LMI Help Center

Where to Begin?

There are plenty of places to buy wood. Though we are confident that our wood processing is second to none, what really differentiates LMI from the others is our emphasis on information, resources and help for our customers. This goes for seasoned, professional luthiers and beginners alike.

Of course, if you are just starting out, the amount of information can be a little overwhelming! Where do you begin? LMI has a ‘beginners’ page’ here, which lists schools, forums, and other useful information, but let’s break down the process even further. The two main questions you will need to answer are 1) what do I want to build? and 2) how do I want to build it?Limiting ourselves to acoustic guitars for the moment (we carry all you need to build a wide variety of electrics a well) you first want to decide if you want to build a classical/nylon stringed guitar or a steel string guitar. If you choose steel string, there are a number of basic sizes which are identified by product lines from the great, iconic factories: Martin and Gibson. For a description of these guitar types, see our May 2017 blog here. The differences between the various classical guitars are defined also by their makers, but in this case, the reference is to particular innovative luthiers such as Hauser, Ramirez, Torres etc. and the differences are subtler than we find in the steel string world.

Once you have a project in mind, the next step is to get an appropriate plan. This will be your roadmap for selecting woods and parts of the appropriate size and type. Of course, if you ordering through the LMI Kit Wizard (which will save you some money!) the typical choices for the main guitar types are laid out for you. The Kit Wizard allows you to change these though if you like.

Next, you want to select your “instructions”. If you do not have access to a teacher, this will usually come in the form of a DVD or book. Many of the DVDs and books we sell are specific to a particular type of guitar. But don’t stop there! You should always be able and willing to draw information from a variety of sources to suit your building methods, your shop and what kind of tools you are using (hand tools, power tools or whatever mix of the two suits you and your budget). So, look at getting another book and/or DVD or two -and start looking over all the videos and articles on the LMI website. You will find that a huge wealth of information stems from the LMI website!

Finally, should you not be able to find an answer to your question from one of these many sources, please drop us an email or call. We are always happy to help!