A Great First-Time Guitar Kit from US Guitar Kits
- Nov 02, 2010
- in Guitar Kit Builder - Acoustic Guitars
If you're looking to build your own acoustic guitar you have a lot of choices IF you have some real woodworking skills and access to a shop with the right tools. From the Martin Guitar Kit, which we reviewed previously, to the many Luthier Classes listed in our directory of Events & Classes, there are many choices for the skilled woodworker.
But what if you don't have these skills, but still want to build a guitar? Well, it turns out that you can, with a project from US Guitar Kits. By providing a kit with some of the more complicated steps done, yet leaving plenty of woodworking and customization choices, US Guitar Kits has made it possible to build a guitar that would otherwise be out of reach for the typical guitarist. Best of all, they have trained several instructors that teach in locations throughout the country that hold classes where you can build side by side with an instructor and other students. These are primarily through the Woodcraft chain of woodworking stores.
Here's an overview of their kits:
US Guitar Kits provides a complete instruction manual and video to help the builder complete the guitar. They also sell a kit of the specialty tools needed to build a guitar. Scott Dixon began the idea of creating a unique guitar kit after building a Martin guitar kit 10 years earlier. "I purchased the kit and when the kit arrived it was very humbling", realizing so many specialty jigs, forms and techniques were needed to build the kit. So the idea of building a kit that was further "down stream" in the process and minimizing the building of specialty jigs, forms and tools and ultimately making the process affordable was the vision. Since then several hundred students have either taken a class at one of the distributor locations or purchased a kit via the website.
US Guitar Kits has now created a YouTube channel and produced over 20 instructional videos that supplement the instruction manual. The feedback from many customers is the instruction manual is now a supplement to the videos. At the current time US Guitar Kits is selling three kit models: a sapele kit with solid spruce top for $300, a sycamore kit with solid cedar top for $300 and a sapele with spruce top D-style guitar kit for $500. A tool kit with all of the specialty tools needed to assemble a kit is available for $380. A great way to build one of these kits and have even more fun is join a guitar-building class, available through US Guitar Kits or through the Woodcraft stores classes. Classes are available at a number of locations around the country and including the kit cost around $650.
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I’m thinking about taking this class at the Woodcraft store in Springfield VA. Anyone have any experience with the classes there?