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Classical Guitar Kit
Author
Post
Beppe

Total Topics: 7
Total Posts: 24
I did my best on my first Guitar Kit, and I'm very proud of how my 000 Stewmac is coming out. I've been asked for two 000 Stewmac and one classical.
I found Classical guitar kits only on LMI site, but I don't know where to ask for a suitable mold. Any hint? Thanks.

Nov 24, 07 | 9:29 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Does LMII provide a drawing with the kit? What model is the Kit? The are many, many popular classic designs. Let me know I may have a suitable mold. Did you or are going to buy the kit "serviced" -- pre-bent sides etc. Note that a classic mold must have a removable neck/foot section to accomodate the Spanish style construction method. The sides are assembled directly to the neck. A simple guitar shaped mold will not work properly.

Ken

www.kennethmichaelguitars.com

Nov 24, 07 | 10:22 am
Beppe

Total Topics: 7
Total Posts: 24
They say: LMI Classical Serviced, quartersawn Spanish Cedar neck w/traditional Spanish heel.
Tho it's 40 years I'm playing guitar, I only know Kono, Yamaha, Ramirez, Kaway classic guitars but I don't know how they're made out. It would be better if I could learn on the web as much as I learned about acoustic guitars.
I've seen your molds, but I thought they were not simple as those seen on John Hall website.
Who knows the differences between acoustic and classical guitar - in size, shape, height of the sides?
I have three classical guitars, ALL DIFFERENTS!, a dreadnought 12 stings and a APS acoustic Yamaha. If you ask me which shape I'd like best, I'd say none of them, maybe Yamaha classical, but the best I've seen is a Ramirez, similar to a Kono. But what about a mold? Is your mold useful for the LMI classical? Never tried it?

Nov 24, 07 | 11:14 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
I think you may be missing my point, LMII is not selling a kit of a brand of guitar. they are selling a guitar designed by someone -- who and what model? And do they provide a print? So when you have the drawing or print you do know the differences. And I'd need know, so I can tell you if I had that shape. And yes I have many customers that use my Multi Style mold to build Classic guitars --I have no idea if they buy their components from LMII or if they are building from kits. Have I built Classic guitars in my molds- Yes. Have I personally tried building an LMII kit in one of my molds -- No.

Ken

Nov 24, 07 | 12:17 pm
Beppe

Total Topics: 7
Total Posts: 24
You're right, Ken, but LMI doesn't mention any print or drawing. Yet there's no pic of the kit they're selling. The only guitar made by an LMI kit was on Bill Cory's book, just a pic of a completed classic guitar, nothing more.
Classical guitar you've built where from a kit?
Anyway, your mold is in my mind if I ever find the right kit.
Thanks again, Beppe

Nov 24, 07 | 12:30 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
The only kits I have ever built are the ones I sell. I started in the business scratch building classics many, many years ago. Currently, I do not offer a Classic kit and they are not in the short range plans. Beppe if you get more info from LMII let me know -- I am not opposed to marketing a Mold that will accomodate their kit. For those following this thread, a classic mold differs from a steel string in construction mainly in the fact that the neck and body are intergrated so, the whole assembly needs to be in the mold/form at the same time.

Ken

Nov 24, 07 | 12:49 pm
Beppe

Total Topics: 7
Total Posts: 24
OK, Ken, thanks

Nov 24, 07 | 1:17 pm
Dave

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 31
I have been looking at the same kit from LMI. But decided to build a steel string first as a first effort. The LMI classical does come with plans which are described as --1937 Hauser -- The LMI part number is PL64 and this comes bundled with their kit, or can be purchased separately. Their description of the plan is lengthy and is found under the books and plans section.

Dave

Nov 24, 07 | 1:56 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Thanks Dave -- since they want $32 for that plan I never bought it -- seems a little steep to me.

Ken

www.kennethmichaelguitars.com

Nov 24, 07 | 2:18 pm
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
I built the LMI classical as my second.

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/forum/threads.php?id=186_0_6_120_C

They furnished a very nice print of Segovia's 1937 Hauser, which the kit is roughly patterned after. I used that to build a mold (which was a little too flimsy - I would do it differently next time). Of course many (most) classicals are built on a work board called a "solara" or something similar (there are discussions in Cumpiano and on the MIMF) and don't use a mold at all.

Building a classical raises some interesting questions not normally faced while building a steel string. The Spanish heel neck joint means that the neck angle is set very early in the contruction process - I bolted the whole top and neck through the workboard and kind of clamped the mold on to hold the sides in the right position. Frankly I was winging a lot of this as I went along. It was pretty simple to notch the mold to fit the heel of the neck and since you will be doing a lot of planing to get the neck angle and relief right there is some tolerance here.

Remember a couple of more things about LMI kits - their braces are not pre cut (no biggie if you have a band saw) and you probably should have the rosette installed by them (they are pretty fragile). There are two ways to do the fretboard relief - plane the board or the neck. I did the board, but pre-slotted ebony chips pretty badly and you will need to deepen the slots. Next time I would consider planing the neck (I also had to have the fretboard thickness sanded - it was way too thick.

