Guitar Chat

Small tools made from repurposed gear

For those of you curious about some of the workings and tooling that goes into making guitars, I thought I would add this post I put up on the Delcamp forum.  A lot of small tools that I make for myself are made from old, otherwise useless things we have laying around. I plead guilty to hording anything that looks remotely useful in the hope I’ll use it for something some day!  It’s pretty satisfying when I finally find the use for it.  They may not be pretty but they can really work well.

gluing rod

gluing rod

This is a little tool I made which I use for gluing weights under the top when tuning out resonances on guitars. It is made from an old stainless steel bicycle spoke (which I have a lot of). There is the little head on the end that I wrap a small piece of blu tack onto to hold the weight. A cut off finger of a glove holds it in place. Bike spokes are nice and stiff in comparison to fencing wire.  For those who may not know why weights need to be glued under the top, there is a procedure some of us Luthiers use to try to minimize wolf notes, in which the careful placement of carefully measured weights can sometimes even out these pesky notes.


Here is another tool I use for the same job. It’s self explanatory, made from a cheap led torch sawed in half then soldered back together to shine directly to the top plate.  It’s enough to illuminate the desired area of the top so I can see where I am putting the weight. Not sure if it has enough power for a thicker cedar top but that would be easily resolved. Great thing about led’s is they don’t get too hot.

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