Guitar making

Have a Grandson that hasn't been doing good in school but he promised me that he can do better and will get through high school with high grades. He is very intelligent so I know he can if he stays out of trouble. I stuck my neck out and told him that if he could get good grades and graduate from high school I would make him his own wood guitar which he wants. I have a great shop and make many things like jewelry boxes and such but never a musical instrument. I told him that if he can learn to get good grades then I can learn how to make him a guitar. I'm only 66 and still learning.
My thoughts are to buy a kit to learn the basics then make a custom version from there. I have bought a lot of tools (plus) from Grizzly who has guitar parts and the wood. Any thoughts on that?
Need I say, I need help to find a web site or any help I can get. If anyone can help in this I will be indebted to them. You guys on this group are the greatest so I'm hoping one of you can help get me started in the right direction. Oh, my SWMBO is counting on me to do this.
Thanks, Al in WA
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calmly ranted:

Good for you. Have you asked him which style he wants? Acoustic (classical, hollow, F concert style), or electric (Strat, Tele, or Les Paul style solid?)

Judging by Griz' president's guitars, they do alright! Ebay also has books, kits, and wood.

Look for luthier sites, such as http://www.lmii.com/Default.asp Check your local library and/or www.Amazon.com for luthier books. Several people from here on the Wreck have built guitars and will no doubt be popping up to help, too.
G'luck, and be sure to post pics of the final product.
-------------------------------------------- -- I'm in touch with my Inner Curmudgeon. -- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development ===========================================================
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http://doit101.com/Music/music.htm
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Something to help with your planning stage...
http://www.stewmac.com /
Al wrote:

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what the heck.... another one....
http://www.musikit.com /
Al wrote:

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Try the Musical Instrument Makers Forum:
http://www.mimf.com
John Friesen

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Ditto.

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Maybe think about offering to teach him to build it. "...teach a man to fish..."

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C.F. Martin is quite possibly the most respected American guitar maker, and they sell parts kits that are of the high quality materials they use for their own production. http://www.martinguitar.com/1833/ - click on "parts kits and tools" and there's a ton of stuff there you'll need. Depending on what kind of sound you're looking for, and how much you want to spend, there are a few options. I prefer the Rosewood myself.

There's probably other places selling guitar kits, but none of them have the name recognition and stellar reputation of Martin Guitars. (IMHO).
Dave Hinz
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Good for you-- hopefully this will motivate him. It's tought to watch a bright kid flunder in school for whatever reason.
Two quick bits of advice: get a catalog from Stewart Macdonald (www.stewmac.com) which will include lots of tools unique to luthiery, some good books, and all the machined parts you'd need. They sell a couple of reasonable-quality kits that might work as starters too.
Second, start reading the usenet group rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic, where some world class (and lots of amateur) luthiers hang out.
I think you'll quickly find that someone with your WW skills and a lot of patience can build a pretty nice guitar. The learning curve will be steepest on things like carving necks and bridges, fretting, etc. that require new tools or design techniques you likely aren't familiar with. That's where books, videos from StewMac, and/or kits can help.
Good luck with the project! Once you've built one, luthiery can become an addiction.
-Derek
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"

I'll throw another one in the mix.
rec.music.makers.builders
I got my first taste of lutherie at my local library. Surprising to me was that there were literally a half-dozen books on guitar-building, none of which I can remember the names of right now.
If it were me, I'd buy a Martin complete kit (about $400) and just assemble the already-made pieces, then step up to bending sides, then making your own neck and setting your own frets.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
-Phil Crow
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Thank you, Guys. You are the greatest. Checked out all your suggestions and ordered catalogs, checking out some books too. Looks like I have a fun project ahead of me. Kind of wish I knew how to play the darn thing when complete. Oh well, I'm real good at tuning the radio. And yes I will keep you up to date when I get started. Have a nice day. Al in WA
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Al, one last suggestion given these details. If your grandson isn't already an experienced player (a few years at least), try to find someone who is to take a look at your guitar before you finish the nut and saddle placement. You'll ultimately end up with a much more playable guitar if the action, intonation, and neck adjustment are done right-- and what looks "right" to a non- player might in fact be almost, well, non-playable.
If you have access to a real guitar shop (not a piano/band instrument store), you might go in a look closely at several of their guitars too. Take a small dental mirror along so you can look at the bracing inside, etc. If you can strike up a reationship with someone there who knows what they are talking about, it might serve as a source of advice and eventual setup of the guitar before final delivery.
best,
Derek
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Clamps, bending irons, fretboard templates . . .
the LUTHIER SIDE are they!!
Once down the Luthier Path you stray . . FOREVER will it dominate your Destiny!
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You might want to check out http://www.diy.net and look for a show, "Handmade Music". In it, a luthier from Knoxville,TN, Lynne Dudenbostel constructs both a Dreadnaught(Martin D-28 style pre-war) guitar and his version of a Gibson F-5 Mandolin( patterned after he Lloyd Loar F-5's by Gibson from the early 20's).
If you have a DSS satellite, that's where you'll find the show on the DIY network, but they have the series on their website. The guy is a true craftsman and if you follow the links, it's pretty thorough in showing you the process.
http://www.diynet.com/diy/shows_dhmm/0,2044,DIY_16997,00.html
--
Regards,
JP
"The measure of a man is what he will do
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