1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Advice on Kit Guitar

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by TheletterJ, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,289
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    on my bike
    You did well in upgrading the wiring quality but as silverface mentioned, give the pickups a chance. You could be surprised. I have been more than a few times.

    Sit in with your luthier friend & nail down that neck set. You can have a great playing guitar if you get those right.

    Who wants to spend weeks/months putting one together only to have it hang on the wall with issues?
     
    TheletterJ likes this.
  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    75
    Posts:
    4,766
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    I will also recommend setting the neck before you go any farther. First, it is much easier to do any wood working to get the geometry right (and do get that dialed, some of these PacRim kits are pretty shaky). Second it is much easier to clamp and clean up the glue squeeze out. Third, you will want to finish the neck so it flows into the body.

    Clamp the neck into the pocket. Put the bridge on a couple of scraps of wood that emulate the bushings (don't press the bushing in now, if you have an ABR style bridge it is OK to screw the posts into the wood. Make sure the neck is centered and make sure the fretboard plane hits the top of the bridge at its lowest setting (which should be when its on the wooden blocks). Then when you are totally happy with it glue it in place.


    IMG_2033.JPG
     
  3. TheletterJ

    TheletterJ Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,731
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Just checking in on this - I took y’all’s advice and got the neck set. Good news - there was literally NO play in it at all and it lined up perfectly right out of the box. Either I got really lucky, or these Fretwire kits are pretty good in that respect.

    So far my impressions are as follows.

    The good:

    The wood
    The fit
    Ease of assembly

    The bad:

    The electronics
    The “top” is really just a paper thin veneer - careful dying and sanding!
     
    SecretSquirrel likes this.
  4. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,998
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Location:
    PNW USA
    Following closely... I see a second kit guitar in my future. I had great success with the first one, but it was bolt-on. I might like to try something like this.
     
  5. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    9,781
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Lawndale CA
    And with those thin veneers, if dye or stain will be used it's absolutely critical to use "sanding sealer" beforehand and NOT regular clear lacquer. Color control on veneers (by watching penetration and wiping dark areas with a solvent rag quickly to "pull" out the color) is really important to prevent a blotchy, odd-looking top.

    Unfortunately you can only "sort of" practice the solvent wipe, as it's unlikely you'll find any similar scrap. It's not just the veneer being oddly porous in some areas - the glue often works as a "reverse sealer", shutting off penetration. If that happens you have to settle for whatever the lightest color is or settle for blotchiness. You CAN use a darker toner (if one is available) to deepen overall color, but it does not "pop" the grain.
     
  6. TheletterJ

    TheletterJ Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,731
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    So now that the neck is on, I’ve started the finishing process with Tru Oil. It seems like it’s going to take a long time and many thin coats to get a glossy finish, but I’m not all that concerned about it. I’m really happy with how it is turning out because I wanted to give it an old, weathered look, like an old violin, and it’s definitely got that.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,289
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    on my bike
    That looks fantastic.

    The kits I purchase are always just for the body/neck anyways.

    Take your time when finishing. Be patient. You'll be surprised how TO builds up.
     
  8. OldGuy6873

    OldGuy6873 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    532
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Location:
    USA
    Absolutely beautiful looking kit!!

    I just ordered a similar kit from Fretwire, but the 2 humbucker mahogany body/neck with flame maple top.

    My plan is to dye the top an orange/lemon burst. Where did you get your dyes? My thoughts are to dye the top brown first, then sand that off carefully, then apply the yellow/orange burst.

    How did you seal the colors in before starting the True Oil protective finish?

    My plan for the body and neck is to do a mahogany filler and then finish with Tung Oil. I hate the tacky, thick finishes on LP necks.

    Thanks for any info! Can't wait to see your guitar all finished!
     
  9. TheletterJ

    TheletterJ Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,731
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Hey there, thanks for the feedback!

    I got my dyes from my local Woodcraft store. Transtint Lemon Yellow and Burnt Mahogany. They are pretty expensive.

    At this point I’m still working on Tru-Oil coats and started to clean it up with 0000 steel wool between coats - I’m up to about 7.

    I didn’t really do anything to the dyed wood prior to applying Tru-Oil. At the end of the day, though, this is my first foray into staining, dyeing, and doing a rubbed oil finish so my expectations aren’t super high. I want it to be “rustic” and I don’t care if it’s a little rough around the edges. After all, I am a big fan of relic guitars and this is feeling like a more refined barncaster.

    That said, I think it’s going to turn out great and will be a source of pride for sure.

    I also hate tacky necks, so the Tru-Oil is a good choice. I have only a single coat of it on the neck now and it feels great. Maybe just one or two more coats and finishing with the steel wool will have it satiny smooth. Hopefully it will show signs of wear over time as well.
     
    Kriticaster and OldGuy6873 like this.
  10. TheletterJ

    TheletterJ Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,731
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Looking pretty nice and plays like a dream. I’m very happy with how this baby turned out and definitely plan on building another in the future.

    BTW - I’m still waiting on my custom headstock decals so the headstock is not finished yet.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Holic

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    798
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2018
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Great work! I've built maybe 4 from thefretwire, they make great kits compared to the typical ebay fare.

    My dad commissioned me to build him this exact kit, but he wanted a natural finish.

    Also, the pickups were surprisingly great! 20180908_184715.jpg 20180905_165932.jpg 20181006_121329.jpg


    Listen to Dadlp1 by Treadplatedual #np on #SoundCloud
     
    OldGuy6873 and Kriticaster like this.
  12. OldGuy6873

    OldGuy6873 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    532
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Location:
    USA
    Quick question:

    There is about a 1mm place between the body and the end of the fretboard on the treble side when I clamp the neck down into the neck slot. I'm putting up a vid about this on the weekend. Is that to tolerance? I've already sanded some of the neck joint down a bit and lowered it. Thoughts?
     
  13. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Holic

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    798
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2018
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    That's likely a tolerances thing - be careful sanding down too far, especially if you have a tight neck fit now and the bass side is not elevated. Hurray for made in China!

    My dad's was the same way, but I thought having the great neck-in-pocket fit trumped the anesthetics of having a perfectly seated fretboard there, especially since it didn't affect playability. Ymmv.
     
    OldGuy6873 likes this.
  14. OldGuy6873

    OldGuy6873 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    532
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Location:
    USA
    Thank you!! I was hoping someone would chime in. I didn't take off that much and used a flat sander so it is even treble to bass side.
     
    Treadplatedual likes this.
  15. Kriticaster

    Kriticaster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    590
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2017
    Location:
    Crete, Greece
    She came out looking really good! Great job!!

    I finished my Thinline Tele in Tung oil, but Tru Oil would have been my next choice... I love the natural feeling neck too... Never liked that thick lacquered feeling either...

    I've got cheap pickups in mine and they sound pretty good to my ear... They're Alnico 5's which I think is what gives most of their tone...

    Dan from 'Guns n Guitars' builds a lot of Fretwire kits... They seem pretty decent!
     
    OldGuy6873 and Treadplatedual like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.