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Author:  w00du [ Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:45 pm ]
Post subject:  CUSTOM KIT

Hello everyone! I want to tell you a story and hopefully someone can help me find who I am looking for. A few days ago I was messing around on the internet on my phone trying to kill time while on a car ride and I found a site that allowed you to submit your own design for a kit( which they dispose of the pattern after it is complete so you don't have to worry about them duplicating your design for someone else). Of course I immediately began filling out the order form to get a price quote but once I got to the bottom of the page I noticed it said to print the page and fax it for the quote. When I tried to bookmark the page for later my phone died before I could. Once I had enough power I turned the phone back on to look it up in the history but it wasn't there. Anybody know the site I'm referring to? Any help would be greatly appreciated. [headinwall]

Author:  jac68984 [ Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CUSTOM KIT

I don't know the website you are referring to, but my response is why would you want to use such a service anyway? I have no idea what your level of experience is, but, since you are interested in a kit and want someone else to bend sides and such to a custom shape, I'm guessing you're new to building. Otherwise, you would just create your own body shape, bend the sides, and continue on your merry way. So, with this assumption in mind, I would say to begin with, you will be much better served building a guitar similar in style to one of the numerous tried and true designs from factories like Martin or Gibson. The reason . . . aside from the fact the designs are well tested, you can find great plans from many models that will really help guide you from a construction point of view. If this is you first build, know that using your own body shape creates a number of design issues that you will need to address and resolve to ensure you end up with a decent looking and sounding guitar (think - scale length, sound hole placement, bracing layout, bridge placement, etc., etc.). It is unlikely that a person starting to build his or her first guitar will be have the knowledge necessary to skillfully address and resolve such issues. However, if you go with a standard design and use a good plan, these issues are no longer a problem. Follow the plan as well as you can, and you might just wind up with a decent instrument. The most important thing about your first instrument is completing it.

LMI, which is a sponsor here, has a "kit wizard" that you can use create a "custom" kit package. This may be what you were looking for, though they don't do truly custom pattern work that I know of (plus the whole "dispose of your design" thing doesn't seem to fit). There is a link to LMI at the top of the page, but their website is Great folks with great wood that will treat you right. The kit wizard lets you pick out you top wood, back and side woods, neck wood, etc. You can get a "serviced" kit where the sides come pre-bent to your desired shape ("desired shape" here means a limited number of standard shapes like Martin OM, Dread, etc.), and they include a plan to go along with it as well as Mr. O'Brian's construction video (if you select it as your free gift for using the wizard). If you don't have access to a thickness sander and don't trust yourself with a plane yet, you can have them join and thickness backs, sides, and top. This is a great way to get started, plus you will get a discounted price on supplies using this method (I think it's like 15% off when using the kit wizard).

Good Luck!

Author:  Freeman [ Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CUSTOM KIT

Plus to everything Aaron says. It scares the heck out of me when I see some newbie trying to come up with his/her own design on their first (or even tenth) build. What are your metrics? If it works was it good design or blind luck. If it doesn't work, ditto. You will have enough problems with your building chops, don't complicate it with some funky design that you are going to have to figure out on your own. Build an established design that you can judge both sonically and your craftsmanship, experiment as you learn what and why you are doing it.

That said, I have used the LMI kit wizard to customize the materials in one of their kits (and really run the price up LOL) but it is still based on their stock sizes and shapes. John Hall is another kit supplier who will work with you to customize your kit - I built a deep bodied OM 12 string with parts from John. If you want a strange size/shape you can use the same MDF for your mold and your side bending jig (the outside cutouts become the building mold, the inside your bending.

That said, if you do figure out what you were fooling with, please post it, I'd like to see what they offer.

Author:  w00du [ Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CUSTOM KIT

I'm sorry. did I forget to mention I was building a solid body not an acoustic? I tend to favor bc rich style guitars but I can never find patterns for the designs I enjoy the most so that is why I came up with my own style and want it as a kit.

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