I done made this...

Anything to do with the things that make the music we listen to.
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#1 I done made this...

Post by kennyk »

I've been away from the hifi hobby for a while, but my years in the wilderness have not been lost; I've been at college studying guitarmaking...

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Post by shane »

That absolutely deserves the highest praise for artisan efforts that this forum can bestow, so before anyone else says it....

The world looks so different after learning science. For example, trees are made of air, primarily. When they are burned, they go back to air, and in their flaming heat is released the flaming heat of the Sun which was bound in to convert air into tree.
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Post by kennyk »


that's the second one. the first one is hidden from sight. :wink:
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Post by JamesD »

Superb! Absolutely superb work. Where did you go to college?

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Post by kennyk »

JamesD wrote:Superb! Absolutely superb work. Where did you go to college?

I studied at Anniesland College in Glasgow. Its just merged with another college so I think it will be changing name soon. As a testament to how good they are at teaching the craft: I'd never used a chisel this time two years ago...
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Post by Dave the bass »

Woaarrrh, nice work there KennyK.


PS. Shoddy.
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Post by andrew Ivimey »

phroaaaaaarrrrrrrr it looks superb!
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Post by ed »

sure looks beautiful from here...

are you going to pursue it as a business?
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Post by Andrew »

Well shoddy that is!
Analogue, the lost world that lies between 0 and 1.
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Post by Greg »

Probably the loveliest shoddy self built kit I've ever seen on this forum.

It's a massive credit to you, Kenny!

Ahem, how does it sound? :roll:
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Post by The Stratmangler »

That's a beautiful 000 style guitar.
Does she sound as good as she looks?
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Post by kennyk »

I'd like to be able to pursue it as a business, but I'm aware of how difficult it is to sell hand-made guitars at the moment, not least by some unknown maker. If it could pay for itself in the short term I'd be happy with that. Currently I'm trying to sort out somewhere to build some more... a shed of sorts is looking like a good option, but until work (as in my other part time job) picks up it's a struggle to afford to do anything. so it's on hold right now. weather permitting I've got a black and decker workmate and a patio that I can work on.

I'm pretty pleased with it; soundwise it's got a very big sound with a warm bassy low end but also a nice bright smooth treble; those who know the effects of different tonewoods will recognise the characteristics of Maple back and sides on a guitar. I did manage to get a recording of it at the end of year concert; ( a professional musician comes every year and showcases all the instruments in a concert setting. ) but only because I blagged some nice mics, a protools rig and a macbook pro from some contacts!

Top marks to Stratmangler for spotting that it's a OOO style. with a 12 fret body join on a 645mm scale it brings the bridge further down towards the middle of the lower bout which also has certain characteristics. Its based on plans from US luthiery supplier site Stew-Mac (who also supply complete kits) but pretty much everything was done from unshaped timbers.
the front, back and sides were supplied in boards at around 5mm thick, and had to be brought to thickness with planes and scrapers, back and front joined, braces made and shaped, sides bent on a bending iron etc. the neck was a mahogany plank from which the headstock was cut and re-joined to give a 14degree back angle. the heel was glued together from bits of neck timber as well. Linings were profiled and kerfed. I bought rosewood bindings with the purflings attached and also the herringbone strip, but the front and back purflings were put together by me. All the fret slots were cut by hand too. which is a nuisance job when using nothing more than a rule, scalpel, tenon saw and a try-square; so no mitre blocks! Neck was fitted using a compound dovetail to adjust for correct angles, which is perhaps one of the most satisfying jobs to complete.

The build was free-hand as well, so no moulds to help! There's still a few bits where I feel I've not done as well as I'd have liked; little bits where the bindings are gappy, but for guitar no2, it's a massive improvement on no 1!
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Post by Paul Barker »

Thank you for the detail, makes your achievement seem much greater. Do you have an estimate for the hours needed to make a guitar once you are up to speed?

I work with my hands and have to produce results to a standard and competence before I am paid, which is a similar parallel. I started this career in 2003 from scratch and learned the hard way. As you are gaining the muscle memory which makes your hands go straight to the elements of the job and do them with skill you will be grossly underpaid. But every job in fairness should be priced by what it is worth, and on the whole it is. Not by how long it took you while you are training your muscles to work efficiently automatically. ten years on I could say my muscle memory to bring me up to the standard where I could in fairness charge an hourly rate took about 5 years.

Similarly you learn skill and competence over those first 5 years also, although you never stop learning. You cannot charge a customer for your incompetence, you pay for that. You re-buy the materials out of your pocket. you re-spend your own time. You replace anything of the customers you have damaged with your slip ups, even if "it was an accident". You are paid as an expert it is your responsibility not to do damage.

Totally different career but also skilled work with the hands.

What I find is that people who don't work with their hands have no experience to begin to realise any of the above. They also have this totally incompetent concept in their heads that they can bypass all your years of training (largely through your mistakes which cost nobody but you to gain) and expect a straight answer which will get straight to the point of their problem and be a one sentense answer which will put a smile on their face.

The question "why is it doing that is it xyz?" pops up often, to which the only one syllable reply is "no". As you say no start to make a noise with a tool look busy and turn your back.

Most lay persons questions cannot be answered until further down the line in the job after your years of muscle memory and hard earned experience has been applied. But that can't be talked about it has to be applied.

This opens up the other issue with the people who don't work with manual with skill. to them jobs can be done sat at a desk or on a telephone or infront of a computer or by barking orders with their voice. They have no concept at all that you need to leave a manual worker alone to work manually. All the time his body is not creating no work is being done.

Learning to make guitars by hand will have all the same pressures just in an entirely different field. All your resource issues also apply. All the tools and equipment have to be gathered first from nothing, gradually stepping up to better and better. then some toerag raids you van and helps himself to £3 or £4 k's worth.

I haven't meant to put you off, but to equip you and prepare you. The end goal is achievable, the muscle memory does come with repetition. A type of strength to do a specific job appears. You could take a person with a beautifully crafted set of muscles on his near perfect bone structure who achieved it at the gym and think "he would make a great plastere's mate" but I put my money on the 70 year old man with a bent back who has done it all his life. He will quietly and it seems effortlessly carry bags of plaster up scaffolding to where he has to mix it so fast you will wander who carried it up for him. He has a strength and skill for the task which is not showey but is real. the gym junkie has showy muscles but less skill than a toddler. Muscle memory is highly valueable but it only comes with work and time.
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Post by Nick »

Slightly off topic, but anyone who has ever tried to learn to play a instrument will know the truth of this
Muscle memory is highly valueable but it only comes with work and time.
Whenever an honest man discovers that he's mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or he will cease to be honest.
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Post by Ali Tait »

Yep, I can relate to that, having worked with my hands for 25 years. Applies to learning to ski too!
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