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Guitar Building Methods – Videos

There are only two things that matter when making a guitar, how comfortable you are doing it, and the results you are getting. Chances are, if you are not comfortable while doing something,  you will not get good results. You can’t fake it. When it feels right you will know it.

Knowing a few different ways to do things allows you to choose which works best for you. Don’t be stuck using a technique you are uncomfortable with because its the only one you know. Learn some new guitar building methods in order to expand your horizons.

You may not be familiar with some of the guitar making techniques demonstrated in the videos below but watch them anyway. Most of the techniques I use were techniques I learned making furniture, and they work for me.  It is not imperative that you use them, but you must realize that there is another way to do everything. You need to find what works for you. The more techniques you have to choose from  the greater your chances of success. Videos are added regularly.

New Technique Video – Setting the Drift on a Bandsaw

If you have ever tried to re-saw something and the piece you are trying to cut is wandering away from the fence you know how frustrating this can be. This results in uneven thickness in the piece you are trying to cut which will waste wood. Imagine getting only one neck blank out of a one in the lifetime piece of mahogany instead of two that you should have gotten. This has happened to almost everyone.

There is a way to prevent this from happening and it is known as setting the drift on your band saw. The video shows how to properly set the fence on your band saw that will result in a evenly thick cut of any piece you are trying to cut. Its easy to do but I am surprised how many guitar builders avoid re-sawing on the band saw because they either never heard of this or don’t know how to do it.

Popular Video – Carving the Heel

Carving the heel is one of my favorite parts of making a guitar. Making the heel look symmetric and elegant is not easy but can be done if approached methodically. I do not use a template when carving the heel. If you know what shape you are going for a template is unnecessary. I use only 3 carving tools to shape the heel from start to finish and they are:

  • 35mm straight gouge
  • 12mm skew
  • Slyod knife

With these three carving tools you can get the heel to where only a few strokes of sandpaper are necessary to get the heel prepped for finish. Gouges are not the same as chisels. Chisels have a flat back and one beveled face. Both the straight gouge and the skew have bevels on both sides of the cutting edge like a knife. Chisels should not be used for carving. They do not cut the same it will be just about impossible to carve to the shape with one. Learn to sharpen and use carving tools and both your work, and your enjoyment of it, will improve dramatically.

Guitar Building Methods – Videos

Guitar Making Technique Videos

Learn Guitar Making Techniques

Many of the guitar building methods I use came from my furniture building days. With furniture you are building something different on a regular basis, hence you are constantly confronted with the question, how do I do this?  Sometimes you have to come up with your own techniques, or know how to adapt a technique typically used for something else. As a result you begin to develop a kind of technique database if you will.

This is excellent training for guitar building. It teaches you to think on your feet and come up with new ways of doing things. It is better if you can come up with your own techniques for challenging projects because you will be working in a way that is comfortable for you. Soak up all you can. Eventually you will be able to expand on what you know. However you have to make an effort to learn new techniques. This is how you develop into a craftsman.

Additional guitar building methods videos can be found in the pages listed in the More Techniques sidebar.

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