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


What do you do with 'em?

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 5
I am in the process of putting together my second kit. The first was about 4 years ago, it was a stewmac dred. This one is a 00 12 fret from John Hall. I have about a dozen guitars.
I am doing this one because I think I will love having and playing a 00 12 fret (and I like the process). I figure each of my 2 sons will inherit the ones I build. I have no dreams of becoming a real luthier. So, I am wondering if you, like me, keep and play the guitars you build, or ?

May 23, 10 | 8:26 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
I started by giving away and selling at what I had in them. Today I can sell all I make. You have to start somewhere.

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

May 24, 10 | 3:25 am

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
So, do you go on craigslist or somewhere and advertise something like 'entry level handmade guitar, price is cost of materials?'

May 24, 10 | 6:52 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
I wouldn't advise it. Start with friends and family. Make sure they thoroughly understand what they're getting in to. Think of them as investors in your thing. If you can, let em play something you've built. Then move on to friends-of-friends.

I wasn't going to build a guitar at all until I felt like it would be playable. I spent years putting together electric parts guitars and fiddling on my own, and doing mild repairs before building my first acoustic. (It's a keeper!!) It's my main guitar now.

The guitars I'm building now are for friends. They pay for materials and give me a little extra for my time. I won't sell a guitar to someone I don't know and charge a lot for it until I'm confident it's a world-class instrument. I don't know how long it will take me to get to that point.

This is just me, but I have never kept guitars around that I didn't use. Right now I have 3. My first was a 000. I also have 2 telecasters. All acoustics I build from now on will go to others, that pay for them. But I may build a dred for myself some day.

May 24, 10 | 11:19 am

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
I had it in mind to sell to someone I didn't know and charge only a little.

May 25, 10 | 12:30 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
My first one, a LMI kit was always intended for me, and it plays and sounds great, so I plan to keep it. The second, a LMI unserviced kit was built as a commission build for my boss. He is happy. The 3rd (almost done) and 4th guitars are give-a-ways for my son-in-law and his brother, both players. The 5th is going to be for me. I have a lovely B & S set of Claro Walnut for this OM. After that, I don't know. I would make another to sell if someone wanted to buy it, however, I think to keep the pressure off, I would prefer to make a "spec" guitar, and then sell it rather than make one to order.
I quit doing custom make to order knives long ago, and it really took some of the stress out of what is now a spare time hobby.
I can't imagine I could make a living making guitars, but I sure would like to be able to perpetuate the hobby once I'm retired, and selling one here and there would help pay for the materials!!


May 25, 10 | 1:31 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
I've sent five to soldiers, three to family and friends, one to a church - playing the rest. Some will be for sale when I get the finish on them.


May 26, 10 | 3:31 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
Kevin it sounds like you and I are thinking about it exactly the same way.

Bill, I didn't know you had sent five to soldiers. I think that's amazing and wonderful. Very cool.

May 26, 10 | 4:21 am

Total Topics: 7
Total Posts: 18
I haven't finished my first but I already have a cousin who wants me to build him one, so the 2nd won't be far behind. I plan on just having him pay for the supplies and do the work for free because he's family, I enjoy building them, and I'm not confident enough in my building skills yet to charge someone for my time. Maybe once I have a half dozen under the belt I'ld venture into selling them.

May 27, 10 | 5:44 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Good for you, Bill!!

I am currently building my 6th, which will be given away. Gave away another, sold one, and have kept the rest.


May 27, 10 | 12:46 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Guys --
Since we live in Colorado Springs, where Fort Carson (big Army base) is located, and lots of military families go to our church, I just let out the word that I had some guitars to give away. I asked the families to pay for the cases and arrange the shipping, so it cost them about $50 or so, and there were plenty of takers.

There is one website still operating for donating musical instruments to soldiers, in case any of you guys want to donate of your guitars. There were a couple more but I looked for them and they've shut down.

Check it out:

Anyway ... If you're like me, you know objectively that your very early builds aren't good enough to sell, you don't want to give the first ones to relatives who might not value them because they're "kinda rough" (you know?) ... but you also know that those guys and gals who are following orders to fight for freedom in a country where it's an uphill battle at best, hotter than you-know-where, and they'd rather be here doing what we're doing -- they LOVE a guitar that they can relax with, ham it up with, become a YouTube Soldier Rocker with. No better use for them. Not that mine are totally terrible, but they were beginner builds, after all. I didn't master these skills as quickly as a lot of you guys did!

Ken C. -- bein' brutally honest, if my builds were as nice as yours, I don't know if I would have been so quick to give 'em.


May 27, 10 | 3:59 pm

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Up to now (#10) I did not sell a guitar. As many of you I think a guitar should meet the expectations of a "handbuild" guitar. In sound and appaerance.
All builds were financed by the owners (all happy btw) but I did not take any extras. maybe we are a bit too humble.
And to be honest I think I'm about to enter the area of guitars that can be sold. Gives me the punch to make them on a even more higher level.

May 29, 10 | 2:36 am

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
I've made and kept 13. Some probably shouldn't be counted. The nice thing about keeping them is that if you learn something new you can try it on one of your own. Nothing much inside, of course, but finish and neck sets and binding etc. can be done many times over.

May 29, 10 | 3:26 pm

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