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Thread: Acoustic Guitar Building Course

  1. #1
    Mentor Zandit75's Avatar
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    Acoustic Guitar Building Course

    Hey everyone, long time me not contributing!!
    So, what's been going on in my life recently?
    Released a CD, which has gone pretty well so far. A duet sung by My Dad and Debbie went to number one on the local charts, and my version of Country Roads went as high as #7, so very happy with those results.
    It's not locked in officially yet, but as a result of winning the Most Popular New Talent at last years TICMA Awards, I'm going to be playing live at this years awards in October. So I'm looking forward to that also!
    I'm still playing with the Brass Band, and I have the Tasmanian Solo Competition coming up on the 27th of this month, hopefully I can take back my old crown of Bass Trombone Champion!!!

    Later this year though is another major event for me. In September, I'll be attending the Gold Coast Guitar Building School in Miami, QLD.
    Website - http://goldcoastguitarmakingschool.com.au/intensive/#2
    I'm doing the 2 week intensive building course, and with all of the stars aligned, I'll come out of the course with a very high quality instrument!
    I met Aaron Fenech last year when my wife and I holidayed in Byron Bay and took a quick trip to the Gold Coast for the day. I've been keen to attend a course to build my own acoustic for several years now, but nothing had lined up for me until now!
    Out of the options available for the course, I've already opted for a cutaway, and I'll be bringing along a pick up for it to install while there. I'm also going to upgrade the guitar case to a Hiscox to ensure the best protection for the return trip to Tasmania.
    One of Aaron's students has recently finished an all blackwood slimline acoustic, and I love everything about it. It certainly has me wanting to build something similar. Here are some photos. That's Aaron shown in the photos
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    Unfortunately for me, this guitar has used optional Master Grade Timbers, so to do something similar, I could be looking at an additional $3-400 for this upgrade! Aaron has assured me that his regular AAA graded timber is normally pretty damn good, but there is no guarantee that he will have that quality of wood available at the time of my course.
    On top of all that, I have to have accommodation sorted and flights to the Gold Coast, so my outlay for this course is already quite hefty.
    Some have asked why I haven't just gone and bought myself a high quality guitar for similar pricing, but everyone here already know the answer to that question!!
    There is nothing quite like building a guitar just for you!

    I'll keep updating this thread as things progress, and of course, I'll load up the place with photos when the course starts!

    Thanks for watching!
    Last edited by Zandit75; 01-06-2018 at 08:08 AM.
    Acoustics:
    1995 Maton EM725C - Solid 'A' Spruce Top, QLD Walnut B&S, AP5 Pickup
    2015 Ibanez AEL108MD-NT - Laminated Spruce top, Laminated Mahogany B&S, Fishman Sonicore Pickup


    Electrics:
    Pitbull LP-1S - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=5745
    Carsen Superstrat Rebuild - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6284

    Builds in Progress:
    Silent Guitar Semi-Scratch Build - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6809

  2. #2
    Mentor Zandit75's Avatar
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    I'll modify this post as a running tally for those interested.
    Should be interesting to see how much this all adds up to!

    Edit - Final costings listed below!!

    Course - $3,850 - Includes standard hard case(I booked before this was changed to an optional extra) and Cutaway
    Flight TAS to QLD - $140
    Flight QLD to TAS - $325
    Pickup - $466 - Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend.
    Case Upgrade to a Hiscox - $200
    Tuning Machines Upgrade to Gotoh 510's - $80
    Accommodation - $715 - Got a great place on AirBnB just around the corner from the course!
    Food & General Expenses - Approx $900 - Includes some accessories I purchased including a Dehumidifying System for the case

    Total Final Cost - $6,676.00
    Last edited by Zandit75; 28-09-2018 at 11:14 AM.
    Acoustics:
    1995 Maton EM725C - Solid 'A' Spruce Top, QLD Walnut B&S, AP5 Pickup
    2015 Ibanez AEL108MD-NT - Laminated Spruce top, Laminated Mahogany B&S, Fishman Sonicore Pickup


    Electrics:
    Pitbull LP-1S - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=5745
    Carsen Superstrat Rebuild - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6284

    Builds in Progress:
    Silent Guitar Semi-Scratch Build - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6809

  3. #3
    Mentor Adam Barnes's Avatar
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    Good luck zandit. It would be a great experience

  4. #4
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    A friend of mine went on a one month classical guitar building course in Spain. Now he's got his own workshop and is making very high class classical guitars indeed. His French Polishing needs a bit of work still, but he's getting there.

    He built this guitar (it's his 3rd independent build) for his nephew, who's playing it in this clip (sound could be better, looks like he's using a ribbon mic that's turned the wrong way).



    So all the best with your course. Hope you enjoy it and come out of it with a really great guitar and the knowledge to build many more.

  5. #5
    Overlord of Music Dedman's Avatar
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    The "Fabulous" Gold Coast
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    I'd love to do that course, it's just down the road from me but I keep spending my monies elsewhere
    Build 17 WL-1 Kustom
    Build 16 TL-1TB Kustom
    Build 15 PBG-2- Finished
    Build 14 FTD-1Finished
    Build 13 RD-1 Kustom
    Build 12 DM-1S Finished
    Build 11 MKA-2 - finished
    Build 10 Basic strat finished
    Build 9 JM Kustom finished
    Build 8 FV-1G finished
    Build 7 ES-2V finished
    Build 6- Community prototype 4 finished ( 3 times!)
    Build 5 LP-1LQ finished
    Build 4 ES-5V finished
    Build 3 JR-1 finished
    Build 2 GD-1 finished
    Build 1 TLA-1 finished

  6. #6
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Hope you have an enjoyable time doing the course Daniel. Big investment and hopefully take away a whole new skillset that you can draw upon when using some of that fabulous native Tasmanian timber for future projects.

