Product Instructions I-5160
Campfire Mandolin Kit Instructions
Downloadable assembly instructions for the Campfire Mandolin Kit.
Product Instructions I-5148
Mandolin Kit
Downloadable assembly instructions for the Mandolin Kits, including a recommended tool and supplies list.
Product Instructions I-0689
Bending Sides With a Bending Iron
An introduction to bending wood using a Bending Iron.
Product Instructions I-2105
Pickup Winding with the Schatten Pickup Winder
A primer on how to rewind, modify and make custom pickups!
Product Instructions I-5399
Erlewine Neck Jig Instructions
How to assemble and jig up a guitar.
Product Instructions I-5347
Soprano Ukulele Kit Instructions
Downloadable assembly instructions for the Soprano Ukulele Kit.
Product Instructions I-5295
Dreadnought Guitar Kit
Downloadable assembly instructions for the Dreadnought Guitar Kit, including a recommended tool and supplies list.
Product Instructions I-5297
Triple-O Guitar Kit
Downloadable assembly instructions for the 000 Guitar Kit, including a recommended tool and supplies list.
Product Instructions I-5348
Tenor Ukulele Kit Instructions
Downloadable assembly instructions and body template for the Tenor Ukulele Kit.
Product Instructions I-0522
How to install a skin banjo head
Dan Levenson explains how to install an unmounted, skin banjo head.
Product Instructions I-5342
Fiddle Kit Instructions
Downloadable assembly instructions for the Fiddle Kit, including a recommended tool list.
Product Instructions I-4005
Bolt-On Necks
How to install, adjust, and set up a Bolt-On Neck.
Product Instructions I-6085
Self-adhesive Sanding Disc
Instructions for using a Self-adhesive Sanding Disc with a Concave Radius Dish.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 198 August 29, 2013
Final-shaping a neck with files and scrapers
Neck shaping a neck is all about feel. Chelsea Clark learned from Dan Erlewine, and by honing her skills on abandoned "project guitars" found on Craigslist and eBay. Chelsea gives a good intro to shaping a great-playing neck.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 192 June 06, 2013
How to fit a Les Paul pickup ring to the curved top
Don't ruin your pickup rings by skipping this step! Dan Erlewine nibbles, files, scrapes and sands to create a curve that matches the top of his Les Paul.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 180 December 20, 2012
The simplest custom build ever?
Erick Coleman builds a custom guitar that's even simpler than Bo Diddley's rectangular axe. It's a great example to show the basics of building an electric guitar.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 164 May 10, 2012
Does this bone nut fit my guitar?
Erick Coleman answers a question that's come up a lot lately: how to find the right size replacement nut. He introduces a new Sizing Sheet that makes measuring easy for anybody.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 145 August 04, 2011
How to install a Strat tremolo and get it right
Erick Coleman has a quick tip that will save you a lot of trouble.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 132 February 03, 2011
Fine tuning a bolt-on replacement neck
Erick Coleman pulls his old Strat out of mothballs and gives it a new neck. He shows what's needed to get a replacement neck ready to play.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 130 January 06, 2011
Keep that body in shape! Go-bar/neck jig gluing rig.
Dan Erlewine has to leave a guitar body with the back off for months. How to keep the sides from going out of shape during this time? Believe it or not, the answer is blue foam insulation from the home improvement store.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 127 November 25, 2010
You need a bag of clothespins for your workshop!
Dan Erlewine modifies wooden clothespins for a bunch of jobs around the shop -- today it's gluing kerfing into an old Gibson. While he's at it, he plays Santa Claus and offers a make-it-yourself holiday gift idea.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 117 July 08, 2010
Used guitars: great deals if you do some after-sale fixup
Erick Coleman just went guitar-shopping and picked up a used Gretsch Corvette from 1963. It needs a little fixup/setup. This Trade Secrets is about tweaking your pawn shop prize.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 113 May 13, 2010
Quick fix for a loose bolt-on neck
Dan Erlewine's got a wobbly neck, but not for long: here's a fast way to tighten the screwholes in a bolt-on neck.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 107 February 18, 2010
How to know a bridge will play in tune before gluing it on
Dan Erlewine finds an old bridge to fit a 1950s Gibson, but will the saddle slot be in the right place? He measures and calculates, but still wants to prove it's in tune before gluing. Here's how he did that.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 104 January 07, 2010
Using a "swiss cheese knife" to fix the back on a 1923 Gibson
Dan Erlewine's working on great old Gibson L-1 with back problems. The challenge: how to fix this on a budget today, in a way that won't interfere with more thorough repair work in the future.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 101 November 26, 2009
Final-shaping a D-18 or D-28 style guitar neck
Guitar maker Todd Sams directs the production of our StewMac guitar necks, and he uses the necks in his own custom Sams guitars. Todd shows how to spend twenty minutes final-shaping a neck to get it to look and feel exactly right.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 88 May 28, 2009
Making a custom fire stripe pickguard to fit a baby guitar!
