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New kid on the block...
Author
Post
LLR

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 11
Hello all,

I've been "lurking" about for about a week now, and I'm truly impressed by the kindness and willingness of all those involved to share what they've learned. So this is my first post, and while writing this it occurred to me just how strange it was that I happened to find it in the first place. Please bear with me...

One Saturday a couple of weeks ago I went to my favorite guitar shop in Raleigh to have some work done on my Taylor 355ce. While there I had the opportunity to play a Goodall 12-fret OOO that was just simply wonderful . This was my dream guitar - the action and tone were both perfect! I agonized about buying it for over an hour before concluding I couldn't afford the price tag (a relative bargain at $3500), and reluctantly walked away.

Less than an hour later I stopped by a woodworking store and struck up a conversation with the manager. He motioned me into a back room, opened up a case - and showed me a Martin 14-fret OM he had built from a kit! It wasn't quite as nice as the Goodall, but it was pretty darn close. And all the while I kept thinking, "Hey, I can do this!!"

Now I have quite a bit of woodworking experience, but I've never tackled anything as complex as a guitar before. I figured a kit was the way to go, so I got on LMI's "Kit Wizard" last Wednesday (7 May) and went first class. I ordered the OM kit KLPO "semi-serviced" with the following changes:

*Bearclaw Sitka spruce top
*Beeswing Honduran mahogany back and sides
*Bloodwood binding
*Upgraded to the gold-plated Gotoh contoured tuning machines

I went ahead and ordered the sides pre-bent, but the top and back unjoined since I want to try my hand at joining them using a "shooting board". I also ordered the precarved neck and fingerboard. I'd appreciate any wisdom anyone could share concerning this kit!

Thanks to Dave's blog for the heads-up on the difficulties of bending the bloodwood binding, and a big thank you to Bill Cory for hosting this forum. It has truly filled a void on the web, and I've learned much just by "lurking" and reading what everyone has to say! And again, my apologies for such a lengthy post...

So will I end up with an instrument as wonderful as that Goodall, or will I wind up with $600 worth of firewood? I'm ready to find out! ;o)

~Larry

May 15, 08 | 6:23 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
"So will I end up with an instrument as wonderful as that Goodall, or will I wind up with $600 worth of firewood? I'm ready to find out! ;o)"

Somewhere in between.

Welcome to the forum, Larry. You're starting out ahead of the game, since many kit builders (myself being one of them) had no woodworking experience at all, yet the first kit turned out okay.

I'd suggest, in addition to this forum and the various blogs, you go over to www.KitGuitarBuilder.com where you'll find some step-by-step instructional pages.

Welcome!

Bill


May 15, 08 | 7:02 am
Ted

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 158
Welcome to the family Larry. Bill always plays it down! Take it from me, your $600 OM will sound, smell, look, feel and taste (well maybe) better than the Goodall you mention. You will not make a world beating magical guitar, and you may well end up spending the same money feeding your new addiction BUT you will ceratinly get more satisfaction from it that any Goodall.

I (more so than Bill I bet) had NO woodworking knowledge when I started but my first guitar is still the pride of the fleet and I am yet to find one better.

It is a credit to Bill and those that follow that this forum is growing with people that care not for their own importance but for spreading their experience. Hope to see you around the board, sharing your experience.

Ted

May 15, 08 | 7:41 am
LLR

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 11
Thanks fellas!

Hey Bill, I was the guy who fretted over the wrong shipping address for your book yesterday. I'm eagerly anticipating your book as I suspect it will be a good companion to the kits DVD. Oh - and I wasn't joking about the platoon of drunken college students, either! :op

And Ted, yours and David's blogs were the first two I saw on the web. I've really been able to glean quite a bit of knowledge - and courage - off of your two sites. You've done an excellent job for someone who hasn't had any prior woodworking experience; passion and tenacity count for a lot! I especially like the photo of your daughter signing the top.

As for spending money? Well, so far I've pootled away $360 US on a new floor-standing drill press to replace the cheesy little benchtop job I inherited from my dad (that one had ZERO depth control and thus will be turned into a "Luthier's Friend"-style thickness sander - Woo Hoo!!). I've also spent around $120 on a boxed set of 6 Swiss-made Pfeil bench chisels. These are wicked sharp right out of the box! Neither of these two purchases was a waste of money though, since they've both been on my purchase list for a long while and will be of use no matter what I build.

One of the really neat things about this undertaking is the opportunity to build rather than buy tools. I plan on building my own moulds, the thickness sander I mentioned above, radius dishes (thanks for the pics of your routing jig, by the way) and a go-bar deck based in part on the one David shows on his blog. I'm not sure how things are in Australia, but here in the states there seems to be piles of junk just waiting for new life as a jig or tool!

I'm still waiting on my kit to be shipped from LMI. I talked to a rather jovial fellow named Dan last week, who told me it normally takes about a week to service the kits before they're shipped. It should go out any day now; I'll keep you guys posted...

