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  #1  
Old 03-12-2010, 10:07 PM
Bigzam12 Bigzam12 is offline
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Default Buying First kit. Questions/tips

Hey,

To keep a long story short, I really like guitars, the woods used, and building stuff. I found a really good kit that I can buy from a site (allowed to post the name?) that actually lets you customize the woods it comes with.

here's my situation. This will be my first kit I'v ever built, and although I like building things, I really haven't worked with wood, but I have a act for it. Is there anything I need to know before I order this kit? So far, I dont have any of the standard tools, or really anything to make guitars, but the kit comes with everything pre-made about besides finishing and carving the braces, which looks like a really delicate and precise job. The kit I'm looking at is a OM, and I can't find premade braces for it. The kit also comes with directions on how to do everything though.

Heres my questions.

The top I want is also engelmann spruce, so I wanted the braces to be made out of the same spruce. I guess that wouldn't be a problem for a steel string guitar? I heard that engelmann dents easier, but bracing a steel string guitar with it shouldn't make it fly apart later, right? (I keep my temp and humidity in normal levels)

The back and sides are cocobolo, which is my favorite wood, but I heard that it can be hard to glue. they recommend which glue to buy, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem?

Sonically, a cocobolo/engelmann OM combo would be a great choice for me, since I love fingerpicking? I know engelmann has a real open sound, and cocobolo is close to brazilian rosewood. I think it would be diffrent then my other guitars, and give me a good variety. (plus fun to build)

What is a headstock veneer? A headstock is what goes over the head of your guitars, where the tuners attach to the neck, right? The kit has the option of ordering a headstock and a headstock veneer, evidently to go with each other?
While im talking about headstocks, does anyone know where I can get a blank brazilian rosewood headstock? I think it would go well with the cocobolo b/s.

Any tips are welcome or suggestions! I know this will be a big job since I have to buy some tools, cut expensive wood, and finish everything up, but im determined to do it!

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2010, 11:12 AM
wildbill1962 wildbill1962 is offline
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Talk with John over at Blues creek guitars, he is a great guy and builder. He sells kits and everything that you will need. He will also help you along the way, you can even call him up and talk with him.

http://www.bluescreekguitars.com/

He will put together at kit for you from your specs.

Hope this helps
Good luck
Bill
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:39 AM
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hnuuhiwa hnuuhiwa is offline
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Hi Bigzam...you probably should have posted this in the DIY section, but you should certainly get some responses from the luthiers posting here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigzam12 View Post
Hey,

Heres my questions.

The top I want is also engelmann spruce, so I wanted the braces to be made out of the same spruce. I guess that wouldn't be a problem for a steel string guitar? I heard that engelmann dents easier, but bracing a steel string guitar with it shouldn't make it fly apart later, right? (I keep my temp and humidity in normal levels)
Don't worry about it, you'll be fine with whatever bracewood is provided in the kit, and carving the bracing is the "fun" part of "tuning" the guitar

Quote:
The back and sides are cocobolo, which is my favorite wood, but I heard that it can be hard to glue. they recommend which glue to buy, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem?
Coco is oily so if they have recommended the glue to use you should be o.k. It is also an allergen for many, so hopefully you won't be one of those that have a reaction to the cocobolo dust.

Quote:
What is a headstock veneer? A headstock is what goes over the head of your guitars, where the tuners attach to the neck, right? The kit has the option of ordering a headstock and a headstock veneer, evidently to go with each other?
While im talking about headstocks, does anyone know where I can get a blank brazilian rosewood headstock? I think it would go well with the cocobolo b/s.
Yes, the headstock is where the tuners are mounted, and the veneer is a thin piece of wood that covers the front, back or both. As for headstock materials you can try LMI, Stewart Macdonald (StewMac), RC Tonewoods, Allied Lutherie, etc. Not sure if they have brazilian, but cocobolo headstock veneers are pretty common.
Quote:

Any tips are welcome or suggestions! I know this will be a big job since I have to buy some tools, cut expensive wood, and finish everything up, but im determined to do it!

Thanks!
Good luck on your build...a kit has many of the parts pre-serviced (i.e. sides cut and bent, tops/backs joined and thicknessed, neck precarved, etc.) so it may not be as big a job as if you were building from scratch. Be sure to post pics along the way (in the DIY section)....Aloha, Hen
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2010, 12:54 PM
Bigzam12 Bigzam12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill1962 View Post
Talk with John over at Blues creek guitars, he is a great guy and builder. He sells kits and everything that you will need. He will also help you along the way, you can even call him up and talk with him.

http://www.bluescreekguitars.com/

He will put together at kit for you from your specs.

Hope this helps
Good luck
Bill
Thanks, I'll look into that! The kit i'v been looking at is on LMI Tonewood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hnuuhiwa View Post
Good luck on your build...a kit has many of the parts pre-serviced (i.e. sides cut and bent, tops/backs joined and thicknessed, neck precarved, etc.) so it may not be as big a job as if you were building from scratch. Be sure to post pics along the way (in the DIY section)....Aloha, Hen
Thanks, I will do that!
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2010, 04:22 PM
marioed marioed is offline
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Hi Bigzam,
I've built four guitars from LMI kits so here are my comments based on my experiences. I'm guessing you're going for a serviced kit.
1. The instructions that come with LMI kits consist of a video and a blueprint. You'll need to flesh out their very basic instructions with other sources.
2. The sides are not profiled or trimmed so you'll need to do that.
3. The braces come as billets, usually 1" by 2" by 18", of wood, which will need to be cut to size. I'd actually suggest you use Adirondack spruce for your braces. It has a better strength to weight ratio.
4. Cocobolo can be hard to glue and finish because it is very oily and some folks have an allergic reaction to it's dust. When I've worked with it I've wiped it down with acetone before gluing and used epoxy. For a first guitar you might want to consider an easier wood to work with like east indian rosewood or palo escrito.
5. You will need to trim your top and back as they come cut oversize.
6. If you plan to install bindings you'll need to cut or rout the binding channel, this will be true with pretty much all kits.
7. Headstock veneer is a piece of wood that gets glued to the headstock, I like to use the same type of wood I'm using for the body and sandwich a very thin piece of maple veneer between that and the headstock if I'm using a dark wood. Some folks don't use a veneer at all. If you do decide to use one you may have to thin it and/or the headstock to make sure the tuners fit properly.
8. You will need a number of tools to build this.
9. I like using the LMI kit wizard, however the kits from either John Hall or Stewart-MacDonald are generally easier for a first time builder to start out on. Especially if you don't have alot of wood working tools. I highly recommend John Hall who will help you not only with selecting your kit but also with the tools and other jigs you'll need to either make or buy.
Regards,
Ed
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  #6  
Old 03-14-2010, 08:47 PM
Bigzam12 Bigzam12 is offline
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Ok, thanks! I'll keep that all in mind before I order it.
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2010, 05:33 AM
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Kitchen Guitars Kitchen Guitars is offline
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Another plug for John Hall. The fella I bought out had gotten many items from John. Forms, the Bender....... John has been exceptional at answering questions. When I was just getting going he even called once to make sure things were working out.
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