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Minimum home shop

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 671
Several people have asked me what kind of tools they need to build a kit guitar. I went out in my shop last night, cleaned off the work bench and took a bunch of pictures of the tool I use - it is a pretty minimal set to get the job done.

Obviously having the right tool makes the job easier

My shop - looks like a garage, doesn't it? Workbench with vise, good light, tunes, heat.... Cover the cars - they will get dusty

Start with plans - LMI classical plans and dvd, Cumpiano's wonderful book

StewMac plans and pdf, lots of downloads from the 'net

Molds - I build them from pressboard. 000 on the left, classical on the right. Classical workboard behind

Simple cauls - 000 bridge on left, classical on right. the 2x4's in the back are radiused to match the back braces - my "go-bar" deck

Measuring sticks

Cutting tools (I also used an table saw and band saw but they are not in my garage)

Planes and chisels - I use the little plane a lot

Files and rasps

Fretting tools - the little "L" thingie is a piece of fret wire with the barbs files off to check slot depth

Luthier tools - nut files, fret crowning file, bridge pin reamer, router bits



Big router, little router. A laminate router would be better for binding

Bling - precut pearl and abalone, and a practice routing block

Not shown and very important is PPE - a dust mask for any sanding, safety glasses for cutting and sanding, latex gloves for handling stains, and respirator for spraying.

Mar 22, 06 | 8:34 am

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
The other thing that I didn't take a picture of but should have is clamps. You can't have enough (and I don't) but I've got a couple of deep throat C's, about 8 normal C's, 10 bar clamps of various sizes (but all with fit the depth of a guitar), some little spring clamps and a bag of clothespins. No cam clamps (yet), no spool clamps. With the right cauls to spread out clamping pressure you can get by with what I list, but more would be nice

Mar 22, 06 | 10:27 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Freeman -- That was a good idea. There's also a source page on the KitGuitarBuilder site under "Tools" where a complete list can be downloaded. Your pictures include a few that aren't on the list. Thanks --


Mar 24, 06 | 7:56 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
The chainsaw, of course, is essential. :-)

Mar 24, 06 | 7:57 am

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 158
Strange, I use Stella Artois for all my problem solving as well. It is a valuable tool and I highly recommend its use.

Aug 26, 06 | 5:03 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Ted -- that's a great tool for taking the worrying out of waiting for the glue on the neck joint to dry and hoping it didn't shift while you were clamping it.



Aug 26, 06 | 5:51 am

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 81
OK, I understand the beer, but I wonder if you might have to also include the antigonist therefor, i.e., Coffee!!!!!

Sep 01, 06 | 12:44 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
You know, Kathy Matsushita has a great list of tools she recommends for starters too. I love her site, lots of great information, and sh eis a pleasure to communicate with outside of the school year as well.

Sep 05, 06 | 8:19 pm

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