I decided long ago I wanted to build
acoustic guitars and I finally (winter 2006) got
my opportunity to do so. I looked into guitar making classes
I originally thought that was the way I was going to go. There is a
guitar class available somewhat locally at Redrocks Community College
in Lakewood, CO that looked attractive except the the cost. When all of
the fees were paid it was going to cost about $3000 to attend the class
and that didn't include gas to go back and forth from home. There are
numerous other guitar making classes across the US as well where you
get to work in the shop of a master but these classes cost even more
and I would have to relocate for months at a time.
Then I read an article in Wood Craft magazine written by Bill Cory who
happens to live in Colorado Springs. He has a web site KitGuitarBuilder
where he reviews all of the acoustic guitar kits available. Bill
doesn't consider himself an expert wood worker but he loves to buy
kits, put them together and then write reviews about the
After reading his articles I decided that a guitar kit was the way to
go. He pointed out that the kits made by Stewart-Mac
had the highest quality woods and the best
that was enough for me. Stewart-MacDonald has dreadnought and triple-O
guitar kits plus ukulele, mandolin, violin and dulcimer kits.
I chose the Stewart-MacDonald dreadnought acoustic guitar kit item
#5295 made from AAA spruce and mahogany with a dovetail attached neck.
This kit cost $365.00. I figured that I could build about eight of
these guitar kits for the price of a class so I was sold on the idea.
These kits also have some of the hardest milling work already done
including rough shaping of the neck and bending of the sides. There is
plenty of handwork to do as the following pictures will show. I
didn't feel cheated by having some of the work done for me.
My wife Heather and my Mother went in together to buy me the kit for my
birthday. What a great present! I immediately started to accumulate the
tools I would need that I didn't already have in my shop. In total the
specialized tools and clamps that I would need cost more than the
guitar kit itself. Not a good thing if one is only going to build a
single guitar but not too bad if many are to be built.
I was very pleasantly surprised when the kit arrived in the mail. I'm
sorry that I didn't take pictures of it for this blog. All of the
pieces parts except tuning keys and strings were included in the kit
and the wood seemed of excellent quality. If this guitar turns out well
I think I will build a violin next. Why? I don't know.
The pictures on the pages
below illustrate the major steps I went through in building
the guitar. I began building the guitar in early Janurary 2007.
||Click on this link
to see the process of building an acoustic guitar.
||Click here to see
how I finished the guitar after the construction was completed.
||Click here to see
how I setup the finished guitar.
Here are some pictures of
the finished guitar