Building a guitar requires patience and humility, and knowing how to use a table saw without losing a finger.
Despite lacking all those qualities, I finished a Martin 1-18 parlor guitar reproduction and tenor ukulele at Northampton Community College’s Fab Lab in Bethlehem, PA with lots of help (and some eye-rolling).
The Fab Lab is inspirational—you work next to other newbies as well as seriously experienced woodworkers and inventors, many of whom have already built a bunch of instruments and are working toward their luthier certificates.
Some have saved me from making terrible mistakes. Others let me make the mistakes and show me how to fix them. A couple laugh when they see me doing something truly stupid, and they know who they are.
On an extra-great day, someone will bring out a guitar and start playing.
Here are some photos of Finn the dog posing with his Martin 1-18 and the tenor uke. He’s particularly fond of the “nut” which holds the strings in place and is made of bone.
Don’t know if I’ll build another one, as I’m still not great in the patience department. But at least now I know what a radius does and why Titebond glue is amazing stuff.