Learning by Doing

I am not a luthier, I have no ‘official’ training in luthiery or any other sort of woodworking. My day job is at a desk with a computer. What woodworking experience I have I gained from watching others and then trying things out on my own. I try to understand processes, the mechanical side of any tool I use and of any processing step I attempt.

My as yet somewhat limited luthiery know-how comes from watching people build guitars on YouTube. I read a book about building guitars, too: Martin Koch’s Building Electric Guitars (ISBN 978-3901314070), which has been quite useful in a number of ways and does me good service as a work of reference.

The rest is basically trial and error, aka learning by doing. I have a mental picture of the finished instrument or jig, and of course the hardware I bought, but usually no precise measures or specifications. So at every turn I have to think a head a few steps and try to figure out how to do things, how to put components together so that in the end everything will fit together and work properly. A version of measure, measure, cut, swear, repeat…

This is why I am spending quite some time building jigs. I am on a learning curve here where most of the things I do are new for me. So I don’t presume to teach anything to anyone, but I try to describe what I do in the workshop. But of course I’d be more than happy if my texts could help someone to avoid specific mistakes when they decide to build a guitar or embark on some other woodworking project, whatever that may be…

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