When I first started thinking about building a guitar I had this idea that it was going to require some rare expensive tools and a dedicated workshop. But that really isn’t true, I did the majority of my work with inexpensive hand tools and I didn’t have a workshop dedicated to building guitars, just the simple workbench in the picture below.
I’ve tried to make an exhaustive list of the tools that I used to make this guitar. It’s in no particular order. I thought about separating out the tools into the categories of necessary and nice-to-have, but I don’t think I will. It seems like that would be different for each person and personally I wouldn’t want to do it without having all of these tools at my disposal.
- Hand Planer
- Hand Scraper
- Razor Knife Set
- Chisel Set
- Small Clamps, Big Clamps, Deep Clamps, Bar Clamps, Spring Clamps… lots of Clamps
- Bench Vice
- Drillpress and Flycutter
- Bending Iron
- Tap and Die Set
- Dovetail Saw
- Table Saw
- Chop Saw
- Jewelers Saw
- Coping Saw
- Wire Cutters
- End Nippers
- AutoCAD, Sketchup and Excel
- Precise Metal Rulers
- Digital Caliper
- Engineers Square
- Speed Square
- Spray Gun
- Air Compressor
- Electric Drill and Buffing Wheel
- Belt Sander
- Benchtop Planer
- Bench Grinder
What hand planer do you suggest?
To be honest there are just so many different kinds and price becomes a big factor too. This is the one I bought for myself:
But then I go to a site like this one and I just start drooling because there’s just so much out there to try:
Essentially I think what it comes down to is there’s a ton of information out there on what different planes are good for what and since I’m by no means an authority on them I’ll just leave it to what’s out there, but I can tell you if you’re worried about price like I was I used that simple Stanley block plane to do my work and it was more that sufficient for me. Hope that helps?
Can you please send me a complete copy of the plans and blue prints so I can examine them and gather resources?
Hi Patrick, I actually don’t have a set of stand alone blue prints, I used the book “Guitarmaking” by Jonathan D. Natelson and William R. Cumpiano to guide and inform the construction of the guitar. The book was good for me, it went through the design and build process step by step and had all the dimensions, construction tips and suggestions for materials that I needed and also had good background information to help explain why they were doing what they were doing. So that’s really the only thing I can offer in the way of blue prints. Hope that helps!
If you’re interested here’s a link to the book on Amazon:
How much wood do you need?
I broke out all the materials including all the wood in the cost section.
What do you think are the approximate costs of tools listed above? Thanks.
Hi Erick, I’m not really sure, they’ve been acquired over the years for other projects. It would have to be several thousand dollars for everything on the list though.