How many hours for an average build?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by KR250, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. KR250

    KR250 Build addict

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    Hi all, sorry if this has been discussed before but couldn't find anything in the search tool.

    I'm curious how many hours an average build takes? I figure each one should get a little faster with more experience, templates, tools, etc. I'm roughly 2/3 of the way through my second build attempt and figure I'll have at least 100 hours into it.
     
  2. pondman

    pondman Build Whore.

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    Depends on the mood.
     
  3. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    ^ yes, depends on your planning too. I sometimes buy each piece as I go, but can get it done much quicker if I have all the parts avaliable when I start, and also if I stick to the exact plan all the way through or decide to change things as I go. I suppose if I really did everything as efficiently as I could, I could do an entire build in around 50 hours. That includes the shortcuts like templates, tools, pre-slotted fretboards...etc. But honestly it's probably way longer than that for me...

    I've never really thought of the time involved by hours, but rather by the start and finish dates.
     
  4. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD SS.org Regular

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    I've done one in about 20 hours, and I've done a few in more like 50-60 hours.
     
  5. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Are we talking just basic construction, or all the way through the finish and final setup process?
     
  6. KR250

    KR250 Build addict

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    Time spent planning, building, finishing, and set up. Not so much time on jigs/templates etc. Really just curious if there is such a thing as an average time spent. Probably a silly question based on so many levels of scope, but I asked it. :)
     
  7. Killemall1983

    Killemall1983 SS.org Regular

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    I usually knock mine out in about 12 hours total, not including glue drying.
     
  8. canuck brian

    canuck brian Bowes Guitars Contributor

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    12-15 hours actual work time not including glue up time here.

    It was about 20 when i was doing everything by hand at a leisurely pace.
     
  9. Killemall1983

    Killemall1983 SS.org Regular

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    Nah, no way there is an "average". Some builders work slow purposely. Others are just not experienced enough to build fast and efficiently.
    I have built so many and so often that i know exactly what i am going to do and how to do it, and it takes me no time at all.
     
  10. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    See? It can be very subjective. I intentionally take a few hours to do a level/crown/dress of the fretwire in preparation for a final setup. I take extra care to get the frets polished to a buttery smooth sheen. Shaping a neck can take 6 hours easily, and maintaining a profile consistency is a lesson in attention to detail. Contour guages and/or templates can get you close, but much of it after that is "feel".

    If you're not CNC'ing stuff like that, it can add hours up in no time.
     
  11. Killemall1983

    Killemall1983 SS.org Regular

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    Dang, 6 hours for a neck? I wouldnt ever build another guitar if it took that long.
     
  12. TuffyKohler

    TuffyKohler sawdust generator

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    One of my favorite parts of the build is carving necks. I usually do it over a few days, while working on other tasks.

    Coming back to a neck the next day gives me a fresh set of eyes to check my work.
     
  13. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    If you want consistency from build to build, it takes time to replicate.
     
  14. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I couldn't agree more, plus, it also allows the recently carved neck to acclimate now that more wood has been exposed. Not so vital on a body where strength and stability are unaffected, but a neck is far more vital.
     
  15. Deegatron

    Deegatron SS.org Regular

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    A lot of my time is spent measuring twice before cutting once but my build times measure several orders of magnitude larger than 20 hours total. I likely have spent that preparing stock and gluing up the neck blank. you guy's are animals!

    it's important to note I don't have all of the tools that the pro's have. ie I have a small bandsaw, no thickness planer and no jointer.
     
  16. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metalâ„¢

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    For you yeah :lol:


    I havent seen to many new ones form you...bad mood?







    I kid :wub:
     
  17. pondman

    pondman Build Whore.

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    I guess the OP is just asking out of interest and not how long in general it should take. Its not a competition so you can take as long as you like.
    Just making it enjoyable is the key and not to get worked up or worried about mistakes, we all make mistakes.
    The other thing is that if you are trying something different rather than a slavish copy of another brand, it will take and require a lot more time and patience.
     
  18. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin'

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    Yeah, I think it took me about 100 hours to do my first build. That was with Sully in a week-long build class + finishing at home. I'm hoping I can drop that down to 60 hours for my next build now that I've gotten a lot of newbie mistakes out of the way. In all likelihood, I'll take just as long because I'll find NEW mistakes to make! :D
     

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