    Locals up here reckon it is starting to cool down but to you it may feel like summer. Still best to pack something warm and not just shorts and thongs.
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018https://goo.gl/gvrPkp
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018https://goo.gl/T9BEY8

  7. #7
    Mentor Zandit75's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Don't worry Waz, I'll ensure to have some slightly warmer clothing with me. This will only be my fourth time to QLD, the last time was just for the day to drop into this workshop and meet Aaron. September should be a nice time to be there, as it won't be too hot. Aaron's workshop is fully air-conditioned and humidity controlled, so that will certainly be a comfortable place to work.
    I'm not really doing this to gain a new skillset, even though I certainly will do so, it's more to come away a new custom built acoustic that is not an off the shelf production.

    Dedman, have you ever been to the Miami Marketa? Really looking forward to heading there for some reportedly great food and entertainment. We may have to arrange a Pitbull meetup??!!

    Simon, love that video. The boy can certainly play!
    Acoustics:
    1995 Maton EM725C - Solid 'A' Spruce Top, QLD Walnut B&S, AP5 Pickup
    2015 Ibanez AEL108MD-NT - Laminated Spruce top, Laminated Mahogany B&S, Fishman Sonicore Pickup


    Electrics:
    Pitbull LP-1S - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=5745
    Carsen Superstrat Rebuild - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6284

    Builds in Progress:
    Silent Guitar Semi-Scratch Build - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6809

  8. #8
    Overlord of Music Dedman's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    Location
    The "Fabulous" Gold Coast
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    Zand, no I haven't to be honest I don't get out much being a carer.
    Build 17 WL-1 Kustom
    Build 16 TL-1TB Kustom
    Build 15 PBG-2- Finished
    Build 14 FTD-1Finished
    Build 13 RD-1 Kustom
    Build 12 DM-1S Finished
    Build 11 MKA-2 - finished
    Build 10 Basic strat finished
    Build 9 JM Kustom finished
    Build 8 FV-1G finished
    Build 7 ES-2V finished
    Build 6- Community prototype 4 finished ( 3 times!)
    Build 5 LP-1LQ finished
    Build 4 ES-5V finished
    Build 3 JR-1 finished
    Build 2 GD-1 finished
    Build 1 TLA-1 finished

  9. #9
    Mentor Zandit75's Avatar
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    May 2016
    Location
    Penguin, Tasmania
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    No worries, I didn't realise that. You feel like you sometimes know everything about other members here if you spend enough time with them, but I probably missed that somewhere along the line!
    Acoustics:
    1995 Maton EM725C - Solid 'A' Spruce Top, QLD Walnut B&S, AP5 Pickup
    2015 Ibanez AEL108MD-NT - Laminated Spruce top, Laminated Mahogany B&S, Fishman Sonicore Pickup


    Electrics:
    Pitbull LP-1S - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=5745
    Carsen Superstrat Rebuild - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6284

    Builds in Progress:
    Silent Guitar Semi-Scratch Build - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6809

  10. #10
    Mentor Zandit75's Avatar
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    May 2016
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    Penguin, Tasmania
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    Ideas, Ideas, Ideas!!
    I can see the symptoms already, this is going to be a consuming build! I reckon Aaron is going to rue the day I stepped foot in his workshop!
    I understand that I'm going to be limited in what I can do due to the 2 week period, but I really want to make this a forever guitar. Unless the wife carks it under non incriminating circumstances, I can't see me being able to afford doing this again further down the track!!

    Here's the basics I have worked out.
    Size - OM/OOO/GS/GA sized. All of these sizes are slightly smaller and more comfortable than a standard Dreadnought, but no where near the smaller size of a parlor guitar(Think modified Maton 808 or Cole Clark Angel size). This will still give me projection, but still have clarity across Bass, Mids and Trebles. A good size for both strumming and finger picking.
    Cutaway - Yes, more likely to be a Florentine style
    Pickup - Yes, Leaning towards a newly released Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend.
    Timbers - Still leaning towards an All Blackwood design, as shown above, but it will all depend on what is available in Aaron's stockpile.
    Scale Length - Taylor guitars in this size are normally 25.5" with the neck joining at the 14th fret.
    Finish - This will be done in a Danish Oil style finish, wiped on with a rag etc.
    Case - Upgrade the standard case to a Hiscox
    Tuning Machines - Standard ones are Gotoh SG301's, but depending on their style, we have access to Gotoh 510's as well for an additional cost.

    Other areas I have been toying with ideas include the head stock shape, bridge design, Rosette design and inlays(if any).
    Looking through some of the designs other students have come up with, I really like this one which uses scrap pieces glued together in random angles, then cut out using a dremel to create a perfect rosette ring.










    The only change I would consider would be having two separate rings, one smaller than the other, just to create a slightly different effect.
    I am also looking at using this same technique to create inlay blocks for the 12th fret marker, end wedge, and maybe even in the headstock.
    Depending on timber selection, I have the idea of using scrap materials from the other students in my group to make these inlays from. As long as they blend well with the main timbers I select of course!
    Depending on the final timber selection for the fret board and bridge, I may not even place a 12th fret marker, just have the side dots. The timber may be left to speak for itself!

    That's it for now, I'll keep updating things as they pop up.
    Acoustics:
    1995 Maton EM725C - Solid 'A' Spruce Top, QLD Walnut B&S, AP5 Pickup
    2015 Ibanez AEL108MD-NT - Laminated Spruce top, Laminated Mahogany B&S, Fishman Sonicore Pickup


    Electrics:
    Pitbull LP-1S - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=5745
    Carsen Superstrat Rebuild - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6284

    Builds in Progress:
    Silent Guitar Semi-Scratch Build - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6809

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