Ok, so I'm not a wood worker. I've hardly touched any tools before, well of course I did a bit but my biggest project was a cedar box with a pine top for storing small items. So this meant that I couldn't just start building right away, I did not know what to do! So here is in short what I did to prepare myself for the task.
Searched the web
My first move of course was to search the web for guitar building sites. I found plenty and I will list sites what I found particularly helpful in the links pages. But the web as good as it may be contains a lot of conflicting views about building, and most sites contain only a tiny drop of information. These sites almost always come up with links to forums or books.
Bought a plan
Well, the thing I did next was buy a plan for a Gibson SG guitar from the musical instrument makers forums (mimf). I want to build a guitar that ressembles the look of an SG. This is not a mandatory step, I realized that after I read the books I bought but might be of help when making a first instrument.
I love books, I cherish them as they almost always contain a wealth of information. Compared to web sites, the book authors must fill them with a lot of pertinent content as to value their cost and publishing. This is good because otherwise we'd be stuck with interweaving contradictary thin content. So I researched a bit on different guitar building sites and also on Amazon and found two books which interested me as they pertained directly to the matter. The reviews on Amazon always tilt me towards titles.. Those are:
Make your own electric guitar, Melvin Hiscock
Building electric guitars, Book and CD-ROM, Martin Koch
I might later write a small review about the books once I'm familiar with guitar building and actually know what I'm talking about.
Altough you might not have a problem with money, I lost my job a few days before I began the project. I don't have a fixed maximum cost I can afford but will rather play on the numbers day by day. What is important then is to note every expense and try to estimate every other as to know where to cut, and know when to stop.
You can download my budget in Excel 97 . Its the actual file I update each time I buy or estimate something new. The prices are all in Canadian dollars. Some of the prices also include the shipping cost so might seem higher then their retail price. Its a pain but must be accounted for.