear it. Thanks for posting.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Shawn1015's profile


6 posts in 2506 days

#7 posted 12-13-2012 02:07 PM

Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I did make everything that is wood on the guitar. Something I forgot to mention is another pitfall I found is that most beginners think you have to have every tool or file to create a guitar. Yes they are helpful but if you really want you can do a really good job with the basic tools.

View HoosierDude's profile


48 posts in 3528 days

#8 posted 12-13-2012 04:39 PM

Nice job Shawn! I love that paint job… how did you do that?

I also have my own, well 2 of them, under construction. I’ve got a strat that is in the final lacquering stages and should be playable in a couple of weeks and also an LP that I’ve been working on. I’ve been a woodworker since I was a teenager and began playing guitars in my 20’s. Wasn’t until last year that the lightbulb went off…. I’m having so much fun building them that it ought to be illegal!

-- Paul Lyons

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4090 days

#9 posted 12-13-2012 04:52 PM

Wildly cool guitar, great job.

View Shawn1015's profile


6 posts in 2506 days

#10 posted 12-13-2012 05:17 PM


The painting involved enamel paints, Borax, and large container of water. The Borax mixed into the water keeps the paint on the surface and I dipped the guitar into the container of water and then removed to dry. Then I clear coated and buffed.


View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3671 days

#11 posted 12-13-2012 06:07 PM

Nice project, Shawn. But I do disagree with your option regarding the worth and performance of more expensive guitars. You always get what you pay for, however, it can be argued how much value you get at a certain price point.

I just think you have to be careful because you make it sound like anybody can build something just as good as a $3000 guitar… which I think many prideful luthiers would have a problem with.

-- jay,

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30442 posts in 2851 days

#12 posted 12-13-2012 10:56 PM

Beautiful work. Wish I could get together with you a play.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30442 posts in 2851 days

#13 posted 12-13-2012 10:57 PM

Forgot, Welcome to LJ’s

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 3886 days

#14 posted 12-14-2012 06:39 PM


-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

View DannyThunder's profile


24 posts in 3129 days

#15 posted 12-14-2012 07:18 PM

Nice guitar. I love single HB guitars. As for quality, I’ve been making my own guitars for several years, and you are correct. If you know how to setup a guitar correctly, you can make any guitar sound good and play better than an off-the wall and more expensive axe. Keep up the good work!

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