The Editors Mailbox

The Editors Mailbox

UPDATE: Book Giveaway: Step-By-Step Guitar Making by Alex Willis

comments (85) October 18th, 2009 in blogs

BetsyE Betsy Engel, contributor
thumbs up 1 user recommends

 - CLICK TO ENLARGE Photo: Courtesy of Fox Chapel

Step-by-Step Guitar Making by Alex Willis.
Fox Chapel Publishing, 2006.
$22.95; 144 pp.

Step-by-Step Guitar Making says that making an acoustic guitar is much easier than most people think and it tells you how. It is loaded with photos to help you along the way and even includes full-size plans for the whole instrument. The guitar featured in the book is based on the OM model first made by C.F. Martin - good for the fingerstyle player with 6 steel strings, a cutaway, and 14 frets.

Lucky wayne12 is this week's winner. His comment was choosen at random.

Check back later to see his take on the book.

And check out the latest giveaway, Modern Cabinet Work.

posted in: blogs, Books, book reviews

Comments (85)

drcush drcush writes: Retired and need something to do between lathe projects
Posted: 5:44 pm on March 16th

IsraOtz IsraOtz writes: A want this Book...!!! Please, pick me..:)
Posted: 9:58 am on December 6th

gmmerrell gmmerrell writes: This would be so cool!! Please pick me!
Posted: 11:19 pm on October 31st

driveindon driveindon writes: I'm new to this "Beg for a book bit" but I'm not above it. Please make me the lucky winner of the making a plywood guitar from scratch book and I will be the happiest person on this list of beggars. On a much sadder note we will all miss Norm as he gave us wannabes hope.
Posted: 5:26 pm on October 26th

Hotsnotty2 Hotsnotty2 writes: I would love to win this, thanks for the chance!
Posted: 5:14 pm on October 26th

susansmoaks susansmoaks writes: i really would love to win this book, thanks!
Posted: 11:56 am on October 26th

likwan likwan writes: Please enter me into into the contest. Thanks!
Posted: 11:08 am on October 26th

garrettsambo garrettsambo writes: I would love to win this book. It sounds great.
Posted: 9:27 am on October 26th

juau4 juau4 writes: Looks like fun!
Posted: 12:35 am on October 26th

Granpabob Granpabob writes: My son has done a lot of rebuilding guitars. This would be an excellent book for him.
Posted: 3:14 pm on October 25th

jmcharries jmcharries writes: I have been looking for something just like this! I really hope I win!
Posted: 9:41 am on October 24th

wayne12 wayne12 writes: I would to love to make a guitar to fill the void of Norm on T.V. Thanks for the offer.
Posted: 9:21 am on October 24th

rodk1 rodk1 writes: Thanks, I'd love to have a chance at winning this book.
Posted: 11:22 pm on October 23rd

DickL-Charlotte NC DickL-Charlotte NC writes: I repaired guitars for 15 years, but have never built one. This may inspire me to take that next step!
Posted: 5:47 pm on October 23rd

ddexter ddexter writes: I think I'll just buy the book.
Posted: 3:40 pm on October 23rd

mouldingman mouldingman writes: I started guitar lessons a couple of years ago, 50 years
later than I first thought about it. I've been thinking about
building a guitar and also repairing an ancient one I rescued
from someone's trash. At any rate I'll have to check out the book whether or not I'm the lucky recipient.

Posted: 11:24 pm on October 22nd

marksound marksound writes: Building an acoustic guitar is an idea I've kicked around over the years, but never seriously until lately. This looks like a good addition to the library.
Posted: 3:27 pm on October 22nd

gcaldwell gcaldwell writes: I owned a guitar ( a cheap one) as teenager and I broke the neck one night when I sat on it because I had been drinking. I was quite upset with myself and wanted to try to fix it. I knew nothing about fixing guitars but I liked to take things apart to see how they work and then was often able to fix things. I could not fix my guitar though. I kept it for a long time after that. I came across a guitar shop and went in and asked about fixing guitars. I told the shopkeeper that I had taken the guitar apart to try to fix it. He laughed at me and said that is like me taking the engine out of a car because it is not working. I know nothing about cars he said laughing again. I said thank you and left the shop somewhat sheepishly. The guitar was thrown away. I did buy another one to use for singing with my class at school. I would love to build a guitar in my retirement which is now very close.
Posted: 11:47 pm on October 21st

rontu rontu writes: what better way to add to my knowledge than to build a guitar with the help of this great how to book. a perfect gift for the holidays and hand built as well. the book would be a valued addition to my library of how to books.
Posted: 9:33 pm on October 21st

mmaycott mmaycott writes: Just starting to build my own guitar in November. This would be a great resource to the books I have already purchased.

