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Reddit mentions of Make Your Own Electric Guitar

Sentiment score: 16
Reddit mentions: 25

We found 25 Reddit mentions of Make Your Own Electric Guitar. Here are the top ones.

Make Your Own Electric Guitar
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  • 148 Pages
  • Composer: Diana Poulton
  • Softcover
  • Dimensions 12 x 9
Height10.5 Inches
Length8.5 Inches
Number of items1
Weight1.81 Pounds
Width0.54 Inches

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Found 25 comments on Make Your Own Electric Guitar:

u/catdumpling · 9 pointsr/Luthier

Dan Erlewine's Guitar Player Repair Guide has been around for years and covers a lot of ground. I bought my copy when I was 16, over 20 years ago. The newest edition also comes with a DVD too. You can get it at StewMac here, although it's available from Amazon and most book sellers. No one book can cover every single little thing, but it's a good reference to keep around; I still check mine from time to time.

Anymore, it's easy to find most of this information freely available online. Someone already mentioned frets.com, which is an awesome site. There are tons of great Youtube channels too (Freddys Frets, StewMac, Crimson Custom Guitars, Sully Guitars, Dave's World of Fun Stuff, Blues Creek Guitars, O'Brien Guitars, and dozens more I can't remember offhand.) I think it's easier to learn certain things by watching videos, so I'd suggest picking one book as a main source, then look up videos for anything that's not entirely clear to you. I didn't have the benefit of Youtube or the internet when I started working on them, so take advantage of it!

I'd also recommend getting at least one book on building guitars, because it can give you quite a bit of insight about how different instruments are constructed. I've had Melvyn Hiscock's Make Your Own Electric Guitar for years too and it's a great book, but it's currently out of print. Keep an eye out for a used copy, or look into the ones that are currently available. StewMac has a good selection of books, but again you can find most of them from any book seller.

Finally, don't get too overwhelmed. Guitars are not particularly complicated things and it's not rocket science, even if it looks like it sometimes. There really aren't that many repairs that I'd consider too difficult for the average person, as long as you're willing to put in a little time to learn how to do them. Even refretting isn't that hard (although it's tedious and takes all friggin' day.) Learn how different types of guitars are built, because all a repair is is repeating a particular part of the build process to fix a problem. Watching "factory tour" videos on Youtube of various manufacturers can give you a surprising amount of information on how a particular builder tackles certain aspects of the instrument. There's almost always multiple ways to achieve a repair, it's just a matter of figuring out what works best for a particular instrument or situation or just how you prefer to work.

u/[deleted] · 5 pointsr/Guitar

This is pretty much the book for it. Also, check out the Unofficial Warmoth forums.

u/MojoMonster · 4 pointsr/Guitar

Not a problem.

Just so you know, the TDPRI and MyLesPaul luthier section of their forums are an excellent resource for for DIY luthering.

Great example from TDPRI. Nut filing.

Melvyn Hiscock has a great book on building your first guitar. (Jeez, I just saw the prices... it's out of print, but I'm sure a local used book store can get it for you for less than $60)

My advice. Build that and give it to a deserving guitarist.

THEN build your guitar.

Dream big. Start small.

u/TheWoodBotherer · 4 pointsr/Luthier

Hi there!

I'd say that an important first step is plenty of research on the principles of guitar building, so that you have a good understanding of what you are trying to achieve before you start designing or building:

There are some excellent books on the subject, and also many resources on YouTube where you can watch the pro's at work and see how it's done....

Having some woodwork experience is a good starting point, and having the right tools for the job definitely helps, but many people have managed to achieve a first build on their kitchen table with just the basics....

Do you have an idea of what type of guitar you would like to build? I'm assuming a solid-body electric of some kind, which is somewhat more straightforward than say an acoustic guitar....

It's a good idea to base your first guitar on something which already exists, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel (some time spent trying out as many guitars as possible down at the local guitar store is always fun, until they get heartily sick of you!)....

Another good learning strategy is to acquire a couple of secondhand cheapo guitars to tinker with and take apart etc, without fear of ruining a decent instrument (also good for practice at soldering and wiring pickups, pots etc)...

You might also bear in mind that a kit guitar, or buying in components like a factory-made neck, or pre-slotted fretboard etc, can be a great starting point, and considerably less daunting than trying to make absolutely everything from scratch for a first-timer!

