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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:03 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:56 am
Posts: 7
Location: Bellingham, WA
First name: Kyle
Last Name: Thon
City: Bellingham
State: WA
Zip/Postal Code: 98226
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hey guys!

My name is Kyle Thon, i'm from the beautiful pacific northwest, and i have been playing guitars for about 3 years now.

Im extremely interested in building my first guitar. I dont have much woodworking experience, but i am absolutely determined to start building my first guitar!
(im pretty excited about it, as you can tell...)

i figure i should start out with a Kit...
I guess my first question is what kits do you guys have experience with, and what would you suggest i go for?

I plan on doing a fair amount of research before i buy a kit, but i thought i would start by asking the pros!
Thanks guys!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:59 am
Posts: 1954
Location: Rochester Michigan
I've been building instruments for a while but only recently finished my first guitar from the Stew Mac 000 kit. You can see that here: viewtopic.php?f=10101&t=20871&p=290376#p290376

Kit is found here: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Kits.html

I really liked the kit and thought the instructions and DVD were very well done. Choices are somewhat limited with that kit though. You can download the instructions from the site and get an idea of what type of tools you'll have to buy to complete it. One thing I really liked about it is that with their design you don't need to build a mold which may or may not be a big deal to you.

Read lots, Good luck!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:10 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:43 am
Posts: 601
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Focus: Build
Welcome Kyle,

A kit is a great way to get started with building for sure. Places that I know of to get a kit are Stew-Mac, LMI, and Blues Creek. Kits can have different levels of "servicing". What servicing means is that some of the harder parts can be done for you. Expect a fully serviced kit to have the sides bent, top and back joined, rosette inlaid etc. Levels of servicing will vary from dealer to dealer and some dealers will let you customize your servicing level. Kits can come completely unserviced and this means that you will perform every operation if you so desire. LMI's website does a good job of explaining servicing levels.

I highly recommend Robert O'Brien's videos on building classical and steel string acoustic guitars. There is a video available for each style.

I also consider these books as almost mandatory reading. They can be expensive so an inter-library loan may be your best option. I own all these books and have found them worth every penny.

Making Master Guitars-Roy Courtnall (classical emphasis)
Guitarmaking Tradition and Technology- William Cumpiano and Jonathan Natelso (steel string and classical)
Classical Guitar Making-John Bogdanovich

Good luck and have fun

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:19 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:41 pm
Posts: 708
Location: Bothell, WA USA
First name: Jim
Last Name: Hansen
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hey Kyle,

I'm also a first time poster here, although I've been lurking for quite some time.

I started my first kit a month or so ago, and have made quite a bit of progress. Here is a photo album with some pictures of the progress.

http://gallery.me.com/jim_hansen#100024 ... &view=grid

This started out in life as a KMG Deep 000 kit. The mold and sanding forms you see in the pictures are from him. I made a few changes along the way (sound port, bracing, and binding mainly), but it's mostly his stock sapele Deep 000 kit.
http://kennethmichaelguitars.com/index.html

We are in the same neck of the woods. I'm down in Bothell. If you ever get down this way, send me a PM. I'd love to get together and 'talk shop'.

Edit:
You might want to check out Bill Cory's site. He has a lot of resources comparing the various kit manufacturers.
http://kitguitarbuilder.com


Jim Hansen

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:02 pm
Posts: 801
Location: United States
First name: Gene
Last Name: Zierdt
City: Sebastopol
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 95472
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I agree 100% with what Stephen said above. What level of servicing you pick depends very heavily on how
much woodworking you have done before. If you don't have a pretty good shop, getting the kits with pre-formed
sides and neck make completing the assembly a lot simpler, and much less expensive (not requiring side bending
equipment, power saws, router, etc.). I'm not trying to be discouraging, just be realistic about how much
money you want to put into some basic tools above and beyond the basic kit. And in addition to the websites
mentioned above, I found Kathy Matsushita's website invaluable, covering tools needed, detailed notes/pictures
of several builds, just lots and lots of extremely valuable information.

http://home.comcast.net/~kathymatsushita/

Best of luck, its a wonderful hobby, and this is the best forum I've found for it.

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Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason- Mark Twain


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:34 pm
Posts: 970
First name: Rob
Last Name: McDougall
City: Cochrane
State: Alberta
Hello Kyle!

Welcome to the fold.
I also have been recently bitten by the "build bug" as well.
Buy the books as Stephen suggested; what one book glosses over the other is likely to cover in detail.
I went with the a serviced kit from LMI. The servicing cost is very reasonable.
This way you can test your mettle without investing in tons of tools and jigs.....
Keep us posted with your decisions and progress!

Rob


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:59 am
Posts: 1954
Location: Rochester Michigan
Just to point out a contrary view: depending on your degree of lurkitude and prior building skills, you can probably get away without the books.

