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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:04 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:38 pm
Posts: 7
First name: Brandon
Last Name: Geer
City: Rochester
State: NY
Zip/Postal Code: 14624
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hey guys! I have just begun to enter into the wonderful world of luthiers, and was wondering if you might have any advice? I just received my Martin Dreadnought kit, and have begun collecting some tools, but with my limited woodworking experience, I don't quite have the woodworking shop I probably need to accomplish this build. I was wondering if you had any advice as to what tools I need to adequately start building. Like what kind of clamps work best, or what you use to make the nuts? What kind of glue/cement works best as well? Eventually I'll probably be on here for the best way to finish the guitar as well, but I have a feeling my guitar build will take quite a bit of time, since I'm inexperienced and want to take the time necessary to make sure I do everything right!

Also, if you have any other little tidbits of knowledge that have helped you through your builds that you might want to impart on a willing novice, please feel free to bestow them to me! I would be eternally grateful!

Thanks everyone!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:01 pm
Posts: 3031
First name: Tony
Last Name: C
City: Brooklyn
State: NY
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hi Brandon,

Welcome to the forum. The best advice I can give you is to not start building. You will become addicted and spend way too much money on tools, wood, more wood, more tools, etc. If you really want to do this, congrats!
I built my first guitar, a kit from KMG Guitars, with three cam clamps, an Xacto Razor saw, a small router (for binding and purfling channels) and an attachment for the router to cut the channels. I bought a mold because, like you, I don't have a wood shop. Well...I sort of do now, but back then I didn't have anything. I had also never made anything out of wood aside from a pile of it! Take your time, ask a lot of questions, and don't get frustrated and give up. I became obsessed and finished my first kit in 7 weeks working only evenings and the occasional weekend. Turning out a nice looking first guitar, especially when starting from a kit is very doable but you need to measure 3 times and cut once. Keep in mind that there are very few mistakes that can not be fixed or made invisible. I put a position marker in the wrong spot on the side of the fret board and fixed that so that it is only visible once I point it out to people. So I stopped pointing it out. I'm at work or I would post pics of my first, but I can do so later if you like. I am now finishing up #9 and also building a ukulele for the challenge build going on here now.
I will be starting #10 and maybe 11 in a couple of weeks and I am now doing scratch builds. I even go as far as to split my own braces from blocks of wood! So go for it, have fun and post pics! We have all made mistakes so don't be bashful about posting yours and asking for help. Good luck!

Tony

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:42 pm
Posts: 2332
Location: Windsor Ontario Canada
First name: Fred
Last Name: Tellier
City: Windsor
State: Ontario
Zip/Postal Code: N8T2C6
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Welcome, read this forum, use the forum search function, and if if you have questions feel free to ask the forum members.
As Tony said, be careful this is a very addicting activity, I started in 2006 with a Martin kit and just finished spraying the lacquer on # 17, what a wonderful journey it has been.

Fred

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 907
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
If the instructions that came with your kit are like the ones Martin furnished in the past then you will need something else. Start by downloading the free pdf's on StewMac's kit page - that will give you a good idea of tools and methods that they recommend (remember that they are in the business of selling tools so you don't need it all)

Determine what kind of mold you will use - SM uses a simple inside cardboard mold, I think it is better to make (or buy) and outside mold. As far as glue and clamps - Titebond II (yellow) or LMI glues are good and will do almost everything, you might need CA or WeldOn or Duco for your binding. You never have enough clamps - I use c-clamps, the bar kind with the little trigger grips, clothes pins, and you will need a couple of deep c-clamps for the bridge (or special bridge clamps). I built a go-bar deck but you can get by with clamps if you make good cauls to back up the work.

For the nut and saddle, you should have received blanks with your kit - if not buy cow bone from StewMac, LMI or whatever. I shape them on a belt sander but you can use bastard files and sandpaper. You will need a set of gauged nut files for the slots. herwise, minimum power tools are a drill motor and router (for the bindings). You'll need a pin reamer, fret files, nut files, maybe a thin saw, sharp chisels, a dremel if you want to do any inlay. A band saw or saber saw to make your mold, some way to hammer or press frets. Finishing supplies. Cold adult beverages.....


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:01 pm
Posts: 3031
First name: Tony
Last Name: C
City: Brooklyn
State: NY
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Oh yeah, I had a half inch chisel too. Forgot that on my list of tools above.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:38 pm
Posts: 7
First name: Brandon
Last Name: Geer
City: Rochester
State: NY
Zip/Postal Code: 14624
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks everyone for the great info! Per Martin's recommendation I purchased some weldon 16 glue. I take it from your replies that that won't be good for the remainder of my gluing needs? I shall check on LMII for some other glues to use. I'm also going to wager a guess that the gorilla I found in my house probably wouldn't be adequate?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:12 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 907
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Just go down to Home Depot or Lowes and get some Titebond II. That will do everything you need except for plastic binding - that will require some sort of a plastic cement (Duco, Weld On, home made with acetone)

Fwiw, here is the "minimum shop" thread that I did a long time ago when I built my first kit. And that guitar, built in 2006, is still my daily player

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/archives ... 46_0_5_0_C

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/archives ... 25_0_6_0_C


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:10 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:43 am
Posts: 775
Location: Florida
First name: John
Last Name: Killin
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Titebond Original is the glue that most use if they don’t go with Hot Hide Glue, Fish Glue or something like LMI White. You can get it at Home Depot.

Glue preference becomes a heated topic at times, but you should be good with Titebond Original with your kit. The Weldon 16 you have will be a good choice for your bindings if they are the Tortoise or Ivroid type I’m thinking you have.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:38 pm
Posts: 7
First name: Brandon
Last Name: Geer
City: Rochester
State: NY
Zip/Postal Code: 14624
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
It appears titebond is the way to go, so I'll give that a try! Thanks a lot for all the help! And I'll definitely check out that other thread as well. Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures up here in a couple weeks or so to show a little progress.

Thanks again everyone! You've all been a huge help!


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