This is 5 Important Jigs to Build Before Making an Acoustic Guitar. In this post, you’ll learn the best jigs to make before starting your guitar, which will make the process so much easier for you. Enjoy.
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Acoustic Guitar Making Jigs
An acoustic guitar is quite a big project that can definitely test even the best woodworker’s skills. It’s not something that can’t be accomplished by a beginner, it will just take a little bit more time.
One of the ways to reduce that amount of time and help create a better outcome is to make a few jigs before you start your guitar. This way, you have some tools ready for the bigger parts of the project.
Jigs are always super helpful, and they can make your guitar building project so much easier and smoother. Your results will be more consistent, and you’ll end up with a much better looking instrument.
Acoustic Guitar Body Mold
The first thing you should make is an acoustic guitar body mold. This is a three dimensional mold of the outside profile of the guitar body, and it lets you construct the body inside.
The mold is really easy to make, and it’s super helpful in the process because it helps keep your plates aligned properly, and your sides nice and straight.
You can make each one to match the exact guitar that you’re creating, and you only have to get one piece correct. Once you get your first guitar profile part out correctly for your mold, you can use a router with a flush cut router bit and bearing to just make copies of it.
From there, able to stack up the pieces and create a perfect body mold that is incredibly helpful while building your first acoustic guitar.
See Also: Using a Guitar Mold
Fretboard Slotting Jig
One of the scariest tasks in all of guitar making is slotting the fretboard. This is where you have to be able to cut 22 or 24 perfectly measured slots on a piece of wood.
The part that makes this extra stressful is that if you cut the very last slot in the wrong place, you need to throw the board out and start over again.
Instead of adding stress to an already stressful situation, just make my guitar fretboard slotting jig, and you won’t have to worry. It makes the process really easy, and you don’t even have to measure once.
Now you can create fretboards of any scale length that you desire really easily, and you won’t have to worry about your guitar sounding a little off when you play it.
Bridge Slotting Jig
The saddle needs to be in the right spot, and at the right angle in order for your acoustic guitar to sound as good as possible. It just makes sense to make a bridge or saddle slotting jig as well.
This is a pretty easy build that I outlined in my book, and you can make it out of scraps. You’ll be able to slot your bridges with a router or a Dremel tool, and you’ll have a very clean look.
This is much better than carving out this slot with a chisel like most books will tell you. Don’t even waste your time on that, especially if you have a Dremel or a router it’ll take you less time to make the jig then it will to cut that slot with a chisel.
Bridge Pin Drilling Guide
Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty darn difficult to drill six holes that are evenly spaced and in a perfectly straight line. Even with a drill press, it can take you a couple of rounds to get this right.
Instead, make yourself a bridge pin drilling guide and all you have to do is clamp the jig to the top of the bridge and then just drill right through the holes.
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This helps you because you don’t have to worry about ruining a bridge that you spent time working to create. You’ll be able to drill the holes perfectly where you want them, and it will make the process a lot easier to make a bridge.
Finally, you can never have enough clamps. Unfortunately, clamps are very expensive, so you really should just make them yourself.
Cam Clamps are some of the best for woodworking because they apply just the right amount of pressure without being too much or too little.
If you were to go out and buy these individually, you can spend $20 or $30 apiece. However, if you make them yourself, you can do it for just a few dollars each. It’s also a fun project, and get new tools as a result.
See Also: How To Make Cam Clamps
Bonus: My Book Can Help You
If you’re really thinking about building an acoustic guitar for the first time, my book, acoustic guitar making: how to make tools templates and jigs can be a huge help.
It’s not a step-by-step book, but instead it’s a book that clarifies a lot of the stuff from the other books that might be a little confusing for a beginner.
I also demonstrate a lot of different methods that can help, especially when you have common shop tools instead of guitar making tools. On top of that, you’ll learn to make several different tools and jigs to make the process easier, and save you money.
There’s also a comprehensive section on finishing your guitar, which takes all of the difficulty out of process. You’ll have an easy, and reliable method that you can use, you won’t have to worry about ruining your guitar at the very last minute.
Your Action Assignment
If you’ve been kicking around the idea of making an acoustic guitar, it’s time to take action and get your project started. Buy my book, and start making the tools and jigs you need to have a successful project.
The more you make now before you actually start building a guitar the better. Also, the more you have in place before you start the project, the less stressful it will be.
There will be a lot less stopping, and you’ll get to see your guitar progress a lot quicker than many beginners. That in itself can be incredibly motivating.
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