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Thread: luthiers work benches

  1. #1

    luthiers work benches

    Any pictures of your work benches and modifications that help you in your trade
    looking to build a dedicated bench for building guitars
    Carpe Lignum

  2. #2

    I could send a photo, but it easier to just describe it. I use a 60” x 30” x 1 3/4” laminated maple benchtop (available any number of places) on top of a set of Lee Valley cast iron legs. I have 3/4” dog holes every 6”, all along the perimeter, 3” in from the edge, as well as a row of dog holes up the middle of the benchtop, with the same 6” spacing. I have a Lee Valley twin screw vise on one end. All other vises are removable, and attach to the benchtop by bolts through the dogholes. They go on or off the bench, depending on what I need in the moment. The two removable vises are a swivel jaw patternmaker vise and a Versa Vise. To make guitars, you really only need a decent, solid bench and some specialized vises, and those can vary a lot. You need a way to hold necks, which (after working on them) don’t have parallel surfaces; hence the patternmaker vise. You need a way to gently hold a completed guitar body. There is a thing called a Troji you can look up on the internet. I use the twin screw vise with thick foam for that, and it works great. Beyond that, you just need a decent vise for holding smaller items, because guitar parts are small compared to furniture parts. Everything else is pretty much a custom made jig or worktable made from plywood. I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    I will try to send some

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  5. #5
    Michihiro Matsuda's bench. One of them.
    Solid core door and framing lumber.

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    One of Robert Garcia's workbenches. This is his assembly bench

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    My portable workbench. Works great for guitars if used with a Parrot vise.

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    Reproduction of the Martin workshop at the MIM museum in Arizona

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    MIM workbench for instrument repairs.

    In general, a luthier workbench will be very different from your standard neander bench.
    You want something more like a stout desk or table. Good lighting is a must. Being able to hold jigs is a plus.

    Personally, I recommend just getting a used/old/heavy desk and bolting down a patternmaker's vise from Stewmac.
    Add some hold fasts, and you should be good.

  10. #10
    I hope that I didn't just kill the discussion by being too enthusiastic.

    I'd highly recommend getting the book from the Guild of American Luthiers (GAL) on making your own tools.

  11. #11
    I use a pretty classic woodworking bench with tail and face vises. Lutherie drives me to jig and fixture for this bench. Worked for almost thirty years.

  12. #12
    Hey Chris,

    Mind sharing your bench?

    I haven't played your instruments, but suspect that you're a pretty great luthier.

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