New Member and My thoughts on kit building as I see it
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Author:  Gibsonman [ Sat May 26, 2018 3:31 pm ]
Post subject:  New Member and My thoughts on kit building as I see it

Ok forum members. I am 72 years old and retired as a Home Improvement contractor and cabinet maker. I also use to play mandolin and guitar, but due to some issues I gave that up. I have plenty to do just keeping up our home and keeping things running smooth, but there are times I do get bored and am looking for a hobby.
I have always wanted to build a guitar, and am just now doing a ton of research on doing so. I am guessing I have put over 60 or 70 hrs. on research only maybe more. Back in 09 I did a kit F-5 mandolin and it didn't turn out too bad but back then I was still working and just did not have the time to research and take my time and do it right.
I have a nice little space for my shop and have several tools needed and know how to make some of my own tools needed, but like I said my research has told me that I really need the following things to make my kit guitar a success . I am the kind of person who really try's to do the best I can.
I think before I but a kit I need to have the following tools and gigs , and I also think it's cheaper to buy them than try and build them. By the time you run and get everything and the gas and electric you use and maybe not getting them just right you can do better to just buy them.
Here is what I think you will need to do a good guitar, not counting hand tools, of which I have a good bit of and some power tools.
The guitar mold in my case a Dreadknough and the spreader $ 90.00
A 15' and a 28" Dish $ 140.00
3 Sanding Disk's . One for each disk and one for a flat disk $63.00
The complete binding set. Or forget the whole idea $560.00
As far as I see it without these main tools you are wasting your time.
So now I will be putting out around 1k after tax and shipping, which I really have no problem with for starting a new hobby.
I know I will need much more but I already have a good bit . I will build my own Go-Bar . I have already built all my Cam clamps and a bunch of spool clamps.
I guess the main thing that bothers me is my age and once I put out this money will I be able to make a few guitars before my time, but who know that??
Just venting and have not really pulled the trigger yet as I need a operation on my left hand and will be around 6 weeks before I can do anything anyway, but I am really thinking about doing it as I love doing things that this.
Thanks in advance.

Author:  Diane Kauffmds [ Sat May 26, 2018 3:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member and My thoughts on kit building as I see it

You have a lot more than I did when I built my first guitar, on a table, on my front porch. I didn't even have radius dishes. I had crappy tools from Harbor Freight, which wouldn't stay sharp.

As a person who ended up having to have reconstructive surgery on both of my hands/wrists, as well as both of my thumbs released, all damage done from building my first guitar, I can tell you, unequivocally, to make sure you have really good quality chisels and hand planes. I'm sure you have better than I had, just make sure you can make them, and keep them scary sharp.

A mold is essential and the radius dishes are certainly important.

Think of it in the terms of money saved. A US factory build guitar would cost you close to $2000+. A custom guitar would cost you $4000+. Plus, you get to have the fun of designing your guitar from the ground up. You aren't constrained by the kits that are available. You can put together a custom kit, and you get to decide everything that affects your guitar sound and appearance.

To me, that's darn near priceless.

Author:  MaineGeezer [ Sat May 26, 2018 5:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member and My thoughts on kit building as I see it

By "the complete binding set" do you mean something like this? http://www.bluescreekguitars.com/shop/i ... cts_id=260

One of those setups certainly makes the job a lot easier. But for hundreds of years, people cut binding channels with a gramil (see photo; sold by LMI).
Having more time than money, I've done a couple of instruments using a gramil, and it's not as tedious as I expected. It does take a couple of hours or more to do a single channel, but I find the job meditative and relaxing.

I use a trim router with a center pivot to cut the rosette channels.

Are you going to bend your own sides, order them pre-bent, or pay somebody (e.g. John) to bend them for you? I suggest either of the latter two options, so you don't need to buy a side bending machine. (P.S. I see you plan to get a kit, so the sides should be pre-bent.)

P.P.S. I think you're right about buying vs. making. I made my own radius dishes, and by the time I was done, 70 bucks apiece looked like the bargain of the century. There is also the question, do you want to spend your time building guitars, or building tools to build guitars?

Author:  Danl8 [ Sat May 26, 2018 9:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member and My thoughts on kit building as I see it

Sounds like you have a good plan. The materials you mention can definitely help make things easier, but you can also make good instruments without specialized tools. People on the site here are really helpful and can make the process of building so much better. Kits are a great way to go and kits from John Hall are very customizable. Good luck with your surgery!

Author:  ruby@magpage.com [ Sun May 27, 2018 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member and My thoughts on kit building as I see it

I am on #8 guitar and the only two of those items I have are cam clamps and spool clamps, which I made - and I could get by without either. None of those tools is essential. Make the job easier? for sure. End result better? Not necessarily.


Author:  MaineGeezer [ Sun May 27, 2018 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member and My thoughts on kit building as I see it

Wrong note!

Author:  Diane Kauffmds [ Wed May 30, 2018 4:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member and My thoughts on kit building as I see it

BTW, you can never have too many clamps. I use a lot of f clamps and I use a good 50+, 1" spring clamps when I install the kerfing.

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