Guitar Making Tip No. 33

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks author biography about me experience

Guitar Making Tip No. 33 is about mistakes. While I do believe that making mistakes yourself is a great teacher, I also believe that learning ahead of time from the mistakes of others has value. After all, sometimes it’s better to see the example than be the example. Here is how you do it.

Learn From the Mistakes of Others

guitar making tip number 33Sometimes, you are going to ruin a piece of wood. It’s all part of the process, and it happens to everyone. Even professionals have one that gets away from time to time.

We are all comfortable understanding that we need to make mistakes and learn from them, but we tend to devalue learning from the mistakes of others. It’s as if there is something less in the experience if you don’t actually feel it yourself.

I personally do not believe in this. There are many examples where you would rather see the example than be the example. If I had to learn about shop safety, I would rather look pictures of other people with severed fingers than my own.

The same goes for being treated for inhaling stain fumes or hitting my thumb with a hammer. These are intense cases, but why it is less effective when we’re talking about guitar making tips?

My Loss is Your Gain

The whole reason I wrote my books on guitar making is because I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. I also had to research a lot of things, and it took me a while to understand what I needed to do. This was very frustrating.

I think that you can learn a lot from my mistakes, as well as the mistakes of other guitar makers and get yourself a head start that we did not have. Reading tips and beginner stories will increase your knowledge, and help you avoid beginner mistakes.

For example, I did not know that doming the back plate was as easy as it is. Had I known that, my first several guitars would not have had flat backs. I also did not know that you need to push from a certain direction on the router table. Had I known that, I would not have had to scrap those first few necks after messing up the truss rod slots.

The moral of the story is read as many tips as you can. Learn as much as you can while preparing for the build, and you will be more educated once the process starts. You will make fewer mistakes, have less to research, and will make better guitars faster.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

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