Official Luthiers Forum!

Solely owned and operated by Lance Kragenbrink
It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:18 pm


All times are UTC - 5 hours


Forum rules


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




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:00 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:52 am
Posts: 2
First name: Charlie
Last Name: Paulson
State: Minnesota
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hello:

I have been thinking of "building a kit guitar" and have done a fair amount of reading. I found this forum today, and after spending a fair amount of time reading, I have serious doubts. So if I may tell my story and ask a few questions?

Here's where I'm coming from. I have an old 80's Sigma acoustic and that I've played for 25 years. I love going to guitar shops to play the Martins, Taylors, etc and have found my taste is a $2,500-$3,500 guitar. So, I keep my Sigma. I've also played many Fenders, I can't decide between a Tele, Strat or Jaguar. But I know the ones I like cost $1,500 - $7,000. The $500-$1,000 just don't play or sound the same. So I play my Sigma.

I have no experience building, fixing or modifying guitars. But enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together. That part of me says getting parts from Warmoth and putting them together would be a "fun" project. I know there is a lot more to it than that, but is this how most of you experienced guys/gals started out? Buying parts and putting them together? If so, is this a viable way to build a decent playing guitar that would make me happy to play?

There is no possible way I would ever tackle a complete build from a chunk of wood. I think I can get a kit built for well under $1,000. But what are the odds it play like a $300 guitar or is even unplayable?

Feel free to offer any advice that might get this "build a guitar" idea out of my head! Or offer any advice as to the best odds of assembling a decent playing guitar. Or is it viable to get a cheap used guitar and upgrade the components?

Thank you!

CP


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:35 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:30 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada
First name: Buzz
Last Name: Roberts
City: Crystal Beach
State: ON
Zip/Postal Code: L0S 1B0
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
How good it sounds or plays will depend on your woodworking skills. Be prepared to spend as much or more on tools as you do on the kit. In the end, the experience of building your own guitar is it's own reward. If you get an instrument that looks, plays well with a nice tone, then consider it a bonus on the experience.

_________________
The long way around is often the fastest way there.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:13 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
Posts: 3482
First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Take the money you would spend buying tools and materials, and go buy a nice USED Taylor, Martin, Fender, or so on. Once your purchase is made, play it until you've gotten all the music out of it. By then, you should have more money saved to do it all over - and you can trade in your by-then vintage Sigma and Taylor for a spanking new guitar of excellent value.

_________________
Stop saying "How stupid can you get?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:45 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:55 am
Posts: 1387
Location: United States
First name: James
Last Name: Bolan
City: Nashville
State: Tennessee
Country: USA
It depends on what type of person you are.When I built my first guitar, I thought it was the best sounding guitar I had ever played.Of course it wasn`t.It was just the euphoric of actually completing a guitar that I had built myself.It`s a great experience and I say if you love guitars and have a little woodworking skills go for it.Of course you`ll probably wind up like so many of us here on this forum and build a whole lot more of them.

_________________
James W Bolan
Nashville Tennessee


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:05 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:57 pm
Posts: 1982
Location: 8.33±0.35 kpc from Galactic center, 20 light-years above the equatorial in the Sol System
First name: duh
Last Name: Padma
City: Professional Sawdust Maker
Focus: Build
How high is heaven momma?
How deep is the ocean momma?
Right! Eat Drink

In me NSHO, you gotts the wrong attitude to this loofering around as a hobby thing although a few very competent builders did start that a way.

Stick with your Sigma. bliss

but then who knows...you might just be a natural.

Non the less, welcome to the forum.


Blessings
duh ?adma

_________________
.

Audiences and dispensations on Thursdays ~ by appointment only.



.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:01 am 
Offline
Koa
Koa
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 1996
Location: Hummelstown PA
First name: Brian
Last Name: Howard
City: Hummelstown
State: PA
Zip/Postal Code: 17036
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Sounds as if your mind is already made up.....you really don't want to build a guitar, you want to play a nice guitar so accept that and go buy a nice guitar.

_________________
Brian

You never know what you are capable of until you actually try.

Taylor authorized service
Custom finishing and repair

http://www.brianhowardguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Howard-G ... 3702413493
http://howardguitars.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:25 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:46 am
Posts: 1247
First name: Beth
Last Name: Mayer
City: Tucson
State: AZ
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Though a kit allows you to get parts that are mostly dimensioned and sides bent, and maybe rosette inlaid, there are many tools to buy and processes to learn. I agree with some of the others that, if your goal is a nice guitar, and not necessarily a guitar you've made, use the money you would have spent on making the kit, not including what your 100 or more hours of labor are worth, (easily double the original cost of the kit) and buy a guitar you like.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:59 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:24 pm
Posts: 308
First name: EddieLee
Last Name: Brown
I agree with Beth. There is so much technical information, wood working and acoustic details (all of them competing), that it takes a very long time to sort things out. Also to do it right for the first time builder, I believe it takes a large investment in specialty tools and jigs. It may cost you more to build one that to buy it. I think your first guitar can be a really nice sounding instrument but IMHO buying a kit with pre-cut components and gluing it together may not get you to what you want.

