Christmas guitar project

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Patrick DeGreve
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Christmas guitar project

Post by Patrick DeGreve »

Just thought I would share this. Last Christmas I donated a 3/4 size guitar to the LA County Federation of Labor's Christmas toy drive. They were very nice and sent me a thank you letter. So this last year I built 5 guitars to donate to their toy drive. One was a full size classical, three were 3/4 size classicals, and one was a mini steel string guitar. This was a very nice project. I had a good time building them, and it made me feel good. RC Tonewoods sells what they call orphan backs and sides, one piece, no bookmatch, at $6.00 per piece. I was able to mix and match these to put together full backs of solid woods. They all played well, good action, nice tone. I liked the 3/4 size classicals quite a bit. They had better volume and tone than I thought for a small guitar. Anyway it was a lot of fun. This project allowed me to keep building all year (with a goal), and as I said just made me feel good.
Attachments
back of steel string.
back of steel string.
Mahogany and Cocobolo mini steel string
Mahogany and Cocobolo mini steel string
mahogany 3/4 size
mahogany 3/4 size
A shot of the group
A shot of the group

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Patrick DeGreve
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Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Patrick DeGreve »

I failed to mention that I put them in "Gator" padded gig bags, and included "Hal Leonard" guitar for kids books, picks and chromatic tuners in each gig bag. With the exception of the full size classical, which I put in a hard shell case. I could not find a reasonable hard case for the 3/4 size guitars. Gator makes a very nice 3/4 size case, but it sells for about $100.00, and that was too much for this gift project. I found a $50.00 case for the 3/4 size classicals, but it was made of cardboard, and would give less protection than the gig bags. I have already started building for next years Christmas project.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Barry Daniels »

One suggestion. If you are going to keep building this size guitar, why not make an outside form to get the shape a bit better under control?
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Mike Conner
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Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Mike Conner »

Patrick,
Thank you for sharing this project. It is really great that you included the accessories that a beginner may need to get started. I am certain that the recipients will cherish these hand built instruments. The satisfaction of completing such a generous gift will give back to you many times over.

I know the archtop guitars I built as gifts this year are cherished by the owners, and the memory and satisfaction is a blessing to me.

Well done!

Jason Rodgers
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Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Jason Rodgers »

What a great thing! Great use of wood, thoughtful choice of instrument sizes, and full of heart!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Dennis Duross
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Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Dennis Duross »

What a great idea, Patrick. Thanks for sharing it.

Simon Magennis
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Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Simon Magennis »

Looking great. The highly contrasting 3-piece backs are great. Martin & Co would be charging serious money for that upgrade. I hope at least some of the recipients appreciate just how much work goes into this and the amount of time you have spent on it.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Very nice guitars. I'm sure they made some kids' Christmas a bit merrier.

Bob Francis
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Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Bob Francis »

What a great idea! I'm sure they brought some gasps and smiles to the lucky kids that received them.

Len McIntosh
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Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Len McIntosh »

Patrick, this is a great idea. Here's my question, these are rather high end instruments, do you have a way of screening the recipients?
The preference would be for dedicated individuals to get these instruments.
My daughter is a primary school music teacher and teaches (among other things) ukulele and we talked about her best uke players getting one of my guitars. Having her video the best players and then we'd pick one. Over the course of the year it would be an incentive for them all to work hard.
I do really like your idea, making others happy is the key to inner happiness (in my humble opinion). Have a great new year!

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Patrick DeGreve
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Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Patrick DeGreve »

Hi Everybody, Thanks for the response. Len, I talked to the County Fed., and they told me that what they do is gather all the donations, bikes, guitars, toys, etc, then ask the parents what is the best gift for their child. I think this is the best I can do. My hope is that the guitars go to children that want one, and will play it. But you never know. My younger brother started playing my guitar as a child (because it was there), and became a professional classical guitarist. I hope that some of the children will enjoy their guitar, and learn to play. Berry, good suggestion, I did make an outside mold, and a better inside shoe. I am also now taking the sides out of the "Fox style" side bender while they are still hot, and putting them in the mold to cool. It has made a big different with these small guitars. I am well on my way on next year's project. I hope to build 10 guitars to donate next year. I am very lucky!!! I have had a very rewarding 42 year career in TV production, and have the money to support my "hobby".

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Barry Daniels
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Christmas guitar project

Post by Barry Daniels »

Very cool hobby. Sort of the Johnny Appleseed of guitars.
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