Nobody's first guitar is ever 'perfect' I'd say, so aim for something relatively simple and execute it really well, then save that triple-necked guitar with eighteen pickups and loads of exotic hardwoods you've always dreamed of (lol) for a future build, once you have mastered the basic skills... :>)>

Hope that helps.

PS - ask loads of questions as you go along, if something crops up that you are not sure of... that's what we're here for!

Best wishes,


u/USS-SpongeBob · 4 pointsr/Luthier

Find a book or two about guitar building on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Make-Your-Own-Electric-Guitar/dp/0953104907 this one is pretty excellent) and read it. The book will not only tell you every step of building an instrument, but it will also list every tool and material you will need to complete the project.

The first step to take, though, is to learn basic woodworking skills. Without them (and without good hands-on guidance from a skilled woodworker), you will not build an instrument worth playing.

u/TheWordFromMars · 3 pointsr/Luthier

I used this one, and this one. The first one is good to read before you start designing/building. It describes what makes a good design and what doesn't. The second is more of the actual building information. It even includes info on bass building, which is why I got it. You'd probably be looking more for the second book I listed, but it can be hard to find. Good luck!

u/tmwrnj · 3 pointsr/Guitar

I'd suggest joining the Crimson Guitars forum and checking out their YouTube channel. I'd also highly recommend the book Make Your Own Electric Guitar by Melvyn Hiscock. These resources will answer all of your questions and more.

u/polishedbullet · 3 pointsr/Guitar

I posted a picture of a guitar I made not too long ago. Here it is. The link to the entire build should be in the comments.

People say to just build your first guitar from a kit and keep it relatively simple. Personally, I say do whatever you want with your guitar. It is YOUR own guitar after all.

My tips would be:

  • Be prepared to spend more money than you expect. There is always something that goes wrong that will need replaced.

  • If you have little/no experience in woodworking, make sure you know someone or multiple people who are. They will prevent you from making an irreversible mistake.

  • Find a good forum to ask for help on. I used the Guitar Building and Customizing forum on Ultimate-guitar.com. Watching some of the professionals on there build is really eye-opening and extremely helpful. They are more than willing to help you and answer your questions.

  • Buy a book that you can bring with you to wherever you will be working on the guitar. I used this book.

    If you have any more questions, just PM me!
u/benjorino · 3 pointsr/Guitar

Verdelet gives good advice!
All I would add is the age old advice of "measure once, cut twice"

I also recommend Make Your Own Electric Guitar by Melvin Hiscock. The book is considered the "Bible" of guitar making, and is an excellent guide/ reference.

I'd also recommend reading plenty. Project guitar is great. MIMF is another good site. By reading about mistakes others have made you can avoid them yourself ;)

u/Naked_Otis · 3 pointsr/Luthier

Recommended Books:
Electric Guitar and Bass Design: The guitar or bass of your dreams, from the first draft to the complete plan https://www.amazon.com/dp/3000296425/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_taa_HT7nDb2JCC3CP

Electric Guitar Making & Marketing: How to build and market high-end instruments, from your workshop's setup to the complete business plan https://www.amazon.com/dp/1514353083/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_taa_ZS7nDbZQR4RFH

Make Your Own Electric Guitar https://www.amazon.com/dp/0953104907/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_taa_mV7nDb4C88PQ7

Build Your Own Electric Guitar: Complete Instructions and Full-Size Plansby Oakham, Martin
(This one is hard to find)

u/cromag5150 · 3 pointsr/Luthier

As far as the design I think it might benefit from some symmetry in the body and especially the horns. Either two sharp horns or two curled, but not one of each. Also the lower bout looks narrower than the upper which throws my eye off a bit. If this is your first attempt and building a guitar do what Nipple_Cruncher suggested and build something tried and proven. First builds can be daunting enough without trying to reinvent the wheel. You're young and there will be plenty of time to tinker with your own designs later.

I'd suggest spending $25 on Melvin Hiscock's book and read it from cover to cover.

u/grahamvinyl · 3 pointsr/Luthier

Make Your Own Electric Guitar is a good one.

