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Making a Laminated Hollowbody Electric Guitar [Paperback]

Jim English

List Price: CDN$ 39.02
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Book Description

Feb. 3 2005
If you think that making a guitar is impossible, then this book is for you. The only one of its' kind, this book will teach you how to make a laminated archtop guitar. It can be done in a relatively small space and does not require many tools or expensive machinery, just a desire to do it. The book came about as the result of a suggestion and urging of my friend, Bob Benedetto. Because no other book is available for this type on construction, it is written in an easy to understand format and is priced so that almost anyone can afford it. It contains drawings and pictures with step by step easy to follow instructions so as to eliminate any guesswork. This book took four years to complete and is designed to help someone who wants to make this kind of guitar. It should serve as an excellent guide.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Authorhouse (Feb. 3 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1418451355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1418451356
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 21 x 1.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #923,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Recommended. May 20 2010
By T.W. - Published on Amazon.com
This is a decidedly "home made" production. It reminds me of Arthur Overholzer's classic guitar construction book. The pacing is a little disjointed, and I can't imagine a first time builder managing to produce an instrument from these instructions. Critical design elements are left out completely! -Pickup cavities magically appear at one point without any instruction on their placement or fabrication. Wiring is glossed over in two paragraphs.

The top and back arching procedure relies on having a well-made factory guitar to take castings from. Which leads to a fundamental question - Why? Why attempt to duplicate at home the construction method put in place to mass produce instruments? You can't possibly better the factory in terms of speed or economy. In this case it would actually be *easier* to employ hand carving methods.

I don't know if Mr. English managed to secure a patent on his neck assembly technique as is mentioned in the text. After repeated reading, I still can't figure out what makes the joint special. The assembly instructions are that vague.

I suppose my biggest beef is that he continually directs you to other books to flesh out the building process. Robert Benedetto and Hideo Kamimoto are mentioned repeatedly and those are indeed excellent resources. For those interested in building any form of arched top instrument, the Benedetto book is the one to buy. This book is for those who have to own every book ever published on the subject. Having read it it now, I'll put it on the shelf and likely never open it again.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed Dec 5 2009
By Jon L. Nixon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book mainly learn how to make an arched veneer back. The author's method of making a plaster mold from an extant guitar (what happens if you don't have one ?), cutting a section out afterwards with a handsaw so it will fit in a case, and then gluing it all back together , then using your van as a veneer press leaves a bit to be desired, although it must work for him. He does tell you to buy your top and back from StewMac if you don't like his methods. To be fair, there is some good information and the cost is reasonable.
The author says"Tablesaws are notorious for cutting off fingers"- PLEASE don't say things like that!!! Such a statement would be taboo in any shop that I have worked in- like telling someone on a ladder "not to break their neck", you just don't do it. The usual warning about the danger of power tools would be sufficient, IMO.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good info... tough to follow Feb. 9 2013
By Oldnslofly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some other reviews slammed this book. I have to disagree with them.

I will agree the book can be hard to follow and some of the methods are crude. The author points out he no longer uses most of the methods he began with and has updated his process for completing a build. He also states this is not a bible on how its done. This book is a nice tool for a person interested in laminate hollow body construction.

I would not advise a complete beginner in using this book to attempt building a guitar.

If you are worried then maybe find a used copy here on Amazon. I have my original and refer back to it often to spark up new ideas
4.0 out of 5 stars Well laid out. April 13 2014
By rleigh1250 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Doubt you could actually make a guitar from this book but the background info gives you the understanding of the steps. Since most guitars are from solid blocks the laminated woods approach can mean making a lighter and stronger guitar, less likely to warp or crack then solid woods can do.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book March 23 2014
By Florida luthier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If your thinking about the laminating guitar process I don't think there's another source on the market that explains this process. This is the (how to shop manual) on the laminated guitar process. The book is nicely illustrated, however, the author makes references to guitar guru Bob Benedetto's book on making an acoustic archtop guitar. Maybe you should purchase that book also as it contains some of the info needed to successfully complete an archtop guitar. (This is my opinion) Jim English's book does also bring you through the entire process. This book is a must have concerning this particular type of guitar construction. Make no mistake about that. You should be able to construct a pretty decent Laminated hollow body guitar if you adhere to the instructions contained in this manual.

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