Thread: My First "Kit"
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:48 AM
OddManOut OddManOut is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Carson City, Nv (Want a jackrabbit? We've got extras!)
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Default My First "Kit"

I really had a hankering to build a guitar. You know...we talk a lot about guitars and their construction around here. I wanted to have the experience of building at least one. I was eyeballing one of the StewMac kits. But, being a book-smart academic type, I have no experience with any kind of skilled hands-on work, no tools and not a clue. "I don't have a drill to mount my vice." OK...I do have a drill.

I called a local luthier, Larry Nair (Tahoe Guitars), to ask if he would help me build a StewMac kit. He said we could do that, or he and I could make a kit and he would help me build it. Wow...hard to refuse that one.

Long story Mahog/Adi OM is under way. It is based on a vintage Martin OM-18. I chose a stiff, ringing Adi top, a subtle Honduran mahogany B/S set, Honduran mahog one-piece neck . She'll be bound in curly maple and have a diagonal check top purfle and a chevron backstrip(my box from LMI just arrived ). We're using a piece of macassar ebony which I bought last summer to make the bridge and a matching headplate. We're incorporating a few differences in the bracing and top thickness, and going with a deeper body and a a two-bolt MT neck joint.

It has been quite an education thus far. My mentor is quite skilled and has a keen eye and intuition about tools and methods. He has many home-made jigs and helper tools. e.g. he has a little kurfing jig that allowed me to cut the requisite amount of reverse kurfing for the guitar. We then pre-bent the kurfing to prevent breakage. I'm pretty much in awe of his "mad skills".

This really is/has been a unique opportunity far beyond what I would have had with a StewMac kit. I've assisted with, done myself or at least wittnessed most of what Stew Mac would do to prepare a kit: choosing wood, bending sides, joining plates, etc..

I spent yesterday afternoon shaving top braces and tapping. I have no idea what the tone coming from the braced top was telling me, but it is quite musical and really "settled" on a nice tone as I carved. We just glued to top on the sides last night.

So here are a few pics and a link to a bunch more. I'll update the thread as we progress.

Click For OM Build Pics

Martin 00-18G (1949); Archie Emm; Scrappy Fritz; The OMOM; Butterscotch
Lil Spartan

WARNING: Beware Chino and Daddy G.

Last edited by OddManOut; 02-22-2011 at 09:50 AM.
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