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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:55 am
Posts: 21
I've never built a guitar. But I'm pretty sure I want to do that! I am just looking at all the great info here and on the internet. I like dreadnoughts, though I have owned OMs and 000s in the past. So I think a dread is a good place to start, something fairly "standard" to keep things simple and with lots of examples. My goal in building the guitar is two-fold: as a hobby to keep my 70 year old retired brain occupied, and to end up with a good looking, great sounding guitar. I currently own two Eastwoods: an AC220 and AC320.

I'd like to do a spruce/rosewood D28 type guitar. Have to have a kit, and want a kit with great instruction AND support - so Blues Creek Guitars sounds like my best best.

Here's my question:
What's the consensus of you who remember your first build? Would you recommend I start with a less expensive kit rather than what I really want? For instance, BCG lists a nice Martin D18 mahogany kit for $430 and a nice D28 rosewood for about $50 more. John also offers his own kits for about $120 more. If you can recall your first kit build, did you got for the gusto or stick with something perhaps more simple yet not as nice? My initial thoughts are what's a measly $120, right? <g> I also accept I will probably drop another $500 or more in tools to complete my first build.

Or would you recommend I tackle a uke kit instead? <g> Seriously! I play uke also. Seems like that MIGHT be less involved, although I think basically the same procedures as a guitar, but in a smaller scale....but that might not make things any easier.

Your thoughts and recommendation are very much appreciated!

Doug


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:50 pm
Posts: 2326
Location: Seattle
You will spend a bunch of time so go with what ever wood you really want. There is a good chance that you will end up with a guitar that is functional and looks good. I would build a guitar as it seems that is what you want. Take you time for each step. Build from beginning to end using the same set of procedures or instructions. THere are a lot of different ways to build the same guitar. I have found many first time builders get in trouble mixing processes from different luthiers. This is true especially when establishing the geometry of the guitar. A bunch of processes are dependent on each other.

I suggest viewing John Hall's videos.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 8:48 am
Posts: 81
Location: Savannah, GA
Doug,

My first 2 builds were 000 rosewood kits direct from Martin. I already had a 20% MOC discount, so it was a no-brainer. John also sells Martin kits, and his own at competitive prices along with anything else you could need. However, I definitely recommend the kit route to learn what goes into this craft, and if you love it, then invest the research and time building most of the tools you will need to work from scratch such as a side-bender, binding jig, etc... after you are done the kit(s).

I look forward to seeing your choice, and make sure to keep us posted on the blog. You have found a great community, and this group will bend over backwards to point you in the right direction and....to help you get out of those "oops" moments!

V/R
Ken


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1574
Go with what you really want. If you want rosewood, go with rosewood. Get the style you want as well. My first build was with highly figured Peruvian walnut that I bought. John bent the sides for me, and provided everything else I needed. John is good at personalizing kits.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 1071
I'd go with what you want. If you do, there will be more motivation to take the time to do it correctly. You won't be tempted to say to yourself, "It's okay -- this first one is just for practice." (Maybe you wouldn't be tempted to do that, but I know I probably would.)

If you do feel the need of a warm-up project, a mountain dulcimer or a ukelele are possibilities. Materials cost for them can be quite low. I made a dulcimer, using guitar-building techniques not generally applied to dulcimers, as a warm-up project. For example, I radiused the back of the dulcimer, guitar-style, which is generally not done on dulcimers, to get that exporience.

When I built my first guitar, I was under the delusion that it and the practice dulcimer would be the only instruments I'd ever build (Haw! Three guitars, four dulcimers, and a cittern later...), so I tried to build exactly what I wanted. I'm glad I did.

Another thing: compared to amount of work involved, an extra $200 for materials is trivial.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1574
What mainegeezer said is a good idea. I bought a $30 project guitar from Ebay and started with it. I had to replace the top, fix the sides and cracked back, reset the neck, replace the binding, etc. I learned a lot with that project guitar. Any junked guitar will work.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:55 am
Posts: 21
Thanks for all the replies, ya'll. I'm pretty convinced I'll start the the BCG D28 kit. Appreciate the replies.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:45 am 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 839
Location: Chestertown Maryland
I think it depends on your capabilities (perceived or actual). I am an experienced woodworker, but hate finishing and had never done inlay, so my first one was well put together, had no inlay, but was finished "adequately". Number two has a much better finish, some herringbone purfling, and now with #7 I have tried several materials and am getting pretty good at finishing and am doing some more elaborate inlays. I have seen people scratch build their first and do a great job, but I was freaked out by the neck. I built the first 4 with a completed neck before I did one, and now the neck mystery is gone.

All of the kits have the same parts, so getting a less expensive kit will still show you all you need to know. You will still be proud of it and think that is sounds great. And besides, nobody builds just one.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1574
ruby@magpage.com wrote:
...And besides, nobody builds just one.

Boy, ain't THAT the truth! I remember saying to someone, "I'm only interested in building one guitar. " I ate my words several guitars and a ton of repairs ago. I'm still just learning...


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
Posts: 2968
Location: Visalia, CA
Doug, welcome to the forum. I'll chime in and also tell you to make the best guitar you can as your first. My first was a kit from LMI. I had just joined this forum and had tons of questions too. That was 9 years ago. My second guitar was not a kit. I'm on #14 now and see no end (I will die some day). You won't regret building exactly what you want, even the first time if you take your time be patient, and seek guidance. And of course enjoy the process.


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