Good Luck everyone,

Posted: 9:29 pm on October 21st

georgehenri georgehenri writes: I have been playing guitar for over 40 years. The thoughts of building my own guitar has crossed my mind many times, but it has always seemed too difficult.
Posted: 8:44 pm on October 21st

waggydog waggydog writes: I've got some nice, tight-grained Sitka waiting to be turned into a top.
Posted: 5:18 pm on October 21st

okiewoodman okiewoodman writes: As a woodworker and acoustic guitar fan I have for many years wanted to build my own guitar. Why not? For me it's because building a flawless piece without instruction, well I consider it out of reach. Given the proper instruction, however, I think I would give it a try. I believe building a flat top acoustic guitar would be my supreme challenge. This book could help me get it done.
Posted: 2:33 pm on October 21st

Circuit Rider Circuit Rider writes: I've played one for years and have done restoration on others, but I would like to build one.

Posted: 2:14 pm on October 21st

The_Woodsman The_Woodsman writes: My grandson Addison is learning how to play and an instrument made with my own hands would make a wonderful gift,
Posted: 2:04 pm on October 21st

Circuit Rider Circuit Rider writes: I've played for years and thought about building one.
Posted: 1:37 pm on October 21st

jcsssssssssssssss jcsssssssssssssss writes: About to start my 4th guitar - this would be a great addition to my puny library on the subject.
Posted: 1:10 pm on October 21st

Bob_from_AZ Bob_from_AZ writes: I started playing guitar in High School over 45 years ago. I was a victim in a near fatal car crash and was totally paralyzed for several months. I have fought my way back and can now play guitar again. I was an Industrial Arts teacher and taught Woodshop for many years at a school for handicapped children. I would love a book on how to make a guitar. It would be great therapy to make my own.
I really enjoy reading your articles, keep up the good work!

Posted: 1:03 pm on October 21st

Kip6905 Kip6905 writes: I've acquired several guitars through the years in various stages of disrepair; face/back side separation, to neck warpage, to sculpted backs and filleted faces and missing pieces of marquetry. Always challenged regarding "best" way to mend (or, in a few bold situations, continuing to make amends) while trying to at least "do no harm" to what could either be a collector's piece, or a "beach guitar." I'm far from being able to listen to a stringed instrument then being able to remove mass from the inside face to change the quality of an instrument's sound, as a luthier might, but the fun of it all is in the trying.
Posted: 11:22 am on October 21st

wpuvy wpuvy writes: Here's my address to send it to!
Posted: 11:22 am on October 21st

Kip6905 Kip6905 writes: I've acquired several guitars through the years in various stages of disrepair; face/back side separation, to neck warpage, to sculpted backs and filleted faces and missing pieces of marquetry. Always challenged regarding "best" way to mend (or, in a few bold situations, continuing to make amends) while trying to at least "do no harm" to what could either be a collector's piece, or a "beach guitar." I'm far from being able to listen to a stringed instrument then being able to remove mass from the inside face to change the quality of an instrument's sound, as a luthier might, but the fun of it all is in the trying.
Posted: 11:20 am on October 21st

derant derant writes: I've always wanted to make my own guitar. As well, being a left-handed guitar player limits one to
very few guitars out there. So if I can make my own, that won't be an issue.
Posted: 10:26 am on October 21st

floydsr floydsr writes: I'm a guitar player, why not a guitar maker?
Posted: 10:20 am on October 21st

cLs cLs writes: I don't even play the guitar, but for some crazy reason, I have always had a desire to make one. It's a wonder to me how one can take wood and shape it to make such a wonderful sound.
Posted: 10:09 am on October 21st

drcush drcush writes: Thanks! I just made space in my workshop bookcase for this book - now if I only had room to make this...

Posted: 9:55 am on October 21st

krbsr13 krbsr13 writes: I would like very much to win this book
it would add to my wood working skills.