So my suggestion is, unless you want to build several guitars and you are interest in learning the process through experimentation, go buy you a great guitar that you love. Better yet, have one of the luthiers here build you one to your specification. You can see the process of your guitar being built and you are supporting an artisit. That way you can get the best of both worlds.

_________________
_____________

EddieLee


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:34 am 
Offline
Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 899
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
My first two guitars, built over seven years ago from kits, are still my daily players - my two Martins just sit in their cases in a closet (I should sell them but they are going up in value). Since then I have built, from scratch, quite a few more, and in my humble, they are equal to guitars in the price ranges that you are talking about. Typically the acoustics run $500 or so in materials, my Les Paul clone (built from blocks of wood) was about $1100 plus a case (and an amp). You'll invest many hundreds of hours.

I've also had to buy a fair number of tools - starting with kits made that pretty easy but as I move to scratch building my little shop has increased (the only thing worse than GAS is TAS - "honey, I need a new router..")

You also kind of jump back and forth between acoustics and electrics - if you build an acoustic kit you will definitely be "building", with Warmoth you will be assembling parts. Finish is always one of the hard parts for a home builder - you can get close to a factory finish but it is very difficult. Also, in my view, your success at the endeavor will depend on your commitment, care, and amount of time you put into it.

Here is my first three (kits, the little one was a gift to my daughter) and the Lester (scratch)

Image

Image

So, what I'm trying to say here is that it is possible to build a quality guitar from a kit but you probably won't. Most people make mistakes, some guitars end up not playable, some never get finished. Don't build a kit because you want a cheap guitar - build it because you want the experience. If you want to try, there are lots of folks here to help.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:35 pm 
Offline
Mahogany
Mahogany
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:12 am
Posts: 72
Location: United States
First name: Chris
Last Name: Clendenen
City: Siloam Springs
State: Arkansas
Charlie-
Welcome to the forum, and whatever you decide to do, I hope you stick around.

You have definitely NOT been bitten by the lutherie bug YET. I think you will be much happier with the results of your decision if you take whatever resources you can muster, and purchase the best-playing and -sounding guitar you can find and afford. There are great guitars out there that don't cost $2500; you probably won't find them at your local big-box music retailer, though. Enjoy your quest, and savor the victory.

Then, If the bug DOES bite, by all means, take the plunge! How to tell when you've been bitten? If you find yourself drooling on your keyboard while looking at Aaron Hix's or The Zootman's back and sides sets on eBay, and it's two hours past bedtime, you're close. If you find yourself dumpster-diving to retrieve a possibly interesting chunk of wood, you're likely there.

Most importantly, don't sell the Sigma. Put it away well cared for, and several years hence you will be amazed by the music that can pour out of it as you rediscover an instrument that is already a part of you.

Chris Clendenen
Siloam Springs, Arkansas


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:51 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:52 am
Posts: 2
First name: Charlie
Last Name: Paulson
State: Minnesota
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thank you all for the welcome and responses! Just a brief clarification, I am contemplating building an electric guitar from a kit. I have watched a few youtube movies from guys assembling electric guitars and it does seem quality kits have a better chance of success. I would NEVER attempt to build an acoustic from a kit or from scratch. I do not have the tools or the technical ability for an acoustic. AND, having looked at these forums and the pictures the workmanship is incredible. For that reason, I am embarrassed even asking the questions as I know they've been asked countless times before.

I will keep reading the forum and researching kit builds. So again, I thank you and appreciate the responses.

CP


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:59 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 899
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Go for it.

I would suggest getting Melvyn Hiscock's book for a reference - he discusses lots of issues that you may encounter - neck angle, finish, wiring. There are also assembly threads on some of the electric guitar forums - they would be worth studying. Obviously people here would love to help too.

Along with Warmoth, some other sources of kits or parts include StewMac, Precision Guitars, USA Custom Guitars, BYO Guitars, RM Olson, and Carvin. In most cases the body will be routed and may or may not be finished (you need to decide if this is within your ability). You'll get a finished neck with fretboard and frets installed (since this is your first I would suggest a bolt on rather than a set neck). You'll need to buy the electronic parts or a kit with all of them, and do the installation and soldering. You'll mount all the hardware and do the final setup and intonation. This is why I call it "assembly" rather than "building" - if you take your time you should have a very playable guitar.
Good luck.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:41 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:28 pm
Posts: 3
First name: Jason
Last Name: Emory
City: Hopkins
State: SC
Zip/Postal Code: 29061
Country: US
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
You seem to want a top notch guitar but you have a budget. As a newbie and in the process of building my first 2 guitars that I am buildoing due to the love of the challange, not expecting a top notch guitar..yet.. I would suggest you contact one of the many many wonderful builders here and see what a custom guitar will run you. You get the handcrafted just for you guitar, you get to pick your wood, bindings and style and in the end you get probably a much better guitar that you can say..I had this built FOR ME.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 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