How to Build a Guitar
Before you learn how to build a guitar it is important that you are able to play one. Without any knowledge of how to play a guitar it will be very difficult for you to understand how to build a guitar and all the elements involved, let alone to tune the guitar once finished. You also need to know what size suits you best, what you feel most comfortable with and how long the neck needs to be in order to suit your playing hand. It is necessary to spend some time learning about how a guitar actually works before building one. This need not be an in-depth analyse of each element, just a basic understanding will be sufficient.
We begin making guitars by first choosing your wood. Obviously this needs to be hard wearing but also fairly light. After all, don’t forget this guitar is going to spend a lot of time on you knee and you also need to be able to carry it.
Designing and Building a Guitar Body
You must first decide the design of your guitar, the shape of the body and length of the neck. Draw out two identical shapes for the body of your hand made guitar and cut out with a circular saw. Once they have been cut, lay one on top of the other to ensure they are identical. Now choose which piece is going to be the front of your guitar and cut out a whole in the middle, which will allow the noise to reverberate inside the guitar, producing the sound you desire.
It is now time to secure both pieces together. You need some flexi-wood that looks normal on one side but on the underside holds lots of groves allowing the wood to bend. Using flexi-wood removes any difficulty in attaching the two sides of the body. Attach the top of the flexi-wood to the front piece of the guitar and the parallel corner to the back piece of the guitar. Feed the flexi-wood all the way to the edge of the guitar, secure it with small nails, or opt for wood friendly glue.
Building the Guitar Neck
The neck should be on a thicker piece of wood than the body of your guitar. You can make it as long as you think you will feel comfortable with. Midway up the neck glue another piece of wood, preferably in a different colour to the rest of the guitar.
Attaching the Neck
The neck needs to be secured onto the body of the guitar. This can either be done with wood friendly glue or nails, the choice is yours. However, do make sure that you are 100% happy with the location of your neck before you fasten it into place.
It is advisable to take your new guitar into a music shop for attaching the strings and heads onto the neck as it is a very complicated and difficult process.