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Home : Bodies, necks, wood : Dreadnought Guitar Kit

Dreadnought Guitar Kit


Read 39 Reviews   |   Write a Review

Quality parts made by Stewart-MacDonald! The highest quality Dreadnought kits available, with solid bookmatched grade-AAA back, sides and soundboard for great tone.

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Dreadnought Guitar Kit
 
Item# Description In stock Price Quantity
5295 Mahogany, dovetail neck Yes
$467.00

5296 Rosewood, dovetail neck Yes
$520.00

5293 Mahogany, bolt-on neck Yes
$467.00

5294 Rosewood, bolt-on neck Yes
$520.00


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Tools for Building the Dreadnought Guitar Kit
Waverly Guitar Tuners with Butterbean Knobs, for Solid Pegheads
ColorTone Aerosol Finishing Kit
Tortoloid Pickguard Material
Snakewood Bridge Pins with Shell Inlay



Details
 Pictures
Articles
Instructions
NEW: Shaped slotted bone nut and shaped saddle included.

We manufacture these kits right here in our own shop, so every part is of quality wood and machined for accurate fit.

No other instrument kits give you this level of instructional detail:
Full-size plan and bracing template
Building an Acoustic Guitar Kit DVD
Sold separately for $39.95, yours FREE with this kit!
Learn more about it...
Acoustic Kit Assembly Instructions, 36 pages of photos and
diagrams to guide you through every stage of construction.
Read instructions...


Build a fine quality guitar you can be proud of!

"People who saw the finished instrument were astonished that it came from a kit... Anyone wanting to begin a guitarmaking career this way won't be disappointed. All the components are high grade and meant to last a lifetime."
— John Calkin, American Lutherie
Read more from the review for American Lutherie

A hands-on course in guitar making.
We include full-size plans drawn by Don MacRostie, who designed our kits based on prized vintage Martins. The kits are adapted for the small shop so you won't need factory tools. We do the precision machine work, so you can hand build a great guitar.

We include illustrated assembly instructions and a FREE DVD, Building an Acoustic Guitar Kit! This DVD demonstrates the process in a way that would take a book to fully describe — and you can see what you'll be doing before you do it yourself. No other instrument kits give you this level of instructional detail!

These kits and instructional material are a solid introduction to guitarmaking.

These are great sounding guitars!
You get a bookmatched AAA back and side set, available in rosewood or mahogany. The AAA solid spruce top has been thickness-sanded and profiled. We've slotted the rosewood fingerboard, included pre-cut inlays and a genuine bone nut and saddle.

Choose a bolt-on neck or a traditional dovetail—both are machined for an accurate fit, saving you hours of complicated work. Width at the nut is approximately 1-3/4". Only the final trimming and sanding are required.

Included in the kit is a Hot Rod Truss Rod, to make the neck two-way adjustable.

Save time, save tools.
You don't need to tool up for critical machine work like side bending, shaping the neck and cutting the heel joint. You'll hand build and finish an heirloom quality instrument.

Solid AAA tonewoods: Spruce, rosewood and mahogany
Precision-machined neck joint
Precut heavy cardboard molds for trouble-free body assembly
Detailed instructions, DVD and builder's plans included FREE!
Hundreds of our kits have been built by first-time builders and
experienced luthiers

View the complete parts list for the Dreadnought Guitar Kit (PDF file 105KB).

Recommended tools and supplies
See the Instructions page for a complete list of what you'll need to build your kit.

You add the tuners.
From years of supplying kits to builders we know that you'll want to choose the finishing touches, so tuners and strings are not included. To personalize your guitar, see our selection for the tuning machines of your choice.

"What tools do I need to build a kit?"
Our experienced luthiers recommend the right tools to make your build easier and more professional: Tools for Building the Dreadnought Guitar Kit

Customize your kit to be a left-handed instrument.
Though our guitar kits are intended for right-handed players, the soundboard bracing patterns can be reversed to build a left-handed instrument. You can make a left-handed bridge from scratch using one of our bridge blanks.

