Grizzly H3098 Western Steel String Guitar Kit

| December 29, 2010 | 10 Comments

Grizzly Industrial Inc. might at first pass seem like an unlikely source for guitar kits. After all, since their founding in 1983 they have grown into one of the largest woodworking and metalworking machinery companies in the United States. A brief review of their catalog shows they carry everything from air drills to zero clearance inserts. They also carry a nice selection of woodworking tools and accessories, including instrument-grade tone woods.

So what’s the connection from industrial machinery to guitar kits? Well, there appear to be two. The first is that Grizzly President Shiraz Balolia is an avid woodworker and guitar builder. The two beautiful guitars shown right are the results of his lutherie. In addition, Grizzly offers a large number of plans and kits for wood toys and furniture, so they’re already in the business of serving the do-it-yourself kit market.

The Model H3098 Western Steel String Guitar Kit includes all the parts needed to build a western-style steel string guitar. All the kit builder needs to do is some assembly, drilling, gluing and finishing. The kit features a spruce top and basswood back and sides. The rosewood fretboard has 22 frets and joins the body at the 14th fret. Here’s a view of the kit parts:

At just $89.95 and with its very simple assembly this is an ideal kit for the beginner, or a fun build for the more experienced. We don’t have any reports yet on the quality of the resulting instruments, but we do have a brief video showing some of the assembly steps. We’ll update you as we learn more.

Category: Acoustic Guitar Kits

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  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    I received this kit as a gift this past Christmas. I’ve done a fair share of woodworking, but had never built a guitar. The kit went together nicely and pretty quickly. I stained the body top with Minwax pecan and everything else with Minwax english chestnut. I put 3 coats of Minwax polyurethane over the entire body and neck. I just installed the tuning machines, strings and bridge pins last night and put a quick tune on it and it has a nice, strong sound. The only slight drawback (and just slight) to the kit is the instructions. They could have been a little clearer and maybe provided a few more assembly photographs, especially covering the installation of the nut and saddle. Also, Grizzly includes an allen wrench to adjust the neck (if need be), but they don’t really explain the truss rod or how to do any adjustments. Overall I really enjoyed this building experience.

  2. avatar guitarkitbuilder says:

    Thanks for letting us know. Always glad to have feeback on items we write about.

  3. avatar Dave Snider says:

    I have this kit also. It has been great fun for a first effort. However, I agree with the first poster that instructions need to be more detailed and more specific in some areas. Many sections are very vague. I also wish they would add the fourth segment to the video showing construction of the guitar. There are several areas in it, I’m sure that would be beneficial to an amateur like me. But aside from this, it is a great beginning acoustic guitar kit.

  4. avatar Tony Germain says:

    Just put the guitar together, had great fun. Used Berchwood sealers, walnut stain and finishes to get the guitar looking OK. I am waiting yet a few more weeks before I polish out the guitar and install a pickup in it. The neck instructions are brief but clear, it is a critical part of the process. It may be better to use a threaded bolt inserts and nuts and washers through two of the vertical guide holes. 1/4 inch x 20 x 2.25 with a wood thread on one side. Drill the vertical holes in the body clear through. This should suck the neck in tight enough to glue (or unglued for a serviceable neck) Using bands on the guitar marred the soft wood, so that meant more work filling and sanding. The guitar sounds like a ply guitar of old yamaha vintage, which sounds good. It took a few hours of heavy strumming, saddle and nut adjustments before the wood decided it was a guitar. The guitar I purchased was a damaged item from It had a hole I patched at the very bottom the guitar about 2″ away from where the 1/4 pickup insert goes. The guitar was still sound and not a bad practice session for $59.95. D’Addario EXP Phosorus Bronze strings or 80/20’s brought out the best sound. I have a Martin D-35 and hung the kit guitar up next to it. I can see exact similarities in design both on the inside and out. The wood in the kit guitar is very basic and soft. It does’t stand up to too much handling. If you sand too much, you will go through the veneer ply. The best thing prep wise, was to get the guitar stained and sealed the way you want, install the neck, then mask off the parts spoken of in the instructions. Then proceed with your finish work.

    The only things in the kit I did not use was the bone, saddle and strings. I spent another $10.00 on a bone saddle and nut and $12.00 on EXP Strings 12-52. This brought out the best sound properties of the wood. Sound wise this guitar is characteristically a dreadnaught. Its range goes deep into the bass with that Big “E” string, while the little “E” gives a bright bell like tone. In strumming, the middle strings muddy up a little, but when finger picking or flat picking, each string had better than normal sustain.

    If you ask me, am I happy with the experience of building this kit guitar? I would say greatly. It taught me some great lessons on neck work, finishes and that sometimes you have to beat the sound out of a piece of wood before it understands its a guitar.

  5. avatar Don Simnitt says:

    How do I go about purchasing the Grizzly H3098 guitar kit.

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