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Thread: StewMac kit?

  1. #1

    Default StewMac kit?

    Since Arches is out of the kit business, I'm looking at the StewMac F style kit. Any feedback?
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  2. #2

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    Because of you I went looking for the Arches kits more than once, never found one, now I know why... :-)

    Seems easier to find info on the stewmac kits:
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...8-Stewmac-kits
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

  3. #3

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    Bummer about Arches, but even before a fire destroyed his shop, health issues necessitated Chris getting a day job with insurance and he quit making kits.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  4. #4

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Since Arches is out of the kit business, I'm looking at the StewMac F style kit. Any feedback?
    I’ve done a stewmac kit and was pretty happy with the parts and the experience gained. Worth it in my opinion.
    Jacob Hagerty, Hagerty Mandolins

    James Moodie #8
    Michael Fraser #5
    Jacob Hagerty #1,#2,#3
    1918 Gibson A1
    https://www.facebook.com/hagertymandolins/
    http://foggymemory.com
    http://www.youtube.com/j87571

  5. #5

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    It's about the only game in town for a quality kit that I've found. It has to be a rather small market. I can see builders with CNC machines not wanting to dilute the market.

    What am I going to do with thirty spool clamps and a thickness gauge if not build another mandolin? Not to mention the fret tools and finishing supplies.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  6. #6
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
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    4,400

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    Have you looked at this ad in the classifieds?

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/136370#136370

    All you have to do is make back and top plates.

    NFI
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  7. #7
    Registered User crooksj's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
    Location
    Chillicothe, Ohio
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: StewMac kit?


  8. #8

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    I'm just now getting the material for my second build. I am getting CNC'd top and back from Smith Creek Mandolins http://www.smithcreekmandolin.com/sm...ngservice.html Dave is a great guy to work with. I am buying my pre-assembled rim from the ad listed above café ad #136370. I figured this would be the best way to advance my skills without overwhelming myself. I'll have to carve the neck, but I believe I can do that and hone my top and back carving skills as well.

  9. #9

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    Yes, I've looked at doing that. My reservations are the rims matching the front and back from a different source, and getting the neck joint right, plus not having a band saw for the headstock.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  10. #10

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Yes, I've looked at doing that. My reservations are the rims matching the front and back from a different source, and getting the neck joint right, plus not having a band saw for the headstock.
    I have emailed both suppliers, and the company doing CNC work looked at a photo of the rim and believes they can do it to the right dimensions (Loar). The rim maker stated that he uses Loar specs he obtained. Additionally, the plates will be provided with extra wood around the outside in case I need it. I am pretty confident they will be compatible.

    As far as neck joint goes. the supplier for my rim is cutting the neck mortise for me. He will do dovetail also. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it all goes well.

    I will probably use my scroll saw for the headstock, like I did on my IV/Saga kit.

  11. #11

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    Let us know how it goes.

    One question: While I was building my Arches, and after, I always was thinking how glad I was I bought the kit I did because the time I was investing was significant. Do you feel starting on a cheaper kit warranted the time spent? I did have significant screw ups that had me second guessing my choice, but all's well that ends well.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  12. #12

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Let us know how it goes.

    One question: While I was building my Arches, and after, I always was thinking how glad I was I bought the kit I did because the time I was investing was significant. Do you feel starting on a cheaper kit warranted the time spent? I did have significant screw ups that had me second guessing my choice, but all's well that ends well.
    I knew whatever kit I got I would make many mistakes and paying more for a better quality kit wouldn't eliminate my likelihood of mistakes. I didn't think the quality of the kit contributed in any way to my mistakes, with the exception of the binding. The binding was quite thin, and the binding channel could have been a little more precise. That said, having a little thicker binding would have probably helped me avoid some of my scraping mistakes on the binding. But I still think the inexpensive kit was a great learning experience and actually turned out better than I had expected.

  13. #13

    Default Re: StewMac kit?

    Just saw where International Violin has a new kit or you could get a neck and rim from Keith at Buckhorn Mandolins. He has a recent add and both are well done for starters.

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