As of this post I have never made a wooden instrument. I do play the piano, drums, guitar and bass guitar and have for several decades, though. In the interest of transparency I have to date cut a coconut in half, and that is it. I can now make percussive sounds akin to Monty Python’s Holy Grail’s skits wherein the knight rides with his manservant clopping coconut halves together. Now that you know that I’m under-qualified, let me tell you the following:
About three years ago [maybe four, I haven't kept track very closely] I received, as a gift, an acoustic bass guitar kit that someone had started but was unable to finish [they died]. I stuck the kit in the closet and it has sat there until this last month. I got inspired to dig it out because my brother’s neighbor makes guitars and I realized that I wanted to learn how to make guitars and pursue something with physical results since I make software for a living. Since my brother’s neighbor lives 1,000 or so miles away, and since there are books, blogs, forums and various online resources like the O’Brien Guitar video series on YouTube, I decided to get reading and watching and learning so that I could finish the kit.
One more thing: the guitar assembly was started in Florida where the humidity is somewhere near 110% and was then shipped to Colorado. I believe our average humidity is somewhere near 35%. The guitar kit (shown at the top this post) has some rough bits and I even started to remove the kerfing because the accuracy wasn’t what I thought it should be. I’m glad I stopped because a plane will take care of the waves in the kerfing. Additionally the spruce top that was started cracked badly due to the humidity difference. I had to order a new one top and bracing for a new top. This will require a bit of reverse engineering, but we’ll make it work.
This blog is going to journey through my making of the acoustic bass guitar [ABG], as well as notes and discoveries I make along the way. I hope to assemble other guitars in the future, including a classical, a steel string, an arch top, and a mandolin.