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Rick Andrews and other experts answers guitar repair questions
For almost one year, guitar luther Rick Andrews answered your guitar repair questions. After recieving over 500 questions
we put together the most popular questions and answers. Today, we are involving other great guitar
builders and will continue to expand this area in the future. This section will no longer be interactive but you should
find most of your guitar building and repair questions have already been answered in this section.
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we now offer many electric guitar kits. Some of the styles include the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Explorer, Flying V, Les Paul, PRS, and the Warlock.
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What are the sequential steps in making a Les Paul type guitar?
From: Jon and Rhonda Moore
Subject: Les Paul Question
There is probably a long answer to this one but here it goes: What are the
sequential steps in making a Les Paul type guitar?
I am interested in building
my own instrument and would like to know how to go about it. Things like when
the fretboard is glued on, how the carve is done on the top, are the pickup holes
routed before the carve or after. I have purchased a couple of books on the subject
but they offer generic information on building an instrument.
I have figured most
of it out but I would like any information you might have on the subject.
Rick Andrews answers -
What are the sequential steps in making a Les Paul
From: Rick Andrews
To: Jon and Rhonda Moore
Subject: Re: Les Paul Question
Yeah that would be a very long email in several parts to do that.
Then it still will ot answer everything for you because there are
several ways to do these many different things. It depends really on
what equipment is available as to the many ways of doing things.
Now days most guitar manufacturing of solid bodies is done with computer
driven routing machines as an example which is operated by a program for
that particular guitar. They clamp down the block of wood and then turn it
on and go get a cup of coffee and when you finish your coffee there is a
guitar there. Some hand builders go all out by hand tools, and others use
routing templates, and others hand shaping, and many more. The books you have
will tell you more thyan we could cover in email unless we emailed several
hundred times. Two luthjiers can use the exact msame methods and still do
things in different order. It is really a trial and eror thing. Even after
40 years of this I still change ideas, methods, and the order in which I do things.
Different types of woods can even make one change the way he does things.
The best thing to do here is check with two companies, Stewart McDonald and Luthier's
Mercantile. One if not both will probably have the plans and instructions that
would guide you at least well enough you should come out OK. That would be better
rather than take days and days to try to email it all.
Usually their plans and instructions would be geared for the most easy way for a
person to do it with the least amount of normal shop equipment methods. Keep in mind
too that there are important concerns in the choosing of the proper woods of the best quality
otherwise you can build a beutiful guitar and still have a bad one very easily.
I prefer Luthier's Mercantile for the best woods and the plans and instructions.
You can probably get them to work up a rough kit of parts and woods,
if not then Stew Mac. I hope this will help you and get you in the right direction.
I have one more point to share with you.
To me if I were going to go to that much effort I would not build a copy of a Less Paul,
I would go ahead and design something of my own. It's way too much trouble and work and research to just
copy another companies guitar. But of course that is your decission I only want to point that out.
I think you can find complete kits of a Less Paul. Your first guitar from scratch will take you ten
times longer to do than you would ever imagine not trying to discourage you at all but it is a fact.
There are so many critical geometry things going on here that by the time I tell yopu everything
step by step I will have written a book. I have recently considered offering a kit form of one of
my guitars to the public at a very good price so people could actually design and cut the actual
body shape, sand, and hand rub a finish on it, and then assemble the parts. I may do that soon
but it will be a rectangle body they can cut to whatever shape they want. But anyway the Less Paul
will be difficult in its geometry and take days upon days to instruct someone.
I will tell you that you should build the neck and body completely separate and totally fine
sanded ready for the finish and then glue the neck into the body. Build them both as separate units
complete. I hope this will at least get you going in the right direction to find the plans and
instructions. I do know also that Gibson Guitar has a few methods that are somewhat secret to
their design and methods which would not be good for me to disclose but I think maybe some plans
and instructions will likely be a bit different but will work just fine.
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