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Kits for the Hobby Luthier

Kovacik Guitars regularly stocks kits that are suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced hobby guitar builders. Though 000 and D size 14 fret guitar kits are available, we also offer kits in sizes and styles that are unavailable from most major suppliers. In addition to standard D and 000 kits in rosewood and mahogany, we often have 00 14 fret, and 12 fret kits in 0, 00, 000, and D sizes. 

While most suppliers offer kits in mahogany and Indian Rosewood, we can occasionally offer kits in koa, quilted mahogany and brazilian rosewood when available. In addition, special parts such as high style inlaid fretboards, inlaid bridges, pearl rosettes, herriningbone, and other custom options are periodically available for use in kits. The inventory of kits is constantly changing and what is in stock at any time depends highly upon what is available to the shop through our parts sources. 

ALL kits have bent sides, joined tops, machined necks, slotted fretboards and all other wood parts, bindings and purflings. Tuners generally are not included but can be ordered at additional cost.  Instructions are not provided in the kits but references to good resources for the kit maker can be provided upon request. The difference in the level of difficulty for various kits is the completeness of the parts.  For example, a beginner kit is likely to have braced top and or back, completely carved and/or totally assembled neck, shaped bracing, and various other "difficult" tasks done. Beginner kits are basically assembly projects.  Intermediate and advanced kits will have less of the difficult work done and are intended for buyers with some wood working or kit making experience.

Given that the parts for all the kits are hand selected and matched to one another for compatibility these kits represent  an excellent value.  You can find current kit offerings on our ebay seller page or inquire by email to find out what is available.  If you have been thinking about 'taking the plunge' and building a guitar from a kit, just get in touch by email and let us know what you are looking for!

Frequently Asked Question about Kits

Q.  Where do the parts come from?

A.  I do not generate the parts for my kits in my shop.  All the parts I sell in kits are Martin factory production parts that I have either purchased for use in my luthiery business but no longer have a personal use for or parts that I purchased specifically for kit production.  All of the labor you see in the parts of the kit is factory labor and not my labor.  All the parts in my kits are solid woods, no laminates.

Q.  Are the parts first quality or "B" grade?

A.  Generally speaking I do not use B grade parts for my kits.  In some instances I am able to purchase parts that Martin has discarded because of some minor issue that makes the part completely unusable for their production.  In such cases I will only purchase the part if the minor issue can be patterned out (such as a sap pocket in the edge of a D size top that patterns out if the top is re-profiled for a smaller size guitar) or when the issue is very minor and cosmetic only, having no structural impact on the item (such as a tiny pin knot in a neck shaft).  If a part with a minor cosmetic issue is to be used in a kit I ALWAYS disclose the issue to the buyer prior to sale so that they buyer always knows what he or she is purchasing.  If a part with a small issue arrives in a kit and the buyer finds the item unacceptable I will gladly replace the part in question or take the kit back for a refund of the purchase price.  In such a case return shipping of the part or the kit is at the buyer's expense.

Q.  What comes in a kit?

A.  I supply all the wood parts you'll need as well as the truss rod, fretwire, bindings and purflings, nut and saddle material and bridge pins.  I generally do not supply tuners or instructional materials.  The buyer is responsible for purchasing tuners, instructions/blueprints, glue and finishing materials separately.  Referrals to suppliers for these items are available.

Q.  What level of experience or skill is necessary for building a kit?

A.  It is impossible for me to evaluate the skill, woodworking experience and confidence of any potential kit buyer.  That being said, with adequate work space, some common woodworking tools and a few luthiery specific tools, some research/reading/instructional info it is possible for a person with relatively little woodworking experience to successfully complete any of the kits I sell with a positive, playable outcome.  Most of my kits offer parts in the same state of completion (and level of assembly and difficulty) as kits from the other major suppliers.  However, I sometimes am able (through the opportunity of having purchased the parts) to provide kits that have much more of the difficult work done for you (such as partially assembled rims or bodies, fully assembled and fretted necks, etc) but kits with such advanced level of assembly done already are the exception rather than the rule.  But when they are available they make great 'first effort' kits for the novice, as some of the potential for major error is removed.

Q.  Do you have a catalog that describes your kit offerings?

A.  I do not keep a catalog of kits.  Since I buy parts for kit production every 3 months or so and since the kits I offer are highly dependant on the parts I was able to obtain recently my inventory of kits is frequently changing.  I can tell you that I typically have 14 fret D kits in mahogany and rosewood, 000/OM in rosewood and sometimes mahogany, 000 12 fret in rosewood, mahogany or sapele, and occasionally I can offer 0 and 00 12 fret kits.  On occasion I also offer size 5 kits and other odd sizes and can accommodate orders for kits in just about any Martin size, including archaic 19th century sizes on custom order.  I also am able (once in a while) to offer kits in solid Koa and solid brazilian rosewood.  The best way for me to help you find the kit you want is if you call or email me with the size and style that you are looking for.  I can then apprise you of what I have that fits your request.

Q.  What kind of neck joint do your kits use?

A.  I am generally able to offer kits with either the traditional dovetail or the newer Martin mortise and tenon (bolt-on) neck joint. 

Q.  Can I order a kit to my custom specs?

A.  I will take and fill custom order kits when the parts I have available allow me to do so.  If you've got a specific request for a custom kit email or call and I'll let you know if I can supply what you are looking for.

Q.  Do you offer any guarantee with your kits?

A.  I select parts for my kits with the experience of 20 years of guitarmaking and 8 years of experience supplying kits to hobby builders worldwide.  I guarantee the parts in your kit to be compatible with one another to make the guitar that you are looking for.   I cannot extend any guarantee to cover buyer labor and end result.

Q.  What is the price range of your kits?

A.  A basic mahogany kit with tortoise appointments (the entry level) comes in at $375.  The same kit with more of the labor done (such as a mahogany kit with assembled rim or neck, or with pearl rosette or other pearl appointments) will be higher based on the parts contained in that specific kit.  A basic style 28 rosewood kit is $425, again with prices varying for fancy appointments or parts with more labor completed.  Kits with special woods (like Koa or solid brazilian) are priced individually.