Wells Guitar Co.
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A Guitar Holder

When anyone begins to learn how to make a musical instrument one of the immediate problems is how do you hold the body to sand, scrape and clean it up? Because of a guitar’s shape it is very difficult to hold without both hands. And, of course, you need at least one hand free to work. Also, because of the relatively fragile nature of the instrument it does not lend itself to conventional clamping techniques. So, how do you hold it?

Here is one elegant and very simple solution. It is not my original idea but I have not seen it demonstrated in quite some time. I believe it is credited to Duane Waterman but if not, Duane, I apologize, if so, I am glad I gave you the credit you deserve!

Take a look at the device.

It is nothing more than two pipes, some foam A/C pipe insulation, two pipe clamps and two bases for pipe to screw into. Everything is commonly available at your neighborhood home center. I simply screwed the two bases to the side of my bench 15 1/2” apart at centers.

The pipe used is 12” long. Place the A/C pipe insulation around the pipes (this protects the guitar). Attach the pipe clamp on one end. screw the other end into the bases on your workbench. Now, you need to find two pieces of 1/4” plywood about 6 x 20”. Notch the plywood so it sits on the pipes. Cover the plywood with cork. Now, place the guitar in the device as shown below.

Tighten the clamps until the guitar is held tightly. The plywood will flex and conform to the shape of the guitar. You can turn the guitar in any direction and hold it securely.

When I first started using this device, I was afraid it might break the instrument. I can tell you that, after at least 100 instruments that has never happened. It has become one of the most valuable tools in my shop and I have pipe bases on several different workbenches. One of its’ real advantages is that when you are finished with it simply unscrew it and put it out of the way. It takes up no room in your shop except when it is in use.