Building an electric guitar from kit

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AndyC
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Building an electric guitar from kit

#1

Post by AndyC » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:06 pm

First up, I'm a terrible guitarist - really, I know chords and barre chords and such but I'm not very good other (I can, however, hold down a decent rhythm). I've purchased a few courses and intend to dive on in.

With that said, I bought a black Les Paul style kit a few years ago that I'm finally motivated to finish; the one thing holding me back was installing the tuners so I got a pro to do that, after which I put some parody stickers in place:

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I got to work installing the electronics (which is still a work in progress):

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Taped off the fretboard today for the much-dreaded fret-leveling and crowning - that will be done after the electronics are finished:

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I forgot - for the guitar-geeks, the pickups are Seymour Duncan Invaders.
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kayt00
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#2

Post by kayt00 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:56 pm

That'll be a sweet little unit once it's done. I play a little and would like to get better but time vs priorities. Kits something I've wanted to do but that's also a whole nother tool set to buy. Filing frets making sure the neck is straight, fiddling with electronics, tuners, and the plethora of pickup choices. As it stands I've got a BC Rich Mockingbird, an Ibanez, and a fender acoustic to keep my plucking and strumming away. Maybe I can get to a kit when I end up with a bit more free time.
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The Annoyed Man
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#3

Post by The Annoyed Man » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:44 pm

Be REAL careful and take your time when you’re dressing the frets. Taking metal off is easy, but you can’t put it back on, and nothing will wreck the intonation of a guitar like a crooked neck with worn/damaged frets.
• Give me Liberty or I'll get up and get it myself.
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AndyC
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#4

Post by AndyC » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:57 pm

I'm aware.
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Amateurs skip safety-checks - pros don't.
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#5

Post by Grayling813 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:26 am

I’ve looked at kits, decided to continue letting Taylor build my guitars.
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mayor
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#6

Post by mayor » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:54 am

building an AR from an 80% is easier. tinkering with an already built musical instrument i can do, but building from 'scratch' is a waste of my time and a good kit - good luck. it looks nice.
HIJACK (shameless plug) with apologies: We play about once a month at the Hard 8 BBQ in Coppell and The Colony. check out our calendar: @salt creek band . com
now back to your regular guitar kit thread...

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The Annoyed Man
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#7

Post by The Annoyed Man » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:49 am

Grayling813 wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:26 am
I’ve looked at kits, decided to continue letting Taylor build my guitars.
Ditto, except make mine L'Arrivée guitars.
• Give me Liberty or I'll get up and get it myself.
• I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes.
• My dream is to have lived my life so well that future generations of leftists will demand my name be removed from buildings.
• Independent Minarchist.

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AndyC
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#8

Post by AndyC » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:03 pm

I enjoy soldering - but taking a drill to a guitar gives me the creeps:

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Remember Kitty Genovese

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Amateurs skip safety-checks - pros don't.
Preferred Travel Agent - 72 Virgins Dating Club, Iraq
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#9

Post by AndyC » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:20 pm

Using string to set the proper locations for the pickups before screwing them in place:

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Remember Kitty Genovese

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Amateurs skip safety-checks - pros don't.
Preferred Travel Agent - 72 Virgins Dating Club, Iraq
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AndyC
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#10

Post by AndyC » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:53 pm

The rest of today is reserved for getting the frets done, so here's a little progress - a few things going on here:

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1. The black lines are where the frets are high and need to be sanded down with the stone. To check for high frets, I used a fret-rocker:

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2. The frets which have been flattened I've colored red so that I know what has yet to be re-shaped.
3. Little blue masking tabs on either side of the fret I'm working on so I don't lose track.

Pretty fun doing this manually, actually - not so scary once you have a good idea what exactly to do, how it's done and actually get started.
Remember Kitty Genovese

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Amateurs skip safety-checks - pros don't.
Preferred Travel Agent - 72 Virgins Dating Club, Iraq
There's nothing quite like the offer of 230 grains to a man's chest to remind him of his manners

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AndyC
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#11

Post by AndyC » Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:20 pm

Frets were reshaped then polished with sandpapers from 220- to 2,000-grit. Final polish done with Brasso (and I remember that ammoniac smell from Basic - yuck).

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Soldering the pickups and selector switch will be next.
Remember Kitty Genovese

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Amateurs skip safety-checks - pros don't.
Preferred Travel Agent - 72 Virgins Dating Club, Iraq
There's nothing quite like the offer of 230 grains to a man's chest to remind him of his manners


DynamicDan
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#12

Post by DynamicDan » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:09 pm

Nice

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AndyC
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#13

Post by AndyC » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:06 pm

She's done - tuned-up and intonation all set. Action isn't quite as low yet as I'd like but she's playable and the pickups are hot :)

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Remember Kitty Genovese

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Amateurs skip safety-checks - pros don't.
Preferred Travel Agent - 72 Virgins Dating Club, Iraq
There's nothing quite like the offer of 230 grains to a man's chest to remind him of his manners

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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#14

Post by Syntyr » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:02 pm

mayor wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:54 am
building an AR from an 80% is easier. tinkering with an already built musical instrument i can do, but building from 'scratch' is a waste of my time and a good kit - good luck. it looks nice.
HIJACK (shameless plug) with apologies: We play about once a month at the Hard 8 BBQ in Coppell and The Colony. check out our calendar: @salt creek band . com
now back to your regular guitar kit thread...
:iagree:

BTDT! I have taken to buying guitars in pawn shops that look cool and then I hotrod them. New nut, bridge, tuners, strings, POTs, and pickups. I really like Rio Grand humbuckers. I picked up a Squire Bullet for $60 and rebuilt it. New Gibson pickups and swapped out all of the components. New bone nut and bridge. Adjusted the intonation and cleaned up the frets. New lighter strings. New Grover tuners. I now get nice clean sustain as good as any Gibson I have played - Studio models. I have never played a custom shop Gibson.
Syntyr
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Re: Building an electric guitar from kit

#15

Post by Syntyr » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:05 pm

AndyC wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:06 pm
She's done - tuned-up and intonation all set. Action isn't quite as low yet as I'd like but she's playable and the pickups are hot :)

Really nice looking Andy. Well done!
Syntyr
"Wherever you go... There you are." - Remo Williams
"Inconceivable!" - Fizzinni

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