To some, learning how to build classical guitars is a natural extension of their fascination with the instrument. Not satisfied with owning and playing a guitar made by a luthier, however skilled, they get a special sense of satisfaction from building their own.
Although it's something I wouldn't undertake myself I can certainly understand how they feel. Playing a guitar built with your own hands must be pretty special.
If your budget allows and if you can take the time out a course at a specialist school is probably the best way to build your guitar. You will have the benefit of experienced staff who have all the skills necessary to show their students how to complete a classical guitar building project.
The first school I'm featuring is the Totnes School of Guitar Making in Devon, England. The school runs three twelve week courses a year and beginners mix with experienced students. Everyone leaves with their chosen guitar project completed. The school was established in 1985 and it's started many students on a lifelong interest in guitar making and some, of course, on careers as luthiers.
Follow this link for a more comprehensive look at the Totnes school and details of guitar making schools there.
I'm investigating guitar building kits and will be adding to this page very soon. Meanwhile if you have any experience of how to build a classical guitar from a kit or at a specialist guitar making school then please use the form and let me know about your experiences.
When shopping for guitar kits, you'll run across those for building guitars, and other classical guitar kits that include finished, ready to play instruments along with a variety of accessories. If you don't want to go to the trouble of building your own guitar, this guitar kit is the one for you.
Fulfill the dream of owning a hand-made classical guitar by making one yourself. You don’t have to be a master woodworker to make your own classical guitar. There are some really good books and kits that will help you make a guitar that you can proudly use for many years.
What you will need
The Basic Assembly process
What is the most difficult part?
When curving the sides of the guitar you have to soak them in water and then heat them so they can be slowly shaped to the correct curvature. This takes some practice but you don’t have to guess at the shape. You make a jig that you use as a guide for a perfect fit. If you want to avoid this step you can purchase kits with the sides already pre-bent. A little bit about the wood The wood you use is of the utmost importance when it comes to how your guitar will sound. And Brazilian rosewood is the wood of choice for most classical guitars. But there are variations on this such as Spanish Cypress, which is often used for Spanish guitars. Other woods used are maple, birch, pear and mahogany.
Don’t think you have the skill to do it all yourself?
There are many online dealers that will sell complete kits that have everything pre-cut and shaped correctly. All you have to do is assemble it and finish it. This is a good alternative if you don’t think you want to tackle the whole project. You can also buy kits that have all the selections of wood uncut and raw so you can still do all the crafting. Making your own classical guitar can be a challenge and it takes patience and some handy skills but it definitely something the average do it yourself person can accomplish. And the reward is a musical instrument that will be your lifetime companion.
For more interesting insights and information about the classical guitar or to hear pieces played by the author Wil Kalif visit his website at: The Classical Guitarist For other fun, creative and interesting projects including how to make a catapult, a trebuchet, a terrarium and even a video game visit his site at: StormTheCastle.com – Creativity with an Edge Wil kalif at search warp
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