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  #1  
Old 01-14-2016, 08:18 PM
Zandit75 Zandit75 is offline
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Default Guitar building course

The possibility has been raised for me to partake in a guitar building course under the guidance of Luthier Chris Wynne who is based in Eltham, Victoria, Australia, however he conducts one course every year here in Tasmania.
The course is an intensive 2 week event, working 8hrs a day, and while previous wood working skills are not essential, some familiarisation is recommended.

They only use solid Australian Tonewoods, with a large majority of them coming from Tasmania.

Everything is included in the cost of the course which varies slightly depending on the specifications you want from the guitar(Cutaway, more elaborate rosette etc). We select the timber pieces, and build the guitar from scratch. There is no kit involved.

Classes are small with a maximum of 6 students at a time.

Unfortunately, a number of things have to fall into place for this to happen due to the cost of the course(Roughly $4,000AUD), one of which is the sale of my motorcycle.


I'm not riding so much anymore, but it is something I can always get back into later down the road(so to speak!!)

I have that many ideas going through my head, I don't know where to start.
We get to design our own rosettes and head stock, while also having various sizes to choose from.

Has anyone participated in a similar course, and what were your thoughts?
Here is a link to the course which shows some of the guitars made in the gallery.
http://thomaslloydguitarstlg.com.au/gallery.html

Any thoughts on what to look for, or to keep in the back of the mind, it would be most appreciated.

Does 2 weeks seem very quick to build a quality guitar?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2016, 04:05 AM
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matthewpartrick matthewpartrick is offline
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There's a build thread here in the custom shop in which a member outlined his experience. I can't remember his name off the top of my head, so it might require a little searching, but I do remember his guitar turns out beautifully and that he seemed to have a great time. Hopefully he'll chime in.
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Old 01-15-2016, 05:44 AM
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Hey Zandit...what Matthew said...in fact here is a link to the build thread: http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=313740

It is a wonderful thread and a wonderful guitar too! I expect that Devan had a once in a lifetime experience doing his course.

The course that you are considering sounds really interesting. I would love to do such a course but I know how bad my woodworking ability is! My 2 cents worth about the time required is that a lot of time could be taken up with the fancy bits - rosette etc. If you are using Tassie wood you can make a guitar that may be quite unadorned and still be very striking. If you get across to Devonport at all, drop in to Distinctive Timbers - they usually have a great range of guitar wood like Tassie Blackwood (got a set from then a while back!) and myrtle and sassafras. It will give you a first hand look at the options you have for back and sides so you are better informed if you do the course.

I guess my other thought would be size of the guitar that you want. For example, are you a dreadnought man for the next 20 years, or are you getting more interested in comfy little OM's? I guess that you do not have much range to look at in Penguin but if you get up to Melbourne for example, you could drop into Acoustic Music Centre and play a bunch of guitars to add to your understanding of tones, sizes, actions etc etc.

Col
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:10 AM
jt1 jt1 is offline
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I did just this about a year ago. You can read about my experience in my daily blog for Fretboard Journal.

In short, I think that it's a wondrous thing that any guitar-lover should experience.

Here is a video of the build, which contains my thoughts on building one's own guitar:



My recent, quick recording of the guitar:



And, a couple of photos of the guitar:







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Old 01-15-2016, 07:53 AM
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Hi Zandit,
I took an acoustic guitar building class with Charles Fox in Oregon. It was a great experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in learning the trade. Not only did I produce a beautiful rosewood OM acoustic but also gained the knowledge and confidence to be able to build in my home shop. It was also a two week class. The days were long but well worth it. I subsequently took his 1 week electric guitar building class as well where I designed and built a set net electric. To me these were bucket list experiences and were both money well spent. Charles and his wife Denise are also great people.

Good luck with your experience!
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:23 PM
Zandit75 Zandit75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colins View Post
Hey Zandit...what Matthew said...in fact here is a link to the build thread: http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=313740

It is a wonderful thread and a wonderful guitar too! I expect that Devan had a once in a lifetime experience doing his course.

The course that you are considering sounds really interesting. I would love to do such a course but I know how bad my woodworking ability is! My 2 cents worth about the time required is that a lot of time could be taken up with the fancy bits - rosette etc. If you are using Tassie wood you can make a guitar that may be quite unadorned and still be very striking. If you get across to Devonport at all, drop in to Distinctive Timbers - they usually have a great range of guitar wood like Tassie Blackwood (got a set from then a while back!) and myrtle and sassafras. It will give you a first hand look at the options you have for back and sides so you are better informed if you do the course.

I guess my other thought would be size of the guitar that you want. For example, are you a dreadnought man for the next 20 years, or are you getting more interested in comfy little OM's? I guess that you do not have much range to look at in Penguin but if you get up to Melbourne for example, you could drop into Acoustic Music Centre and play a bunch of guitars to add to your understanding of tones, sizes, actions etc etc.

Col
Thanks Col. I actually found that thread after Matthew mentioned it, but thanks again for the link.
I've only looked through the window of Distinctive Timbers after hours, so I will definitely check them out soon.
I guess you could say I am a Dreadnought man, my Maton is a dread, and the Ibanez is between a Dread and a Jumbo. I love a strong bass, but also having a good middle and upper range too.
You're right though, there is nothing here to see in Penguin, it is just a small coastal town, but in Burnie and Devonport(both only 20mins away from home) there are a couple of shops to look at. There's also Launceston, and Hobart, but they are much longer trips.
I dropped into the Acoustic Centre in South Melbourne over the Xmas holidays, and absolutely loved it. Having said that, I didn't play too many guitars, and didn't touch a single guitar in the premium room, I was too intimidated by the price tags!!
I played a couple of newer Maton's, an Ovation, The new Yamaha Silent Guitar(which I loved), a couple of Cole Clarks, and mucked around with a Fishman Amp that I'm interested in. All I walked out with though was a new Grover Capo!!

