Instrument Making

19th MAY 2022

In April I attended a course in instrument making at West Dean College in West Dean, Chichester. It’s been an ambition since I retired to do something like this. I chose to make a guitar modelled on a Martin 000-28. The tutor of the guitar making group tells me it’ll take about 4 weeks to complete a hand made guitar, so I’ve completed a week of that. I had a great time on the course and look forward to moving the project forward. I’ve created a photo album that hopefully gives an idea of how it has gone so far:


So cool! Looks like it is coming along great! I looked into it as well, but don’t have the ability to commit to course time frame reliably. Too bad, I live six blocks from the Luthier.

This looks very interesting and you will have the most unique guitar possible.

Roughly how much of the wood you start out with ends up as waste?

Great stuff, I’ve had several friends do the same. Are the back and sides rosewood?

That is so cool John. What a great thing to do.

What woods are you using?

Looks impressive and complicated that would explain your lower activity in AVOYP section John. Can’t wait for the next progress update :wink:

@Jamolay Thanks for your comment Joshua, nice to hear your interest.

@Jozsef Hi József, I’m endeavouring to keep the waste to a minimum and not discarded anything yet. I have it in mind that with a bit of thought I can use a lot making things for my grand children.

@tony Hi Tony, you’ve got it! They are indeed Indian Rosewood.

@SgtColon Hi Stefan, As in my reply to Tony, back and sides are Indian Rosewood. The soundboard is sitka spruce & the neck mahogany.

@adi_mrok Hi Adrian, non activity in AVOYP is due to poor time management! I’m not focusing on getting anything ready to share. Keep jumping from one thing to another! Hopefully soon do something for AVOYP.


Looks good so far, looking forward to seeing the progress. Making my own guitar is on my bucket list but as yet thats as far as its got.

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Really impressive John, thanks for sharing the pictures. Boy there seems to be a whole lot of rigs involved and I ain’t got a clue what they do, apart from look very complicated !!
Looking forward to the updates.

Well done !!


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Hi John,
Thanks for sharing…this is (is) going to be satisfying :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

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Tip my hat, John. Quite an under-taking and loved the pictures.

It all looks familiar to me as I have been following our very own @TheCluelessLuthier YT-based journal as he makes a guitar using a kit, which perhaps removes some (not so much to be clear) of the challenges.

Given my total lack of natural ability to cut a straight line, hammer in a nail without bending it, etc I shall be an enthusiastic observer of all those embarking on such ventures.

That said, like Adrian, I look forward to a song and live performance at an OM from you in the not too distant future, it’s always a treat.

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Very nice! I just put strings on my first build, a 000 kit from Stewmac. I can’t do the final setup for a day or two as the body of the guitar adjusts under the tension of the strings. But I am considering trying to play it for todays OM if it can stay in tune long enough.


@skinnyt look forward to seeing your project.

@TheMadman_tobyjenner yes, I was not expecting the complexity of most of the steps. But I loved it all.

@roger_holland yes, it is satisfying.

@DavidP I’ll have to hop over to YT to take a peek. I’m sure that, just like with learning guitar, with practice you could manage a straight line or two!

@TheCluelessLuthier it’s very satisfying isn’t it.


@Willsie01 yes it is. I also started learning after retirement. It fulfills the hands on experience I used to get remodeling rental properties and my own homes. The bonus is that I get to make myself more guitars. :wink: By putting it out on YouTube I also learned a little about video editing. @DavidP gave me a lot of great suggestions on that. I’m looking forward to my next build, a 1933 design of an OM 18 with Adirondack spruce and rosewood sides.



I’m sure you’re right, John. Just a matter of choices as to how one spends time and I don’t have enough interest to put in all the hours I’d need to develop those skills.


You too kind, Mark, just the odd little thing I’ve picked up making my own recordings to share here.

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That looks great, John, be amazing when it’s all done.

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John what a wonderful project. I’m excited to see and hear the finished product. So glad you’re living one of your dreams.

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