Right then! This is my second build thread for a carvetop guitar using only hand tools. My hope is to construct an instrument efficiently using various things I managed to learn over the last few guitars. Some of these are things I figured out myself, but many more are techniques and bits of knowledge imparted to me by very kind and patient forum members. Ill try to keep the thread relatively concise this time in order to provide a useful reference for anyone who wants to try a hand tool approach for part or all of their own build. There are lots of ways to manage specific tasks, and I may mention some alternatives along the way. I have a few non-standard tools that I will be using. Some things that I use as alternatives to common power tools are: Bandsaw Bowsaw Electric drill Eggbeater drill Drill press Bit and brace Electric router Router plane Thickness planer Hand plane Personally, I find these tools convenient, quiet, clean and efficient to use. Theyre also generally much cheaper and safer than the powered equivalents, especially if you do a bit of hunting around for secondhand ones and dont mind a bit of restoration work. I also make extensive use of chisels, gouges and a couple of other specialist tools, like a small, convex detail plane. Here are some of the tools in question. In the first photo is a #4 smoothing plane, a low-angle block plane, a small convex detail plane, a Shinto saw rasp and a couple of nomi (Japanese chisels). In this photo, theres a brace and some bits, a router plane, an eggbeater drill and a ryoba (Japanese double-edged saw). Two other things I have learned along the way and mentioned on other threads are sharpening and tool practice. First off, a sharp tool is a safe tool, as youre not applying too much pressure. It simply does its job well. I sharpen my plane blades, chisels and gouges regularly, using waterstones and finishing with a compound-charged strop. This has the double benefit of keeping the tools nice to use and giving me lots of practice at sharpening. The more I do it, the better the edges I create are, and the better my tools work. As for tool practice, the premise is simple I try to understand a tool properly before attacking an expensive piece of wood with it. Therefore, either practicing on scrap or doing small woodworking projects (like boxmaking) is an essential part of this process for me. This is because I am a completely self-trained and largely talentless woodworker. I need all of the practice I can get to even cut a straight line, let alone make an actual instrument that works. On to the instrument itself. The specs are pretty straightforward, and any steps I include which are a bit unusual or undesired by anyone else following my build (like chambering) can simply be skipped. The guitar will have a Honduran neck and body with a solid maple cap. The fingerboard will be Macassar ebony and the headplate and backplates will be African ebony. The binding will be cream and the inlays will be paua abalone. I will wind my own pickups. The body will be chambered fairly extensively, and there will be one mild surprise in headstock construction, which I will explain when the time cones. The dimensions will be as close as I can manage to a 59 with the exception of the headstock. The finish spraying is the only part of the build using power. I will use an HVLP spray setup because it is quiet and more environmentally friendly than others, creating less overspray. Before, I bought spraycans of lacquer, which was both wasteful and expensive. Also, this meant that I couldnt spray a burst, which I hope to on this instrument. It is possible to stain a burst by hand and apply a brushed lacquer finish or oil, but I really want to try the spray method this time. One final note I was planning to put this thread up all at once after reaching the endpoint, but there are a number of hand tool builders trying some different things now, so I thought it would be timely to put up my progress so far to help them out. An early Christmas present?