Buying and using pre-made neck and body templates.......
Cheating or no?
Where would you draw the line?
Buying prepped (thicknessed/planed) wood, or buying it in raw plank form.
Or planting a tree and waiting a few years ...
Buying tools, or making your own?
Buying the pickups, or making your own pickup winder?
If you're not going to buy the templates, will you buy the plans from which to make the templates, or design your own guitar from a blank piece of paper?
(I've bought templates, but I've still made my own for little bits and piece when necessary).
For Guitarists and guitar builders everywhere - guitarmaking.co.uk - The Academy of Guitar Making
Why not try everything? I'm sure I'll be assembling a kit at some point for a bit of fun...
But normally I would buy rough sawn timber and go from there - but only because i have the machinery to deal with it...up to a point.
Measure twice, cut once...
I think that if someone wants to make their own guitar but doesn't have the resources to buy specialist pieces of equipment or tools then it is perfectly acceptable for them to buy in whatever pre-made parts they need to allow them to complete the job within their budget or capabilities. Pre-slotted fretboards, formed acoustic sides, CNC machined electric bodies, these are all going to make the difference for some people between having a go or deciding that it is will to be too expensive and/or difficult for them to attempt a build. It may be that for a first build they will go this route and gradually start to undertake more of the processes themselves over time.
The challenge isn't about doing absolutely everything yourself, it's about achieving a goal that you set, learning as you go along, and (hopefully) being proud of the result.
If you want an example of taking the 'doing it all yourself' thing to the extreme check out Thomas Thwaites - The Toaster Project. It started with him fancying some beans on toast and got a bit out of hand from there!
Thanks for your thoughts folks...... although I wish you'd all stop sitting on the fence and have an opinion ??
Makes me feel better as 3 neck templates in and still not perfectly happy to go at my lovely maple blank....... so I may well invest in one.
Don't need a body template yet as struggling to get a body blank just now, eh Mark ?