I would like to build a guitar.
Posted: 9:43 am on October 21st

cliffhangar cliffhangar writes: I have a good friend that builds Guitars and Mandolins. I would be great to get this book and be able to build a Guitar like my Friend.
Posted: 9:08 am on October 21st

thorno96 thorno96 writes: This would be an awesome book to win. It's always nice to add another skill to your repetoire. I have built an electric guitar which turned out to be a great instrument. It's been in my mind for a long time to build an acoustic.
Posted: 8:58 am on October 21st

friarjeff friarjeff writes: This is a skill I would love to learn.
Posted: 8:48 am on October 21st

friarjeff friarjeff writes: This is a skill I would love to learn.
Posted: 8:47 am on October 21st

ScottMcCray ScottMcCray writes: I'm currently building solid-body guitars - this would help with the next step! Please put my name in the hat!
Posted: 8:43 am on October 21st

DenDad DenDad writes: My 16 year old son has been asking what it would take to build his own guitar and this book looks to be the answer.
We made a deal that if I help him build he would teach me how to play.
Posted: 8:37 am on October 21st

CWRADIO CWRADIO writes: I am in the process of setting up shop now to build my first guitar. I have built my jigs and I have ordered some speciality tools from Stewart-Mac. I started playing in the 7th grade and now that I am older and have more time I plan on building instruments not as a hobby but to see if I can build a better one or as good as Martin and others.
Posted: 7:43 am on October 21st

kg4vqi kg4vqi writes: I play a little guitar and I enjoy a little woodworking. With this book I can learn both.
Posted: 7:33 am on October 21st

TomLock TomLock writes: I would like to have this as a reference. I am planning on building an acoustic guitar for the worship leader at my church and this would help
Posted: 7:09 am on October 21st

onewoodman onewoodman writes: I've tried to make kit guitars before. It would be nice to have a good guide to make a really fine guitar. I would love to win this book now that I have more of a shop set up.
Posted: 6:48 am on October 21st

woodshopjunkie woodshopjunkie writes: I have played acoustic guitars since childhood. I have owned several over the years, and my wife has put a moratorium on purchasing guitars (my two boys also play and when all lived at home, we had 9 of them between us). As an avid woodworker, I have always wanted to build one. This might just be the chance.
Posted: 12:39 am on October 21st

Jaleigh78 Jaleigh78 writes: My son is really into guitars at 15 I think he would ove this
Posted: 9:46 pm on October 20th

Robtbaum Robtbaum writes: I remember looking at books on guitar making about 30 years ago. I finally wound up making a pair of mountain ducilmers. Maybe with this book - and 30 more years - I will finally build a guitar.
Posted: 9:01 pm on October 20th

Manny36 Manny36 writes: Looking forward to the mysteries revealed!
Posted: 6:43 pm on October 20th

David_Hill David_Hill writes: Fine Woodworking always comes through with top quality articles and information! I am very interested in guitar construction and would be very happy to give this book a new home (or shop, as it were).
Posted: 6:20 pm on October 20th

gmforbes gmforbes writes: This would be a fun project. Sign me up to win the book please.
Posted: 5:24 pm on October 20th

yohann yohann writes: That's awesome i am learning how to play a guitar.
Posted: 2:15 pm on October 20th

fmarabate fmarabate writes: I have been wanting to try making a guitar. This would be a great start to that goal.
Posted: 6:37 pm on October 19th

sqhillmike sqhillmike writes: i want to win this
Posted: 4:41 pm on October 19th

chromiumman chromiumman writes: looks really good, would love to win this
Posted: 4:40 pm on October 19th

Sunnyvale Sunnyvale writes: This would be great.
Posted: 3:25 pm on October 19th

MarkMazzo MarkMazzo writes: I'm still working on my first Dreadnought. This book would be a great addition to my library.

