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Kit Guitars ~ Harder Than You'd Think
Author
Post
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 352
After six weeks "inventing" the work arounds that in IMHO are needed to build my Stew-Mac dreadnought kit I've finally got this far. The back goes on today. They may be called kit guitars but they sure are harder than I thought before I started. At times I think I should have just started with just the basic materials.


Sep 03, 06 | 2:32 pm
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
Another try ? Hey this is like building a kit guitar ;)

Sep 03, 06 | 2:36 pm
mbbransc

Total Topics: 13
Total Posts: 71
Can't see your pics, but I totally agree!! Spend more time building jigs and such than actually building the guitar!! I imagine they get easier the more you build.


Sep 04, 06 | 3:02 pm
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
Another work-around ?

[http://www.fenderforum.com/userphotos/index.html?recid=35527] Top & Sides Glued Up [/url]

Sep 04, 06 | 4:31 pm
ms960

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 107
Andy,

I would agree that they are definitely harder than one would think, and I have prior woodworking experience.

I just finished my first kit -- a Stewmac mahogany dread. I put strings on it last night, half expecting it to sound like wet cardboard. I was surprised beyond my expectations at how good it sounds. Granted it's not on par with most high end models, but after one night of playing it (and knowing it will only sound better), I can say the sound is nothing that I need to be ashamed of.

The looks, on the other hand, well that leaves a lot to be desired. I definitely need to go to school to learn how to finish a guitar, and the number of small warts (oops's) are quite noticable. But I know every first-time building is in the same boat, so I won't hang my head because it doesn't look gorgeous.

Keep at it, you'll be done before you know it and will be more than suprised at the quality instrument you built.

Cheers,
Mark

Sep 07, 06 | 4:29 am
mbbransc

Total Topics: 13
Total Posts: 71
Mark, could you be convinced to post some pics?

BTW - I can't imagine how cool it was to strum it for the first time.

A similar question - how was the action on it when you first strung it up? How much tweaking did you have to do? Just curious if it was WAY out of whack of just needed perfecting.

Sep 07, 06 | 4:41 am
ms960

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 107
I'd be happy to post pictures. The weather hasn't been great here, but as soon as it gets nice I'll take some pics outside and post them.

Yes, it was extremely cool to string it up and strum it for the first time. After all the hard work and time spent, I was as eager as a five year old at Christmas. I started it right around Memorial Day and finished it on Labor Day. I have two young kids, so I didn't have a lot of big chunks of time to work on it, so it really did take all summer. My wife is anxious for me to get on with the "honey-do's".

As for the action, I'm still adjusting it. I purposely left the saddle and nut slots high so I could gradually lower them. I didn't want to have to build a new nut or saddle because I took too much material off at once. So yes, it was way out of wack (almost unplayable at first), but I've got the nut just about right. The saddle needs lowering still, but not a lot. It is very playable and most important, enjoyable to play.

Cheers,
Mark

Sep 07, 06 | 4:51 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hey Andy, Brandon, Mark (and everybody else) -- Savor these moments ... people who do no more than buy a guitar and play it have no idea of the satisfaction we get when we suffer through all the work-arounds, failures, fixes, and problems, and then we string it up and can actually play it.

Nothing is ever the same as the first one.

My first one is 'way far from good, and perfect isn't even part of the same world .... but I still play it daily, and wouldn't part with it.

Bill

Sep 07, 06 | 6:07 am
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
I've been trying to get a link to my projec to work. Since I took this photo I have the back on and the the routing done for the binding and purfling.

http://www.fenderforum.com/userphotos/index.html?recid=35527

Thanks for the words of encouragement guys. I suppose after my experience with boat building, house construction and furniture making I thought that guitar building would be less effort. No way, the tension of the first pass of the router into many hours of labour on fine timber is excruciating.

In my case with the particular back story to my kit, I've also found that there's a degree of optical illusion that can be used to cover up the small SNAFU's. In fact almost the same optical illusions I've used in my other areas of woodworking.

Sep 07, 06 | 2:30 pm
KTHOM

Total Topics: 19
Total Posts: 244
Andy,
It looks pretty nice so far! All your efforts and work-arounds seem to be bearing fruit! Keep up the good work and sharing it here, we love to see it.

Sep 07, 06 | 3:13 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Looks good so far Andy. Hey its wood....why wouldn't a cover up work here when it has worked somewhere else? Good job so far, good clean construction....you will be pleased.

Sep 07, 06 | 9:24 pm
ms960

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 107
mbbransc -- Pictures have been posted in the "Show it Off" forum. Thread is titled "My First."

Cheers,
Mark

Sep 08, 06 | 5:23 am
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
Just wanted to drop in and say that you guys are building some great looking stuff. Everyone of us are having to cover multiple somethings on our projects -- part of the sport of it! Though really nerve wracking at times.

--Jim

Sep 08, 06 | 6:13 am
Cameron Reddy

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 20
Jim,

Speak for yourself! :)

Andy, it looks great! Very neat.

Cameron


Sep 12, 06 | 11:36 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Andy -- It looks great! Neat work on the inside is always a key to quality, and yours is very tidy.

By the way, do you still turn the tuners the same way in Australia as up here? I only ask because they tell me the water in the sink swirls in a different direction.

:-)

Bill

Sep 12, 06 | 1:40 pm



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