Some Thoughts and Information
About Guitar Repair Tools
Click on the tool pages links below to look at a few tools, store bought and hand made, used in guitar repair. I will show photos, offer advice on simple tool making and display links to literature and online tool making articles. Whether you are a DIY'er, a luthier or a guitar technician, you will find helpful information on tool making and repair techniques.
Guitar repair is NOT an exact science when it comes to how to perform a given repair operation. Different luthiers and repair techs use various methods and tools to do the same job. With that in mind, it is the end result that is important and what tool and method works best for each individual repair person. Personally, I have drawn my repair methods from reading, watching, experimenting, listening and asking questions, then dividing this by my mechanical and engineering knowledge to decide what repair methods, techniques and tools work best for me and my customer.
A few quick notes and I'll move on. First, if you are shopping online for guitar repair and luthier tools, be aware there may be several tools that do the same job. You do not need them all, you do need what will work best for you. A good place to research repair methods is YouTube or hanging out in someone's repair shop (if they are kind and non-proprietary). Do not forget to check Lowes, Home Depot, Sears or Grainger for specialty files, straight edges or sanding bars. Be creative, make a friend at a machine shop and have them check the rules you bought for straightness. If what you have is not straight he will grind them for little or nothing. I found a simple carpenters level at Lowes claiming it's primary edge was flat within .0005" over 24 inches.Yep, I took it to my friendly machine shop and sure enough, it's accurate.
Small file sets are great. You can get flat single cut, round, three corner, and cant saw files to make tools for doing fret work. Remember that some files need to have certain edges and corners ground smooth to keep from digging in areas you do not want them to while you are working with them. A bench grinder works fine to smooth file edges. If you are not sure about bench grinding, have someone do it for you as you show them what edges you want to be made smooth.
Click on the two links below to visit the tools pages
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