Replica Project

This page will document my Klein Project which will fulfil a number of goals for me:

1. For a long time now I have wanted to make a webpage but couldn't think of a decent idea for one. I figured that there were enough pages about people, their pets and their 1974 Ford Capri Ghias. This will help to get info out about my attempts to build a Klein to people who have expressed an interest in my progress (or lack of) as I attempt to realise my goal.

2. I have also wanted to do some woodwork related 'stuff'. What can I say, I have spent too much time over the last few years watching people like Norm Abrams from the New Yankee Workshop and being amazed by what they achieve. This project was the catalyst I needed.

3. Finally, and most importantly, I want a Klein-style electric guitar. I have liked these ever since I read an interview with Henry Kaiser in Guitarist magazine back in 1989/90 (I think). They have become more common since then although there is a whole saga behind them now. Production appears to have been stalled for a few years now. If you check out the Klein Yahoo! Group, there are numerous individuals who have put down a 25% deposit (about $1500) and, several years later, have nothing to show for it. The guy making them seems to be hard to contact and theories abound as to whether he has health problems, business problems etc. This guy is not Steve Klein, he sold Klein Electric Guitars some years ago to it's current owner. The bottom line is that it is virtually impossible to get a brand new Klein and second-hand prices are climbing rapidly - two sold on eBay recently for round about the $5000 mark. Anyway, you can buy a set of plans from the Guild of American Luthiers for $20, which is what I did and I am now going to attempt to build a Klein.

These are my two guitars, both fairly traditional.

The first is my 1985 Squier Telecaster (made in Korea). Originally came with maple neck and fingerboard. Fancied a change and, given the price of a refret, had it changed 6 years ago. Still have the original neck but the rosewood is an improvement over the maple. The writing on the bottom left as viewed is Buddy Guy's autograph, dated 1991. He signed it in 1991 in Glasgow, Scotland before the evening concert on his "Damn right I've got the Blues" tour. I think the pickups are dying.

The other guitar is an Epiphone Emperor II Joe Pass model. A great introductory archtop which has proven to be a great guitar period. Not a Gibson/Benedetto by any means, but then I'm not Wes/Jim Hall/Pat Metheny either!!

I intend to keep a diary which I will update any time progress has been made on the guitar and I intend to include plenty of pictures. At the moment I have made a template for the body shape and have ordered the wood for the body. It should arrive in the next couple of days at which point construction will really start! Bear in mind, I have no experience building guitars, never even changed a pickup. Not much woodworking experience either, but I'm willing to give it a go.

A big thankyou to Jason Fink who showed that this can be done, and for letting me know about the availability of the plans.

Check back for progress updates!!

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© 2006 fpl