@jt1, thank you so much for your videos and photos, that is a gorgeous guitar in both looks and sound!! Sounds like you are a history buff too, that was a great little story about the ladies shaping the bridge of the guitar!

@SMan, thanks also for your thoughts, most appreciated. I've owned an electric guitar before, but never played it, so I sold it pretty quickly. The wife wasn't overly impressed with me as it was a birthday present!!

Apparently someone else at work has holidays at the same time of the course, but he is out in the workshop, whereas I'm an office dweller, so I may be able to swing it. I should probably drop a line to the luthier to see if there is even a spot open on the course, that might be the first thing to do!

Thanks again everyone, and if you have some photos of your self made guitars you want to share, please post them up!!
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:52 PM
jt1 jt1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandit75 View Post
@jt1, thank you so much for your videos and photos, that is a gorgeous guitar in both looks and sound!!
Thanks for the kind words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandit75 View Post
Sounds like you are a history buff too, that was a great little story about the ladies shaping the bridge of the guitar!
Yes, I'm a bit of a history buff. The museum exhibit devoted to my first history book, Kalamazoo Gals (American History Press), opens next weekend in Michigan:



My next history book, Solitude, Struggle, and Violence: A One Hundred Year Oral History of the Communities on Both Sides of the US/Mexico Border (also American History Press), will be published in the fall.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:01 AM
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Hi Zandit

Firstly a photo. I did not build this guitar; I dearly wish I had that ability but actually New Zealander Laurie Williams was the builder and I am just the very lucky owner. I have posted it as the wood came from Distinctive Timbers, a short drive from your town. Gives an idea of what a little bit of Tassie blackwood can do in skilled hands.



Glad you liked Acoustic Music Centre I have tried a couple of their Martins and vividly remember a beauty in Italian spruce and walnut back and sides from a few years ago. But mostly I just buy strings there! If you ever want a second hand Yammy Silent guitar drop me a note as I have one that I could probably sell.

Best of luck in your deliberations about the course. I reckon it would be an incredible experience. Please post a thread if you go ahead! A call to the builder sounds good, not just to check on spots but also to see if you get on well with him over the phone.

Cheers
Col
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:31 PM
Zandit75 Zandit75 is offline
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Thanks heaps, both of you guys, most appreciated.

Step 1 is taken care of, my holidays are locked in and I've contacted Chris Wynne just a few moments ago, and there are still spots available for the course.

Next will be selling the bike. I need to provide a deposit of $500 with my enrolment form. While I have the money available, it would be much easier to negotiate with the "Minister of Finance" if the bike is already sold!!!!

I think I will keep this thread alive with design ideas, and eventually start a new thread when I start the course.

Fingers crossed!!!
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2015 Ibanez AEL108MD-NT - Laminated Spruce top, Laminated Mahogany B&S, Fishman Sonicore Pickup


-----I see you're playing stupid again. It looks like Stupid's winning too!!!-----

Last edited by Zandit75; 01-18-2016 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:39 PM
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Excellent. This is very exciting. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:57 PM
Zandit75 Zandit75 is offline
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Excellent. This is very exciting. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
Oh crap!! I knew it was a bad idea placing this in the custom section!!!
Now I got the naturally talented guys watching me!!!
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandit75 View Post
Oh crap!! I knew it was a bad idea placing this in the custom section!!!
Now I got the naturally talented guys watching me!!!
Now THAT is a funny post!

Good luck with the build!

Chris
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:30 PM
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nacluth nacluth is offline
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Ha! I will be watching you.

As far as naturally talented...I hope Steve doesn't chime in and share how long it took for me to learn how to use sandpaper. You would think getting scratches out wouldn't be too hard, but it was for me. For my first year I thought all I would ever do is just sand wood. I'm decent at it now.

Don't worry. You don't have the pressure on you that if screw it up, you might not eat. Enjoy it. You are going to have a blast.
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:43 PM
Zandit75 Zandit75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
Now THAT is a funny post!

Good luck with the build!

Chris
Quote:
Originally Posted by nacluth View Post
Ha! I will be watching you.

As far as naturally talented...I hope Steve doesn't chime in and share how long it took for me to learn how to use sandpaper. You would think getting scratches out wouldn't be too hard, but it was for me. For my first year I thought all I would ever do is just sand wood. I'm decent at it now.

Don't worry. You don't have the pressure on you that if screw it up, you might not eat. Enjoy it. You are going to have a blast.
Haha, thanks guys.
I'll be sure to cover all aspects, and I will be hitting you all up for suggestions. This could end up as a AGF collaboration project too!!

BTW, I may still be able to eat after screwing up, but I'll have to live with that error up for the rest of my life!!(I don't need another marriage to deal with!!! )
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2015 Ibanez AEL108MD-NT - Laminated Spruce top, Laminated Mahogany B&S, Fishman Sonicore Pickup


-----I see you're playing stupid again. It looks like Stupid's winning too!!!-----
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:56 PM
Zandit75 Zandit75 is offline
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Hopefully some of the professionals can chime in here, what are your tips for designing rosettes and fretboard inlays?
Do you use a template? If so, do you have a sample that I can use for my doodling?

I also have various sized guitars I can build, the choices that line up with my interests are the following - OOO, OO, Dreadnaught & Jumbo.
I've only ever had experiences with Dreads or Jumbo's, what are the expectations from the OOO & OO that I should be aware of.

Thanks in advance.
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2015 Ibanez AEL108MD-NT - Laminated Spruce top, Laminated Mahogany B&S, Fishman Sonicore Pickup


-----I see you're playing stupid again. It looks like Stupid's winning too!!!-----
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