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HowTo Instrument Build MODS

Basic Tool Kit

Every mod, repair, set-up, or build project begins with the use of tools. Some specialized some common. Here we run down the basic Luthier’s tool chest as well as additional tools required to do mods, set-ups, wiring, building and making guitars. Doing your own set-ups and seasonal adjustments requires a basic set of tools.

Most of these you may already have, some you may need to acquire before doing your own set-ups or mods. Remember to always use the correct size tools for the job. Particularly screwdrivers and hex wrenches.

Once you’ve gathered you tools, put them to use: Set-up Guide

Screwdrivers, Phillips & Standard

Mini, small, medium and large. Extra long or short shafted sizes optional.

Hex wrench/Allen Keys

These are often supplied with guitars purchased new for truss rod adjustments. Sizes most commonly found for truss rods: 3/16″, 3.5mm


24″ and 6″ recommended in both metric and imperial (inch) markings.

Feeler Gauge Set

For measuring the relief of necks, nuts, saddles and more.

String Cutter

Wire cutters work fine for this application.

String Winder

A very helpful tool for changing strings.


Used to assist when measuring neck relief.


Used to drive screws and drill holes.

Other tool guides: Wiring Mod Tools, Fretwork Tools, and Building and Assembly Tools

HowTo Instrument Build MODS

Modder's Tool Kit Essentials

Wiring and other mods require a few more tools than the basic tool kit.

Remember: Follow all manufacturers instructions when using any of the tools or materials listed here. will have no liability for injury or damage caused by the use of any of our instructions.

Soldering Iron

40 watts or an adjustable temperature model suitable for fine electronics work.


High quality non-corrosive solder for fine electrical work (preferably lead-free for health).

Hook-Up Wire

Anything from high quality cloth shielded to regular copper plastic coated wire are suitable for guitar wiring. Cost and availability vary.

Electrical Tape

For wrapping soldered connections.

Wire Stripper

Many models available vary in price and quality.

Safety Glasses/Goggles

Essential for avoiding painful and potentially blinding and/burning accidents when soldering.

Other tool guides: Wiring Mod Tools, Fretwork Tools, and Building and Assembly Tools