I am a 14 year old boy and i just fell in love with the idea of starting to build guitars. I was wondering if you had any advice for me, and I was wondering if I were going to build guitars where I would get the supplies to do it.
Now this is a message that makes ol’ Sully proud! Reminds me very much of myself at that age; I got a Les Paul kit for Christmas when I was 14 and was super excited to build it. I glued the neck in and painted it, but learned that the neck was twisted. Soul crushing. That said, the pickups that I had for that guitar were later used in my first good electric guitar, so good times!
Anyway, you weren’t asking how I got started; you’re asking how YOU can get started, so let’s move on!
My best suggestions are to start small; look for a book called How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great! By Dan Erlewine. This will give you information about how to properly set up your guitar so that it plays well. There is another book called Guitar Player Repair Guide that is awesome. Lots of great stuff there. It also breaks information out to various skill levels, so that’s cool too. You can probably find them in a Barnes and Noble or on Amazon.com. Get an understanding of how to set up a guitar so that it plays well (how to make neck/bridge/nut adjustments), then maybe take on some basic wiring projects like a pickup swap, maybe build a guitar from pre-made parts. Is there a music store near you that does guitar repair? Maybe introduce yourself to the person that does repairs and ask if you can watch as he does some repairs and stuff.
More than anything else, learn as much as you can; Go to www.stewmac.com and read their Trade Secrets articles; there’s a lot of neat stuff.
I hope that helps!