I also got a lot of inspiration and good ideas from Jeff Miller's step-by-step pictures online.

u/Drinkos · 3 pointsr/Guitar

Read This It's widely known as the bible for guitar making. Find your local lumberyard for wood - don't get 'luthier wood' from eBay, it's much more expensive. The other questions you asked can't really be answered without a day long conversation to find out what you like. I'd personally go for something pretty simple for my first build - think bolt on, Telecaster simplicity. Getting the simple stuff right first is more important than being able to carve a perfect Les Paul top for example

u/coffeefuelsme · 2 pointsr/Luthier

I make enough from guitar building and repair to be able to fund it as a hobby in itself. You're looking at a significant initial investment in tools, workspace, and marketing in a market that's pretty saturated with factory guitars and independent builders. I hope someday to build up a customer base large enough to make this a career, but until then I enjoy it as a hobby and an art that pays for itself. As an art, I'd suggest picking up a couple of books:

Guitar making tradition and technology and Make your own electric guitar.

Both of these will give you a great background on how to build an instrument. The links in the sidebar will be very helpful to you as well.

One thing that has been helpful to me is engaging in your local music community. I live in an area of the US with lots of churches and worship pastors that need their guitars worked on. I work on their guitars and every now and then do builds for them that meet the needs they're looking for. I don't know what your community looks like, but engaging with musicians where they're at and building up a report is the beginning to a self-sustaining hobby and hopefully will carry you to a business.

Best of luck to you!

u/rrawlings1 · 2 pointsr/Luthier

I have 2 books. One that nobody likes is by Melvyn Hiscock. Admittedly its a bit dated, but gives a pretty good idea of the principles of guitar design. It is not a woodworking book however, so it assumes you have some knowledge of woodworking techniques. I say nobody likes it because anytime its mentioned, someone will complain that they bought the book but couldn't build a guitar.

I have this booklet as well, and I also have his booklet on how to make a 5 string banjo. I think its pretty good as well.

Honestly though, there is enough information online about making guitars in this day and age, that I think you can do just as well by watching a bunch of videos and reading a bunch of online articles. Also, there are some really good people on this subreddit that can help answer questions in great detail.

u/HJBones · 2 pointsr/Luthier

You may have to look around for it, but I can’t imagine a better book than this one. You can do so much with just this book, and it gives you a great starting place and foundation to build on.


u/whiskers138 · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Make sure you get a neck with the proper scale length to match the body. On the flip side, if you have a body with pre drilled holes, make sure the bridge holes are in the proper place for the scale length to match the neck.

Also I would very highly recommend this book:

I've gone to school for guitar building and the core of what I learned there is covered in this book. Comprehensive, easy to read, good illustrations, etc.

u/MrCaptainJorgensen · 1 pointr/Guitar

So far the book "make your own eclectic guitar" has helped me a lot.


I suggest building from a kit to start out. The shop I work for is an AllParts dealer, so I really like them, an I'll bet if you emailed the boss he'd cut you a deal, but Stewmac.com is good too.

The book I suggested it's really vague on finishing, so I suggest looking up an online tutorial specific to what finish you're doing, YouTube has been a big help, but Stewmac.com has some good tutorials on their site. be sure your clear coat, paint, and sanding sealer all work together I had to start over because no one will give me a clear answer about how to finish an ash body with a stain.
Here's a link to the StewMac videos.


u/diabeticninja · 1 pointr/Guitar

The best way to start, IMO, is to read. Get as much info as you can on the subject. There's a couple of books that are pretty good; This One or This One are good places to start. Another thought is to check out websites like projectguitar.com. They've also got a forum with lots of tips and such.

Finally, it's going to be a big asset if you already know your way around some various woodshop machinery, if you plan on doing it all from scratch. Knowing how to solder helps too.
One final thing. Do't expect to be able to build something utterly incredible your first time around. Start simple; it's easy to bite off more than you can chew. You will make mistakes; it's pretty much guaranteed. Don't worry about it. When you finally finish, you'll have an instrument that you can be proud of.

Good luck!

