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 Post subject: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:46 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:54 pm
Posts: 3
First name: Wizard
Last Name: Kelly
City: Lafayete
State: LA
Zip/Postal Code: 70506
Country: United states
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hello everybody, I'm Wizard.


I would like some advice on where to start. I have no woodworking experience and no tools.

I'm really interested in building classical and acoustic guitars.

Any advice on getting started is welcome and appreciated :D


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 5:02 am
Posts: 8494
Location: United States
First name: Lance
Last Name: Kragenbrink
City: Vandercook Lake
State: Michigan
Zip/Postal Code: 49203
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Hi Wizard! I started with a Martin kit and would recommend any first timer to start with a serviced kit. Several of our sponsors sell them. Kits will allow you to get started with minimal tooling. I'm sure you will get lots of advice and encouragement here at the OLF.

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These users thanked the author LanceK for the post: Wizard (Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:53 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:52 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:54 pm
Posts: 3
First name: Wizard
Last Name: Kelly
City: Lafayete
State: LA
Zip/Postal Code: 70506
Country: United states
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks Lance!

Another question:

I see a lot of back and side kits...Where do I get the fronts ?


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:46 am
Posts: 1247
First name: Beth
Last Name: Mayer
City: Tucson
State: AZ
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hi Wizard,
I'm a relative newcomer to lutherie and am building guitars and ukuleles. I agree with Lance that a kit is a great idea. If I were just starting now, I would first purchase an online building course from Robbie Obrien (O'brien Guitars) for either steel string or classical, and watch the whole thing before buying and starting. Robbie is a great teacher and the classes show how to do many processes with alternative tooling for those with different levels of tooling. This will allow you to see the entire process. He addresses everything from assessing the wood to finish and setup. I followed his methods through 2 of my builds, and I don't do any building without referring back to some of the chapters.
As Lance mentioned, many of the sponsors offer kits (Bluescreek Guitars, Luthiers Merchantile Intnl, and StewMac).
Finally, this forum is a wealth of information on all aspects of building and finishing, and there are many experienced builders who give generously of their knowledge. Good luck and welcome….Beth



These users thanked the author Beth Mayer for the post: Wizard (Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:53 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 757
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Wizard wrote:
Hello everybody, I'm Wizard.


I would like some advice on where to start. I have no woodworking experience and no tools.

I'm really interested in building classical and acoustic guitars.

Any advice on getting started is welcome and appreciated :D


Welcome, Wiz. You will get a lot of help and advice here - probably the first thing is to start reading and looking at as many build threads and blogs as you can. I started with a couple of kits and have gradually worked my way to what we fondly call "scratch" building - each guitar involved learning new skills and in some cases, buying new tools.

The advantages of a kit are that most of the hard work or things that require special tools will be done for you, but it is not just assembling parts - you will learn the wood working and other skills. Most kits have the sides bent, neck precarved, fretboard mitered - all these require special equipment. You will require some basic wood working tools and a few special luthier tools - its not uncommon to spend $500 or so getting tooled up. The one main power tool that you will need is a small router - this can be rented from Home Depot or similar when it comes time to install your binding. I once did a little tongue in cheek thread about my minimum shop for building my first couple of kits

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/archives ... 46_0_5_0_C

You'll get good advice here at OLF but most of the people here aren't really building kits. A better forum is dedicated just to kits, you might hang out here in addition to OLF

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/board/index.php

Next, you really should decide exactly what you want to build - kits are available for different steel and classical models. Stewart McDonald ("StewMac") sells nice dreadnaught and 000 kits, as well as many of the tools that we all use. If you do nothing else, download the free pdf of the plans for one of their kits - it will give you an idea of what you are getting into

http://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Su ... itar_Kits/

If you click on one of the kits there will be a tab that takes you to the instructions. My first guitar was similar to their 000, here is an old thread on its build

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/archives ... 25_0_6_0_C

Another good source of kits is LMI, and they have a couple of classical models. They have something called the "kit wizard" (mmmm....) that lets you customize the basic offerings

https://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-wo ... kit-wizard

I built their Hauser copy as a gift for my son

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/archives ... 86_0_6_0_C

Even tho it is not about kits, the one book that you should have in your library is Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology by William Cumpiano. There are many other books, dvds and online resources - read them all. If you can hook up with experienced builders or take a class it will at least help with the special tools and methods.

Take your time, work carefully, ask questions here when something doesn't make sense. I happen to still be playing the first one that I made in 2006 - there is something very special about playing a guitar that you built.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post (total 2): LanceK (Fri May 01, 2015 9:33 pm) • Wizard (Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:28 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:37 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:54 pm
Posts: 3
First name: Wizard
Last Name: Kelly
City: Lafayete
State: LA
Zip/Postal Code: 70506
Country: United states
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thank you all for the advice!


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:33 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:59 pm
Posts: 226
Location: sandwich, kent
State: kent
Country: United Kingdom
Focus: Build
I was in a similar situation and I got a KMG kit and built it having barely ever handled a hacksaw. Ken's forum acousticguitarconstructionforum.com or something like that offered unending and patient support from KEn and other members. The quiality of the wood is also exceptional.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:52 am 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:08 am
Posts: 1315
Location: Raleigh, NC
First name: Steve
Last Name: Sollod
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
All good advise here. I would also recommend getting this book...

Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology by Jonathan Natelson and William Cumpiano

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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:23 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:59 pm
Posts: 226
Location: sandwich, kent
State: kent
Country: United Kingdom
Focus: Build
I also found Kinkead's book very good, it assumes a certain level of woodworking skill but I found it good as a reference.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:14 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:03 pm
Posts: 163
First name: Glenn
Last Name: Aycock
City: El Lago
State: Texas
Zip/Postal Code: 77586
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I'll see your Cumpiano and Kinkead books and raise Bodanovich and Sloane. All of them are excellent resources, but Bogdanovich is full of colorful photos detailing jigs and work methods.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 8:54 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:46 pm
Posts: 254
May I suggest getting a flea market chisel and learning to tune and sharpen it. Getting your tools into working condition is the largest hurdle in any woodworking endeavor. A junk chisel is cheap and will teach you a great deal. Like you, I'm new to Lutherie but I've spent lots of time developing tools and skills neccessary to this process. The chisel exercise helped me a lot.

-j


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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:01 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:52 am
Posts: 1095
City: Oz Tin City Limits
State: Kansas
Zip/Postal Code: 67117
Status: Amateur
Lots of good advice.
May I also add that you to need to control the humidity in your work area.
If you don't it's going to bite you later on.
You also should look at some way to control the dust your going to be creating.
Safety first last and always!
Like Lance I started with a Martin kit, I wish their instructions where a little more comprehensive.
Building guitars is kind of like Lays potato chips few people can build just one.

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Last edited by Dave Rickard on Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Need Advice!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:11 pm 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:02 am
Posts: 250
First name: Daniel
Last Name: Petrzelka
State: Washington
Country: United States
Focus: Build
I started with 2 KMG kits, and they are an wonderful introduction to lutherie. Ken is keen on helping new luthiers get started and build their guitar without a massive investment in tools / jigs / unnecessary supplies. His kits are top quality, and gave me and others a great start.

If you go with a KMG kit, do not read anything other than Ken's Success Kit directions. The instructions he has written combined with the kits he offers, give you clear steps to success. It sounds silly saying that, but its true.

There an many, many great ways to build wonderful sounding instruments, but mixing methods on your first build can lead to heartache and unnecessary challenges. Follow one proven method to build your first - then start down the path of exploring different building approaches.


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