First Build Done

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John Reid
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:48 pm

First Build Done

Post by John Reid »

Well, I did it. First guitar finished. It ain’t perfect, but it might pass the 5 ft test.

I’m excited. I hope you’ll forgive a wordy post here. It’s been a long haul. Started 1yr, 4 months ago.

Got it strung up about a week ago. As I put tension on the strings to file the nut, I was pleased to see that the whole thing didn’t collapse. Figure I still have some adjustments to make as things settle in. It was wonderful to hear the first sounds from the wood.

Then I figured there was a good chance there’d be a lot of buzzing from the frets. I just didn’t really know if I’d leveled things that well. I did get some buzzing on a few strings, but quickly figured out that was due to the nut slot filing angle on one string and the shape of the saddle on another. It was fun figuring that out, too, and fixing it and having the buzzing go away.

I suspect I’ll have some more fiddling to do as I learn things about it, but I love the sound it makes. I put on ultra-light strings. It is very bright, and has nice sustain on the low end. It’s louder than I thought it would be.

Years ago, when I spent a week with John Hall building a guitar with him, I think he said something like – when we’re done here, you’ll realize it’s possible to build a guitar. That meant a lot to me. I think if I had tried this without that perspective then many times this past year I would have thought - I just can’t do this.

This forum has been a great help for information and inspiration. Thanks for answering my questions and giving me advice. At times I’ve spent hours poring over old posts to get a better understanding of something before going back down to the shop.

And, of course, thanks John for all you wonderful YouTube videos. I watched them many times. So much good information and especially good guidance on how one step in the process affects later steps.

I plan on playing a lot of guitar for a few months before starting a new build.

Just for fun, I staged a photo with the guitar surrounded by many of the tools, jigs, and supplies I used.
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Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:12 am

Re: First Build Done

Post by Skarsaune »

Congrats, and welcome to the madness.
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:43 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: First Build Done


That’s a big first step and a nicely outfitted shop! The forum is terrific for getting information and inspiration. The people here are first class.
Kevin Doty
Kansas City
Posts: 1440
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm

Re: First Build Done

Post by MaineGeezer »

You've apparently already figured out that nobody builds just one guitar. By the looks of your shop, you seem well equipped to produce a lot more. Have fun! :-)
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
Posts: 6554
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: Hegins, Pa

Re: First Build Done

Post by tippie53 »

its a kick to strum that first cord
have fun with it and make another
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
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