EDIT: Almost forgot, there's also an /r/luthier subreddit as well.

u/6stringnightmare · 1 pointr/Luthier

Many of us started with this book:

Nothing you can't find on the internet, but this is one of those areas where there's just too much information out there.

u/GrandMasterC · 1 pointr/Guitar

Did this about 12 years ago. Bought most stuff from StewMac.com I would heavily suggest buying their premade neck-fretboards. I did, and it turned out pretty awesome. I bought the maple neck/ebony fretboard for through neck type construction, an alder body blank, bridge, pickups, wiring, and paint all from them. Cut out the body sides and use them as clamping cauls when you glue the sides to the neck. I bought the book "Build Your Own Electric Guitar" and it was a great help. TAKE YOUR TIME!!! DO IT THE RIGHT WAY!!!

u/jczik · 1 pointr/Guitar

I did exactly what you're explaining with my dad. The process takes a long time. I'd recommend starting with designing the body. If you want to design your own body, sketch it out, and GIVE VERY EXACT MEASUREMENTS ON THE STENCIL.

This includes the center line. EVERYTHING ON THE GUITAR IS BASED ON THAT CENTER LINE. The neck, pickups, and bridge all have to be exactly on that line.

Also you have to factor the scale of the neck you're planning to get. I got my neck from Warmoth. It's a great neck and I can't be happier with it, but a finished neck is around $250.

Back to the body: What wood do you want to use? Are you going to book end the wood if you're going to use a translucent finish (burst, dye, etc.) or are you going to just paint it? I dyed my guitar and used layers upon layers of laquer (~15 to be exact of museum quality finish).

Hardware is something else to consider. Stewart-MacDonald is a great site for that. Think pots, switches, tuners, bridges (stopbar too if you're doing a Gibson-style bridge), pickup rings if you're not using a pickguard, pickguard, neck plate for bolting the guitar on, etc.

Basically, there's a lot to consider when building a guitar. It's not easy at all, but if you have fun with it, you can build a hell of a guitar. I recommend buying a couple books on guitar building. This is one of the books I got. It's really good and I highly recommend it.

Good luck!

u/jrcoop88 · 1 pointr/woodworking

I responded to your post in /r/luthier about buying tools. From what i remember you have access to the school wood shop but for limited amounts of time. I’m going to try and take you through some of the major steps in building a guitar and what tools you could use.

  1. Dimensioning- taking rough lumber to surfaced. Three options are buying presurfaced, using a jointer and planer, or using hand planes. For this step I would go with buying rough lumber and using the jointer and planer at school to surface the wood to size. Presurface lumber would be my second option. It would save you time but be more expensive. While I love hand planes I feel like for buliding a guitar your money could be better spent elsewhere.
  2. Laminating- both the body and neck. Wide boards are more expensive so the body you would probably end up laminating. The neck might also be as well depending on your preference. Get some clamps(you’ll need them) and do the glue up on your own. Just make sure you have enough.
  3. Cutting out the body- options are band saw, router with template, jigsaw, or turning saw. If it were me I would make a template at school then roughly cut out the shape on a band saw at school I would then buy a router and flush trim bit to get the guitar to the exact shape at home. You could do it with just the band saw or jig saw if you are careful. Frame saws are great but will cost more than a jig saw.
  4. Routing pick-up cavities- like the step suggests a router is best for this. If you get a router make sure it has a plundge base. This is also best done with a template to get exactly what you want. You can do this step with chisels which might be cheaper but as the next step will show you should probably get a router.
  5. Routing the neck pocket- This step should really be done with a router. It will give you the most precise cut and you dont want to mess up the neck angle because then you will have issues with the action. Chisles could be used but I still don’t trust myself with chisles enough to do that.
  6. Shaping the neck- here is where hand tools shine. Either spokeshave, rasps or both. finish with sand paper.
  7. Headstock- it is a bit more difficult to tell tools without knowing if you want a fender style vs gibson. You could do any of the shaping with a coping saw though. For the tuners it would be best to drill the holes with a drill press. Brace and bit could be used if care is taken.
  8. Shaping the body. There are some options for the body’s edge i.e. round over, binding ect. but if you want any countour for the arm or belly it will be spoke shave and or rasp again.
  9. Finger board inlay- drill press, hand drill, or brace for round. Chisles for trapezoids
  10. Fretting- Quality back saw would be your best bet. Making a jig for accuracy would help.

    Alright this isn’t a comprehensive list but I’m running out of steam. And some of these are out of order I was too lazy to fix it. As you can see a router would do a lot for you. I know you were thinking of hand tools only but if you could find a way to make the router work it would be the best bang for your buck. I recommend reading this book and figuing out what tools you can buy and use in your situation. There are also look at stuff on Youtube to get ideas.