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Electric Guitar Construction: A Guide for the First-Time Builder Paperback – December 1, 2002
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I think as an overview it is great. If you want specific knowledge beyond this then you would be beyond what a book could teach you anyway.
There is much better information available on youtube for free, and it's in video format, which is even better. The author talks about building a guitar for $500, but in all honesty, you are not likely to build a guitar for that price unless you have access to a fully stocked wood shop, and even then it's not too likely unless you build if with very cheap parts. A guitar bridge will cost you anywhere from $80 on up ($160 for 2), Pickups are going to cost about $80 or more for name brand humbuckers. Knobs, wire, switches and pots will probably cost about $50, $150 on up for wood. I would say at least $100 for finishing (Dyes and/or paint and clear coat). Guitar Reranch have the best spay can clear coat I have found and that is easily going to cost $100 to finish one body and neck. Remember one good screw-up on the finish and you are starting over (I know this from experience). Don’t forget the price of tools you will need. I have easily spent more than $500 on tools, both specialized and general for building guitars and I don't even have any of the big tools such as a drill press, table sander/spindle sander, band saw, etc.
If you really want to learn about guitar building I would recommend starting with a guitar kit such as the Saga LC-10 LP Style Electric Guitar Kit (Be aware that you cannot use stains/dyes on this kit. There is a coating on this that will not come off even with paint remover and stains and dyes will just wipe off instead of soaking into the wood.). Don't expect this to be an awesome guitar (the electronics are all garbage, and there will be plenty of other things that will need to be fixed to get this to play decent), but it is a relatively cheap learning experience. Once you are done with one of these kits you should be ready to either build your own guitar, or completely give up on guitar building. Just remember that pretty much any question you will have will be most likely be answered on youtube, and much of these answers will be from professional luthiers, not amateurs like the guy who wrote this book.
It has lots of wonderful tips and great pictures of guitar making.The book has terrific information on tone woods,Pickups,and guitar wiring.
The one critism I have of this book is that it reads in parts like a commercial for STEWMAC I agree that they are great suppliers of guitar parts and and and all the tools anyone would ever need to build a guitar.Does the author really have to appear wearing one of their branded aprons.
Do your self a favour buy the Melvyn Hiscock book it is a little more comprehensive and is written with a bit of humour and style.
However to Hirst's credit, his book is geared toward the aspiring luthier with limited woodworking experience.