Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby Aharon » 01 Aug 2013, 10:49

If nobody posted this link already,lots of info here.
http://www.projectguitar.com/

Good luck
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby biliousfrog » 01 Aug 2013, 12:27

Aharon wrote:If nobody posted this link already,lots of info here.
http://www.projectguitar.com/

Good luck
Aharon :popcorn:


That was exactly what I was going to post - great resource, friendly people and plenty of threads from idiots that think they know better :wink: I've got a couple of builds on there but I haven't visited in years, I'm lucky enough to class a professional luthier (andrew Guyton) as my mate now :D

As far as kits go, I'd avoid them. Buy all the parts separately, get the best that you can afford, and build your own kit. The components in most kits are the cheapest you can get and are junk. You might get a half-decent neck but you won't be sure until you've tuned it up and let it settle, generally they'll require a fret dress (all necks do to some degree) but it might not have enough relief in the neck, the frets could need replacing completely (not cheap) and the truss rod could be loose (will rattle and sound dead)....all very common complaints.

The way I've looked at building a guitar is whether I'll get anything better off-the-peg for the same price or less....if you're cutting all the corners then spending time/money trying to correct them I can guarantee that you'll be better buying a cheap guitar.

With regard to cheap parts (slightly contradicting myself) I had a chat with Martyn Booth recently about his time working for Rosetti (Gibson's UK reseller) through the 80's/90's/00's. He was recalling tales about how most of the guitars required massive amounts of work before they were even sellable - there was a whole team dedicated to fixing Gibsons straight from the factory. One of the standard things they did during one period was replace the bridges and tailpieces with Chinese copies because the originals had a massive failure rate due to the cheap materials and poor build quality. Many of them would just collapse under string tension!
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby DrNomis » 17 Dec 2013, 02:11

I haven't posted an update in this thread for quite some time so I guess now is as good a time as any to do so, anyway here's what I've done so far:

* Applied two coats of Feast Watson Wood Sealer to the back of the neck after giving it a sand with some 400 Grit sandpaper yesterday, and I waited till today for the sealer to dry.

* Today I gave the neck another sand with some 360 Grit sandpaper and then applied one coat of Clear Gloss Lacquer to the back of the neck after putting some masking tape on the fretboard.


I'm going to apply a further three coats of Clear Lacquer and then give it a sand with maybe some 800 Grit or 1200 Grit sandpaper and then apply a further four coats of Clear Lacquer, and then let it dry...... :thumbsup


Things I need to do next:


* Shift the position of the bridge humbucker by about 2mm to get it centered correctly.

* Glue a 3 or 4mm piece of wood in the bridge routing so that one of the bridge mounting screws can do it's job properly.

* Give the whole body a good sand so it's nice and smooth all over.

* Apply the wood Sealer.

* Sand the body.

* Apply another coat of Wood Sealer.

* Maybe spray the body with some primer (the primer I have is suitable for wood, so I might actually do it).

* Sand the body.

* Spray Paint the body in my choice of colour, I have been thinking of going with a basic one-colour scheme as I'm still very new to building guitars and this is my first real attempt, I might just paint the body all white, it'll probably get chipped or scratched up anyway..... :thumbsup


All the electrical wiring worked so all I really need to do is just get a replacement bridge..... :thumbsup
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby biliousfrog » 17 Dec 2013, 12:06

If it's a maple neck you don't need any sealer, only open grained woods such as mahogany need sealing - even then you can seal it with the clear coats or primer most of the time. Superglue is another thing that some people swear by.

You seem to be falling into the typical rookie mistakes of applying coats and sanding them off - it's a waste of time and money. If the neck was smooth with 400 (doubtful) why did you sand with 360 after applying the sealer? You've used a coarser grit which will remove the sealer, roughen the wood and open the pores.

If you're priming a body you'd usually sand the wood to around 800grit and only spray any coats once the wood is perfectly flat and smooth. Put on a couple of decent coats of primer and it shouldn't need anything more than 1200 to take the blemishes out, possibly 1000. By the time you've sprayed the colour coats you shouldn't need much sanding at all, perhaps 1500 - 2000 to take off any "nibs". The clear coat shouldn't need any sanding at all. You might go over with some wetted 3000 - 4000 but the clear coat should lay like glass over the flat colour/smooth wood. All it should need is a buff and polish - use some T-cut or rubbing compound and finish with a decent car polish.

With regards to the paint/primer - stick to car paints, don't use anything else unless you know exactly what type of finish it is and how it might react to other finishes.
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby DrNomis » 17 Dec 2013, 12:54

biliousfrog wrote:If it's a maple neck you don't need any sealer, only open grained woods such as mahogany need sealing - even then you can seal it with the clear coats or primer most of the time. Superglue is another thing that some people swear by.

You seem to be falling into the typical rookie mistakes of applying coats and sanding them off - it's a waste of time and money. If the neck was smooth with 400 (doubtful) why did you sand with 360 after applying the sealer? You've used a coarser grit which will remove the sealer, roughen the wood and open the pores.

