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Tips on geting starting in the Guitar making?

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 3
Books I can read, sites to vist .I got a saga kit to start to work on.I would like to go all the way and be a Luthier, What kind of tools do you guys use.

Jan 14, 10 | 8:21 am

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Expensive ones!!! LOL
Just kidding. The advice I got from here was to but the tools as you need them during the build process. You need a few clamps to start though. I borrowed a bunch of the stuff I used, like the router, some clamps, and some other things. Kept my costs down. I am sure the more experienced guys can weigh in with better advice, but for binding channels you will need a laminate trimmer or router or dremel. And there is no way to build without a few clamps. I had three cam clamps that were part of my kit from KMG plus 4 ratcheting plier style clamps I got at Home Depot for $4.00 each. That was all I needed for most of the build.
Oh...and glue. :o)

Jan 14, 10 | 9:18 am

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Bill Cory, the originator of this forum, has several books on building with a kit. And I think there are some threads here that talk about books by Cumpiano and others.
I've just started myself and am new to the site. First, welcome aboard. The people here are the friendliest I've ever met online. They are very helpful, and this place is a great community to be in.
Like Tony said, I buy as I go along. One thing I would really emphasize is to buy or build a very good mold. Kenneth Michael Guitars, LMI, and Stewart-McDonald, and others, sell good molds. I'm going to get Ken's Multi-Style Mold for the future, because it seems to have a lot of features that I could have used on my first build.
I spent several weeks reading every topic in the "Kit Guitars in General" forum here. It answered a lot of the questions I have. Also, Bill has another site, where he goes through the building of 4 of his kit guitars. It is extremely helpful. I then read a ton of topics in the other forums.
Ken Michael's Success Kits comes with a lot of devices, aids, and tools that will be helpful. Go to his site: and email him, he's very helpful and he'll send you a list of things included in his kits. I just got his router attachment so I can cut for my bindings and purflings.
Also, John Hall at Blues Creek Guitars goes to Martin and picks out great quality wood for his kits. He's very helpful here also. His site:
LMI is: They sell kits, tools, etc. They have an online catalogue and a "kit wizard" that's good for customizing their kits.
Stewart-McDonald: also sells kits, tools, etc.
I've not built an electric guitar, as in the Saga kits, but I bet there are some similarities. As in any endeavor, if you're serious and want good results, you can't go wrong buying quality tools, molds, fixtures, attachments, etc. However, you don't have to buy it all at once. I've spent $2-400 so far on this kit, and my next will probably require about $400 more. But that's because I'm going to insist to myself that I need particular items, and also because I had very little to start with. After that, it should get cheaper. Lawdy I hope so.
By the way, Bill will autograph his books for you too!
Good luck with your building.

Jan 14, 10 | 3:20 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Welcome, and just start building! Best advice to give you. Bill has some excellent books here, but everyone will tell you differently....we each have things that work for us and some that don't. Make some saw dust, and you'll soon learn what works or not for you. Although, I think one of the best and most under rated tools for this forum is a digital camera.

Jan 14, 10 | 10:52 pm

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Read, read, read.

You need to understand the relationship of the neck angle to the guitar body and how this affects the string action etc. Ken at KMG has a website that explains this better than anything else I've read.

I too recommend Bill's manual......Bill can tell you how well it fits with your kit (since I'm not familiar with that kit). Also, there are videos you can buy. You can learn a lot, lot, lot just reading here and other guitar forums.

Have fun and ask questions.

Jan 15, 10 | 8:41 pm

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