The Guitar Making Environment

Your  guitar making shop can be a dedicated building, a garage, or a room in the house. Where ever it is, it should be permanent. Setting up and tearing down your workspace after every session will eventually take all the enjoyment of the guitar making project and you may give it up.

Since you will only need a few machines and the materials are generally small, a small work space will work just fine. One advantage of a small space is it is easier to control the humidity. This is no small matter (see the section below on Humidity control in the shop).

Full time luthiers spend a good portion of their day in the shop. So it is important to feel good while being in there. Your work environment will have an impact on your guitar making. Making your work space a more comfortable place to be in will bring an immeasurable benefit to your enjoyment of your craft.

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In this Section

The Guitar Building Shop – There are many things to consider when laying out a shop for building guitars. Lighting is important and humidity control is a must. Layout depends on how you work. If you will be milling your own wood or cutting your own sheet stock for jigs, templates and fixtures you will need enough space both in front of, behind and on either side of your machines to allow for unimpeded manipulation of the stock. Get helpful information on how to layout your guitar building shop to suit the way you work…

Workbenches, Vises & Clamps for Guitar Building – To build guitars you need a workbench. Preferably a workbench that has been designed for woodworking with hand tools. Benches generally come with  different bench vise combinations. Choice depends on preference. You will also need additional vises and lots of clamps. Guitar building requires the use of a few different types of clamps and lots of them.  What you’ll need depends on how you work. Get more information on shop essentials like benches, vices, and clamps…

Shop Storage – Fixtures, Shelves and Cabinets – Since most guitar making shops are small one of the biggest challenges is finding places to put all your stuff. A cluttered and disorganized shop is not only hard to work in but its dangerous. You need places to hang things, cabinets for your tools and arrangements for wood storage. Chances are you will need to make some cabinets, shelves or racks for storage. Get recommendations on shop storage…

Health and SafetyWhether you are guitar making or woodworking, you are creating lots ot dust, noise and fumes. You are also around a lot of potentially harmful tools and equipment. You need to protect yourself from harm and the potential effects all these things can have on you.  Get information on how to protect yourself and make your shop safer.