Mine came out great - I gifted it to my son. I have a lot more notes if I can be of further assistance.



Nov 26, 07 | 7:28 am
damian

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 19
I'm probably not the right person to answer this as I'm only early on building my first guitar, but anyway for what it's worth:

I bought the LMI serviced flamenco kit. I don't know of anyone else offering a classical/flamenco kit and if there is I'd like to know. There are a lot of things you probably need to know before you order, and you need to make some decisions. LMI are really good but they can't read your mind. From all I've read the other vendors are also as helpful as they can be, but it's unreasonable to expect them to answer questions your not asking.

First you need to decide what your going to build, what you want to end up with, and how much of the work you want to do. The best way to do this is to read some books on classical guitars and on building them. Try your local library.

I have to say I always am bewildered when I read steel string builders talking about the spanish heel. I guess anything unfamiliar is a bit confronting but from my perspective it's just a different way of doing it. Those darn dovetails look a lot more intimidating :D

The neck LMI supply needs the top shaped to your preference and some other minor work but is otherwise finished. It will save you a lot of time. As Freeman says I strongly recommend you get your top joined and the rosette inlayed. It saves you a LOT of work in a critical area that can really go wrong.

If I had my time again I'd ask that the top back and sides be thicknessed to final dimension or very close. I have to hand thickness mine down about 1mm and I don't know how I'm going to do the prebent sides. Not a disaster but if I'd known...

If you opt for prebent sides they only do one classical profile as far as I know. While classicals have different proportions the difference isn't huge and you should be able to sort it out. If you choose to use a mould just email LMI and ask for the widths of the upper and lower bout, the waist and the length of the body. Also ask for the plate thicknesses from the plan you will work to. They should give that info via email prior to your ordering. Then supply the info to Ken and he will advise if his mould will work. At worst you will have to make your own mould as I am doing right now. I recommend getting the back, sides and top thicknessed close to final dimensions.

I recommend the DVD LMI can include with the kit order. I am not following many of his methods but the DVD is very clear, detailed and well worth the money. Most people recommend "Guitar Making, Technology and Tradition" as the best book. While it's very good I personally find it a bit frustrating. They chop back and forth between steel string and classical and I find it hard to go back and find specific stuff. I'm looking at buying one of the other books specifically on nylon string construction, but we shall see. Obviously you can't have a DVD laying open on your workbench.

Personally I think the nylon string guitars look easier to build than steel strings, but I may be wrong on that. They are a bit different though.

Nov 26, 07 | 7:54 pm
Beppe

Total Topics: 7
Total Posts: 24
Thanks, Damian, you (almost) get the target more than others.
I'm looking for a classical -not flamenco- guitar kit with thiknessed top, back and sides, with pre-bent sides, pre-shaped neck, maybe pre-cut rosette and a full size plan or a good instruction book with the braces well shown.
I found very good the PRE preparation StewMac give to their kits. I glued the rosette inlays and it was easy. I thiknessed to fine the neck, and I got a good neck.
The guitar shape I'm looking for is something like any Yamaha or Ramirez or Kono (they're almost the same, with the Yamaha a little smaller than the Kono).
In the past I built violins and viola da gamba and from that experience I found easier to build a Acoustic guitar. The difficult is the finishing, but I'm working hard.
My brother asked me for a classical one, so that's all...

Nov 26, 07 | 8:21 pm
damian

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 19
you get all that with LMI, and they inlayed the rosette on mine. I don't know how different the sides on a Ramirez are to the Hauser, but if you build with a mold the pre bent sides should work. They open up a bit after bending so you have to push them into shape anyway.

You can substitute the Ramirez plan for the Hauser, the 66 is only $12, but be aware that will give you a bigger deeper sounding guitar. I'm building a rather smaller guitar using sides bent to the hauser mould so you should be ok. The Ramirez 66 has a longer scale also so you either have to substitute a different pre slotted board or slot your own. The 1912 ($22) should be smaller and closer to the Hauser (Hauser copied a Ramirez shown to him by Sergovia), again the scale length is slightly longer, but you can probably just make it 650mmm.

The cumpiano book relies on accurate bending of the sides. You'll only get that if you bend your own sides. If you use a mould it should be near enough with prebent sides...

I got a set of courtnell plans with mine. There is plenty of detail and the scale is accurate to less than 1mm.

If you ask the questions on mimf someone will know better than me. They can probably advise which design would produce the sound your looking for and differences in body sizes. I know a bit about classicals because I've been playing them all my life, but I've not had access to the great guitars to compare. Generally the newer guitars are at the larger end of the scale and a bit deeper in sound. A Torres is much smaller, more like a 000, and there is a trend back to smaller classicals on now, with people like Romanillos, but a lot of them are the larger body. There really isn't much in it. If you ask LMI they will be able to tell you which plans can be built from their prebent sides.

Hope that helps.

If you search the library there is a link to a very comprehensive tutorial on french polishing. You don't have to go to as much trouble as they recommend and from all accounts it's no more time consuming nor bother than the laquer finishes steel string makers use.

Nov 27, 07 | 3:57 pm



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