Using a Guitar Template to Build Your First Guitar

Good kits make great guitars and offer plenty of woodworking

An article by Steve Scott in Fine Woodworking Magazine
September/October 2011 edition

guitar-build-image I wanted to build an acoustic guitar for the longest time, but was intimidated by the prospect. Although I’ve done plenty of woodworking, the idea of creating the forms for a guitar body and mastering the many different things it took to make a guitar play well intimidated me. I also wanted to learn to play the guitar, but never really found the motivation to do so.

In 2006 I stumbled across the idea of a guitar template. Since then, I’ve built a number of kit guitars. I’ve found that kits are a great entry point into guitar making. They simplify the process, but leave enough woodworking to be done to make me feel like I “voiced” the guitar.

I recently joined forces with the folks at Fine Woodworking Magazine. They were interested in doing an article about building a guitar from a kit, and I was happy to help out. You can check out the article here, and learn more about guitar kits.

By the way, completing my own guitar also became the catalyst for learning to play. I am now, admittedly, a guitar addict. If I don’t play a little every day, I feel like something is missing. But it wasn’t until the instrument I made myself was in my hands that this connection developed. A very cool side affect of making a guitar.

Click here to download the full article.

woodworking gift ideas download
Make a comment
  • (will not be published)

30 Responses to “Using a Guitar Template to Build Your First Guitar”

  1. William Boggs

    Hi, I know I’m a few years late on this article, but is there an actual kit that a person could purchase? I would like to buy 2 a do a father / daughter project as she has taken an interest in two of my hobbies and that being woodworking and playing guitar. So, the kits would make it much easier. Please let me know thank you.

    • Customer Service

      Hello William,
      Here’s what the experts had to say about your question:

      Yes, on the second page of the article you will find details about four kit options that are available from different vendors.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions
      Wood Workers Guild of America Video Membership

  2. David.McCormack

    Does anyone have recommendations for a good acoustic guitar kit for someone about to attempt it for the first time?

  3. Terry Scott

    I do artistic expoxy coating, from affixing 2167 corks in a bar to coating home’s and restaurants , long term saving are amazing ,

    • Customer Service

      Hello Bob,

      Thank you for contacting us. In order to get these downloads you enter in your email address. And follow the prompts.


      Woodworkers Guild of America Video Membership

  4. Kent

    Ash has long been a popular wood for solid-body guitars, like the Fender Telecaster. Unfortunately, Ash is now scarce due to Ash Borer infestation. I’d appreciate a video on processing & aging raw Ash from “Tree-to-Telecaster.”

  5. Peter

    Great article. I built my first guitar a few years ago and the Cumpiano book was a great help to me. I built the guitar from scratch and really enjoyed the experience of the challenge and accomplishment. I found some videos online that were helpful too. The experience has improved my woodworking skills in my more traditional work too.

  6. Ian

    I’ve built a couple of guitars, mandolin, viola, violin, harp, marimba. Great fun to build and even more fun to play once you’re finished

  7. Dave

    I’d buy a video of the entire process for an acoustic. Built several electrics and cigar box ones but acoustics are a daunting endeavor.

  8. Roger Steinbrueck

    I have built two banjos from scratch and am building my third fiddle from scratch. It is fun to play an instrument I built. And I especially enjoy reading about others who build and play their own as well. We walk in the footsteps of builder/musicians who have gone before us.

  9. revdan57

    I have desired to make my own guitar for many years, I have even mulled over the idea of a kit, but all the special tools and skills scared me very much. Thank you for helping me make up my mind to try and build one.

  10. Robert Aucoin

    I have played and loved guitar and bass almost all of my life. I have always wanted to build a guitar but like the author have been intimidated. Maybe now its time to start.

    • Customer Service

      Hi Les. To download the full article, go to the last paragraph and you will see where it says “click here” to download the full article. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service team at 1-855-253-0822.
      Jean-Woodworkers Guild of America Video Membership

  11. Mark Pettinger

    Always wanted to build a guitar. Bin playing for 50 years now. My “Little Susie” (my first and only love) was stolen 35 years ago. I do a lot of wood working for a living…but need something to do in the evenings to bring the “spark” back. Building a “new love” may be just the ticket.

  12. David

    Love to make my own guitar. I have other guitars I would like to make my own.