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  #1  
Old 11-30-2010, 03:13 PM
sammyman sammyman is offline
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Default Martin Kits?

I am considering taking a stab at building a Martin guitar from one of their kits. I currently have a Taylor 414-K and ordered a Martin D-15 recently, but it won't ship until January. I was wondering what kit would compliment these two guitars?

Maybe the more affordably 000 kit, or the HD-28 kit (like this one)?

Also, does anyone know what the differences of the HD-28 and the kit version of this guitar?

I know the HD-28 has different bracing than the D-28. Does the kit version have the same bracing?
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2010, 04:11 PM
Misifus Misifus is offline
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Assembling a guitar is a bit more complex than you might suspect. How well the guitar is assembled will have a large impact on how well the final product plays and sounds. It would be easy to make an instrument that falls well short of the Martin factory standards, and you would not be likely to produce one that surpassed that standard.

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Old 11-30-2010, 04:20 PM
clicktone clicktone is offline
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I thought about it myself, but realized that I would need a great amount of tools and jigs and by the time I was done I could have purchased a Martin that would be nicer that the one I'd build... the experience would be great but I couldn't justify the funds.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:44 PM
mercy mercy is offline
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Do it for the experience but not to get a guitar, you probably wont.
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2010, 05:32 PM
Guitar Hack Guitar Hack is offline
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I have built an HD-28. It's not as hard as you might think. Get a book from Bill Cory, see kitguitarforum.com. The Martin Kit has zip for instructions.

I would recommend you buy a band saw and a bunch of clamps from Harbor Freight. Might want a paint sprayer as well or you could use nitrocellulose in a can to finish it.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:45 PM
mmapags mmapags is offline
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Guitar Hack is correct. Bill also has a book that fleshes out the step by step instructions for building a Martin Kit. Plan on spending as much on tools and jigs as you spend on the kit. I'm on on my first build right now. A Martin style 12 fret 000 slothead. I bought it from John Hall at Blues Creek Guitars. He gets many of his components from Martin, he is an authorized Martin repair shop. He make his own back, sides and tops. The advantages to dealing with someone like him or Ken C at Kenneth Michael Guitars is that they can customize your kit to just what you want and are available to mentor you through and answer you questions.

As an example, I am about to start on my 2nd build for my 14 year old daughter. A sitka/ rosewood 12 fret dread with a pan head and will be a burst finish with matching tortise binding and pickguard.

All of these factors can be critical to the success and satisfaction of a first build. You certainly won't get that from Martin!

I'm pretty happy overall with my first build. I'm just about at finishing stage with most of the wood work done. John has been an invaluable resource in helping me make this happen. Those who buy from Ken will tell you the same thing.

You can learn more about the process and both of the Kit sellers I mentioned at the kit guitar forum that Guitar Hack mentioned. I have personally found it one the most rewarding experiences I've ever had! If you think you have the money and time to spend and would enjoy it, I'd say go for it!!
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:53 PM
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Kitchen Guitars Kitchen Guitars is offline
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Go for it! I third mmapags and Guitar Hack. You will need some tools, and guidance. Do do it for the experience.
BTW All of the dealings I have had with Blues Creek have been beyond excellent.

Most important. Post pictures here
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:30 PM
naccoachbob naccoachbob is offline
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I"m on the "go for it" bandwagon too. I'm starting my 3rd kit, this one was from Martin.
The only apprehension is dealing with the dovetail neck. My other's had bolt on's.
I spent as much on tools as I did on the kit, but some of that was waste - trying to do something that didn't work.
Kenneth Michaels at KMG will sell you a kit with most of the tools needed to successfully complete the build. I got my 2nd from him, but without tools, because I already had most of what he included.
Plus if you build multiple guitars, the overhead can be spread out between them.
And it's a lot of fun. Not terribly difficult either. My first guitar sounds pretty good. I'm happy with it.
Best of luck,
Bob
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:16 AM
PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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When I was looking into this, I realized (like others have said) that by the time I put in money for all of the tools and whatnot, I could get a VERY decent guitar.

If you are doing it for the experience, go for it!

If you are doing it to try to save money, save your money.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:04 AM
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Kitchen Guitars Kitchen Guitars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
When I was looking into this, I realized (like others have said) that by the time I put in money for all of the tools and whatnot, I could get a VERY decent guitar.

If you are doing it for the experience, go for it!

If you are doing it to try to save money, save your money.

Just my 2 cents.
As a guy who is putting a $500 restoration into a $250 guitar then giving it back without a bill....... I second it ain't to save money. But its fun
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2010, 12:31 PM
mmapags mmapags is offline
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You don't save money per se but what you do get is a guitar made by your own hands, that plays great (if you have a good mentor to help you get the first one done with a minimum of mistakes) and sounds as good as a much more expensive guitar because you are buying better materials than what would go in a $500 guitar bought in a store that was made in a factory probably in the orient. (I have no problem with guitars made in the far east btw, I own a Recording King that I love.) What is the value of that? To me it's almost priceless as it's a creation not a commodity.

I'd probably have trouble being a professional luthier because I wouldn't want to let anyone have their instrument when I was done!!
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:39 AM
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Cornerstone Guitars Cornerstone Guitars is offline
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John Hall at Blues Creek guitars has great kits and prices. But like Kevin said, the tools on top of the kip should be something to consider...
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  #13  
Old 12-04-2010, 07:43 PM
CET CET is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercy View Post
Do it for the experience but not to get a guitar, you probably wont.
Sammy - ignore the second part of the above quote, as it is simply untrue. Plenty of people build kits, and the majority of them end up with fine sounding guitars.

There are great resources available to you at http://www.kitguitarsforum.com. Read through the posts there and check out the guitars finished by other kit builders. Go to the archives on the old site, too - lots of posts and photos of finished kit guitars there.

It's a lot of work, but it's fun and very rewarding. The fit and finish on your finished guitar will not be up to Martin factory standards, but chances are good that it will exceed your expectations with respect to tone and playability.
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2010, 05:08 AM
MartinOM28V MartinOM28V is offline
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I echo the "go for it" sentiment. My first kit guitar was the StewMac HD. Components wise it is very close (missing a backstrip, but woods were every bit as good as what Martin uses). Build wise the specs and bracing are the same but as others have said you probably won't make the Martin employees nervous about their jobs with your first effort. Finish wise let's just say I kept this one at home, in a spare room, in the closet. Tone wise I shouted out for joy the first time I strung it up and hit that g chord. incredible rich, big, dry tone.

That was seven years ago and just recently I rescued it from its shameful life in that back room closet, stripped the finish and am redoing it now that I have more experience under my belt. Using brush on KTM9 instead of lacquer in a spray can...and also have learned to be more patient. That's the key.
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2011, 11:33 PM
clicktone clicktone is offline
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I think i'll just let Peter build me one... :^)
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