Just in case you are wondering: This project is not dead. For a number of reasons we’ve had to put it on hold for a while, but hopefully, we’ll be able to get a few things done in January. There will be another break in spring, though, so it will be a while before things get back to normal.

I guess I should have put this up months ago, but I just didn’t think of it…


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 Continue reading “Learning by Doing”

Preparing for the Build

Once the decision was made, I started to think about eqipment. I do have some woodworking experience, and over the years I have accumulated quite a few tools – a hammer, pliers, rasps, files, chisels, saws, a drill-press, drill bits, a belt grinder, a jig-saw, clamps, a vice. The year before last I had even built a, well, a sturdy working table, the next best thing to a proper workbench, and found a spot for a little workshop in the cellar.

So I didn’t come completely unequipped, but it was obvious that we would need quite a few additional tools. Basically everything necessary for fretwork. So I started looking for stuff, found Crimson’s Luthiers Starter Toolkit, ordered that and a few extra bits and pieces from Crimson. Bought a fret slotting saw here in Germany, some scrapers, a saw rasp, a router from my local DIY store.

I tried to buy as little as possible because, let’s be honest, this stuff is bloody expensive. And if you have things shipped from the UK to Germany, shipping is daylight robbery these days (around 50 Euros, no fault of Crimson’s, of course, they don’t make the freight rates), and then, adding insult to injury, there will be customs fees on top of that (another 80 Euros thanks to Brexit). Spending so much money on something that might turn out to be a cul-de-sac for me felt weird. I guess if it works well, I’ll come back and spend some more money on tools and stuff, a reasonable No 6 plane for example.

Then we talked about the design of the guitar, and ideas began to form. This being a first build with a certain level of trepidation as to what the result will be, I didn’t want to Continue reading “Preparing for the Build”

The Idea

How did it all begin? Well, some time in late 2019 I stumbled upon a Youtube video of someone building a guitar. I don’t remember which video, but most likely it was something by Burls Art, at least his were some of ‘my’ first luthiery videos. Then there was this piece of art about Montreal based luthier Michael Greenwood building an acoustic steel-string guitar.

Anyway, I liked what I saw, went on looking for more guitar building videos, and before long I came across Ben Crowe’s videos just before the Great Guitar Build-Off 2020 started. By then I was hooked on luthiery.

I began to think about building a guitar myself, but was wasn’t sure whether I would be able to Continue reading “The Idea”


Ok, now this is Sawdust Glue and Wire, my guitar building blog. I don’t know yet how the guitar project will go, whether I’ll end up with a playable instrument or a pile of scrap metal and fancy kindling. Or how the blogging will come along.

I don’t have this all planned out to the last detail, and in particular the blogging doesn’t follow much of a plan. I guess my daughter will contribute the odd piece of text, but that is up to her. Wait and see…

P.S.: WordPress puts “sponsored posts” into blogs on They are a nuisance, but I can’t help it, so all we can do is grin and bear it.