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cs
06-21-2011, 08:14 PM
I wonder if this guitar kit (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250841920962&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_500wt_1156) on E-bay is worth it and at what price?

Chad

JMAC
06-21-2011, 09:41 PM
You might look at the guitar kits Stewart-Macdonald sells. I believe they offer support. The two guys I know who have bought guitar kits haven't finished them....years later. Are you a player?

cs
06-21-2011, 10:19 PM
I try to play but that is about it.

I know that there are plenty of good kits out there I was just wondering about this one.

Chad

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Chip-skiff
06-21-2011, 10:27 PM
Acoustic guitars are difficult.

To assemble that kit, you'd need quite a few specialised clamps and some real insight into how a guitar works. And a mahogany top won't sound all that good, regardless of how much sweat you put into it.

Cost? $100 up front and thousands in grief.

A solid-body electric guitar (Fender Tele or Gibson Les Paul) is something a good woodworker can build without terrible stress. Or a banjo.

purri
06-21-2011, 10:31 PM
talk to Chase.

Todd Bradshaw
06-22-2011, 12:30 AM
I've played some Martin and Guild (real Guild, not the current Fender stuff) mahogany-topped guitars that sounded great. The thing that would worry me most about this one is the statement in the listing of all the things that could be wrong with these factory second parts. It would be a tough enough building job for a beginner if all the parts came perfect. Having to try to also fix a bunch of defective parts in the process ought to be a deal-breaker. If you want to build a kit, find one that's first quality. If you just want an acoustic to play with at a fairly low price, start looking at used imports (Yamaha, Takamine, Alvarez, etc.) that you can play today.

Bruce Taylor
06-22-2011, 06:40 AM
Martin kits have a pretty good reputation. And, as Todd says, their line of mahogany-topped guitars sound fine.

The mahogany-topped Martins I've seen were being sold without purflings & bindings. I think this is a very poor practice, even with the harder top. Even cheap guitars should be bound! However, for the kit builder who doesn't already have a purfling cutter and/or binding ledge router, the lack of a bindings might be considered an appealing feature. ;)

The lack of a rosette is also kind of sad. As I pointed out in one of my old guitar-building threads (post #3 here: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?69602-Building-a-Guitar-2-Some-Thoughts-on-Design) the rosette's job is not purely aesthetic; it also plays a structural role, in preventing the transmission of cracks. Most kit guitars include a rosette, and many will pre-cut the slot for it.

If you want to dabble in building, but don't want to invest in tools for side-bending, purfling, etc., a kit like this one can be a reasonable thing to try. They sell new for a bit less than four hundred bucks. If you can get it for, say $150, I'd say go for it. That seems like a reasonable amount to pay for the privilege of screwing up your first instrument. :D

cs
06-22-2011, 03:16 PM
Thanks. That is the kind of info that I was looking for.

It is not lie I need another guitar nor is like I can play worth a crap but I would like to dabble around with building one. There is the kit above and than there is that cheap western steel string kit at Grizzly tools.

BTW is the Martin above a steel string?

Chad

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Bruce Taylor
06-22-2011, 03:31 PM
BTW is the Martin above a steel string?

Yes...00 size.

Bruce Taylor
06-22-2011, 03:40 PM
I just noticed that the kit doesn't include tuners & truss rod. Expect to pay fifteen or so for a Martin-style truss rod. As for tuners...well, that depends on how much you want to pay. ;)

Given the lack of hardware, and the seller's ominous references to "factory second" defects (wind shakes!), I'd drop the maximum price by another forty bucks or so.

You probably won't win the bid at $110...but if you do, you'll probably get your money's worth.

cs
06-23-2011, 12:47 PM
Right now the bid is at $78 and with the $40 s&h that puts it at $118 which is above what you are saying, that is unless you are saying $110 + s&H

Another question, if I do deciede to build a guitar would it hurt anything if I had people sign it with a Sharpie marker prior to sealing it?

Chad

PhaseLockedLoop
06-23-2011, 01:10 PM
Another question, if I do deciede to build a guitar would it hurt anything if I had people sign it with a Sharpie marker prior to sealing it?

Chad

Nope.

cs
06-23-2011, 02:46 PM
Good, because I was thinking that if I do this that I will have the people that went to Iraq with me last year sign making it a commeritive guitar in rememberance of R Troop (which was never was before and never will be again).

Chad

Bruce Taylor
06-23-2011, 04:41 PM
Right now the bid is at $78 and with the $40 s&h that puts it at $118 which is above what you are saying, that is unless you are saying $110

As shown, the kit includes top, back and sides, bridge blank, shaped neck & block, kerfing, bracing wood. Assuming these are low end parts with minor defects, what would it cost to buy 'em separately? The range is huge: some places will charge you 70 bucks just for an unshaped mahogany neck blank! But lets say you shop around and get a good deal on each item....$30 for cheap mahog. back and sides, $20 for the top, $20 for the neck blank, $10 for the bridge, $10 for bracing and kerfing, $10 for the fretboard (stewmac charge $20), and $5 for the neck block. That's already a hundred & five bucks, for unshaped parts. Then add something for the fact that the sides are prebent & the dovetail is precut (that stuff is worth something to you, I'd guess...otherwise, you wouldn't be messing with kits at all).

Adding it up, I'd say it's a pretty reasonable gamble at $125, even if some of the wood is a little rough (and I'll bet somebody else will be willing to pay more than that). You'll still have to buy tuners, nut and saddle blanks, truss rod (you can make your own if you have a tap and die set), fret wire, pearl dots, glue, finishing materials -- and whatever tools you might be missing (small back saws, block planes, accurate marking & measuring equipment, etc.)

Oh, and you'll want a book or two.

cs
06-23-2011, 07:12 PM
Thanks that is a big help. I knew you would come through with a good answer.

I want to go with a kit because I don't have all of the skills nor probably all the tools needed, kind of an experiment.

Chad

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cs
06-26-2011, 09:34 PM
That one ended up going for $157.50 + s&h so I let it go.

Chad

Bruce Taylor
06-26-2011, 09:58 PM
Probably best. For that price, you can find a good used instrument.

Chad already has a guitar.

He was interested in building one, and a kit is a sensible way to slip into that. At $125 or so, this might have have been a reasonable buy (depending on the condition of the wood...the mention of "wind shakes" is alaring...sheesh). :)