“One nice thing about making guitars, is that it takes very little specialized tools to build one.” – Tom
There are several companies that make specialized tools, but they are not absolutely necessary to build nice guitars. None-the-less, it is easy to accumulate such tools over the years.
Thomas Beltran uses a selection of planes. In the above photograph, the long plane is a Bailey No. 7. It is just a bit over 21 inches long. The next largest plane is a Wards Master No. 5, which is the plane used most often. This plane was bought it at a garage sale in Grand Forks, ND. The wooden plane is a nice smoothing plane, made in Germany. In between the Wards Master and the wooden plane, is a plane that has an integral fence for planning a narrow face at 90 degrees to the vertical side. On top of the wooden plane are small planes, used for brace work and binding. The two smaller planes in front, are a bronze scraper plane and what is known as an “apron” plane. These planes are used for fretboard work, and the scraper plane is used for leveling the rosette after it is completed in the guitar top.
The above photograph shows chisels, used throughout the guitar construction process.
The large black surface shown in the above photograh is a granite plate. It is accurate, across its face, to one ten-thousandth of an inch. It is used as a standard of flatness, and for planing guitar tops on the plate. It weighs a bit over 400 pounds.
The blue vise shown above is a pattern maker’s vise. It is very heavy, and is over 80 years old.
This is a photograph of the vacuum pump which is used to power several vacuum clamps.
Here is a photograph of the power tools. In addition to two drill presses, band saws, belt sanders and other standard power tools are used in the construction of guitars.