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  1. #1
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.28.12 @ 10:39 AM
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    Hi there,

    This question is pretty much aimed at Rols. Now, I know that I could have sent it to him via private message, but I figured that other guys on here may also be interested in the advice that may come out of this discussion.

    Plus, I suspect from the other topics that have populated this message board, that there will be others of you that will be able to offer advice.

    So here goes...

    I was just wondering how I would get into the guitar building / reparing line of business. I appreciate that at first, no-one is going to trust me to work on their guitar, so I appreciate that I am going to have to start on my own project in order to learn from my own mistakes.

    I currently work in telecoms and the bottom seems to be falling out of it. This company I'm with at the moment has already gone through 2 bouts of redundancy and it has really made me think about what I want to be doing with my life, and this is definitely one thing I would like to pursue.

    A couple of years ago, I was going through redundancy with another company. I was seriously thinking then about getting into this industry, and it dawned on me that I really hate computers ! Ha ha ha ! So I finally realised that I should really learn a trade that I am interested in. I love guitars, I play a bit, and I truly couldn't think of anything I'd love more than building and repairing guitars (apart from maybe a rock star or a porn star, I guess [img]smile.gif[/img] ).

    Someone advised that I would need to take on some sort of wood care course, specifically aimed at musical instruments. So, I am going to get in touch with the local university here and see if they offer such a course here that I could do as a night course.

    However, if anyone on here could offer some other advice on how to get started that would be appreciated.

    Stuff such as what stuff to learn (and how and where to learn it) and best places to buy cheap guitar gear in order to butcher it on my first few attempts. Also equipment that I am going to need to start out and further stuff I am going to need further on down the line.

    I know I said I'd like to get into it as a business venture, but to get it under my belt as my own hobby / interest first would be absolutely great.

    Oh, and I live in the UK by the way, so using Warmoth (I think that's what everyone keeps quoting on here [img]smile.gif[/img] ) may be a bit to expensive for me shipping wise.

    Thanks in advance for any advice...

    Dave.

    [img]graemlins/bounce.gif[/img]

    [ September 18, 2002, 10:43 AM: Message edited by: mondola ]
    "<i>You can please <b>some</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time,<br />And <b>all</b> of the people <b>some</b> of the time,<br />But you can't please <b>all</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time !</i>"<br /><br />(was Dave5150 on <b><i>The Pleasure Dome</i></b>)<br /><br />Check out some of my music at: <a href="http://www.dave5150.com" target="_blank">www.dave5150.com</a>

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! el_jalepeno's Avatar
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    10.28.15 @ 05:22 PM
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    Donor

    Originally posted by mondola:
    I currently work in telecoms and the bottom seems to be falling out of it. This company I'm with at the moment has already gone through 2 bouts of redundancy and it has really made me think about what I want to be doing with my life, and this is definitely one thing I would like to pursue.
    Hey! What floor are you on? I'm on the third! Just kidding, but I am in Telecom as well (Layoffs announced as we speak in "Organizational Meetings" throughout the day, and my meeting's in less than an hour) I thought long and hard, but I don't think you can live on doing repairs and scratch building. And if you're in telecom, you probably became accustomed to a certain life style, which makes it even that much more difficult. If there is another way, I would be glad to hear it... [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.28.12 @ 10:39 AM
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    Originally posted by el_jalepeno :
    Hey! What floor are you on? I'm on the third! Just kidding, but I am in Telecom as well (Layoffs announced as we speak in "Organizational Meetings" throughout the day, and my meeting's in less than an hour) I thought long and hard, but I don't think you can live on doing repairs and scratch building. And if you're in telecom, you probably became accustomed to a certain life style, which makes it even that much more difficult. If there is another way, I would be glad to hear it... [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    Hi there,

    Sounds like the same situation as I find myself in at the moment. Nightmare at the moment. Hopefully, my face still fits with senior management and I will stay. Fingers crossed for you pal...

    I want to venture into other things, so I need to get started on them straight away and start saving, then if the bottom does fall out of my world, at least I have something to fall back on. The reason I didn't venture previously was because I would have had to cut my salary by about a third to work in a guitar shop and learn the trade, and I had so many debts and a mortgage, that it just wasn't possible.

    So, Nope. I don't intend to live off doing this for full. However, it would be an interesting venture to have. I can do it "as well as" doing another couple of projects that I am intending to pursue. One of which, if it came to fruition could make me quite rich .

    But I just want to do things that I enjoy, and this would be one of them. Like I say, even if I only get to do this as a hobby, it would be an absolute bonus.