Posted: 9:47 am on October 19th

johnmcm johnmcm writes: Making an acoustic guitar is on the niggling at the back of my mind 'To Do' list. Count me in.
Posted: 6:18 am on October 19th

sgibbs58 sgibbs58 writes: My husbands favorite past time is the guitar. He also just inherited a ton of wood working equipment from my uncle. I would love to win him this for Christmas!
Posted: 2:54 am on October 19th

Palotito Palotito writes: I would love to have this book, Thanks for sign me up!
Posted: 11:43 pm on October 18th

jhonbaker jhonbaker writes: This looks like a great book to me, I'd love to have it and even possibly make a guitar. Looking at the ones I own, I figure that it's a fancy box with a neck, kidding. sort of.
Posted: 11:00 pm on October 18th

Maurice Maurice writes: Sign me up as well. I have three sons who all learned to play well on bargain basement guitars. I would love to make each of them an heirloom guitar.
Posted: 10:04 pm on October 18th

Dave Worsencroft Dave Worsencroft writes: Building an instrument always seems so difficult. I would love to tackel this one
Posted: 9:33 pm on October 18th

ccozad ccozad writes: Former boatbuilder, yacht interior outfitter, computer network engineer, and guitar maker extrodinaire Alex Willis is a man after my own heart. His meticulous attention to detail and apparent passion for the highest-quality tools and craftsmanship make the sharing of his guitar-making skills all the more appealing. Sign me up for his book!
Posted: 9:19 pm on October 18th

tommyd100 tommyd100 writes: Maybe this time is a winner.
Posted: 7:53 pm on October 18th

looother looother writes: I've tried to play guitar for 30 yrs. and have always loved the sound, look,and feel of all types of guitars. Building one would be very cool.
Posted: 7:13 pm on October 18th

drllucas drllucas writes: Love to have this book
Posted: 6:32 pm on October 18th

slydogx slydogx writes: I guess I'm in... not that I can afford another expensive specialized facet to my hobby
Posted: 5:55 pm on October 18th

sk2tobin sk2tobin writes: My dad plays and i build so it is a perfect combination!
Posted: 5:50 pm on October 18th

patwreck patwreck writes:
I play the guitare for about 15 years. It was my #1 hobby until I began woodworking.

Posted: 5:49 pm on October 18th

captlen captlen writes: I can't Play but I can build.
Posted: 4:39 pm on October 18th

Claymon1970 Claymon1970 writes: This would be a wonderful prize. I have been wanting to take a local class at Woodcraft to make an acoustic guitar for my stepfather as a present. I hope I win.
Posted: 4:37 pm on October 18th

Pishnaris Pishnaris writes: Sign me up!
Posted: 3:46 pm on October 18th

gillwright gillwright writes: I am in the process of making an electric Guitar thinking that it would be easier than an Acoustic. After I have this one built I am going to try fabricating an Acoustic model.

Having no prior knowledge on how to build Guitars, this book would certainly be helpful.

Posted: 3:35 pm on October 18th

remyers remyers writes: Some fantastic luthiers in our Guild, and I'm getting more and more interested... this would be a great start!
Posted: 3:17 pm on October 18th

mjfister mjfister writes: instrument making is a very interesting outlet for woodworkers; I've experimented by making a guitar which I posted in the gallery and there is a LOT to making it not just a piece of art, but also very playable - my first attempt was more "art"!
Posted: 3:09 pm on October 18th

jakegest jakegest writes: I would certainly love a copy
Posted: 2:51 pm on October 18th

JMSidhu JMSidhu writes: I am building a set of built-in shelves that this book would look great upon....
Posted: 1:30 pm on October 18th

Rickard333 Rickard333 writes: I've played guitar for years and always wanted to make one. This book like just the "tool" to help make that dream come true.
Posted: 1:25 pm on October 18th

APO APO writes: I could use this book to add yet more information, on something else I have never attempted, to the vast void between my ears.
Posted: 1:18 pm on October 18th

Jaybird719 Jaybird719 writes: have been interested in attempting a guitar... a how-to book like this would be a great reference.
Posted: 12:45 pm on October 18th

MoJohn68 MoJohn68 writes: I'd love to add this project to my collection.
Posted: 12:01 pm on October 18th

thegrinch thegrinch writes: There's a project I keep trying to find time for, I have two sons who are musicians. If I make a guitar then I don't have to keep complaining that they take mine!
Posted: 11:55 am on October 18th

sirprize21 sirprize21 writes: that book looks awesome!
Posted: 10:58 am on October 18th

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking


Become a Better Woodworker

ABOUT THE EDITORS MAILBOX editors report from the woodworking front lines. Check in every weekday for news, information, projects, and answers to questions from Fine Woodworking readers everywhere.

Learn about our new format!

Archive: Temporarily unavailable. Stay tuned and sorry for the inconvenience.