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 Ratings and reviews
Dreadnought Guitar Kit
Dreadnought Guitar Kit
 
5 out of 5 stars
Based on 39 ratings Write a Review
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Displaying 1 – 10 1  2  3  4 >
5 3-07-2014
Totally satisfied with this kit

I assembled and finished this kit over a period of several months, working some weekends and evenings. The process was extended a little by making some tools to make it easier, such as a go-bar deck and spool clamps. Overall a very enjoyable experience that I plan to repeat on the 000 kit. I went with the rosewood back and sides, with bolt-on neck to keep it as simple as I could since this was my first project of this type. The average shop will have a lot of the tools required but be forewarned that you will find yourself buying some things just to make the job easier. In particular a good selection of files, scrapers, clamps and other hand tools is essential. I used the Stewmac file set (four basic files) on almost every procedure of the project. Access to a bandsaw and drill press is a huge plus. The materials are first-rate. I would put them up against those found in most any commercial guitar in the $1000 to $2000 price range. One very small flaw, a tiny knot in one half of the bookmatched rosewood back, but otherwise pretty much perfect. I feel pretty sure Stewmac would have swapped it out if I had sent it back but it doesn't really bother me. The instructions are great, very detailed, as is the DVD included. Experienced kit builders might choose to substitute wood bindings and add some things like a back inlay; really this guitar is pretty basic except for the herringbone, but you could go nuts and add whatever you want to make it more custom. I chose to assemble it without changing anything. I think I'm maybe one more kit away from having the confidence to try a scratch build. Some of the methods are a little clunky when compared to pro methods, primarily I'm talking about the cardboard body molds and waist clamp. It's a little difficult to keep the sides perpendicular when gluing the endblocks. I ended up having to adjust the neck angle by removing wood from the joint on the fingerboard side, which according to the instructions is not typical. So it got off somehow, but not in any way that affected the outcome. I plan to build some molds for future projects. I bought the Stewmac aerosol finishing kit, which includes sufficient materials to finish the guitar unless you have to do significant rework, which I did for reasons unrelated to kit quality or instructions. Even the rework was a pleasure, and I learned some things about fixing flaws. Overall it turned out great, sounds terrific, and is something I'll treasure as long as I live. I'm including a photo of the finished project - doesn't really do it justice, but everyone who has played it or seen it has been pretty impressed.

Steve Fillipp  Lubbock, Texas Read my reviews (4)
Customer supplied image for review
5 2-23-2014
An excellent experience!

I have over 55 years of woodworking experience but this was my first attempt at a fine musical instrument. The kit materials are quite good and a pleasure to work with. As a woodworker, I could not bring myself to use the plastic purfling, end-cap, etc, so I substituted maple and used snakewood for the bridge pegs. I think this makes an order of magnitude improvement in the beauty of the instrument though it is a little more susceptible to damage. I grain-filled the rosewood body and mahogany neck. I found the instructions (DVD and booklet) to be adequate, however the description of the use of the angled sanding board is less than enlightening. The angle between the sides and the top or back varies around the periphery, and the instructions do not address that… so I built a screw-adjustable sanding board to allow me to sand the lining to measured and calculated angles to get a smooth transition between the tail and end-block angles around the sides. I guess that an experienced luthier could do this by eye; StewMac could use some improvement in the instructions in this area for the rest of us. Further, if I build another one, I will definitely make a wooden construction mold and not use the cardboard. It just isn't precise and robust enough, especially with regard to holding the neck block firmly oriented and maintaining lateral dimensions. I would also make a waist clamp that squeezes on rather than slides on to protect the side wood better. Even though I have an extensive shop, I found that I had to buy a load ‘o specialized tools to do this kit right. Pretty expensive, but an incentive to amortize the cost over several kits. Besides, one can never have too many tools… I put a piezo pickup under the saddle just as an experiment and am gratified with the sound. A real joy to build and play! Excellent technical support from StewMac too!