    Cheers,

    [img]graemlins/bounce.gif[/img]

    [ September 17, 2002, 10:56 AM: Message edited by: mondola ]
    "<i>You can please <b>some</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time,<br />And <b>all</b> of the people <b>some</b> of the time,<br />But you can't please <b>all</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time !</i>"<br /><br />(was Dave5150 on <b><i>The Pleasure Dome</i></b>)<br /><br />Check out some of my music at: <a href="http://www.dave5150.com" target="_blank">www.dave5150.com</a>

  4. #4
    Eruption rolsguitars's Avatar
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    01.22.09 @ 09:08 AM
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    Now to be able to build a guitar you have to be a problem solver with a woodworking background plain and simple, you have to have a basic knowledge of wood *and* woodworking right down to finishing, I've done it since I can remember, building tables and such since I was a kid, so a local wood shop coarse would be good if you have no prior knowledge of any of this.
    You also have to have the tools, you aren't going to cut a nut slot for a floyd with your moms\wifes emery board [img]tongue.gif[/img] you need to invest not only in basic woodworking tools, router, radial arm saw, drill press etc but also basic luthier tools i.e fret dressing, leveling polishing files etc etc the list goes on and on my friend .
    Now for the luthier part if you want to build bodies and necks yourself you better bust out the charge cards and get plainers, shapers and more than I can remember on the way. You also need basic electrical wiring knowledge.
    I suggest you goto www.stewmac.com look at 2 of the books they offer one is "Make your own electric guitar" and the other is "Finishing step by step" they are inexpensive so you can read them and see if you want to even tackle it.
    If you like what you read then I would order the series of video taped lessons from them on what ever you want to start learning to do, even the best guys out there have to refer to books or videos every so often and they are good to have around.
    what I would do for now is buy seperate components like say from ebay *not* a kit but a neck here and a body there (unfinished body btw)and pickups then get your hardware from stewmac.com or warmoth.com and make it work, that is what I did years ago and you'll learn more doing that then by anything I can say.
    I will only be an email away if you run into any trouble, and I'm sure there are planty of guys on this list who will do the same.
    go for it and good luck.
    There is so much more to say but it just can't all be covered at once, and btw I'm assuming you are talking electric guitars, acoustic are a whole different ball game in a stadium miles and miles away
    Rol.

  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing! el_jalepeno's Avatar
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    10.28.15 @ 05:22 PM
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    Donor

    Originally posted by rolsguitars:
    Now to be able to build a guitar you have to be a problem solver with a woodworking background plain and simple, you have to have a basic knowledge of wood *and* woodworking right down to finishing, I've done it since I can remember, building tables and such since I was a kid, so a local wood shop coarse would be good if you have no prior knowledge of any of this.
    You also have to have the tools, you aren't going to cut a nut slot for a floyd with your moms\wifes emery board [img]tongue.gif[/img] you need to invest not only in basic woodworking tools, router, radial arm saw, drill press etc but also basic luthier tools i.e fret dressing, leveling polishing files etc etc the list goes on and on my friend .
    Now for the luthier part if you want to build bodies and necks yourself you better bust out the charge cards and get plainers, shapers and more than I can remember on the way. You also need basic electrical wiring knowledge.
    I suggest you goto www.stewmac.com look at 2 of the books they offer one is "Make your own electric guitar" and the other is "Finishing step by step" they are inexpensive so you can read them and see if you want to even tackle it.
    If you like what you read then I would order the series of video taped lessons from them on what ever you want to start learning to do, even the best guys out there have to refer to books or videos every so often and they are good to have around.
    what I would do for now is buy seperate components like say from ebay *not* a kit but a neck here and a body there (unfinished body btw)and pickups then get your hardware from stewmac.com or warmoth.com and make it work, that is what I did years ago and you'll learn more doing that then by anything I can say.
    I will only be an email away if you run into any trouble, and I'm sure there are planty of guys on this list who will do the same.
    go for it and good luck.
    There is so much more to say but it just can't all be covered at once, and btw I'm assuming you are talking electric guitars, acoustic are a whole different ball game in a stadium miles and miles away
    Rol.
    Stewmac.com rocks! Great info, and most of their prices are reasonably priced. I wouldn't mind a job like Dan Erlewine... Get paid for doing guitars... That would be sweet. [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! el_jalepeno's Avatar
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    10.28.15 @ 05:22 PM
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    Donor

    Fingers crossed for you pal...
    Thanks man, but you read the post too late for me... I just got my 60-day notice. Sure I'll have more time on the boards, but my wife got pissed when I told her she may need to get a second job [img]smile.gif[/img] All taken in good spirits... For now [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.28.12 @ 10:39 AM
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    Originally posted by rolsguitars:
    Now to be able to build a guitar you have to be a problem solver with a woodworking background plain and simple, you have to have a basic knowledge of wood *and* woodworking right down to finishing, I've done it since I can remember, building tables and such since I was a kid, so a local wood shop coarse would be good if you have no prior knowledge of any of this.
    You also have to have the tools, you aren't going to cut a nut slot for a floyd with your moms\wifes emery board [img]tongue.gif[/img] you need to invest not only in basic woodworking tools, router, radial arm saw, drill press etc but also basic luthier tools i.e fret dressing, leveling polishing files etc etc the list goes on and on my friend .
    Now for the luthier part if you want to build bodies and necks yourself you better bust out the charge cards and get plainers, shapers and more than I can remember on the way. You also need basic electrical wiring knowledge.
    I suggest you goto www.stewmac.com look at 2 of the books they offer one is "Make your own electric guitar" and the other is "Finishing step by step" they are inexpensive so you can read them and see if you want to even tackle it.
    If you like what you read then I would order the series of video taped lessons from them on what ever you want to start learning to do, even the best guys out there have to refer to books or videos every so often and they are good to have around.
    what I would do for now is buy seperate components like say from ebay *not* a kit but a neck here and a body there (unfinished body btw)and pickups then get your hardware from stewmac.com or warmoth.com and make it work, that is what I did years ago and you'll learn more doing that then by anything I can say.
    I will only be an email away if you run into any trouble, and I'm sure there are planty of guys on this list who will do the same.
    go for it and good luck.
    There is so much more to say but it just can't all be covered at once, and btw I'm assuming you are talking electric guitars, acoustic are a whole different ball game in a stadium miles and miles away
    Rol.
    Cheers for this Rols, and you haven't put me off at all here. I think that I had better get on that basic wood training course then !

