3rd kit?

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Andy Mitchell
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:54 am

3rd kit?

Post by Andy Mitchell »

OK, I first built a StewMac rosewood dread kit (loved it, and still do), then I built a StewMac Mahogany OM (also really great)... what would you all experienced builders recommend for guitar #3?

As background, I really like playing my guitars, but the fun of building them is is much more important to me right now than just acquiring another top-level instrument on the cheap for personal use. Not that I want to sink a whole bunch of time into something that I'll never play, you understand - but I am very much open to learning something about all the different instruments that are out there to try with this next build.

Completely irrelevant to this post, but both of the guitars I've built turned out great according to my (admittedly lower than your) standards. I love them. I played my OM more-or-less constantly since finishing it earlier this summer, but have gone back to the dread as my main guitar recently. I don't really know why, it could be as simple as which one is closer to the chair i sit in, lol. But both have been very enjoyable to build and play, and I'm sure the next one (no matter what it is) will be even more fun.

Thanks in advance,

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Re: 3rd kit?

Post by rcnewcomb »

If you prefer larger instruments you might consider something like a Gibson J-185 style.

At the other extreme you might consider a parlor guitar or even a Size 5
- Randall Newcomb
10 fingers in, 10 fingers out - another good day in the shop
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Re: 3rd kit?

Post by MaineGeezer »

You've built two kits. How much did you rely on the fact that they were kits? What benefits did you get from that?

You might consider building the next one without starting with a kit.

I've built all of mine from scratch, and frankly I don't see that it increased the difficulty much, if any. The kit collects all the pieces for you, which I suppose is a convenience, but it may also restrict your choices. It's easy to buy all the components separately, and I always enjoyed doing that.
A kt may offer services like bending the sides or slotting and radiusing the fingerboard. You can. if you wish, pay to get those things done for you.

I suppose that doesn't help any in deciding what to build, but it may give you more options

Another thought: build another OM, but modify the design according to your own ideas. That may be too much to contemplate, but doing something like making the body 1/2" deeper isn't too radical. Or add a sound port. Or ???
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Stray Feathers
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Re: 3rd kit?

Post by Stray Feathers »

I agree with MaineGeezer that there are lots of options if you try another OM. I am on my fifth; two I modified to be 12-fret slot head guitars, I'm on my second 14-fret, and almost finished a 12-string OM. One has a cedar top, the others spruce, and four different back woods. And I agree that you should think about scratch building - it allows you to create the vision. Having said all this, I am going to try something different: I have bought materials to make a new mould for probably a dreadnought or two, or possibly a 0000. Whatever you do, enjoy the process! Bruce W.
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Re: 3rd kit?

Post by jread »

This is the point where I would find a musical friend who wants one of your builds and gift it or have them pay for parts. It’s a lot of stress and pressure but making my builds for musicians and watching them be played has been really gratifying. And boy do they love em. After a few friendly players who will accept imperfections you may gain enough confidence to take on a commission build for profit.
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Re: 3rd kit?

Post by koolimy »

rcnewcomb wrote: Mon Aug 30, 2021 11:12 am If you prefer larger instruments you might consider something like a Gibson J-185 style.

At the other extreme you might consider a parlor guitar or even a Size 5
I am not an experienced builder, but I wholeheartedly agree with the J-185 Kit! You can get one from Mr. Hall at Blues Creek Guitars. The J-185 size is beautiful (in my eyes), more comfortable than a dreadnought, and it also sounds pretty good. I think any Gibson style kit could be a nice departure from your more Martin style instruments, and the J-185 gives you both the Gibson tone and a different look. Of course, Blues Creek also seems to have the king of acoustics, the SJ-200, which could be a cool kit to try.

If you go with Blues Creek I would definitely try to go with more exotic woods, such as Cherry, Walnut, Carpathian Spruce, etc. It could be a departure from the more familiar Sitka/Rosewood or Sitka/Mahogany you get with StewMac.

Of course another style that could be very interesting is any sort of 12-fret instrument. I believe StewMac has the 000 12 fret kit. I don't know about you but I have never played a 12 fret guitar so I'm really curious how different one would be from a 14 fret guitar.
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