Sunday, November 7, 2010

getting outfitted

Building guitars requires a few tools that most folks don't have lying around.

To get going with building guitars, I had to pick up a few new tools.

First thing I bought was a drill press.

I went with a Ryobi 12" drill press. In guitar building, a drill press is used for hogging out cavities using a forstner bit, drilling string-through holes, drilling tuning machine holes, and, with specific attachments, can be used to press frets, plane headstocks and more.

The next tool I picked up was a jigsaw.

In guitar building, jigsaws are used for rough-cutting the shape of a guitar body into wood. Some folks use a bandsaw, but a jigsaw with a good blade and the proper technique will serve the purpose just fine.

Next thing I bought was a router.

I went to my local Woodcraft and talked to an old guy for about an hour about what I was doing, and asked him for a recommendation on a router. He stopped for a second, and hollered to the 5 or so other guys in the store, all retired-looking guys that knew each other, and he said "who here runs a Porter-Cable 690?!"

All 5 hands went up, and so did his. After reading hundreds of guitar build threads, and seeing a Porter-Cable 690 in almost everyone's shop, he confirmed what I already pretty much knew.

I sprung for the 694VK kit, which is the variable-speed version of the 690, plus both a fixed base and a plunge base and a very nice case.

Next up, I needed to build a workbench.


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