How to build a Mandolin

The following is some of the things I learned along the way of building and constructing my kitset Mandolin. The kitset is a SAGA Mandolin AM-10. I suspect other kits are similar in the pieces they include. Hopefully, you read this BEFORE constructing, and so you don’t make some of the same mistakes I did. […]

Building a Chambered Body

Recently, rather than building this guitar as a solid body (which was the original idea for it), I decided to have a go and creating a proper chambered body, after watching a series of videos showing people putting tops on their guitars. I had the great opportunity of pulling apart a rimu door, and a […]

Guitar Templates for Photoshop – PSD

Since first embarking on this journey to amateur luthiery, I’ve been scouring the net for useful resources. Some of the first files I downloaded came from Fender-ish; a Google site with a collection of PDF’s of scale drawings of a range of different guitars. These Guitar templates and guitar plans were great, and I quickly […]


Puriri is also known as New Zealand mahogany, teak,oak or walnut. It is found in the northern North Island, from sea-level to 800 m above sea-level and tends to grow best on fertile or volcanic soils. Puriri grow up to 20 metres high, with a trunk up to 1.5 metres in diameter, sometimes thicker, and […]


Matai heartwood is golden yellow when freshly cut, darkening to a deep red-brown on exposure to sunlight. The sapwood is white. The timber is similar to rimu at first glance, but has slightly more distinct growth rings, and no intermediate wood zone. Matai is also very malodorous when freshly cut. Matai grows throughout the lowland […]


One of the largest and longest-living trees in the world, New Zealand kauri (Agathis australis) belongs to the ancient conifer family, Araucariaceae. Agathis is one of three still-existing southern hemisphere genera of Araucariaceae, and is thought to have evolved in the Australia–New Zealand region. New Zealand kauri appeared about 20 million years ago. Agathis contains […]


Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) is the commonest and most widely distributed conifer in New Zealand, growing from Northland down to Stewart Island. It is a tall tree, and its crown usually emerges above the main canopy of forest trees. On well-drained fertile sites, it grows to 50 metres in height. Rimu usually favours better drained sites […]

Making an Electric Guitar Body

Introduction Last year I built a 3D router ¹ ² ³ to serve as a manual CNC machine, after seeing it in full flight in the video. It looked perfectly simple, and after building it, it has taken a while to sort out my systems for actually using it. But I figure; spending time getting […]

How to Build Your Own Pedalboard

As a guitarist one of the things you eventually get into is effects pedals. For many years I used the programmable multi effects units and never needed a board. I upgraded to start building a collection of the good reliable and hard working Boss Pedals. For a while I only ever used two, and so […]