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My First Kit Build **NEW pics up**


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Introducing "Elle"....named for my youngest daughter. This is my first build. I thought I'd share it here. It's a scratch kit from LMI. All the woods and parts came in a flat rectangle box and I went from there. There's some build and finish issues but nothing fatal. I'm a long ways from being a luthier but it was a blast and she sounds great!

I have a whole new respect for my Gibson and various custom builders as far as build quality. It's not easy.




Back & Sides - Premium grade East Indian Rosewood

Top - AAA grade Engelmann Spruce

Brace wood - Red Spruce with Martin D-18/28 spec'd scalloped X

Neck - Mahogany, Cumpiano bolt-on

Bridge - Ebony and Bloodwood, custom design

Headstock - Mahogany and Bloodwood

Fretboard - Radiused Ebony

Binding - Maple, red purfling

Pickguard - Snakewood, custom design

Bridge Pins - Tintul with MOP

Tuners - Gotoh with Ebony buttons

Scale - 25.75"

Inlay - Antique MOP dots

Nut - 1 11/16th

Strings - D'addario EJ-17s

Finish - Nitro Lacquer






Decal buried in lacquer(dont laugh cant afford inlay)


Still waiting on wet-sanding


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Nice job - and a good looking dread.


So how much did the kit cost?


And how long did it take you to finish?



The kit was about $450 for mine but I upgraded to premium woods and better tuners. AA wood which is fine, would make the kit cost less. I also added an additional $100-$150 worth of some veneers, Ebony buttons, and other odds and ends. Yeah, I have about $600 in it and for that coin I could have got a Recording King or similar. Something moderately decent. But the build was fun and if done right, with these materials it should sound as nice as one costing much more. It has the same parts as higher end guitars its all up to the builder to make the most of it.

The opposite is true too. With mistakes and blems it may only end up as nice as some entry level guitars. I wont sell mine for sentimental reasons but wouldn't anyways because its just not perfect enough. But at least I wont have any qualms about using the heck out of it.


I had access to a full shop which without I dont know how I could have done it. Just having the planer and thickness sander and other sanders was convenient. The heat bender was nice but bending and chisel work can still be done old school.


Took me 8 months working about 4-6 hours a week on evenings. Can be done alot quicker.

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Very nice! This crowd is wanting more photos, though....


That guitar represents a lot of work. I ordered a mahogony dread kit from StewMac and I'm having a local luthier/repairman build it; the due date is sometime this fall. I downloaded the construction manual from StewMac's website and boy howdy, building a guitar -- even from a kit -- is a LOT of work. What you've accomplished is pretty impressive.

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It looks real nice. I have guitar on my "to build" list, but dont know if I'll ever get there. I think even to build a cheap crummy one would be fun. I've built a couple crude fretless banjos, and want to build a dulcimer.

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