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who sells om cutaway kit with complete instructions?

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Hi everyone, I have just bough Bills brilliant book and joined this forum.

2 quick questions- I want to build a om size rosewood and ironidack cutaway, with hardwood binding and purfling from a kit.

Which is the best route, as Stewmac Lmi and Martin dont seem to offer such a combination?

Also I will need complete instructions so where would I source this? ( I am practical and have some wood working experience but no luthier experience)

Finally, I am in the UK ( the land of good manners and bad teeth!) so a bit afraid that sending any faulty bits back would delay the project. What would you suggest?

Oops that 3 questions..
I would appreciate any advice- thanks in advance
regards Vince

Dec 03, 09 | 3:11 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Either John Hall or Ken Cierp (the two sponsors of the forum; see their ads on the front page) could provide such a kit, most likely.

If you get it from Ken, he provides instructions. If you get it from John, you can use my Martin kit manual (see forum Home Page).

Welcome to the forum!


Dec 03, 09 | 4:41 am

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
You can also have LMI bend any side configuration that you want out of almost any wood. If you are going to do a wood binding, have it bent at the same time on the same jig - the fit will be much better.

If you want to do a florentine cutaway (sharp point) I've seen people simply cut the upper bout and flip the side over - putting some sort of wedge block at the point. You should be able to find plans for that at MIMF or GAL.

Here is the link to the LMI side bending page, looks like a hundred bucks for a OM cut

then get their PL34 plans (remember that some of their plans are as you were looking thru the top - the braces are actually mirrored from what you will see when you lay them out. If you run thru their kit wizard you can select all these parts and options as you put the kit together and get exactly what you want.

Last comment, LMI does have an overseas shipping department which can deal with all the CITES and other issues.

Dec 03, 09 | 10:39 am

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Total Posts: 668
Little anecdote - I was watching Charlie Fox (the guy that invented the Fox side bender) demonstrating a venitian cutaway when midway thru the demo there was a loud "crack". Charlie pulled the broken mahogany side out of the bender and said "stuff happens..."

Dec 03, 09 | 10:43 am

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Total Posts: 668
Another thought on this whole subject, I would spend a lot of time looking at GAL and MIMF threads on cutaways - there are a dozen ways to handle the neck block, heel and side - some simpler that others, some more elegant. I personally like the ones where the sides seem to flow into the heel, but they are much harder to build. Good luck and post some pics

Here are a few quick hits from MIMF - I know there are lots more

Dec 03, 09 | 10:59 am

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Total Posts: 3
Hi, what a fantastic site- thanks for all your import especially Mr/ms freeman for taking all that trouble to help this novice. I can see I need to do a little moreresearch as to what i actually wantto achieve before I order it. I am still trying to work out the diference between a florentine and venitian cutout in terms of guitar tone, ease of build and playability. Do any of you have thoughts on this matter? Thanks again

Dec 03, 09 | 2:33 pm

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
My opininon, and you know what they say about opinions,

florentine - butt ugly but probably much easier to build. Making the binding look good at the point will be a hassle

venitian - much prettier, but you need to do the bending. Binding will be much easier

scrolls (like a mandolin) - a complete pain in the rear (I built an F5).

I'll add the thought that unless you are Alex de Grassi or someone like that, I believe that most of us simply do not need a cutaway. Acoustic guitars tend to intonate badly as you go up the necks and often the action and string tension make them pretty hard to play much above the 14th frets (unlike an electric). In fact, all of my favorite guitars are only 12 frets clear and have no cut (and I play a lot of bottleneck at the 12th fret).

Neither would be easier or harder to play - the whole idea is to give access to frets above 14. I would think that the way you do the neck heel would influence your hand position on the back of the neck.

The effects of a cutaway on tone has been debated long and hard - with arguements that there is almost no effect to fairly significant. Certainly the air volume is a little less which would increase the Helmholtz resonance (remove a little bass, add a little treble) and the smaller upper bout might increase some of those higher dipoles (search for so called Chaldni or "glitter" patterns). I recall seeing an article on this in one of the Guild of American Luthier Red books, but it was all pretty theoretical Unfortunately actually comparing guitars is pretty difficult - finding two that are identical in every other way is not easy.

As long as I am expressing opinions, seriously consider building something fairly standard as your first - a cut is just going to complicate it a lot. Once you are happy with that one, do your research and build your dream.

Others will have different opinions..... What ever you do, good luck and we want to see the pictures

Dec 03, 09 | 3:13 pm

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Vince, in an attempt to dig myself out of the hole that I think I just put myself into, let me say that one of the nicest executions of a venitian cutaway is the one by Seattle luthier Rick Davis on the March page of Bill's calender. Rick gives guitar building classes and he might be able to put together a kit with the correct parts to make one like it. Here is his web site

William Cumpiano, the author of the book "Guitar Making - Tradition and Technique" also has a beautiful cutaway 12 string in the book and on his web page and he also does guitar building courses. He might be able to help with the thnigs you need.

Dec 03, 09 | 5:48 pm

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Total Posts: 668
This was just posted on MIMF

Dec 07, 09 | 11:02 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

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Total Posts: 1011
I have the ooo OM also in Cutaway . I have been doing them for years. Let me know what you need and we can get you what you need
again thanks
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

Jan 03, 10 | 10:06 am
Ken C

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Total Posts: 554
Welcome to the forum, Vince! Not much more I can add. You have some good leads here. My first guitar was an OMC. Everyone should have an OM cutaway!!


Jan 03, 10 | 1:35 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
My Apologies: This was deleted by accident.
Originally posted by ken Cierp:
From: Ken Cierp

Our KMG OM/00014 prototype cutaway and construction manual is near completion, a general overview of the process will be on the KMG website very soon. A more detailed set of instructions will be included with the kit but "will not" be published on-line.

To get it right --- there are several process deviations from standard body guitar construction. The included manual explains mold modification required to delineate trim points, establish proper alignments and provide clamp clearance. A mold shaped like a cutaway guitar is no help in establishing these critical dimensional requirements.

A special cutaway bending machine that has form fitting custom cauls and variable tension adjusters was constructed to assure precise location points and most importantly accurate bends that are less prone to spring back ---- the Taylor, Martin and Doolin processes were used as engineering models.

For now --- the OM/00014 is the only body style that will be offered in the cutaway version.


Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Jan 05, 10 | 7:02 am

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