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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:21 pm
Posts: 50
Hey All,

Figured I'd use this space to document my first build. Wish me luck! I'll post my process in steps so at least I can track what the heck I did (or am planning to do). Hopefully smarter people than me can point out any potential disasters on my horizon. :-)

--Jim


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:21 pm
Posts: 50
STEP 1: PREP

Did a LOT of homework. Scoured this forum for info. Bought both of Bill Cory's books on kit building (the general one and the Martin-specific one) and read them through. Watched a ton of John's videos. Finally determined I could probably handle this project (with some guidance along the way!). I then reclaimed a small space in my basement and put together a little workshop. Bought some basic luthier tools I didn't have, collected other tools from my garage, and bought a small band saw. Did a test-run of the workshop and rebuilt my gigging rig. Used to be made of wood. Looked great, but weighed a TON. Now it's PVC and weighs a fraction of what it did. I'm too old to be lugging around heavy gear if I don't have to. Finally, I ordered my custom kit from John at Blues Creek Guitars. OOO spruce top, mahogany back and sides. Short scale neck. Cut away. 1-3/4 nut width. Also ordered the corresponding mold. Looking forward to step 2.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1119
Location: Chestertown Maryland
You even have me salivating - looks like you are ready. Welcome

Ed


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 pm
Posts: 247
OP will get lots of advice from folks who want to offer experience and suggestions. I found it necessary to follow one adviser's process and not try to synthesize from the comments of a bunch of folks. Confusion may well be the first product of that attempt to pull all the information on one topic together; some parts of the advice may not play well with other parts from other sources.

It's going to be a heap of work, and heap of scary, but it sure is nice to play the guitar that is at the end of that rainbow.

Enjoy!

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peter havriluk


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:21 pm
Posts: 50
Thanks all!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5936
Location: Hegins, Pa
looking forward to updates and pictures

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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: Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:50 am
Posts: 674
Location: Chadds Ford, PA
Sweet, Jim! I'm looking forward to this build.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1982
I look forward to watching your build. There's a lot of experience on the forum, and we love questions. I hope you have fun while building.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:21 pm
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STEP 2: Unpack the kit and check parts

Blues Creek kit came in one box. Form and spreader came in a second box. (Thanks, John!!!) Unpacked everything, removed all the peanuts and triple checked to make sure I'd gotten it all, then laid everything out on my workbench (see pic). Everything seems to be in order. Parts are:

Form and spreader
2 sides (rough fit immediately in form)
Tailblock
4 pieces kerfing
Neck, truss, neck block, rough assembled. Neck block precut to support cut away. (Thanks, John!)
Fretboard, tapered to neck, inlays prefit, side fret markers installed.
Top braces bundle
Back braces bundle
Binding and perfling (not planning to use)
Strings (not planning to use)
Pickguard (not planning to use)
Tuners (undecided if I'm using these)
Top and back, preglued, rough cut, marked for bracings. (Again, thanks, John!)
Bridge plate
Fret wire
Cloth ribbons for side bracing
Headstock veneer rosewood
Bridge pins
Saddle blank
Nut blank
A cool Blues Creek hat!
A Martin action settings sheet.
Tortoiseshell piece #1 (?)
Tortoiseshell piece #2 (?)
White round plastic wire (?)


Checked all the parts for defects. Everything looks great. Sides have some rippling in them in places. Should be able to sand those out. Not 100% sure what those last three parts are, but I believe tortoiseshell piece #1 is for the neck bottom butt end, tortoiseshell #2 might be for where the sides meet at the back (tailpiece end), and the white plastic wire is extra side fret marker material? (see pics below).

So...

- Am I right about those last three parts?
- When would I attempt to sand out the side ripples? I assume it would be during the regular step when sanding down the body assembly, unless there was some reason for doing so while disassembled.

Oh...I gig-tested that PVC rig yesterday. (See pic). Worked great, but I ran into a design flaw. It's 2" too tall to fit in the hatchback of my Subaru or in back seat without laying it on its side. (Function trumped transportation requirements...) Everything on it is well attached except for my Play Acoustic pedal. Have to strap that puppy in... :-)

Anyway -- thanks in advance for any replies/suggestions/confirmations/warnings! I'm a complete novice to this kit building thing, so I'd rather ask ten stupid questions than not ask one smart one that could have saved my bacon.

Ciao for now!

--Jim


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:58 pm
Posts: 277
Location: St. Louis area
Appears that you are going to be a pretty good writer as well. Looking forward to followimg your progress!

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Karl B


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