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 Post subject: DIY Kits
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:48 pm
Posts: 2
I'm interested in making a run at building my own guitar, but I have no experience in woodworking. How difficult is it for a novice to get a reasonably playable guitar out of one of the Martin or StewMac kits on their first try? How much should I expect to invest into tools?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Kits
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5985
Location: Hegins, Pa
before you buy there look us up at Blues Creek guitars. We have over 90 videos on you tube and will provide support for you along with the build.
You can do a good deal with simple hand tools. I do suggest you use a mold to build the guitar. This helps a lot in setting the neck and symmetry
jh

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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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 Post subject: Re: DIY Kits
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:48 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks - I have seen the many videos. However, I can't tell where to start and it does not look like there is a video that lays out the basic steps. I think that I need the big picture before I can dive in and absorb the details. Any suggestions where to start?


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Kits
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5985
Location: Hegins, Pa
the first step is to start. There really is no defined start
first prep the rim
then set the blocks screw them in.
then contour the rim and set the kerfed lining
after that recontour it is easier to do it this way so one the rim is shaped you know where to place the kerfed lining
then brace the plate
then close box
then bind
then pre set neck
true up the fretboard
fretting can be done on or off the guitar
I prefer to finish the guitar get the neck set then fret the guitar but that requires a fret buck
finish can be done any number of ways

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: DIY Kits
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 1234
Well, it's not easy, but it's certainly do-able. My first guitar (scratch-built, not a kit) came out very well. I did have the great advantage of doing it with a professional luthier, who told me what to do and I did it, but I did do all the work.

A kit will simplify your life somewhat. You may want to look at John's kits (Blues Creek Guitars). With one of his kits, you get John. I suppose with this forum you get John anyway, but I think if you're building one of his kits he is determined that you Will Not Fail.

And you do have this forum. No matter what dumb thing you do, one of us has done it too, only maybe worse, and we're eager to answer any and all questions as best we can.

The tools you need... That question keeps coming up over and over again. We ought to set up a "sticky" note that discusses what you need, that we can refer people to.

The big-ticket items are the body mold and radius dishes. You can manage without the radius dishes, but it's a lot harder. There is also the question of how to cut the binding and purflng channels. The ultimate solution may he the Fleishman binding machine John sells, but that's a lot of money if you don't plan on building several guitars. The cheap solution is a gramil, which takes time but it works. (n.b. you may as well find out now: hardly anybody builds just one guitar.)

Otherwise, you mostly don't need specialized tools. A few top-quality wicked sharp chisels and a way to sharpen them, a lot of clamps, a small block plane, a small square, small saw. There are any number of tools, specialized and otherwise, that make the job easier, but mostly you don't absolutely need them. If the kit has pre-bent sides and a slotted/radiused fretboard, that eliminates some specialty tools you would otherwise need.

I'm sure I have overlooked things, but that may give you an idea. There is a book available that gives step-by-step instructions for building a guitar That might help you get a better handle on the whole process. (There are probably many such books, in fact.)\

And do look at the wealth of information on John's website, maybe starting here: http://www.bluescreekguitars.com/?d=tut ... tten&tId=2

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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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 Post subject: Re: DIY Kits
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 2044
When I made my first guitar, I had no woodworking experience whatsoever. My first guitar turned out very nice, and I built it on my dining room table.

You'll have a lot of support from forum members, so please ask questions. The only stupid question is the one not asked.

I started by finding a totally trashed guitar, then renovating it to make it playable.

So, your first step is to choose a kit. Blues Creek kits are well put together. John Hall is an excellent source of information.

I hope to see you blog your progress soon. We're all here to help.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Kits
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:11 am
Posts: 11
I'm more than a little bit dismayed by the answers given. Sure, they're okay as far as they go, but ...

Did you notice the title of this forum? It was originally founded as KitGuitarForum(dot)com, in 2005. I was its founder and sole operator for almost three years. I sold it to John at BluesCreekGuitars.

John has expanded what was once a lively, thriving forum dedicated specifically to building guitars from kits. While I was building (which I stopped only two years ago because of an injury), I built twenty of them, from Martin, Stewmac, Blues Creek, Waldron, and even one of those real cheapos from a big tool company, whose name I've forgotten. During the time I was active, I wrote three books on building kits, which have now been combined into three books. One is a free introductory little book, and if you want to read it, you can download it for free athttp://nichebooks.com/KitGuitarIntro_2018.pdf. Anyone who is interested, get it and read it!

We had about 900 members in the original KitGuitarForum. It was much simpler and smaller, and almost every one was active on the forum. You would have gotten a much more enthusiastic answer from any one of them. Some have continued to build from scratch, and their work is beyond beautiful.

But the spirit of the forum has been lost. I at one time was told by John that he would maintain the ad for my guitar books as long as he had the forum. I don't know if he's sold it or not, but the ads no longer are there.

Anyway, MY two cents worth is: Start with a kit and learn the easy way.

Bill Cory


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Kits
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5985
Location: Hegins, Pa
bill
We had taken them down as the links didn't work please send me the link and we will redo them for you. I do send people to amazon all the time your manuals are a great item. I know we had emailed you about that but never heard back .

I think for the most part we still work hard to keep things easy after all the KGF is still going and we now have over 6000 members worldwide.

Please feel free to tell us what you think we can do. Kits are still out there but many of the members have gone beyond kits and went to building from scratch. I never lost the point of kits and I also allow others opinions on technques and suppliers to be freely expressed.

I am proud of the members and the information we share. Yes things changed but so did a number of issues. The lacey act now plays a part of us wood supply. Yes kits are still a big part of this but many of the members have gone out to making guitars so it has become more than just kits. That isn't a bad thing. Ebay has become a dumbing ground for poor quality kits and we try to help with what people do with those issues.

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: DIY Kits
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5985
Location: Hegins, Pa
https://www.kitguitarbooks.com/
Bill's link is up and running. Bills original banner was removed as the link was not working and I mistakenly thought he took it down.
You will soon see the banner back Apologies to bill for the lost banner

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: DIY Kits
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:36 pm
Posts: 219
As a kid who stumbled across this (Bill's) forum, and (Bill's) books over a decade ago, I'm very disappointed in that response from Bill Cory. The world wide web was an entirely different place back in 2006 (2008 when I had officially signed up apparently), and ultimately the technology of a forum has been largely replaced by instant social media connections from platforms with notifications and tethers to your hips.

I'm disappointed that the founder, whom I have always had much respect for an ultimately credit a large piece of my professional abilities to, would jump on this forum page with such a jab to John. I was regularly active on this forum for the time Bill continued to maintain, well throughout the time the torch was passed to John.

I would also like to point to the frustration that the "kit guitar forum" has gravitated away from "kits". If anyone was under the belief that a "once thriving forum" for kit guitars would have survived over a decade and maintained the majority of those members whilst upholding the "kit only" mentality would be sorely mistaken. Most of those individuals would have outgrown the forum (which many have regardless) and I believe that the fact that this forum is still active is due to the natural evolution to facilitate all forms of building. I would point my fingers at the changing internet platform for why there may not be as many new members (if that were the case).

Very disappointed to read that post. And with those initial jabs thrown, I would add that I have reached out to Bill on several occasions to express my thanks, and I don't believe I've ever gotten a response. That may be for various reasons, but on the flip side, I've gotten nothing but enthusiasm and gratitude from John Hall, who always seems to have or make time to help anyone out. I don't appreciate reading such a tactless shot at what this forum has become. As far as I'm concerned that's a private phone call, a private message, or a judgment you've lost the right to make as soon as the decision to pass the torch was made.

My .02


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