Started the Guitar Build

In my last shop update video I mentioned that I only had a few commissions left and then I planned to go on a 52 week spree of building cutting boards, bowls and boxes.  I also mentioned that at some point I wanted to build a guitar.  At the time the guitar was more of an after thought though.

As I thought more about it and did some research I couldn’t get the thought of building a guitar out of my head.  Before I knew it I was in the shop resawing some mahogany and walnut to make blanks for the pieces that would eventually become the guitar.  So much for the boards, bowls and boxes idea.

I am by no means a luthier (guitar builder).  I’ve never built a guitar in my life.  I have however played the guitar for the vast majority of my life.  That combined with my passion for woodworking really can only lead one place.  It’s time to build a guitar.  I love the Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar.  I’ve wanted one for about a decade and a few years ago my wife surprised me with one of them.  It, in my opinion is the perfect acoustic guitar.  The neck feels great, the size is perfect and it sounds amazing.  Because of this I’m modeling my guitar on the J-45.  I purchased plans for the build from Stewart-McDonald.  Based on the research that I’ve done they seem pretty reputable in the world of guitar building.

I’ve already produced three videos documenting the guitar build.  I haven’t gotten too far into it.  The videos are basically all the beginning work.  Milling the lumber, making the blanks and some other miscellaneous parts that I know I’ll need.  Here is the first video in the series thus far.

In this video I mill the rough lumber in to blanks for the guitar.

After milling the lumber, I glued the blanks together to form the pieces that I’d need to start building the guitar.  You can what me do that in this video.

Finally in the third video of the series so far I take care of a few housekeeping tasks. These include squaring up the neck blank, sanding the blanks for the back and soundboard as well as making kerning for the guitar.

So as you can see I’ve been pretty busy getting things ready to really dig into this build. I’m pretty excited about it while being a bit apprehensive at the same time. I’m worried that my guitar won’t even come close to the quality of a J-45 and that all the time I will have spent building it will be for nothing. Anyone can go pick up a crappy guitar for a few hundred dollars and call it done. I really hope that this build lives up to my expectations. I guess only time will tell.

I hope you continue to follow along with this project. I can promise that it’ll be a lot of fun. Win or lose I’m sure to learn something new!

Thanks for reading.

2 Replies to “Started the Guitar Build”

  1. Everytime I’ve read about someone building a guitar they’ve always exceeded their expectations as far as sound quality. Hopefully your experience is the same. I’m going to watch the YouTube vids this weekend and possibly be inspired to try one myself

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