At a guitar building workshop in 2010, an experienced luthier told Kieran that building guitars was like "woodworking for machinists" -- dimensions, measurements, alignment, and other factors must be very accurate and precise in order for an instrument to both be comfortable and playable, but also for it to function properly. Mistakes in cutting frets in a fingerboard, for example, can lead to cascading errors that can render an instrument impossible to properly tune. At the same time, the wide array of options available to the aspiring luthier, from different woods for the body, neck, and fingerboard, to the huge selection of available hardware and electronics, make building guitars an inspiring and fun (albeit addictive) process. Even for amateur players, few things are as satisfying as the first time playing a guitar you built yourself!
Kieran has been building electric guitars since 2009, starting with established body and neck designs, and moving into his own custom designs and configurations. In this presentation, he will share his background and how he got started with guitar building, then describe his process of building an instrument, from wood selections to final set-up. Along the way, he will also discuss the many jigs and tools -- both commercially available and self-built -- he uses in his process, and the different approaches taken by other builders. Trials, errors, and other mishaps along the way will also be discussed, along with recommended books and other educational resources for those interested in making their own electric guitars.