You are currently viewing Kit Guitar Forum archives. To view the current forums go to


First 000
Ian Burdon

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 18

Rear of the huitar before the bridge was fixed. The binding on the guitar together with the heel cap and end flash are maple.

The finish was a couple of coats of french polish to seal and then several thin coats of Danish Oil. The result is a vintage look

What a feeling - just picking!

The last pic. is of the 000 with my Don Kawalek kit octave mandolin

Nov 24, 09 | 1:12 pm
Ian Burdon

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 18
I should add that the pics are taken in my kitchen and the guitar was entirely built in there on the board on which the guitar is resting in the first picture

Nov 24, 09 | 1:17 pm

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 23
Nice build Ian!

Nov 24, 09 | 4:14 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Nice Ian! Congratulations -- A really clean and attractive build -


Nov 25, 09 | 6:54 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Very nice! I am thinking of either danish-oiling or staining the neck black on my sisters zebra om, how do you like the Danish oil?

Nov 25, 09 | 8:59 am
Ian Burdon

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 18
Thanks Ken

Danish oil is simple to use. I applied it like french polish (cotton wool wads wrapped in strips of cotton from an old t-shirt) so it took a while with lots of thin coats and the occasional sanding. It took quite a time to get a good finish - especially on the rosewood. I finished it with a little wax.

Although I find it a very attractive finish - and it is easy to touch up if need be. It isn't quite such a barrier to dings as a hard lacquer. That's OK with me but others may have a different view.

Nov 25, 09 | 9:20 am

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Very nice build Ian! I like the mandolin as well. Never played an octave mandolin.

Dec 08, 09 | 3:51 pm
John S.

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 94
Very nice, tasteful build, Ian. I know it gets said again and again here, but it's worth saying again-- there's nothing like tuning up and making music on a guitar that you know from top to bottom, especially the first one.


Dec 08, 09 | 4:38 pm

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 5
How did you like that Don Kawalek kit octave mandolin? I've been eyeing one of those.


Dec 14, 09 | 8:05 am
Ian Burdon

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 18
Charlies3, the Octave Mando was the first instrument that I built and convinced me that I could manage a guitar. The kit was great with slightly more to do than the Stew Mac guitar in that the neck requires a lot more shaping. The instructions were fine and Don is usually on the end of an email if you encounter any problems.

The Octave Mando kit does not come with any binding or rosette so if you want them you'll need to sort it out seperately. Also, given that it is a redwood top on mine, I would probably have preferred gold effect rather than nickel tuners and endpiece. These are minor quibbles though.



Dec 15, 09 | 11:25 am
Ian Burdon

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 18
OK: a few months on and the 000 continues to be my main guitar around the house. Sure there are mistakes in the build - but they're my mistakes! I've gigged it a couple of times too and had no problems.

I have been struggling to find strings that work with it. I started out with DR Medium Phosphor-bronze (12 - 54) but switched quite quickly to D'Addario lights (0.11 - 0.52) to lose some tension. Later I changed on a whim to Martin Silk'n'Steel (0.115 - 0.47) to reduce tension further and try and get that 1960s "folk" sound. They were fine to play but the sound wasn't that great. However today I put on a set of Martin Silk & Phosphor (0.11 - 0.47) and I think that these might be THE strings which makes the difference. I'll need to make some very slight adjustments to the action but the sonic transformation is remarkable


May 18, 10 | 11:59 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Give John Pearce Phosphor Bronzes a try, though not always my favorite, I keep coming back to them for a few differnet guitars. I am having a hard time remaining consistant with my they age, I find the same strings don't sound so good, and I have to go through the search all over agian. fun, but just a little frustrating.

May 18, 10 | 6:25 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Congrats on your 000, Ian! Looks like a nice guitar. I do like pyramid bridges.


May 28, 10 | 4:36 am

You must be a registered and logged in member to post in this forum