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Kits in quantity

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 51
Hey all, as some of you may know, I am a Marine stationed out here at Camp Pendleton, Ca. Well I happened to visit a friend of mine who I will never ever play guitar in front of because he is classically trained and I feeling like a complete beginner after listening to him play. Anyway, he was very impressed with what I was able to do and he told me about a guy who works in the woodshop/ craft center that they have here on base and how they do different workshops for different projects that they guys and gals can sign up for to take at night.

To make a long story short, he asked me if I would be interested in giving a class on building kit guitars. I thought that it would be a great idea, but I also know how costly kits can be. I guess my main question would be if anyone knew if any of the kit manufacturers sell in large quantities at a cheaper price for such classes?

As you all very well know, we in the military dont get paid that much, so it would be hard for me to get attendance for the young guys if they were having to pay 400 dollars for the kits. I just know how much joy that this build has brought to me, especially by being a player myself and I would love to help others out in the process of learning this wonderful skill that we all have.

Jan 10, 08 | 7:00 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Blaine -- At the request of the local Woodcraft store, to give a class on building using kits, I have been trying for months to work out a pricing deal with kit providers -- I've tried Stewmac (10% max discount on quantity), LMI (no discounts), US Guitars (Must by 2 prebuilt guitars and 16 kits --and theirs aren't "kits" -- they're already half built), KMG (can't get the price down far enough), and others ....

Seems that when it comes to guitar kits, you can't get past the labor and time part of putting together the components.

I've given up, since the only answer would be to go through China. Fuggeddaboudit!

Keep us posted; if you find something, I'd surely be interested. (Being military, you might get someone to work with you who wouldn't work with me and Woodcraft ...)


Jan 11, 08 | 5:33 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Sounds like a great idea Blaine. I wish I had some thoughts or contacts for you....I don't, but keep us posted on your progress. You might want to call Martin.....someone in management or marketing outside the 1833 shop. They might be able to pull off some sort of marketing by donating some of their seconds and thirds parts to military kits. They have enough of the stuff.

Jan 11, 08 | 6:10 am

Total Topics: 11
Total Posts: 94

I know through reading the quarterly newsletter, Wood and Steel, from TaylorGuitars, that they at one time sponsored guitar making in a few high schools in that area. You may want to give Taylor a try as well.


Jan 11, 08 | 7:02 am

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 19
Another option would be to downspec a LMI kit. I just had a quick poke at the unserviced steel string and with tuners got it down to $222, no strings or services. That was no 2nd quality wood either, just rosewood fingerboard, cheaper top and back etc.

Depends on what you want to do of course, will they be doing every operation ? Or do you want a serviced kit. And do you want to do a steel string ? jumbo or OM ?

You know if there isn't much of a discount it provides the opportunity for each student to order the kit they want rather than one dictated by the course. Could be a nice thing.

Sounds like a great idea...

Jan 13, 08 | 6:41 pm

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 51
Well with the class of say 10 individuals, I would probably like to at least get them started by doing a serviced Kit. I do not have the equipment to do the bending. It would be nice if I could have everyone order what they want, but with this just being an introduction it may be easier to get the same for everyone. Plus they may choose some woods which are more difficult than others to work with. For this it may be best to use the K.I.S.S. method.

Jan 13, 08 | 7:44 pm

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 15

Sounds like going to one of the large manufacturers and asking for some seconds might hold the best chance of working. Many of the woodworking forums have some type of a program where they turn pens or make things to send our troops. Some of the suppliers have jumped on the idea and are also doing things for our troops. Maybe Martin, Taylor, Gibson etc… would be interested in helping out.

Here’s some other ideas:
Remember…Added to the cost of the kit, the cumulative cost of some of the specialized tool can be pretty high. Even if you “share” most of these tools, the kit cost is just the beginning. You might consider offering the class in several levels.
One – They buy their own kit.
Two – find a way to offer “scholarships” through local business or personal participation. I have a buddy working at the USO at LAX…wonder if they might be able to sponsor a scholarship?....I’ll ask him.
Three - Form a building team and order one kit for the team to build. There are so many steps…there would be plenty of things for everyone to do & learn. Who ends up with the finished guitar??? Auction it off, fundraiser, sell it, have a drawing among the team, fight for it or burn it in a team-building bon-fire bonding celebration. Or maybe, especially if they help out, leave it in the USO so troops traveling through could play it during their stop.

Good luck and if you ever “visit” Lejeune, look me up.

John W

Jan 14, 08 | 12:50 pm

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 15
Talked to my buddy at the USO. Said that they could not support the effort directly because their funding is all donations and all posted into designated funds. might be possible to arrange for the USO to set up a designated fund to support your efforts. That way a private individual or business could donate & designate to that fund and their contribution could be tax deductible. I say "could" because I'm no accountant.

This might be better "incentive" for one of the larger manufacturere to help out. They could be supporting you and fellow soldiers while writing off some inventory at the same time.

San Diego has two USO's, one downtown and one at the airport. The airport location is probably closest to you. He's going to bring this up in a meeting next week just as a courtesy and see if the idea has merit. I believe folks from many of the USO's in So Cal will be present. I'll let you know what he says.

John W

Jan 14, 08 | 1:51 pm

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 51
Wow John, Thank you very much. It never crossed my mind to contact the USO. I truly appreciate you talking to your friend. I look forward to hearing what he has to say.

Jan 14, 08 | 6:54 pm

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