Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars.

Home Top Ad

Wholesale is the way to go I highly recommend  Luthiers Mercantile International  for buying tools and parts for good prices but sometime...

Saving Money on Tools

Wholesale is the way to go

I highly recommend Luthiers Mercantile International for buying tools and parts for good prices but sometimes you just need a product from Stewmac and you pay their premium on them. Other times you can get lucky and track down a similar product and buy it from a distributor for a whole lot less. I've also had some luck with Harbor Freight having tools I could use

Deep Clamp

You could spend $38 a pop on one of these Stewmac clamps
Or spend $9.53 on almost the exact same clamp from ShopFox
Shop Fox doesn't sell directly to consumers so I found the deep-reach aluminium C clamp for under $10 each on Both clamps need a spacer on the bottom rung to allow for them to get underneath the guitar top's braces so why pay FOUR times the price for the same basic product?

StewMac's long clamps with an adjustable balancer, another product I'm needing, don't appear to have a wholesale counterpart so I'll probably just bite the bullet and buy one or two.

I did want a jig to make neck resets easier but I didn't want to drop the cash on the premium jig since I really wasn't sure how often I'd need it, so I ended up making my own for under about $20 from parts I got some Lowes and scrap wood. I like building my own contraptions when I can so that kinda fuels some of my penny-pinching.

Stewmac is very generous and included this diagram which I used to construct my own

Fret Pullers

$29.93 from StewMac
$10.15 from LMII
3.99 from Harbor Freight

Fret pullers are super useful tools when refretting a guitar, doing a neck reset, or anything else involving a fretboard. I bought a pair of flush end nipper pliers from Harbor Freight for a couple bucks and then used a grinder to thin the top enough for me to use the pliers to get underneath a fret without much effort. (Sandpaper or a file and some patience would also do the trick). I bought a pair of fret pullers from Amazon as well for like $10 and ground them flush but I keep coming back to my Harbor Freight tool, it just does the job well. 

Feeler gauge

$20.70 at StewMac
$4.99 at Harbor Freight
I haven't really used these feeler gauges much in my work but I'm pretty content with the amount of money I would've saved had I needed them. 


Definitely check to see if you have a woodworking store nearby as their clearance sections and reject bins can have great pieces of wood that just didn't make the cut (ha) for whatever they were intended for. 

No comments: