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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:47 pm
Posts: 5
I have been hiding in the shadows, following along (not stalking :D ) reading the posts and trying to absorb all I can. My name is Clay and I live in the Austin Tx area. My wife purchased me a Martin rosewood dreadnaught kit two years ago for Christmas. I bought a mold and put the sides in it and haven't had the nerve to do anything with it since. Scared to death I'm gonna mess it up. 2018 New Years resolution is to move forward with the kit. If I screw something up so bad that it cannot be fixed, well I have a burnpile out back. So my very first question is about the neck & neck block. The kit comes with a 1 11/16" nut. I would really prefer to have a 1 3/4". Am I correct in assuming I would need a different neck? Would I also need a different neck block? If I can keep the neck block I have, I can start immediately. If not I will need a different neck/block right away in order to get started.
I appreciate the patience that I see in all of you as you compare notes back & forth and I'll do my best to not abuse that! Looking forward to seeing what I can learn.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 2156
Hi Clay. Welcome. We love questions.

First and foremost, the chances of you ruining the kit is extremely remote. Just take your time, ask questions, and for heavens sake, have fun! This shouldn't be an exercise of angst. Honestly, enjoy the process.

I'm not sure how finished Martin makes they're kit necks. Take a measurement across the narrowest part of the neck, where it meets the headstock. If the measurement is 1 3/4" or more, you can use the neck. If it's narrower, you'll need another neck. As far as the neck block is concerned, there shouldn't be any difference. The dovetail should be the same size regardless of the neck profile.

John Hall, at Blues Creek Guitars, is Martin Certified. He can answer any question you would have about the Martin Kits. He can order another neck and/or block, as needed. You will need another nut blank too.

Don't be shy about questions. We love them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:47 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for the welcome Diane! I have measured my neck and it is 1 3/4” so I guess I’m good to go. I spent most of the evening yesterday watching several of John’s YouTube videos and plan to get started this weekend. I’m not sure why I have a case of nerves over this. I’m a carpenter by trade and have built several pieces of furniture over the years. Somehow this is different and I have managed to let it buffalo me.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 6085
Location: Hegins, Pa
check the fretboard so that is what is the actual 1 3/4 nut
never be afraid to ask questions we are all here to help

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 2156
ClayF wrote:
Thanks for the welcome Diane! I have measured my neck and it is 1 3/4” so I guess I’m good to go. I spent most of the evening yesterday watching several of John’s YouTube videos and plan to get started this weekend. I’m not sure why I have a case of nerves over this. I’m a carpenter by trade and have built several pieces of furniture over the years. Somehow this is different and I have managed to let it buffalo me.

You're not the first person to have misgivings. Almost all of us were nervous about the neck. As a carpenter, things are usually a little more straight forward. My father was a carpenter that built custom cabinets. Everything was at a right angle, and most clamping systems assume that this is what you're after.

Now, you have to set this critter in 3 dimensions, one with a back angle that's dictated by another piece of wood, the bridge. Instrument building is a bit alien. But, I'm sure you have the skills and you'll do just fine. Conquer one dimension at a time, so you aren't chasing your tail.

If you have any problems, just ask.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:58 pm
Posts: 277
Location: St. Louis area
I'm on my first build as well. Have received a gob of information from the good folks here. It's the best project ever! It will challenge you, make you think, you wil encounter issues, find answers, solve problems, devise contraptions, find new uses for old tools, keep you awake at night, consume your every thought, and generally provide you a great time, with your clothes on, according to your problem solving skills and perserverence. Guitar building will summon all your skills, and tools, and questions, but keep moving forward and you will be rewarded with a rare experience of skill, art, craft and ingenuity. Welcome to the exclusive society of musical instrument builders!

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Measure Twice,

Karl B


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 1264
I too think 1-11/16" is a bit narrow. I made my first guitar 1-13/16", but that may he a trifle wide.

It sounds as though the neck is wide enough to allow 1-3/4". The nut end of the fretboard has to be 1-3/4" as well. If it's only 1-11/16", you may be able to use it anyway by adding 1/32" binding on the sides of the fretboard to increase the width by 1/16". That slightly complicates the fret installation though, if you want the binding to cover the ends of the fret slots as is usually done. You'l have to nip off a bit of the tang at each end of the frets so the tang will fit between the binding and the top of the fret will overlap it. This isn't particularly difficult, but if you want to keep it as simple as possible you can always buy another prre-slotted fretiboard.

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Don't believe everything you know.
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion


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