    I didn't think that it was gonna come cheaply, but I still want to do it. Just moved house, so have the room in the garage to undertake these projects. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I did mean electrc guitars, yes.

    Thanks for the help Rols, and for everyone else who has given me help on this.

    I look forward to ruining some perfectly decent guitars before I get it right then eh ?

    [img]graemlins/bounce.gif[/img]
    "<i>You can please <b>some</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time,<br />And <b>all</b> of the people <b>some</b> of the time,<br />But you can't please <b>all</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time !</i>"<br /><br />(was Dave5150 on <b><i>The Pleasure Dome</i></b>)<br /><br />Check out some of my music at: <a href="http://www.dave5150.com" target="_blank">www.dave5150.com</a>

  8. #8
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.28.12 @ 10:39 AM
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    Originally posted by el_jalepeno:
    </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Fingers crossed for you pal...

    Thanks man, but you read the post too late for me... I just got my 60-day notice. Sure I'll have more time on the boards, but my wife got pissed when I told her she may need to get a second job [img]smile.gif[/img] All taken in good spirits... For now [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img] </font>[/QUOTE]Jeez, sorry mate ! I have been there twice myself before. Hope you manage to find another job soonish.

    At least you have 2 months, most places I know only give one. Not much consolation, I know, but maybe it'll be enough time to find somewhere else...

    [img]smile.gif[/img]
    "<i>You can please <b>some</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time,<br />And <b>all</b> of the people <b>some</b> of the time,<br />But you can't please <b>all</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time !</i>"<br /><br />(was Dave5150 on <b><i>The Pleasure Dome</i></b>)<br /><br />Check out some of my music at: <a href="http://www.dave5150.com" target="_blank">www.dave5150.com</a>

  9. #9
    Good Enough
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    As ususal, Rols is right on the money. If you want to get into guitar repair on a full time basis you'll need the tools, which will cost quite a bit, but also experience because two guitars with the same problem can have two different solutions.
    You might want to see about finding a good luthier in your area and see if he'll take you on as a part time apprentice. There's no better way to learn than to watch someone who knows what their doing. I spent years screwing up before I developed a feel for what I was doing, and that was with the right tools. Get some training in basic electronics as well cause a lot of propblems are electrical.
    I have a strong background in electronics and I'm just getting into some amp repair, which is not as simple as I thought.
    Acoustic repair, although better paying at times, is a very specialized skill, so that's something you'd definitely need some one to one training on.
    Godd luck with your decision.

  10. #10
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.28.12 @ 10:39 AM
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    Wow !

    Cheers for the advice tribb. It's all very exciting, I'm definitely going to pursue it.

    I'm not put off by time, effort and money that will be spent at all. It would be well worth it.

    This is definitely something that I want to do.

    Thanks, thanks, and thanks again to you all for all of the great advice. I will get booked onto courses just as soon as I can.

    I wouldn't have been able to do this before, because we lived in a 1 bedroom house, but now have moved to a 3 bed so have the space (in the garage) to do it. Plus my girlfirend now works on Saturdays, so I have that day free all to myself. Plenty of time to start researching / experimenting / part time work / whatever you want to call it.

    I'm looking forward to it, thanks for the advice, and keep it coming if you have more !

    Cheers !

    [img]graemlins/bounce.gif[/img]
    "<i>You can please <b>some</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time,<br />And <b>all</b> of the people <b>some</b> of the time,<br />But you can't please <b>all</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time !</i>"<br /><br />(was Dave5150 on <b><i>The Pleasure Dome</i></b>)<br /><br />Check out some of my music at: <a href="http://www.dave5150.com" target="_blank">www.dave5150.com</a>

  11. #11
    Eruption ETRIGAN's Avatar
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    01.07.15 @ 01:55 PM
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    Donor

    Good advice all around. There are a couple of schools here in the USA that specialize in guitar building. You might want to check those out. (Look in the back of a guitar magazine for the ads.) Your best bet would be to find a luthier in your area and offer to apprentice for him. This will require you to do the boring tedious jobs for awhile but will save you the hassle of buying a bunch of equipment just to find that this is a trade you don't care for.
    "Why behave in public if you're living on a playground?"

 

 

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