how to gain experience in building...

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
F (i Li) P

how to gain experience in building...

Post by F (i Li) P » Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:16 pm

I was thinking about finding a broken guitar, taking it apart and then try to build it back again... would that help?... has anyone done this in their early luthier days?

Azalais

Post by Azalais » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:05 am

That's how I started, and I still enjoy restoring old instruments almost more than building new ones...

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James Lister
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Post by James Lister » Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:57 am

It's a good idea, but be warned, it usually more difficult to repair musical instruments (especially cheap ones) than it is to make them. But you will certainly learn a lot!
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

F (i Li) P

Post by F (i Li) P » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:58 pm

but I'm not talking about REPAIRING... one of my dreams is to one day build my very own guitar... so I was thinking about finding a broken one, TAKING IT APART (sides, top, back, neck, bridge etc) and get used to the insides, SEE it and FEEL it, and then building it back just as if I would be building from a kit... I also "repaired' a guitar but the only valuable lesson I learned from that is that I shouldn't work in my bathroom anymore :lol: ... so what I'm actually asking: CAN a guitar be TAKEN APART and be BUILT again? or is there a high risk of everything snapping and cracking?

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James Lister
Luthier
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Post by James Lister » Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:14 pm

How easy (or difficult) it is to take a guitar apart depends on how the guitar is constructed and (very importantly) what type of glue is used. Animal glue is the easiest to take apart (by applying heat and moisture), but is not used that much for guitars these days. Heat can work with some other glues, but you need much more heat, and often glue joins come apart when you don't want them to. For example, when removing the fingerboard, often the centre join of the soundboard will open as well.

I think it would be very difficult to rebuild the guitar using the original parts. e.g. It is difficult to remove the bridge without damaging the top. Really it would be much better to build a guitar from all new materials if possible. Also, if it is a cheap guitar, the feel of the parts when you take them apart will not be the same of those of a good guitar. Whatever you do, good luck, but don't work in the bathroom again!!!
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

Azalais

Post by Azalais » Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:45 pm

Trying to take one apart teaches VERY valuable lessons about how to build them so they can be taken apart safely for repair if necessary.

Pepe Vergara

Post by Pepe Vergara » Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:55 pm

I have done and I still do it. I buy old beat up cheap guitars to disect them. I have learned so much by doing that, taht I still do it. I have paid good money for some of those too. It is worth. Indeed, repairing a gutiar in many cases is more time consuming thatn making a new one. Very few owners would pay for a repair that it more expensive than the guitar, unless it is a collector item with additional value.

F (i Li) P

Post by F (i Li) P » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:08 pm

thank you for the replies... I have a friend who owns 3 guitars, and I don't think he plays them too much... they don't look that good, and there's one that has a somewhat nasty side crack... Maybe I'll make a good deal with him and save her (or at least try to save her) :D

thank you again...

Matt1

Post by Matt1 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:57 pm

I gave my old Korean Jumbo to a friend who is into woodwork and would like to play guitar but doesn't have the confidence, because he thinks he's not talented, which is probably not true. Now I got rid of the giant, and he'll get to try playing. I don't think it's fixable but for a guitar, that's a good way to go.

Last Saturday I went to see local luthier's, Liikanen. They are always helpful to a beginner, even if they are among the top names here. Since they sell tonewood, I asked them if they knew some place where one could study lutherie around here, evening classes. They gave me a name and yesterday I went there, and I'll join them next semester. It's almost free, good teacher, nice people in the class. Only no one is working on a CG and neither will I. It's a challenging instrument to start with, they say. I think I will first make a couple of easy traditional instruments, then maybe an electric guitar and only then come instruments where you bend or carve wood.

The others worked very patiently. The srcatched their head more often than they scraped the instrument under construction. That's going to be my lesson one, too.

F (i Li) P

Post by F (i Li) P » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:30 pm

Matt1 wrote: The srcatched their head more often than they scraped the instrument under construction.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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