What are the basic tools needed when making a bass/guitar?

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by TheAntipop, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. TheAntipop

    TheAntipop New Member

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    What are the basic luthier tools that are really essential in the making of an instrument, the ones you just can't build a guitar/bass without?
     
  2. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Hands.
     
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  3. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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  4. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    What does everyone use for bass nut files? I want to build a bass sometime this year, but I've never really looked into what's needed.
     
  5. Murkar

    Murkar Well-Known Member

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    Pffft.....I bet Roman could build a guitar without hands. :dude:

    Antipop - you will require a router with two types of pattern bits (bearing on top, bearing on bottom). Also templates are useful (those you will have to make).

    If you plan to build many guitars you will also want a band saw; a drill press will also be quite useful.
     
  6. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    Wherever possible, I use a Graphtech TUSQ XL pre-slotted nut. It gets most of the work out of the way. When that option is not available, or when I need to widen the slots, I use some needle files from Harbor Freight.
     
  7. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Why router? I've built two guitars without one. :D
    Same goes with band saw and drill press... they're not needed, but I suppose they're extremely useful. :fingersx:

    Yeah, I'm useless. :lol:
     
  8. Murkar

    Murkar Well-Known Member

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    Well fine then, be that way. I like my router though. :squint:

    How do you make clean electronics cavities without a router? :hmm:

    lol realistically no power tools are absolutely required....but as you said, extremely useful. Unless you want to be like Barnaby and build an electric guitar entirely using only hand tools =/
     
  9. Fret Hopper

    Fret Hopper Member

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    I am doing a mostly hand tool build, with the help of my neighbor's table saw and drill press.

    For hand tools, a Shinto rasp is really useful. LMI had the best price on the one I bought.

    Chisels - I have to admit I am using s $6 set of 4 chisels (1/4" to 1") from HF. The sharpening stone cost me $30. They work great.

    Forstner bits. Shop around on these. Lowes has single Porter Cable forstner bits for $8 to $14, or you can buy a Porter Cable set of bits for $20 (1/4" to 1 1/4"), or a larger PC set that ranges from 1/4" to 2 1/4" for $50.

    A good precision ruler. Do not rely on a tape measure.

    A jig saw, if you don't have a band saw. Though you will have to expend some effort getting the sides of the body squared up as they won't be straight.

    Cabinet scrapers. I got a set at Rocklers for $18.

    Clamps. Lots and lots of clamps. Go to Harbor Freight. They are cheap. But, read the reviews carefully so that you get the decent ones. I will always pick up an extra clamp(s) when I go there.

    Biggest thing is to shop around to find the deals.

    From the ozone...
     
  10. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know, I know nothing about clean work. :D

    Drilling the corners + careful chiseling + neurotic checking = quite ok.

    [​IMG]

    Ok, I now have a router plane, makes getting flat bottom at correct depth lot easier. Didn't have it when I built the SG.
     
  11. Fret Hopper

    Fret Hopper Member

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    Forgot one of the most essential tools of guitar building...BEER!

    From the ozone...
     
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  12. TheAntipop

    TheAntipop New Member

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    Oops, sorry for starting another tool thread. So if I guess if I have access to a workshop with a lot of tools/power tools I'll be alright hehe, that's a good start :)
     
  13. Ronsonic

    Ronsonic New Member

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    I use small saws and a mouse tail file.
     
  14. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    One thing I'd love to go back 1 year and tell myself....a good piece of aluminum angle stock makes an excellent straight edge for making MDF templates when you can't afford a precision straight edge. Double stick tape, aluminum on the MDF, rout(with bearing riding the aluminum, done.
     

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