Dan Erlewine's in his guitar shop (or is it a toy shop today?) making a custom "fire stripe" pickguard just like the one on his 1939 Gibson J-35. He shows how to make a custom pickguard in any color variation you like.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 84 April 02, 2009
Easy, affordable way to make your own custom-fit guitar case
Hardshell cases are sold for a few of the most common guitar sizes, but what if your guitar is a different shape? Todd Sams shows an easy way to make a great custom case.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 81 February 19, 2009
A traveling guitar repair kit for duty in Iraq
Erick Coleman helps a serviceman put together a complete carry-all kit for service in Iraq with the Air Force Band.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 80 February 05, 2009
Workin' in the soundhole with the scissor jack and a mirror
Dan Erlewine's got a repair that needs repairing again. Working inside the guitar body is too tight for comfort, but Dan shows some tools and tips that make it easier.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 60 May 01, 2008
Why Dan Erlewine is attracted to repair magnets
Dan's been using repair magnets in his shop for a dozen years, and they're doing tricks all over his shop.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 59 April 17, 2008
Carlos Santana's Strat: repair and setup
Dan Erlewine tells what happened with two guitars sent to him recently by Carlos Santana.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 51 December 27, 2007
Banjo Killer? The scoop on forward X bracing for greater guitar volume.
Todd Sams gives a simple and clear explanation of how to position dreadnought braces for the sound and volume of an early-30s Martin.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 50 December 13, 2007
Scraping, not sanding, to prepare wood for finishing
Dan Erlewine shows why he uses scraper blades instead of sandpaper for the final smoothing before the finish goes on a guitar.
Product Instructions I-1521
Switchjack Endpin Jack
Downloadable instructions for the installation and uses of the Switchjack Endpin Jack.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 44 September 20, 2007
Go-bar decks: fast, flexible gluing
This week, Dan Erlewine asks Todd Sams to show how a go-bar deck in his home shop turned two hours of work into twenty minutes!
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 31 May 24, 2007
How to install a Fender style (bolt-on) neck
Erick Coleman shows the steps involved in replacing a Fender-style neck, with tips for tuner installation, truss rod adjustment, and correctly positioning the neck.
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Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 12 January 11, 2007
Installing an old-time banjo dowel stick
This week, Don MacRostie invents a new technique for an old technology: he shows how to accurately install a banjo dowel stick. Also, Bart Reiter sends a dowel-stick tip.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 2 November 02, 2006
Use your drill press as a planer to make custom bindings
In Trade Secrets this week: Did you know you can plane wood on your drill press?
Product Instructions I-BLUEGRASS_RESOMAST
Bluegrass Resomaster Assembly
Downloadable assembly instructions for the Bluegrass Resomaster.
Product Instructions A-RESOPHONIC_2
Do-It-Yourself Resophonic Guitar
Al Rorick guides you through constructing a 1920's National Triolian-syle resophonic guitar while saving time and money.
Part Two: Making the Neck
Product Instructions A-RESOPHONIC_3
Do-It-Yourself Resophonic Guitar
Al Rorick guides you through constructing a 1920's National Triolian-syle resophonic guitar while saving time and money.
Part Three: Final Assembly
Product Instructions A-SPECIALSANDPAPERS
Special sandpapers for luthiers
Our tech experts show how different specialty sandpapers and abrasives can be used in lutherie.
Product Instructions A-BANJOBUILDING
Banjo Building Instructions
Comprehensive, downloadable instructions for building an open-back banjo.
Product Instructions A-RESOPHONIC_1
Do-It-Yourself Resophonic Guitar
Al Rorick guides you through constructing a 1920's National Triolian-syle resophonic guitar while saving time and money.
Part One: Constructing the Body
Product Instructions A-RESOPHONIC
Do-It-Yourself Resophonic Guitar
Al Rorick guides you through constructing a 1920's National Triolian-syle resophonic guitar while saving time and money.
Product Instructions I-0308
Dulcimer Kit Instructions
Downloadable instructions for Dulcimer Kits.
Product Instructions I-1977
L.R. Baggs FIVE.O Ukulele Pickup System Instructions
Installation instructions.
Product Instructions I-2105-K
Build-Your-Own Pickup Winder
Assembly instructions.
Product Instructions I-3547
EMG ACB Banjo Pickup Installation Instructions
Installation and general operation.
Product Instructions I-4003
Electric Guitar and Bass Assembly Guide
General assembly instructions for electric guitar and bass.
Product Instructions I-4003_2
Electric Guitar and Bass Assembly Guide
Product Instructions I-4003_3
Electric Guitar and Bass Assembly Guide
Product Instructions I-4003_4
Electric Guitar and Bass Assembly Guide
Product Instructions I-4003_5
Electric Guitar and Bass Assembly Guide
Product Instructions I-5290
Blues Resomaster Assembly
Downloadable assembly instructions for the Blues Resomaster.
Product Instructions I-5291
Delta Resomaster Assembly
Downloadable assembly instructions for the Delta Resomaster.
Product Instructions I-5387
Gerstner Tool Chest Kit Instructions
Manufacturer's assembly instructions.