Building a simple electric guitar is not particularly hard, but it is complex and requires a few, very different skills and quite a few tools, including some specialty tools. Building a high- end guitar however, is very hard and will require a high level of skill in more than area. We also need to be very clear about what we define as ‘building a guitar’ as there are a few very different routes to take which will all lead to a guitar but with great differences in time, budget and difficulty. These will include ‘Kit Guitars’, assembling a ‘Parts Guitar’ and ‘Building from Scratch’.
The general consensus is that you want the wood to reach the moisture content of the environment it is in. In most modern homes this would mean 6-9%. The main advantage of wood with this moisture content is that it will not deform or change shape when the instrument is built.
To better understand the process and principles of drying the wood we’ll take a deep dive into kilns, de-humidifiers, and humidity.
Which is better? Flat or Angled
While there is no disagreement on the fact that the string needs some angle between the nut (or zero fret) to the tuners, there are a different opinion to the angle of the headstock itself. These considerations include the break angle of the strings, the strength of the neck and headstock, production complexity, the amount of wood needed and practicality when playing the guitar.
Neck Through or ‘Neck Thru’ guitars are said to be stiffer and more warp resistant than other types of necks and have better sustain. They will also allow for designs which allow easier access to the very high note frets. We’ll take a look at all these claims and try and understand the pros and cons of having a through neck in your guitar. Are these claims true or just subjective impressions? Is it harder to construct or would actually make life easier for the aspiring guitar builder?
Truss rod adjustment is really not that scary or dangerous to your guitar if you understand how it works and how to be careful with it. In this article I will try to answer all the questions you may have concerning truss rods. I will also cover the principles of both truss rod installation and adjustment
what’s all the ‘buzz’ about frets? If you are building an electric guitar you should understand a bit more about the subtle nuances that can make a big difference to the character and playability of the guitar. The type and size of frets you use may have a very fine effect on the sound but may have a much bigger influence on the way it feels and the way it is played.