I am going to apologize in advance because you all are probably sick of this question. It's not gonna stop me from asking it mind you, but again, I apologize. I would love to build an acoustic guitar, but I don't have access to any classes here locally. What are your opinions on acoustic kits that are sold online? Or, should I purchase a "pawn shop special" and recondition it so to speak, replacing the frets, saddle, adjust the neck, etc. as a learning tool. Or should I just purchase a how to build a guitar book and go for it. I do build furniture, but I am not looking at sinking a fortune into something I may or may not be able to pull off. Even though it may be a tired subject, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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Ronnie Nichols,

Your post just inspired me and gave me an idea. I too have been wanting to build a kit guitar. First I would like to build a smaller guitar that my daughters can learn to play on. I was considering buying a 000 Norman Blake kit or something similar that would fit them well. I read your story of rebuilding an old Kay guitar and remember my dad had an old Kay guitar when I was little. It is long gone but it reminded me that my mom and dad still have the old guitar that I learned to play on......and my cousin learned to play on........and that my dad learned to play on......and all his brothers learned to play on. Unfortunately, either the top or back is split, can't remember which. It is the perfect size guitar for my daughters to learn to play why not rebuild that guitar!!!

I never thought of this before reading your post.....and it is such a great idea. My whole family would be proud to have this guitar playable again as they all have fond memories of it. I'm not sure how old this guitar is but my uncles played it before leaving to fight in World War II. I'm going to visit my folks this weekend and I'm definitely going to see if anyone has a problem with me rebuilding our family guitar. I joined fretsnet (this is my first post) just so I could thank you for giving me the idea.

Thanks so much Ronnie!!!
Luthier's Mercantile Inc. ( is a great resource for the wood and parts. They aren't cheap, but it's gauranteed that your wood will be top quality. If you buy a kit from them, you have an option to either get free/cheap shipping or a DVD made by Robbie O'Brien. Get the DVD. I have personally taken classes from Robbie and the DVD is probably the next best thing to taking the class. Grizzly Industrial also has a kit, however it's basically made for you - all you do is put on the hardware, attach the neck, and spray it. It might be a good beginner kit, but I think it's best to do the whole thing yourself.

Two books that are absolutely "must have". The first is "Classical Guitar Construction" by Irving Sloane. This is the book that inspired me to start building. The amazing thing about this book is it's simplicity. I read this book in one sitting and was convinced I could build a guitar after reading it. That was 35 years ago and I still refer to this book, The second is Guitar Making: Tradition and Technology by William Cumpiano and Jonathan Natelson. This book has been described as "the bible of the craft" by C.F. Martin IV and I would say that is an understatement. This book is so thorough that you will feel like you have a teacher by your side as you work with this book.

A kit guitar would be a great way to get started. Stewart MacDonald is definitley the place to go for that. Go to


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