Official Luthiers Forum!

Solely owned and operated by Lance Kragenbrink
It is currently Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:26 am


All times are UTC - 5 hours


Forum rules


Be Nice to our new friends! Remember, everybody starts somewhere!




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:58 am 
Offline
Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
Posts: 226
Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on acoustic guitar kits. Years ago I bought an LMI kit, it seemed good quality, but I was very overwhelmed by it at the time, and ended up selling it before I even finished it. Several years have gone by, I have a lot more experience now, I've finished and assembled a bunch of electric guitar kits, done a fair bit of maintenance on acoustics, and feel I have a more thorough understanding of the process of building a guitar and I feel ready to take the plunge again. But I don't want to just jump into buying a stew mac kit if there's something else that may be better that flies a little under the radar. I stumbled across Ken Cierpilowski website, but sadly it seems he's passed away. Any advice would be really helpful.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:01 am 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
Posts: 2039
Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Stew Mac
Martin
John Hall/Blues Creek guitars
LMI

Stew Mac and Martin both sell quality kits - but the selection and services are very limited. You get the kit you get. There are only very few patterns and options...

John Hall and LMI offer far more options for servicing or lack thereof, as well as wood choices and guitar pattern choices.

One big advantage with John Hall is that he is a pro luthier who builds guitars. As such - he can give expert advice on how to get through operations when you get stuck.. And you could even visit him for some hands on help if you need it..


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:02 am 
Offline
Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:43 am
Posts: 445
John Hall with blues creek.
I’ve build one. Customer service is outstanding imo.
If I were to do another kit I’d do blues creek again.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:23 am 
Offline
Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1328
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I third the recommendations above. I've built kits from Steve Kovacik, John Hall, and LMII. Kovacik and Hall are both extremely good luthiers who have Martin parts (necks, bridges) available as well as making their own. Most of the time you will get a dovetail neck from them - I would consider bolt on instead.

LMII has their cool little kit wizard that lets you start with a basic kit and substitute wood or binding or the amount of work you want them to do for you. You might decide to have them bend sides to an established shape and maybe to install the rosette if you don't feel ready for those tasks (called a "serviced kit"). Or you can just have them supply a box of wood ("unserviced")

These were three of my early guitars - on the right is the Kovacik 000 - basically a 000-28 clone with some beautiful bearclaw top. The left is an OM 12 string from John Hall - Martin neck, smaller body. John was a big help when I wanted to do abalone inlay on my second guitar. The little one on top is an LMII parlor - their carved neck, otherwise a box of wood.

Image

One of the neat things about building a custom kit like any of these is you can choose the level of work you want to do and you want supplied. As I moved forward with my building I have added tools and taken on more and more of the work to the point now that I scratch build everything.

I'll add that building a kit is not trivial - you still get some of the hardest challenges of guitar making - getting the geometry right, setting the neck, doing the binding and finish.

http://www.guitar-repair.com/kits.htm

http://www.bluescreekguitars.com/shop/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 6:05 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:58 pm
Posts: 726
First name: Ed
Last Name: Minch
City: Chestertown
State: MD
Zip/Postal Code: 21620
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
+1 on Freeman

John Hall at Blues Creek will make you whatever kit you want. I started with a small bodied maple/spruce guitar and built it with no fretboard inlays, just binding and no purfling. Understood the principles, then went back for a couple more with inlays, herringbone, fretboard binding, etc. Now on #8 I have been scratch building since #5.

With most of the others, its 000 or dred. With John (and LMI) its whatever you can dream up.

Ed


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 7:49 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:35 pm
Posts: 15
First name: Hans
Last Name: Mattes
City: Petaluma
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 94952
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I know that LMI calls their kits "kits," but I think that's a bit misleading. Even "maxed out" they don't include all the components you need to build a guitar, and the "required" items don't even include plans, much less any instructions. I think of LMI "kits" as a way to buy LMI products at slightly discounted prices. I built my first guitar from one of Ken's "success kits." It was a kit and it was a success. So sad that he's gone.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 9:07 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1328
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hans Mattes wrote:
I know that LMI calls their kits "kits," but I think that's a bit misleading. Even "maxed out" they don't include all the components you need to build a guitar, and the "required" items don't even include plans, much less any instructions. I think of LMI "kits" as a way to buy LMI products at slightly discounted prices. I built my first guitar from one of Ken's "success kits." It was a kit and it was a success. So sad that he's gone.


Ken (and John Hall) are real stand outs in the kit world, but I take issue that the LMI kits don't include all the components. I believe that the only thing missing is the tuners and that is a good thing - you can choose the level of tuner to put on your first guitar. I've built two LMI kits, the parlor above and a classical, both included plans, the classical included instructions on a dvd, and I was able to customize them exactly as I wanted at that point of my building career.

Attachment:
IMG_1011-2.jpg


Attachment:
DSCN1281-2.jpg


The parlor included Antes's "small concert" plans, the classical included the GAL '37 Hauser plans. Both made absolutely wonderful guitars


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 9:42 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:35 pm
Posts: 15
First name: Hans
Last Name: Mattes
City: Petaluma
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 94952
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Freeman, I'm totally on board with LMI (picked up some fretwire at LMI today). I'm building my fifth guitar now. The majority of the parts for guitars 2 thru 5 were ordered from LMI as "kits," and almost all the components I've gotten from them have been first rate. But if my first "kit" had been an LMI kit, instead of a Ken Cierpilowski Success Kit, I might have ended my guitar building some time ago. I continue to think of LMI kits as a good way to purchase most of the components needed for a build at a slightly reduced price, but I would resist suggesting an LMI "kit" to someone who hadn't ever built a guitar.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:55 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:42 pm
Posts: 1284
First name: John
Last Name: Parchem
City: Seattle
State: Wa
Zip/Postal Code: 98177
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I built a Blues Creek Guitar Kit from John Hall, and the materials were outstanding. At that point in my process I was not bending sides or joining the plates. It helped to be able to build the guitar without having to have all of the specialty tools required.

My first kit was a classical LMI kit from their wizard. I like that they made it easy to get the parts you needed with the ability to customise the kit component by component including servicing most of the components. While they call it a kit it is also a way to buy all of the materials needed for a complete scratch build without any serviced components. They will save the kit definition in your account so that you have a record as well. The kit came with a 1 hour Robbie O'Brien DVD that really got me through the build. I separately purchased the Hauser 37 plans. My daughter still has this guitar. I had to build 4 more classical guitars before I got one to sound as good as my first.

_________________
http://www.Harvestmoonguitars.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:22 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:46 pm
Posts: 352
Location: Napa Valley
First name: David
Last Name: Foster
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 94558
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I'm in agreement about LMI, Stewmac and John Hall. Something to think about as well. Is to get Robbie Obrians online guitar course along with the kit.

_________________
https://www.instagram.com/dofthesea/
https://www.facebook.com/PuraVidaUkuleles/


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
phpBB customization services by 2by2host.com