Thanks,
~Larry

May 15, 08 | 8:51 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Ted ... I don't know, Mate, about the woodworking experience, that is. When I wrote, over on www.KitGuitarBuilder.com that I had not built anything since the coat hook in Jr. Hi. School woodshop, I wasn't just peeing in your pocket! (That's apparently an Aussie term meaning that I wasn't kidding... I think. Got it from Andy.) I didn't know what a router was, had never touched a drill press or band saw, and I though that chisels were used only like guys like Michelangelo to make statues. No exaggeration!

I think that's what got me so excited about these kits ... it's a way for guitar-loving guys like us to carry things a step farther, even if they are like you and me, with no woodworking experience.

It's better for guys like us if we start with the Stewmac kits, I think ... Larry -- it sounds like you are 'way ahead on that count and the LMI kit should be great for you!

Bill

May 15, 08 | 10:54 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Hi Larry,
Congratulations on ordering your kit. I am another fairly new convert to the building process and the forum. I have been stalled for a few weeks, but have my sides glued, kerfed and contoured. I have split the bracewood and am ready to make the braces.....the next step once I can get to it again.
So far I have received much satisfaction from the process. I love the smell and feel of the wood and envisioning what the finished product will be like.

I got a LMI Dred kit with Palo Escrito back and sides and rosewood binding. Did you order the bloodwood binding pre bent? If you didn't, you may want to contact LMI and have them do it before they ship. It is not much more $$ when having it done as part of the kit, and I think it will save you some headache. Just something you may want to consider.

Good luck, and we would all like to see pictures of your progress as you get along with it. Good'day.

Kevin

May 15, 08 | 11:30 am
LLR

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 11
Thanks Kevin,

I'm a part-time college student, so I know what it's like to be stalled on a project! It sounds like you're well on your way on yours, and I wish you the best in your endeavor. I agree with you completely on how a project such as this can excite the senses and arouse your imagination.

I didn't order pre-bent binding as I wanted to gain some bending experience in this whole process. I've gathered that solid wood binding - and bloodwood in particular - has a reputation for being rather hard to bend, but David's blog outlines one solution:

http://davidsguitar.blogspot.com/2007/03/day-49-continued-ding-ding-ding-ding-i.html

One of the local woodworking shops carries bloodwood as a relatively inexpensive stock item, so it's no big deal if I break a kit-supplied binding in the process. I'll just mill a new set and start over. Besides, I'm sure you'll agree that it's a heckuva lot cheaper than cracking a side!

~Larry

May 15, 08 | 12:08 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Hi Larry! Welcome to the group! The fact that you have woodworking exeperience is a huge plus, your planning and setup for each step of the build will be better thaought out and understood than most. Honestly, I don't think this is any more complex to build than a rocking chair, whcih I have never attempted, and would be a bit hesitant to try because of my own lack of skills. It only gets scary and complicated when you start thinking of the reasons behind why things are done the way they are, and then start thinking "I wonder what would happen if...." At that point, things get complicated very quickly, and you become well and truly hooked, like the rest of us. I am on number 5 6 and 7. Planning 8, 9, 10, dreaming of 11, wishing for 12, and dreading what my wife will say when I finish 13. you see how it goes. Have a lot of fun, there are no stupid questions hear, and DO PICTURES!

www.nocturnalguitars.com

May 15, 08 | 7:59 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
My Lord, please forgive my spelling above. I type quite a bit faster than I can think sometimes, which may not say much....

May 15, 08 | 8:04 pm
LLR

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 11
Hello all,

Thanks for all the well-wishes and such. It's really nice to be so well-received on a forum like this, and I hope I'll be able to add as much to the "body of knowledge" here as I've gained.

A couple of things going on today. First, my kit has shipped - Woo Hoo!!!! Also, I went to Lowe's and bought a sheet of 3/4" MDF for the moulds and such. Geez, I've forgotten how heavy a sheet of that stuff is! I was able to cut out two 2' diameter circle blanks (for the dishes) before the rain set in (by the way, does anyone know right off hand the proper radii for the LMI OM kits?).

This just keeps getting better by the day. Now, if I could just clean out the shop...

~Larry

May 16, 08 | 4:09 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
If you could do that, you'd just mess it up again. thats the problem I keep having.

May 19, 08 | 7:40 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Hey Larry,
I'm using 30' radius for the top and 15' radius for the back on my LMI Dred.
I don't remember where I read to use these radiuses. Probably somewhere in Bill's book. I like an arched look on the back so I wanted a bit more there, and didn't want to much of a defined arch on the top but understand it is good to have a little arch. From what I am understanding it is more about preference than what is the proper radii, but then, I am hardly the expert here.

Sounds like you are excited about the kit coming. Wait till you start building, then the real excitement begins. WOO HOO!!

Kevin

May 19, 08 | 11:32 am
LLR

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 11
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for letting me know; somehow 30' and 15' sound about right.

And yes, I'm really excited about the kit's arrival. I periodically checked its progress through the weekend and was dismayed to keep seeing "Reno, NV - in transit". All I can say is I hope it had a good time! ;o) It surfaced near Atlanta during yesterday's wee hours, so I'm expecting it any time now.

Now I'm drooling all over the keyboard - anyone got a paper towel handy?

May 21, 08 | 2:50 am



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