Why did you decide to start working on your own guitars?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by The Hammer, May 18, 2021.

  1. Churchjack

    Churchjack Tele-Meister

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    I wanted a Keef-style modded Telecaster. But wasn't willing to pay for one.

    So, I started with a $20 Squier Affinity Strat from the 90's, to learn on. I went big on that...gutted it. The tuners, bridge, everything metal on it was corroded and rusted to unusable condition. I had to bore out the tuner holes. I had to learn to solder. Fender Tex-Mex pickups, and good pots, a heavier trem block from GFS, and I learned by doing. That guitar is a really, really good sounding Strat now. A couple of more tweaks, and she'll play just as well. The frets are a little rough, and the action is high while the bridge is low. "I'll get around to it ~"

    Then, I built my desired Ash HS Telecaster out of a MIM FSR. My #1, a great guitar. Along the way, picked up a Dan Erlewine book and fixed a chronic issue with my USA Tele. 3 best guitars I ever had.
     
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  2. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    A confluence of many reasons dating back to childhood:

    1) My Dad was a woodworker so I spent much of my childhood in a wood shop with him. As he was working on whatever he’d give me pieces of scrap and teach me the machinery and I’d make toy boats or what have you.

    2) Highly curious & mechanically inclined so from a young age I often took things apart to see how they worked. Or I was always modifying or customizing them.

    3) My earliest guitars were crap, needed lots of love, I didn’t have any money and didn’t really know who to take it to. As a teenager I was often resoldering my cable leads & input jacks. Also poorly attempted a Floyd Rose repair. My best friend had a 70’s Guild in terrible need of a neck reset, but we thought for sure it was the truss rod so I checked out a book from the library about building and repairing acoustic guitars. Next think I know we’re steaming the fretboard for removal with my Mom’s iron!

    The rest is history ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  3. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    When I started buying used.
     
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  4. Mark617

    Mark617 Tele-Meister

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    I needed a project to try and alleviate all the bs from the pandemic. I plan to make one for a friend next
     
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  5. nixdad

    nixdad Tele-Meister

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    Because that's the way I thought it was done.
     
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  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I harvested a lot of fish dinners!
    Grew some food too, basically doing rather than paying other to do, was primary.
    And going without as well, learned that early on.
     
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  7. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    Shortly after I began playing guitar I became a lifetime guitar addict. A couple years after playing I brought my main guitar to a tech for a complete set up. It was expensive and when it came back I hated the set up.

    I had another 3 or 4 guitars and there was no way I was paying that much to get them checked over and also hate them when they came back.

    I bought a complete set up/repair guide for $30 in the early 90's and never looked back.

    My Bass player won't take his basses to a tech anymore. He prefers my set ups and not because he's too cheap to pay a proper tech.

    Now, I've gone through over 300 guitars and I modify most of what feel is worth keeping for a while. I can only imagine how much it would cost to have someone else do my work for me.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  8. RobRiggs

    RobRiggs Tele-Holic

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    I’m probably some kind of control freak, but I work on my own cars, my guitars, amplifiers; do all my home maintenance, repairs & remodels, plumbing, electrical... I can’t remember the last time I paid someone to do something. I’m a bit chuffed that I’m going to have to pay a company to put a roof on my house, by that’s where I draw the line :)
     
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  9. e23589

    e23589 Tele-Meister

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    Because the all mighty Tech at the nearest GC would tell me there is nothing wrong with my guitars. I knew what I wanted changed or fixed to my liking so I started doing it myself! The only techs I would trust now are at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, Ca and they are over two hours away! Sometimes I make that trek!
     
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  10. TN Tele

    TN Tele TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    61D55A89-FBD8-4298-B5D5-B0293A855CC0.jpeg I am currently in the the process of building my 1st guitar, a tele thinline style guitar. I play guitar but am not a professional musician, but I love to build and create beautiful things out of wood. Don't know how many more I will build, but the process of learning the hows and whys of building is very exciting to me. The tdpri forums have inspired and helped me and I want to thank all of you for your dedication, knowledge and help.
     
  11. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    I've always had a great guitar tech so I never really learned the technical side until I decided to build a partscaster 8 years ago. And I still struggle with it but I'm getting better.
     
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  12. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    My grandfather and my dad always had a garden growing, and I still do. No longer because I need to, but because I like to have certain herbs and veggies always available.
     
  13. Thoughtfree

    Thoughtfree Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I am very cheap.
     
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  14. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    I started working on my own guitars because I felt I could do it as well or better than others. AND, it was an excellent excuse to procure MORE TOOLS :twisted:.
     
  15. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Building some guitars was taken as a skill building thing as well as a "hobby" when I started doing more commissioned woodworking after retiring. The latter has now become a non-factor as I shut the business down, but I intend to continue to build some guitars and related going forward once I have my new shop built here at our "downsize" property. I'm on pause right now as I'm still moving shop into a temporary home in our "garage"...

    Like several others, I don't really play...I learned how to play guitar and bass years ago when some "somebody's got to do it" situations arose within a couple of bands I was involved in, but wrist surgery a few years ago on my left one makes fretting a lot more difficult. No matter...I can play well enough to at least set them up. I'm "natively" a keyboard player.
     
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  16. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    I started when I had too many guitars to pay to maintain.

    Dan
     
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  17. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I took my first cheap box guitar to a local shop and watched them attempt to make it better. I started hanging around. Their tech had been through a famous luthery school...and it slowly dawned on me that I could do it better.

    They had a few cheap electrics and I asked if I could set one up. I did, it was better (and it was soon sold)...I was hooked.
     
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  18. RolandG

    RolandG Tele-Meister

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    It was the summer of ‘69. I was 15 years old. The music shop in my local town had two electric guitars, neither of which I could afford. So I worked out how to add pickups and controls to my cello style acoustic. It grew from there: pedals, amplifier and speaker cabinet.
     
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  19. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    That's funny. When I was a kid my dad bought us a Mellotron and 100 watt Kustom amp. One of the neighbor kids came over one one day and was fascinated by the rhythm section buttons. When you pushed one button in another one popped out. When you pushed two buttons in one popped out. When you pushed all of the buttons in none of them popped out. You can see the problem. My dad was super ticked. He took it apart and fiddled with it. Soon enough all the buttons popped out. He just said never do that again to the neighbor kid and you can bet that we never did.
     
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  20. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    I do my own guitar work because I like it.

    I do all that other stuff myself too but in my case is because I'm cheap and I'd rather save the money to buy more guitars.

    I've done a couple roofs. It sucks. It especially sucks when you think you're just going to be doing shingles then discover a quarter of your roof is rotten.

    I don't hate plumbing, electrical or basic construction. I can't stand mudding or painting.

    I'll give most car repairs a go but don't trust myself not to mess up the brakes. I guess that's where I draw my line.
     
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