So, you want to build a guitar? If you've never built one before, chances are that you may be thinking about the woodworking tools that you'll need to complete your project, or maybe you're looking at different types of wood to use for your guitar. While there are definitely a lot of considerations when building an instrument, the guitar plans you choose may be the most important choice you'll make in your entire project.
The building plans that you use will set the stage for your entire project. Think of the plans like a road map. You wouldn't go on a long trip to somewhere new without a map (or a GPS these days!) and you don't want to build a guitar without a good set of plans.
The first, and most important decision, you should make after deciding what type of guitar you'd like to build is what guitar plans you are going to use for your project. Unless you're a contractor or you've built something using plans before, you may not have any idea how to go about choosing a good set of building plans. This article will help you do that!
For starters, it's very important that you find a full-sized set of guitar plans. Full-sized plans will by 36" x 48" and they will cost a little more to print because you won't be able to print them on a regular printer, but they will make all the difference in the world when you are building.
A high-quality set of plans will also have been designed in a professional CAD system. Plans that are created in a CAD system will usually contain more detail and they will definitely be more precise which is going to help you a lot as you build your guitar.
But one of the most important things you want to look for when shopping for guitar plans is detail. The more detail, the better! While you can probably build a guitar from a set of plans that is only one page, ideally you want plans that are at least 3 or 4 pages. You'll want to be able to view the longitudinal and lateral sections of the guitar, as well as detailed bracing plans for both the top and the back plates as bracing is extremely important. Make sure the plans you buy include all measurements in the format that you want work in - i.e. millimeters or inches/fractional inches. A great set of plans will include both.
Last, look for plans that contain building notes, construction guidelines, or suggestions. These notes will be invaluable as you start on your journey of guitar building. Building your own guitar can be extremely fun and rewarding - especially when you consider that a good guitar can last for many, many years and can be handed down to your children and grandchildren. Just make sure you give yourself every advantage by starting your project with the best guitar plans you can find!