Since I've posted my web page, I've had a lot of people ask for more information about building guitars from kits. Building from a kit is a great way to get started in this addictive hobby of building guitars! Hopefully, this article will give you some helpful information.....
While I now build from scratch, my first five guitars were built from kits. It's a great way to start, especially if you don't have much in the way of tools at first. All I had when I started was a portable drill, a little disc/1" belt sander, a Dremel, some chisels, a coping saw, and some C-clamps.
The kits were good in that all the materials were included, the sides already bent, and the neck pre-shaped with the dovetail cut. The top was joined and the soundhole cut with its purfling channels routed. The rest was up to you; however, the really hard parts had already been done for you.
It was good for me to start with the kits, because it helped me to understand and feel confident with the general process of building a guitar first. By the fifth guitar, I felt I knew enough at that stage to get a bit bolder and design and build my own from scratch (AND, along the way, I had slowly acquired more tools and jigs that made a lot of the jobs easier).
My very first guitars were made from kits from a now-out-of-business (due to illness) company called The Kit Factory in San Diego. It was just a one-man company, and Ed (the owner) had a really wide range of kits he'd make up for you....it's really too bad he had to quit the business.
If you are looking into building a guitar with a kit, DEFINITELY check out Bill Cory's wonderful site, the Kit Guitar Builder site — anything and everything you want to know concerning the different kinds of kits available, the process of building with a kit, and helpful tips and information are all here at this site.
|A few places I know of now where you can get kits are:|
Here are some of the books I found most helpful when I was first starting to build:
FOR A GREAT, MORE DETAILED LIST OF BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS ON BUILDING, CHECK OUT . . . . .
HERE IS A SITE THAT DETAILS THE BUILDING OF A MARTIN DREADNOUGHT KIT:
Jim Kumorek's Site