I've never owned any guitar specific books but I pretty much knew every step of the build before I even got the instructions....of course I've been reading about guitar building on these forums for about 10 years! One of the benefits of not having read the books is that you get the filtered versions of the books with the mistakes removed already.

The instructions and DVD that come with the stew mac kit should be enough to get you through your first build and I expect the others are similar. If you're hooked, you can then go and buy the books.

That said, I'll probably buy the Somogyi book even though I don't plan on building many more guitars (I focus on banduras).

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:08 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:56 am
Posts: 7
Location: Bellingham, WA
First name: Kyle
Last Name: Thon
City: Bellingham
State: WA
Zip/Postal Code: 98226
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I just gotta say i love the vibe im getting from this forum so far.

Im so appreciative of how supportive and encouraging you guys are!

Ive been looking a lot into the LMI serviced kits.

As it is my first build... i do want to make sure and take baby steps...

I just ordered up the Guitarmaking- tradition and technology. Should be a good read and hopefully will help expand my knowledge on a lot of "concept" stuff.

With a serviced kit... what kind of tools will i be needing. i have a good shop space which helps! I just dont have a huge selection of woodworking tools :P


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:43 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:23 pm
Posts: 1694
Location: United States
First name: Lillian
Last Name: Fuller-Watson
State: WA
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Welcome to the forum and the addiction Kyle. Lots to read and think about before you dive in. Are you looking to build a classical or a steel string? Or maybe an electric?

Go through the forum and look for Robbie O'Brien's Tip of the Day videos. Some really cool stuff there.

Do you have a place to build that you can control the relative humidity? We're still deeply entrenched in the wet season and will be for a few more months. Wood as thin as what we use will move quickly with the humidity swings. I have equipment in an unheated garage and use a room in the house as well. I thicknessed some wood that I had store in the garage and brought it in to the house. I put it on the bench while I had to deal with something else. 20 minutes later I go back into the shop, (RH is 43-48%), to find the plates had started to curl. They had curled enough to be unable to use them at this point. So I flipped them over and left them. It too a bit longer, but they flattened out. They were stored in a "wet" environment compared to the shop. The freshly sanded sides were drying out quickly. Once they were flat and I put them in the wood stash with stickers and a weight on top. They are fine now. Controlling RH really isn't something that you can ignore.

Read, ponder. and paw through the archives, but don't be afraid to ask questions. You can't make a mistake that someone else hasn't all ready made.

Check your inbox, PM sent

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:36 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian
Old Growth Brazilian

Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 1:56 am
Posts: 10707
Location: United States
Price/ selection/ quaility/ and all the tech help you could ever need http://www.bluescreekguitars.com/ John's kit can not be beat. Period!!!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:56 am
Posts: 7
Location: Bellingham, WA
First name: Kyle
Last Name: Thon
City: Bellingham
State: WA
Zip/Postal Code: 98226
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Lillian F-W wrote:
Welcome to the forum and the addiction Kyle. Lots to read and think about before you dive in. Are you looking to build a classical or a steel string? Or maybe an electric?

Go through the forum and look for Robbie O'Brien's Tip of the Day videos. Some really cool stuff there.

Do you have a place to build that you can control the relative humidity? We're still deeply entrenched in the wet season and will be for a few more months. Wood as thin as what we use will move quickly with the humidity swings. I have equipment in an unheated garage and use a room in the house as well. I thicknessed some wood that I had store in the garage and brought it in to the house. I put it on the bench while I had to deal with something else. 20 minutes later I go back into the shop, (RH is 43-48%), to find the plates had started to curl. They had curled enough to be unable to use them at this point. So I flipped them over and left them. It too a bit longer, but they flattened out. They were stored in a "wet" environment compared to the shop. The freshly sanded sides were drying out quickly. Once they were flat and I put them in the wood stash with stickers and a weight on top. They are fine now. Controlling RH really isn't something that you can ignore.

Read, ponder. and paw through the archives, but don't be afraid to ask questions. You can't make a mistake that someone else hasn't all ready made.


Awesome advice lillian, thanks again.

More specifically i'm looking at starting with a steel string build.

Thanks for all the info everyone! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:33 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:23 pm
Posts: 1694
Location: United States
First name: Lillian
Last Name: Fuller-Watson
State: WA
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
ThonDeff wrote:
With a serviced kit... what kind of tools will i be needing. i have a good shop space which helps! I just dont have a huge selection of woodworking tools :P


Well I would say at the very least a chisel, a card scraper, fine bladed handsaw, rope and/or tape and sandpaper. It kind of depends on your MacGyver-ness and how serviced your kit is really. The less service you pay for the more tools you will need/want to buy.

This might shine a better light on things.
http://www.kitguitarbuilder.com/ Click on TOOLS.

http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10101&t=19035

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