If you're priming a body you'd usually sand the wood to around 800grit and only spray any coats once the wood is perfectly flat and smooth. Put on a couple of decent coats of primer and it shouldn't need anything more than 1200 to take the blemishes out, possibly 1000. By the time you've sprayed the colour coats you shouldn't need much sanding at all, perhaps 1500 - 2000 to take off any "nibs". The clear coat shouldn't need any sanding at all. You might go over with some wetted 3000 - 4000 but the clear coat should lay like glass over the flat colour/smooth wood. All it should need is a buff and polish - use some T-cut or rubbing compound and finish with a decent car polish.

With regards to the paint/primer - stick to car paints, don't use anything else unless you know exactly what type of finish it is and how it might react to other finishes.



The neck turned out pretty good and I'm happy with it so I might actually leave it as it is, I might try your suggestions for painting the body though...... :thumbsup


The paint I'm going to use is a multi-purpose quick-dry Enamel, suitable for use on timber, so I'm assuming that it should be fine..... :thumbsup
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby biliousfrog » 17 Dec 2013, 16:28

DrNomis wrote:

The paint I'm going to use is a multi-purpose quick-dry Enamel, suitable for use on timber, so I'm assuming that it should be fine..... :thumbsup


Absolutely not - never use enamel!!! [smilie=a_doh.gif]

Enamel is oil based, it doesn't dry fully unless it is cooked and most other finishes will react to it. Quick-dry paints also takes ages to harden fully and never harden sufficiently to buff. The only time you'd ever possibly use an oil based paint is to do swirl finishes, even then they are prone to going horribly wrong unless you're experienced with paint finishes and there are certain tried and tested types which are commonly used.

Honestly, check the project guitar link above. There are tutorials on how to do finishing properly, using the proper materials. Acrylic car paints in rattle-cans are the cheapest, easiest, option and can provide a professional finish if you're willing to put the effort in. You'll know that each layer (primer, colour and clear) will bond nicely and not react and you'll get a finish that can be polished to a glass-like state.

This is the first guitar I built and finished with cans from a local garage: https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 5314_n.jpg

This one was done with water-based stain and finished in Rustins plastic: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 937a0256a5

And this is the most recent, painted with nitro cans bought on eBay: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 15d668fe57

I've got a little shed and have to do most of the work (including finishing) outside, on the few days that are dry and warm enough....it just takes patience and listening to the experts.

As tempting as it is to rush in and get it finished, it's better to do it right.
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby DrNomis » 17 Dec 2013, 18:57

I'll see if my local Bunnings store has the same colour in Acrylic paint then, if not I'll have to use a different colour, I'm not in a rush to get the body finished as there's a couple of issues with it which I need to sort out first before it's ready to be painted anyway...... :thumbsup


The clear lacquer I used on the neck is an Acrylic though..... :thumbsup
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby bajaman » 18 Dec 2013, 00:41

forget Bunnings :slap:
Go to Repco and buy ACRYLIC LACQUER :secret:
cheers
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby DrNomis » 18 Dec 2013, 01:13

bajaman wrote:forget Bunnings :slap:
Go to Repco and buy ACRYLIC LACQUER :secret:
cheers
bajaman




Only one problem, there's no local Repco store that I know of here in Darwin...... :thumbsup
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby bajaman » 18 Dec 2013, 02:47

any automotive shop SHOULD have acrylic lacquer Simon
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby DrNomis » 18 Dec 2013, 03:34

bajaman wrote:any automotive shop SHOULD have acrylic lacquer Simon



No worries, I'll have a look and see if I can find what I'm after, cheers for the advice mate...... :thumbsup


By the way, how's your Les Paul going?......... :thumbsup
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby bajaman » 18 Dec 2013, 10:51

By the way, how's your Les Paul going?.........

which one ? :lol:
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby DrNomis » 18 Dec 2013, 11:50

bajaman wrote:
By the way, how's your Les Paul going?.........

which one ? :lol:




It's the one you made using some Mahogany from an old table you bought for $2, I think you wired it up like one of Jimmy Page's Les Pauls, that one..... :thumbsup
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby bajaman » 18 Dec 2013, 21:29

it's going great - just a little heavy at 8.5 lbs :wink:
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby sinner » 19 Dec 2013, 00:22

Picts or didn't happened
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby DrNomis » 19 Dec 2013, 02:06

sinner wrote:Picts or didn't happened




Hang on a sec, I'll do a few pics of the neck, as it is...... :thumbsup


I've also included a pic of the neck re-attached to the body (unpainted), I still need to buy a replacement bridge for it though..... :thumbsup


It may be a bit hard to see in the pics but the back of the neck is now smooth and glossy, before it was just bare wood...... :thumbsup
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby Greenmachine » 19 Dec 2013, 23:33

The neck looks nice Simon. I'd like to build a guitar one day too.
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Re: Building Electric Guitars From Kits.

Postby DrNomis » 20 Dec 2013, 00:28

Greenmachine wrote:The neck looks nice Simon. I'd like to build a guitar one day too.




Cheers mate, the neck turned out better than I thought it would after the four coats of clear lacquer had dried so I left it as is, this whole guitar building thing has been a fun learning curve for me, definitely give it a go when you get the chance to..... :thumbsup
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