#001 Martin Dreadnought


The Finished ProductIn 2009, I decided I was going to build an acoustic guitar.  I signed up for the Musical Instrument Construction course at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Haliburton during the summer of 2009.  The course is run by a Toronto luthier named Phil Davis.  Phil provides the basic materials, plans, and instruction so a person can get started building a violin or a mandolin or a guitar.  It's a fabulous course where you'll meet a lot of great people.  If you've ever thought you might like to build your own instrument - just do it !  It's a lot of fun !

I decided I was going to build a copy of the very popular Martin Dreadnought acoustic guitar.  Being my first project, Phil suggested using very basic, common materials.  My guitar has a Sitka spruce top (soundboard) with mahogany neck, sides, and back.  The rosette, peg head veneer, fingerboard and bridge are all rosewood.

I started the project on the course in August 2009 and finished it just after the second course in August 2010.  It would have been finished a lot sooner but we ended up selling our house and moving during the winter and I lost a lot of time getting reorganized and getting my shop set up again.  But it's finished now and I'm very pleased with the results.  It has a very nice mellow tone with a rich bottom end.







2009.08.17 - Time to get started
2009.08.18 - Designing the mould
2009.08.18 - Cutting the pieces for the mould
2009.08.18 - Assembling the mould
2009.08.18 - Smoothing the edges
2009.08.19  - Thicknessing the front 
2009.08.19 - Bending the sides (ribs)
2009.08.20 - Glueing in the endblocks
2009.08.25 - Routering the truss rod channel
2009.08.25 - Routering the rosette channel
2009.08.26 - Rosette inlay complete
2009.09.03 - Glueing on the soundboard bracing
2009.09.16 - Glueing on the back bracing
2009.09.17 - Soundboard complete
2009.09.17 - Mating the front and the sides
2009.09.18 - Back bracing complete
2009.09.23 - Mating the back to the body
2009.10.08 - Purfling and binding
2009.11.08 - Cutting the fret slots
2010.05.09 - Glueing on the fingerboard 
2010.08.09 - After nine coats of clear lacquer
2010.08.11 - Glueing on the bridge
2010.08.12 - Done ...
2010.08.12 - and strung !