When you're just starting out on the adventure that is building your first guitar, knowing where to find guitar-making supplies can be tricky.
Once you've decided to embark on the journey that will lead you to building your first guitar, you'll very quickly start looking for tools and guitar-making supplies.
We covered which tools you'll need in this post, and you'll find most of them at a decent hardware store. As for other guitar making supplies, the best place to start is to go where the pros go, Stewart-Macdonald. At the risk of sounding like an advert, this Athens, Ohio-based company has been supplying luthiers and instrument makers for decades, and for good reason. If they don't stock it, you probably don't need it. Whether it's a jig, a fretting hammer, or a DVD on making archtop guitars, they've got it.
If you don't live in the US, however, or Stew Mac doesn't have what you need, there are a few other places you could try. In the UK, for example, there's Six String Supplies, Axetec, Luthier Tools, and ToneTech Luthier Supplies.
Another option is to try eBay. Many guitar-making supplies businesses have their own eBay stores, and some even sell on Amazon.
Talking of eBay, here's a tip: instead of throwing yourself into a new build from scratch, put together your own guitar making kit and build from that. So, for example, Ed Jackson often sells bodies he's made and aged on his eBay store. He sells necks too. And he's not the only one, a quick search on eBay throws up lots of builders selling bodies, some 'full-loaded' with pickups and control knobs, others just the wood. Buy a body and a neck and you can gain experience in doing the wiring, adding the pick-ups, machine heads etc, without having to do the wood-working. Once you've got experience, you can then move onto building a guitar from scratch.
If none of that helps find the parts you need, try forums like Ultimate Guitar, or follow a few guitar builders on Twitter (we have compiled a list here) and ask them where they buy their supplies.
Once you've sourced what you need, try and find out a bit more about the company before you hand over your money. Forums are a great resource for that, as is Twitter. Oh, and if you do order from somewhere outside your own country, make sure you make allowances for shipping and customs charges when you're working out the cost.
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