Geoff Stearns  Springfield, Oregon Read my reviews (2)
Customer supplied image for review
5 11-10-2013
great kit

great quality and very quick delivery. I´ve now bought 3 kits. no problems at all!

ebba19  stockholm
5 7-03-2013
I'm super happy

This build has been very rewarding. It was my first ever attempt at something like this. The material is good. The instructions were a bit vague at some points but since I now have a fabulous guitar I guess they're OK. The costumer support is far better than i've ever experienced on or offline. Since I live in Sweden where options are few I do quite alot of online shopping so I have alot of costumer services to compare it with. The description on the web page stated that there would be a bone nut blank in the kit. I got a ready made nut. As KevinA stated below; An outside mold would be recommended for ease of assembly. Next time I'll make one. Routing for the binding and purfling was the worst. Consider getting a binding router tower or something similar, that will save you alot of stress hormones and keep that belly fat away for a while longer. As a first time builder you'll put a lot of money on specialty tools. This may seem very expensive for one guitar and that's exactly what I thought. The thing is that there seems to be no such thing as building only one guitar. I will build more for sure :)

Gustav  Sweden Read my reviews (18)
4 6-27-2013
A great way to get started

Attempting without a mould is not ideal. I would advise anyone building this kit to create a female mould rather than use the cardboard template and wood strip suggested in the instructions. The materials are very nice although I personally would substitute the plastic bindings with timber.

KevinA  Cyprus Read my reviews (4)
5 5-09-2013
Rosewood Dreadnaught

A really good guitar is the result of my purchase. The kit was very fun to make but somewhat daunting for my first guitar. The plans and video were very well done and answered most of my questions. I made one quick call to Stewmac on something I did not understand and that got me back on track. I got the dovetail neck version but next time I will try the bolt on. I think it would be easier to build but most importantly if there was a problem and the neck had to be removed it would simplify the situation. I did the lacquer finish, 13 coats on the body and 18 on the neck. Not very easy and quite expensive and time consuming if you do it correctly. But it produced excellent results. I would highly recommend this kit if you want a great guitar.

Davids Luthier  Dexter, Maine
Customer supplied image for review
5 4-25-2013
Sounds as nice as it looks

I should say, sounds easier than it looks. It's tough. No joke. I have done fine woodworking in the past and own many of the required tools and still needed special scrapers, files, glues, knives and laminating trim bits. The workmanship will definitely show if you fast-path or cut any step. I skipped the body fill and scrape process mainly because after 2 months and about 80 hours of work, I wanted to play my guitar, soon. So the 8 coats of lacquer I applied could not fill the top and back wood grain. Now I occasionally rake my fingernails across the sound board to remind me of what an extra hour or two cost me in quality. Fitting the neck is critical. Get it right. I checked out The Luthiers Handbook from my library and really got into the fine points of how a guitar works and my first reference when moving to the next step. I was just floored when I put strings on for the first. Couldn't believe how crisp and resonant the sound was. After two years now, I have not had to adjust the truss rod at all and only required minimal fret work to eliminate buzz. And wonderfully tight action. Get the neck right. Enjoy. Oh, and I decided to inlay my own brand, North Star Guitars

Kevin W.  United States Read my reviews (2)
Customer supplied image for review
5 4-16-2013
dreadnought guitar kit

everything is perfect in this kit, woods quality!! plans and video, the resulting sound is excellent good balance and power, that said, not so easy to do, my experience in violin making helped me a lot, this is the first guitar I make and I intend to repeat the experience, thanks to Stewart-MacDonald!

fred vachet  france
Customer supplied image for review
4 4-09-2013
Glad I chose a building kit

I had tried to repair one of my old acoustic guitars with a resonable result, so I started reading about how to build a new guitar, and luckily I stumbled into these guitar building kits. the building kit provided a lot of advantages compared to starting from scratch, some of the tricky parts were taken care of as example the neck-body connection the routing of the sound hole and the rossette, the prepared fretboard with the slots in the right position and so on. The instruction manual and the video worked very good together. The end result is fine and the guitar has a good sound, but it has also been tuff job to get there, it required a lot more accuracy than i am used to (I have build a lot of different things, furniture etc. but normally in a bigger scale)it has been great fun and a big challenge to make the guitar, but it has also been very costly to get the guitar to Denmark with cost of transport, import tax and duty, purchase of special tools etc. all in all the price of the building kit has dubbled

Michael K. Nielsen  Copenhagen, Denmark
Customer supplied image for review
5 3-15-2013
dreadnought guitar kit

kit makes a very fine guitar, excellent instructions and video

Bill L  Danbury, Wisconson
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