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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:51 pm
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Ensor
City: Springfield
State: Missouri
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
For those who are willing to talk about mula, here is the question:

What is your average cost (not including finish) to do your most basic build? This means all wood parts and any hardware, etc that you might use.

If you don't want to talk about money, don't. pfft

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 6:42 pm
Posts: 488
First name: Brian
State: NY
Country: USA/sometimes Spain
Focus: Build
My last build set me back $96.50. I tallied it all up just for fun, and was completely surprised to see that figure. My builds are usually $150-$200 though.

BTW, I pretty much only use ebony button schallers, and all QS high quality woods.

And now that my latest uke is almost done, I can say that the cost was about $25 (it's all QS sapele with indian rosewood appointments)


Last edited by oval soundhole on Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:52 am
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First name: Big
Last Name: Jim
State: Deep in the heart of Bluegrass
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
The Mandola's run me between $250 and $300 But I like to use better tuners and tailpieces and bridges , I pay $80.00 average just for tuners . Not implying others dont , just making observation.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 458
Location: Northeast Indiana
First name: Phillip
Last Name: Patton
City: Yoder
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46798
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Number 10 was about $600. Number 11 will be considerably less.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 666
First name: Aaron
Last Name: Craig
City: Kansas City
State: Missouri
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
So far my builds seem to come in around $500 to $650 (Red Spruce tops, ERI, Claro, Black Walnut bodies). I have been harvesting some domestic woods that will eventually be turned into guitars, which should cut down costs for those builds at least. I could certainly build using cheaper woods or materials, use a bit less shell or zipflex, etc. and cut some cost out, but $500 or $600 for good quality components and looks seems pretty fair to me.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:07 pm
Posts: 505
City: Minot
State: North Dakota
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
$500-$600, but then again I've had to build the darn thing four times [headinwall]

Just happened to tally up the cost for a basic A style mandolin and it came out to around $300. A bit more if you want to count in finish and consumables, but not much. That's a pretty average cost for my stuff, ukes are less, bigger mandolins a bit more, guitars will be MUCH more. 'Lectric guitars cost $200-$300, maybe a tad more for a bass. If you're just using average wood it's the hardware that gets ya!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 2739
Location: Magnolia DE
First name: Brian
Last Name: Howard
City: Magnolia
State: Delaware
Zip/Postal Code: 19962
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
My first three are costing me about $350-$400 each. AAA tops, EIR backs and sides, Ebony bridge, fretboard, peghead face. All wood bindings and purfs. Schaller tuners I did have the Mahogany and Maple for the laminated necks left over from another project though, so most likely another $50 for that on future builds. Buy most of the wood from LMI in threes for the discount.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:01 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 2561
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
I've spent as much as $1500 on raw materials for a scratch build electric, but I sold the guitar for $4000. That was for all top of the line components and a super sickeningly fancy quilt top.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:19 am 
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Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 9:33 am
Posts: 486
First name: Kent
Last Name: Bailey
City: Florissant
State: Colorado
Zip/Postal Code: 80816
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
No wonder I'm broke all the time. I don't seem to have the purchasing skills that most of you have. My last 4 builds have averaged $500+++ ea. in pieces parts. I figure in the costs of EVERYTHING...sandpaper/finish/glue/tuners/bridge/fretboard/neck/body/sides/top/nut/saddle/bracing/binding/purfling/rosette material.....Did I forget anything....OH strings!!!....OH..... and a case (add another $150.00)

Kent

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:59 pm
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First name: Dennis
Last Name: Kincheloe
City: Kansas City
State: MO
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
$400. And here is how I arrived at that number...

Main body woods are most variable, so I'll exclude those for now and go with my average prices on other things.

Neck: $20-30
Headplate: $5
Truss rod: $15
Bolt-on hardware: $3
Fingerboard: $10-20
Binding: $20-30
Purfling: $5-10
Linings: $15
Brace wood: $5-10
Bridge plate: $3
Bridge: $5
Head and tail blocks: $5 lumberyard wood
Fretwire: $5
Tuning machines: $35
Nut/saddle blanks: $5
Bridge pins: $10
Shellac and other French polishing supplies: $10
Adhesives: $5
Sandpaper: $5

So I'm up to about $200 so far. Then there's rosette/inlay material. That can range anywhere from about $10 for a bit of abalone for my logo and some wood for the rosette and headstock inlay, to $50-100 for a sparkle fest.

And finally, the main body woods... I've got some good spruce and redwood tops that were $15. I also have a $95 sinker redwood top. Backs and sides, I think my cheapest sets were $50. Most expensive is a $450 set of African blackwood eek Gonna be a nerve wracking time when I get to that one.

But on average, let's say $20 for inlay materials, $30 for top wood, and $150 for back/side wood (I'm a sucker for the pretty stuff). So, $400 total. Although I think I have enough bargain bits and usable scraps that I could whip up something nice for under $100 if I wanted to.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:33 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:55 pm
Posts: 3738
Location: Taiwan
First name: Tai
Last Name: Fu
City: Taipei
Country: Taiwan
Focus: Repair
Status: Semi-pro
I paid significantly more than most of you, using basic woods due to shipping and custom costs. My last build totaled to about 500 dollars, and thats with ebony fretboards and bridges, spruce soundboard, plain bubinga side, standard inlays, Sapele neck. I found I can cut that cost to less than 100 dollars by sourcing wood in Taiwan (which is very difficult).

Will be interesting to see how much it will cost to build guitars in Europe, since they have far more suppliers to choose from. The few wood suppliers in Taiwan have absolutely no concept of proper seasoning or moisture contents, pieces often arrive warped or cupped or worse.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:51 am
Posts: 54
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I track the cost of my builds very closely. I do a spreadsheet before I order anything for a build. Everything, sandpaper, finish, shipping, taxes, everything except on major component... my mistakes! I don't want to know how much those cost me. So assuming I don't have to redo anything, a basic Top grade EIR/AAAA Sitka/Honduran mahogany neck guitar runs me about $700 + what ever inlays are added. I use Gotoh 510 tuners, ebony finger boards, maple or ebony binding and make my own rosettes and I buy the best wood I can find at the time I am ready to make a purchase. I could cut the cost substantially by purchasing in larger quanties but that takes capital and all of mine is going to tools rather than stocking up on supplies.


Last edited by muse on Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:44 am
Posts: 2180
Location: Newark, DE
First name: Jim
Last Name: Kirby
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
$300, goes up from there depending on what tuners the customer wants. (One just completed priced out at $500 with Gotoh Premiums). I've never used anything more expensive than the basic wood choices though - EIR, Cypress, Walnut, Bubinga taht I resawed myself. I was surprised at the $600 estimate above for a Black Walnut guitar.

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