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My #2, a KMG 0M EIR/Engelmann Spruce

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 261
It appears that my original post on this kit got lost in the transition.
I never put up much on it except to show the original pieces.
I'm building this for my daughter, Joey. So I'm starting the thread again.
Ken provided me with a great back and side set and the top is really cool. I think I can see some silking in it, which I really hope is there. He made me a rosette with abalone and rosewood for the middle.
My inlaying of it was a bit rough, and I had to do some doctoring, but under finish, it should be ok.
The binding will be bloodwood with probably w/r/w/r purfling on top and w/r/w on the back. I'm not sure yet how I feel about that much purfling.
My daughter likes red, hence the bloodwood.

Here's the back and the 5 piece neck (mahogany, maple, bloodwood).

The top with the bracing being clamped down. I later took the top and back to Steve Kinnaird for a critique. He and Ryan Middlebrook gave me some great advice about thinning and the proper height for each brace. On my first build, I pretty much left the braces as I received them from StewMac, and probably have it very over-braced. This will be a bit looser. I've already forgot what they said that would do to the sound - will find out when I get it finished. I had read what Ken's Assembly Manual said about the bracing, and told Steve and Ryan what I thought when I got there, and they reinforced his information. I'm a very visual person and comparing their bracing of guitars with this just made Ken's information a bit more vivid to me.

Notice the cam clamps? Ken sent them with the kit (a slight extra charge). Making them is more fun than using them!!!
By the way, I won't get into pricing, but with the laminated neck and the 6 cam clamps, I paid close to what I did for the Mahogany and Sitka kit from StewMac. Ken is very fair with his prices and his support is excellent.

Here are the sides and the binding.

More to follow in a minute.
Thanks for looking.


Jul 20, 10 | 4:54 pm

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
I didn't take a lot of pictures of the rest of the bracing or the setting of the neck block, tailblock, etc., but here's a picture of the top being glued to the sides. One thing I had forgot was the horizontal strip across the top up near the neck block was resting a bit on the block. I just chiseled away the part that was. I should have gone back to my notes and Ken's instructions to see if I messed up the location of the sound hole. If I did, it's only about 1/16" an inch.

The mold I'm using is one of KMG's. I bought it from someone who had used it once and decided he no longer wanted to build. I liked it because of the ability to use rubberbands to secure the top and back. They don't exert as much pressure as I used on my first build with spool clamps, and this time my cutting of the notches for the bracing was better. This top and back fit like a glove. Hardly any pressure was needed. LOL on the first build, I think I used a bag of sugar in one area to get it to seat. Plus on that build, I had the tone bars and finger braces extending out the sides. A little overbuilding, ya think?

My daughter used to use an email address of Babyroo. Of course, a Joey is a baby kangaroo. With that thought in mind, I commissioned Jimmi Wingert in California to do an inlay for me for the headstock veneer, which is bloodwood.
Here's the final result. I couldn't be more thrilled. The sun is curly maple, and of course the kangaroo and grass are ebony. This is gonna be so cool when she sees it. ( Pssst don't say a word. She's seen the guitar but not that inlay.

I was afraid to try inlay with the headstock veneer, but I'm going to do the fretboard. That is white mother of pearl I got from Custom Luthiers. The f/b is not sized yet - TonyinNYC talked me into doing the inlay before sizing so that I have a good base to work on with the StewMac Dremel base. I measured and "cross-haired" between the frets and on each piece of inlay. Then used a little drop of glue with Weld-On 16 and let it set overnight. Then I used a #11 exacto blade and scored around each piece. Be careful doing this, as if you put too much pressure against the piece, it will move. The dust and such you see is from scraping a piece of chalk to highlight the scored area. I have a set of eyewear like John Hall has in his inlay video. They magnify very well. Jimmi Wingert suggested some carbide bits from StewMac and I've done some practicing already.
The only issue I see with it is that the f/b is radiused at 16", so the inlay will be proud on the edges when it is flush in the center. Somehow I have a feeling there's gonna be a lot of elbow grease used to sand this thing down. UGH!

Another picture of the inlay sitting on the f/b. Notice the f/b is on a block of MDF? It's an extra fret long at each end, and screwed in there. When I finish sizing it, I'm going to bind the f/b with bloodwood. I have a piece of that rectangular inlay for the 21st fret that I won't use there. I'm going to make small rectangular side fret markers with it. A friend loaned me her jeweler's saw an some 3-0 blades. Very very very small blades. If I'm precise, I'll have enough to inlay the side markers just as I do the top markers. Even with 2 for the 12th fret.

Joey's birthday is the 26th, so this won't be ready by then, but I should have it bound and inlayed, and she can have a sneak peek.
The intention is to spray EMTECH 6000 this time, vice brushing. The pore filling scares me, as this seems way more porous than the mahogany did.
I'll post more later this week when I've got some things done.
Again, Thanks for looking.

Jul 20, 10 | 5:16 pm

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Its coming along great. I have to give credit where its due and it was Ken Cierp that told me to inlay my FB while it was on the MDF board because of the wider base it provided.
Ken's support is great and I feel pretty stupid right now because instead of asking Ken to send me another kit for a set of cam clamps, I bought a bunch of clamps. Every time I have built a guitar so far I have wished for one or two more cam clamps!!
If the top you got from Ken is anything like the two I got, you will be pleased. Both of mine have excellent silking.
I still love the peghead inlay. I bet your daughter will too!

Jul 20, 10 | 5:53 pm

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Thanks, Tony, much appreciated.
I was being held up by high humidity, which is rampant in East Texas in the summer. But borrowed a de-humidifier last week and got it within the 45-50% limit and finally got it boxed up. Gonna be chasing that humidity all thru this build I'm afraid.
Was it Kevin who built the one to go to India? If so, maybe we should have changed builds. I'm in the perfect environment to send one to a humid area.

Jul 20, 10 | 7:02 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Looking might fine. I love that style of rosette. Can you do a close up pic of it? The India guitar is sitting in its case at 45% humidity. I wish I could get it higher. But the action is set low so it can move up a little bit and it should be fine. The next build is also going to India (for my son-in-laws brother) so I have to go through the same routine.
Keep the pictures coming, Joey is going to love it!!


Jul 21, 10 | 5:50 am

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